Monday, December 7, 2009

Winter Heating Assistance

ARC Master Trust Winter Heating Assistance Program: The Arc of Indiana is now accepting certification forms for The Arc Master Trust's 2010 Winter Heating Assistance Program. $35,000 has been approved by The Arc of Indiana's Board of Directors for the 2010 program. This will allow 350 low-income individuals with disabilities to receive assistance with $100 toward their winter heating bills. Funding for the Winter Heating Assistance Program comes from The Arc of Indiana's Master Trust Remainder Fund.

The Trust wants to distribute funds as equally as possible throughout the state. Therefore, a limited number of applications will be accepted from each of Indiana's counties. Also, for 2010 initial payments will be made only to those that have not received assistance in the past. If they have received assistance in the past, their name will be placed on a waiting list. After first time applicants have received their check, and money remains to be distributed, checks will be issued to those on the waiting list on a first come first served basis. Complete information about the 2010 Winter Heating Assistance Program is available on The Arc of Indiana’s web site at

Friday, December 4, 2009

Making the MDGS Disability-Inclusive

Yesterday's International Day for Persons with Disabilities was themed "Making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) disability-inclusive." The MDGs are "the set of global targets to halve poverty, hunger and other social ills by 2015," as set out by United Nations officials like Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

American singer Stevie Wonder, who has vision impairment, was appointed the new "Messenger of Peace." In a New York news conference to address his appointment, he said, "It is beyond my ability to fathom that 10 per cent of the people of this world [living with disabilities] do not matter to the other 90 per cent of the people in the world...seeing a person who’s left without an opportunity means that we are all with a disability."

You can read more about the goals and activities of IDPwD at the UN News Centre.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

International Day of People with Disability

Happy IDPwD! Today, events around the world will bring together people with disability and the general community. The goals of IDPwD are to:

• showcase the skills, abilities, contributions and achievements of people with disability
• promote a positive image of people with disability
• involve people with disability and the broader community in activities to celebrate and raise awareness of IDPwD.

The official International Day of People with Disability website is based in Australia, and can be accessed at You can also celebrate by visiting the IDPwD Facebook page!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Whistler Resort and the Paralympics

Whistler Village, British Columbia is getting an accessibility makeover in preparation for the 2010 Paralympics. The village, which is a resort-style city, will be the site of the medal ceremony and other Olympic-related events.

Some of the upgrades include transportation improvements, with an addition of 21 new accessible vehicles to the public system, wheel-chair accessible taxi services, barrier-free pathways to get around the city, and the creation of a database of accessible lodging establishments.

For more information about the transformation, see the Able Traveler article on Whistler. For more information about barrier-free travel, see some of our past posts on the subject.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a national network of cooperating libraries that provide braille and audio materials circulated to eligible borrowers in the United States by postage-free mail. A US resident is eligible if they have a visual acuity of 20/200 or less or limited range of vision with correcting lenses, or those certified by a competent authority as unable to use standard print materials as a result of visual or physical limitations.

The service can provide books in English or Spanish. The NLS also publishes biweekly reviews of the most recent additions to their braille and talking book collections.

To find a local participating library, consult this search engine. To sign up for mail-order library service, visit this page. To browse their collection, you can utilize their online catalog.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Faith and Disabilities

The turkeys have been carved and the trees are going up; the holiday season is upon us. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or others, CeDIR has resources to help create inclusive faith communities this holiday season.

-Praying with Lior
-Including people with disabilities in faith communities : a guide for service providers, families, & congregations
-Believing, belonging, becoming
-Faith communities and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities

Monday, November 23, 2009

Support Groups

Are you looking for a support group for yourself or loved ones? The Bloomington Hospital has established several tailored to specific conditions (all phone numbers with area code 812):

Adolescent Bereavement: 353-9818
For children and teens who have lost a loved one

Adult Bereavement: 353-9818
For adults who have lost a loved one

ALS: 353-9299
For anyone with ALS and their family or friends

Alzheimer's: 353-9299
For caregivers fo individuals with Alzheimer's and other dementias

Breast Cancer: 353-5669
Support for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer

Cancer-all types: 353-5669
For individuals undergoing treatment for any cancers and their families

Celiac: 339-3424
For individuals with gluten intolerance

Diabetes: 353-9258
For individuals with diabetes

Fibromyalgia: 353-5534
For individuals with Fibromyalgia syndrome

HIV/AIDS: 353-3261
For individuals with the human immunodeficiency virus

Postpartum Depression: 337-8121
For women experiencing depression following the birth of their babies--family members welcome

RTS: 353-5482
Fr people who have experienced miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death

Stroke: 353-9818
For individuals who have had a stroke and their caregivers

Tobacco: 353-5811
For individuals in the process of quitting or who have quit tobacco products

Friday, November 20, 2009

Arthritis Myths

Do your bones creak because of the cold? Because you slouch? Probably not. Causations like these are largely myths, as the Harvard Medical school points out in their article "Top 10 Things that Don't Cause Arthritis". Here are some mythical reasons for joint pain:

1) Overuse. Unless you're a jack-hammer operator or professional athlete, you are not at increased risk for arthritis.

2) Cold, damp weather. This belief is common, but scientifically unsupported.

3) Medications. The type of medicine that causes bone death is very, very rare.

4) Infections and vaccinations. Infectious diseases can cause arthritis, but only a small fraction of cases can be attributed to them.

5) Diet. What you eat has almost nothing to do with arthritis--though shoveling in the pie and french fries can lead to obesity, which worsens joint symptoms.

For the full list of myths with more extensive explanations, follow the link above.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting Closer to a Treatment for Down Syndrome

Researchers from Stanford and the University of California San Diego have found a way to restore learning in mice with a Down syndrome-like condition.

The scientists administered xamoterol to mice who had three copies of one of their chromosomes (similar to the origin of Down syndrome). Before the tests, mice suffered neural degeneration and had difficulty learning to adapt to new environments; for example, they did not build nests when transferred to new homes and could not recognize patterns in audio tones. After the drug took effect, the nest-building and pattern recognition was restored.

The xamoterol worked by being converted by the body into norepinephrine, which is a natural neurotransmitter.

To read more about the discovery, read the press releases at the University of California or MedPage Today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Introduction to Special Education in Indiana

An Introduction to Special Education in Indiana is a pamphlet developed by Cathy Beard at the IIDC's Early Childhood Center. The handy booklet details laws and services for parents of children in special education or burgeoning SE teachers.

The ECC is offering free copies until our stock runs low. Contact 812-855-6508 to obtain a copy. The CeDIR library also has several copies available for borrowing when the department runs out; email us if you're interested and an Indiana resident.

Make sure to check out the ECC's other publications on their site.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Special Education in Contemporary Society

Special education in contemporary society: an introduction to exceptionality is a textbook for college students by Richard Gargiulo. In addition to a comprehensive text on policies, cultural diversity, families, and specific disabilities, the book features special sections in every chapter: interviews with individuals with learning disabilities, targeted teaching strategies, and suggested learning activities.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Is Your Website Accessible?

This Wednesday at 2pm, ADA Online will host a webinar called "Tips and Tricks for Accessible Web Design." The event is part of the Accessible Technology audio conference series.

This event is free, but requires registration at:

Friday, November 13, 2009

Job Success for Persons with Developmental Disabilities

Job success for persons with developmental disabilities by David B. Wiegan is written for professionals in vocational rehabilitation, transition services or related work. The book describes proven methods for pin-pointing the strengths of clients with developmental disabilities, tracking down prime employment opportunities, and supporting the client after placement. Wiegan is the Executive Director of Mid-Valley Rehabilitation in McMinnville, Oregon with and has 30+ years of experience in job placement.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Elderburbia: aging with a sense of purpose in America, written by the IIDC's own Phil Stafford, is now on the CeDIR library shelves. The book examines how local environments shape the aging experience and outlines what makes a community elder-friendly. Elderburbia is especially useful to social workers, aging individuals and city planners looking to prepare for aging populations.

Also check out Dr. Stafford's blog, "Phil's Adventures in Elderburbia,", for more information on elder-friendly communities.

Interested in this book? Indiana resident? Email us!

Not an Indiana resident? Find this book at your local library through WorldCat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Center on Technology and Disability Discussions

CeDIR received this press release from the Family Center on Technology and Disability in Washington D.C.:

"November Online Discussion has begun!

The Family Center on Technology and Disability invites you to join national AT experts Lisa Thumann and Karen Janowski to discuss a wide range of issues associated with instructional technology.

This is an opportunity to discuss both big-picture questions and the very particular ways in which teachers, therapists, parents, and students can use established and emerging technologies in ways that have proven effective in and out of the classroom. Whether you're interested in the growing use of social media tools, the current status of Universal Design for Learning, tech-supported professional development, or technology tools that link home and school, keeping up with technology requires commitment and we salute you for making the effort!"

Their website,, provides details on reading transcripts of discussions, requesting the Family Center's "AT Resources" CD-ROM, and registering for announcements.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When Did I Get Old?

On Thursday, November 19 at 9 pm, WFYI Public Television will present When Did I Get Old? Reflections on Aging Today — a new one-hour documentary that alternates studio discussions with aging experts and profiles of active seniors in Indiana. The special will be offered for broadcast on Indiana’s Public Television Stations.

When Did I Get Old was produced by the Emmy award-winning Gary Harrison in cooperation with the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community and the Center on Aging and Community at Indiana University. The documentary focuses on Midtown Gary, Linton, Vincennes, and Bloomington, where residents attempt to improve public conditions and residents overcome personal obstacles.

For more information, contact Lori Plummer at (317) 614-0462 or e-mail

Monday, November 9, 2009

Graduate Seminar: Developmental and Severe Disabilities

Indiana University at Bloomington is offering a seminar for advanced masters and PhD students in January, 2010. Coordinators have distributed the following information:

This seminar endeavors to address issues related to severe and chronic disability of children, that is, disabilities that are attributable to cognitive and/or physical impairment and manifest during the developmental period. The association between poverty and disabilities as well as the impact of socio-cultural factors on the manifestation and outcomes of developmental disabilities will be addressed, for example, the impact of HIV/AIDS on child development.

The aim of these seminars are twofold: Firstly to discuss common underlying issues in developmental disabilities by exploring commonalities and differences between specific disabilities to deepen our understanding of the challenges experienced, and secondly to enable students to develop and evaluate intervention strategies within specific socio-cultural contexts.

Topics will include issues relating to information processing, receptive and expressive language, augmentative and alternative communication, literacy skills, problem behaviors and self-regulation as well as transitional planning and employment in developmental disabilities. A focus on factors impacting on the sustainability of intervention in severe and developmental disabilities, in particular those related to family-centered intervention and community-based instruction, will also be addressed.

The format of the seminar will be an introductory presentation followed by group discussions based on the required readings in the field. Experts who have already indicated their willingness to participate in this course include: David Mank (Indiana Institute on Disability and Community), Lisa Pufpaff (Ball State University) as well as Lyle Lloyd (Purdue University).

The main seminar presenter and organizer is Erna Alant (PhD), previously Director of the Center for Augmentative and Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She is newly appointed as Professor and Otting Chair in Special Education at Indiana University and has extensive experience in severe disabilities and AAC in intervention, training and research in Africa and beyond.

Pre-requisites for the course: Intermediate level knowledge of developmental disabilities, for example, intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and relevant teaching and intervention strategies are strongly recommended for the course.

For further information - please contact: Erna Alant (