UCP-OC 2014 Life Without Limits Gala Video

Recent studies show a staggering statistic that 1 in 6 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a developmental disability. UCP-OC proudly serves the 1 in 6 children in our community that make up this statistic.

 

Learn more about the services UCP-OC provides:

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UCP SmartBrief

Assistive Technology——————

Software helps children with disabilities communicate
Invention Labs has created a picture-based software application called Avaz to help children with cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders communicate. Company founder Ajit Narayanan said the software converts muscle movement into speech using pictures, so a user could put together the words “I like,” then choose a picture of an apple. The Economic Times (India) (1/24)

Ohio district uses technology to remove learning barriers
Some educators in a school district in Ohio praise technologies, such as laptops and tablets, for helping to eliminate learning barriers and increase motivation for students with disabilities. “Any time you can see the kids be more independent and more involved with their peers, you know (the technology) is doing its job,” said Rita Woeste, the district’s technology-integration specialist who taught special education for 29 years. The Advocate (Newark, Ohio) (tiered subscription model) (1/26)

Disability Update——————

Panel recommends ways to improve voting experience
A bipartisan commission urged election officials to give more attention to people with disabilities, expand online registration and allow more early voting to help solve problems of long lines and other difficulties that were seen during the 2012 election. The panel said polling places should have checklists to ensure accessibility and poll workers should be trained on how to help voters with special needs. Disability Scoop (1/24)

Transitions——————

Students learn academic, social skills in greeting-card business
Teachers at a high school in Kansas are using a greeting-card business to teach students with disabilities academic and social skills. While making the cards, students follow verbal and written directions, read work orders, handle money and learn to work as a team, special-education teacher Matt DeMoss said. “My goal while they were in high school, just like any other teacher, was to get them ready for that post-secondary career,” he said. The Joplin Globe (Mo.) (1/23)

N.Y. district transitions to career-focused diploma option
Students with disabilities in the Lansing Central School District in New York who do not earn a traditional high-school diploma now have the option to earn career development and occupational skills credentials. The new path takes the place of the “IEP diploma,” which was available to some students with disabilities in the district until last July. “We’re now focusing more on students leaving our schools work-ready,” Kathy Rourke, director of special education, said. Ithaca Times (N.Y.) (1/25)

UCP News——————-

National call on disabilities treaty, Tuesday
Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 1 p.m. EST, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Community Leadership team will hold a call to develop a national strategy to allow for continued negotiations on the disability treaty. The CRPD was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, and would provide a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. RSVP for the call and contact your senators by visiting www.disabilitytreaty.org.

Register now to attend the 2014 Disability Policy Seminar
Early registration is now open for this year’s Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C., April 7 to 9. This event is the biggest and best opportunity for advocates to advance the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is hosted by UCP, The Arc, AUCD, AAIDD, NACDD and SABE. Register now and book your room at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington D.C. for a special early registration rate by visiting www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org. But act soon — the special room rates end March 4.

Ending on a “high-quote”:

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
— C.S. Lewis

The Holidays with a Special Needs Child

College Students Making a Difference for Children with Disabilities this Holiday Season

Sixteen students at the University of Georgia are helping to make sure children of all abilities can enjoy the holiday season– by creating toys specifically designed for children with motor disabilities. The students are taking an assistive technology class called “Geeks With a Cause,” a part of the university’s Freshman Odyssey program, which pairs small groups of first-year students with professors teaching specialized topics.

The toys crafted by the students included larger controls and switches, making it easier for the children to play with them. One young girl with limited muscle control received a toy with adapted switches, which she was able to use to turn the toy on and off. “For her to be able to do something functional, for her to be able to do that; this is very exciting,” her mother said.

The adapted toys brought joy and tears to the toy recipients and their families, and touched the lives of the students in the class. Click here to read more!

One Parent’s Tips for the Holidays

Part of My Child Without Limits’ (MCWL) work is to help support its online community of parents and caregivers who share their ideas, experiences and inspiration with each other. One mother recently shared her tips to help parents of children with autism navigate the holidays. These tips include not going overboard with the decorations and shopping, finding help way in advance for parties, remembering the meaning of the holiday season and more. You can check out these tips by clicking here, and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and MCWL wish everyone a happy holiday season!

Giving Tuesday- Thank You!

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, UCP-OC joined a call to action celebrating a day dedicated to giving. Begun in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a movement to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season, and follows Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #GivingTuesday proves that the holidays can be about both giving and giving back. It celebrates how Americans can do more with their wallets than just shop – and that we Americans can give as good as we get. See our holiday story here.

Thank you to everyone who helped support this year’s #GivingTuesday. Its success would not have been possible without you!

We Want to Hear From You

We love to share our families’ success stories. You can share these with Elizabeth Eckman, UCP-OC’s Marketing & Development Coordinator, at eeckman@ucp-oc.org. Tell us how you and your child live your lives without limits! Your stories could be featured on UCP’s websites, social media or in other UCP campaigns. We’ve already heard from many of you, so stay tuned to see more amazing stories and photos!

As always, we encourage everyone to visit our  Facebook page and website. If you ever have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact Elizabeth.

UCP SmartBrief & My Child Without Limits

UCP SmartBrief


Disability Update:
Judge says NYC emergency plans inadequate for people with disabilities
U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled that New York City’s emergency planning is inadequate to accommodate people with disabilities and the city is in violation of local and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furman said the city’s plans do not ensure evacuation of people with disabilities, do not provide sufficiently accessible shelters, and do not do enough to inform people about accessible emergency services. The class-action lawsuit was brought by local disability-advocacy groups after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)

Children with autism are more prone to gastrointestinal problems
In a study involving almost 1,000 2- to 5-year-olds in California, researchers found that gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, food sensitivity and constipation, were six to eight times more prevalent among children with autism than those without the condition. “GI problems may create behavior problems, and those behavior problems may create or exacerbate GI problems,” lead author Virginia Chaidez wrote in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. HealthDay News

Assistive Technology
Children with autism are more prone to gastrointestinal problems
In a study involving almost 1,000 2- to 5-year-olds in California, researchers found that gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, food sensitivity and constipation, were six to eight times more prevalent among children with autism than those without the condition. “GI problems may create behavior problems, and those behavior problems may create or exacerbate GI problems,” lead author Virginia Chaidez wrote in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. HealthDay News

DOT rules to make airport kiosks, airline websites more accessible
New U.S. Department of Transportation rules will require airline websites and airport kiosks to be accessible to people with disabilities. Airlines will be required to make their website pages with key travel information and services accessible to people with disabilities within two years of the rule, and at least 25% of airport kiosks used for such services as printing boarding passes will be required to be accessible within 10 years. Forbes

Transitions
Minn. district switches to inclusion model for students with disabilities
St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota has closed most of its learning resource centers and placed students with behavioral and emotional disabilities at their home schools to have more interaction with their peers. The change has given most students a chance to be in a regular education classroom. Some student advocates and teachers raised concerns, such as not having enough aides and special-education teachers to co-teach in every classroom with students with disabilities. Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)

Adding sensory elements to stories can enhance learning
Incorporating sensory experiences, such as feeling a drop of water or smelling a favorite scent, into stories can help enrich learning for all students, says special-educational needs and disabilities consultant Joanna Grace. In this blog post, she shares specific ways sensory stories can be used with a range of student populations, including students with sensory-processing disorders and other special needs. The Guardian (London)/Teacher Network 

UCP News
2013 Design- athon a huge success!

Held in partnership with U.K.-based Enabled by Design and Futuregov, the Design-athon is an international innovation event with a focus on disabilities. More than 100 hackers, designers and inventors came together at the Design-athon to hear from experts, discuss the issues surrounding the need for more accessible, attractive and easier-to-use products for people with disabilities, and to build functional, scalable prototypes. Learn more about the Design-athon and how you can get involved!

World Cerebral Palsy Challenge final results announced
The final fundraising results from the second annual World Cerebral Palsy (CP) Challenge, an international awareness and fundraising campaign for people living with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, were recently announced — and they are amazing! More than $180,000 was raised in the U.S., and $1.6 million was raised worldwide. More than 1,900 individuals from five different countries participated in the World CP Challenge, making it a huge success. Thank you to everyone involved, and we hope to see you again next year! Learn more about the World CP Challenge.

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My Child Without Limits

Giving Tuesday

This year, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, UCP and My Child Without Limits are part of a call to action celebrating a day dedicated to giving. Charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, retailers giving_tuesdayand more will all come together for #GivingTuesday – a movement to celebrate giving and encourage more, better and smarter giving during the Holiday Season that we are proud to be part of.

Since the beginning UCP-OC has relied on support from its community members to continue serving the children and families in Orange County.  #GivingTuesday proves that the holidays can be about both giving and giving back. It celebrates how Americans can do more with their wallets than just shop – and that we Americans can give as good as we get.

Mark your calendar for #GivingTuesday or click here to donate today.

U.S. Preterm Birth Rate Falls But More Can Still Be Done
According to a report released by the March of Dimes, in 2012 the nation’s preterm birth rate was 11.5%, a 15-year low. While it is better than in previous years the U.S. received a grade of C and was ranked 131 out of 184 countries worldwide. There is still very far to go in decreasing the U.S.’s preterm birth rate. Beyond statistics about the numbers of births, the report focuses on the reasons behind the rate and strategies for prevent- including reducing smoking and increasing health insurance coverage among pregnant women.

Click here for full results of the March of Dimes Global Action Report.

Click here for more information about premature births including common associated health problems and treatments from MyChildWithoutLimits.org.

Trying To Teach Empathy Through A New Video Game
quandaryMIT’s Education Arcade and the Learning Games Network created a new free game called Quandary with the idea of engaging kids to start thinking. Quandary approaches the broad topic of ethics by helping students understand how to take a different perspective and learn how to empathize.

As a player you are the captain on an Earth colony on a distant planet charged with the survival of your crew and residents. In order to understand the situation you must interview different characters and organize the information you get in to facts, solutions, or opinions, and then act. The game allows players to experience a diverse set of character viewpoints. Gamer creators believe “The game offers a unique decision-making mechanic, one where the choices and outcomes available to players are not a binary ‘good or bad’, and where there are no easy, right answers.”

Creators are careful to say the game doesn’t teach ethics, per se. Instead they “…see games as an organized space for playful exploration and through the process people encounter and form new ideas and concepts, they begin to construct knowledge.”

Quandary has a new iPhone and Android app that offers the same experience as the web-based game and are available for free. Check out the website for more information and to download the game.

Other interesting news:

UCP News Brief

Disability Update

Children with genetic disorder may be misdiagnosed with autism
As many as 50% of children with a genetic disorder called 22q11.2 deletion syndrome were diagnosed with autism, but U.S. researchers found that none of the 29 children with the deletion disorder met the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder. The findings, published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, show the need for more accurate assessments for autism among children with the genetic disorder. Disability Scoop (9/19), HealthDay News (9/18)
 
Md. commission to study police response to people with disabilities
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley created a commission to recommend training standards and best practices for first responders who handle emergencies involving people with disabilities. The Maryland Commission for Effective Community Inclusion of Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities was created in response to the death of Ethan Saylor, who had Down syndrome and was handcuffed by deputies on the floor of a Frederick movie theater after he refused to leave after the show. The Frederick News-Post (Md.) (9/17)
 
Disney to adopt new wait policy for people with disabilities
Disneyland and Walt Disney World are eliminating a policy that allows people with disabilities to go to the front of the line at events and rides because the system was being misused. A new policy, which goes into effect in October, will use a kiosk system that gives people a ticket to go on a ride at a specific time without having to wait in line. Only one ride can be requested at a time. Disability Scoop (9/20)
 

Assistive Technology

Poll: 50% OK with service, therapy animals in restaurants, stores
Only half of Washington state residents responding to a Pemco poll said on-leash therapy or service dogs should be allowed inside a store or restaurant. Pemco spokesman Jon Osterberg said it was surprising that one-third of people said service dogs should be allowed in restaurants and shops but not therapy dogs. “It makes us wonder what’s less tolerable about therapy dogs than service dogs,” he said. American City Business Journals/Puget Sound, Wash. (9/19)
Other News

Transitions

Students learn job skills as elementary-school helpers
High-school students with disabilities at Bonner Springs High School in Kansas are working as helpers at an elementary school as part of a special-education transition program. Students in the program learn independent work skills while performing tasks, such as cleaning library books, filling teacher mailboxes and stacking chairs. “And it is also giving us an opportunity to figure out what they like to do and what they don’t like to do, what they’re good at and what they need a lot more support with,” teacher Tierney Thompson said. Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chieftain (Kan.) (9/18)
 
Hockey team helps students with disabilities find their place
A hockey club in Montgomery County, Va., is helping students with disabilities learn social skills and self-confidence. Operated by volunteers, the club accepts children of all abilities and helps them access the sport at their level. “There’s a sense of satisfaction when you see a kid with disabilities have the same opportunities the other kids have,” a mother, Mildred Bonilla Lucia, said. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (9/15)
Other News
LTSS Commission releases final report
Created to replace the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, which was repealed in 2012, the Commission on Long-Term Care recently released its Final Report to Congress. The Commission was established to examine the issues surrounding long-term care, specifically service delivery, the workforce requirements and financing — but did not adequately address how it will be paid for. Learn more about the Commission, the recommendations created by the members who voted against the report, and read UCP’s statement.
 
“Breaking Bad” star RJ Mitte on World CP Day
RJ Mitte, star of the hit television series “Breaking Bad” and Global Ambassador for World Cerebral Palsy Day, has filmed a video in support of “Change My World in One Minute” campaign, which encourages people to come up with ideas that could change the world for people with CP. RJ, who has cerebral palsy himself, urges everyone to participate for the chance to see their idea brought to life. Learn more about World CP Day, watch the video and upload your idea today!
 
What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere.”
— Ovid,
Roman poet

UCP SmartBrief

Disability Update

Virginia Tech clinic seeks new treatments for cerebral palsy
The Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute has created the Neuromotor Research Clinic to find new treatments for cerebral palsy. A $4.2 million NIH grant will be used for a program that tracks 135 children with CP who will get high-intensity therapy for hemiparesis. The Roanoke Times (Va.) (8/15)
 
Cerebral palsy a risk factor for severe flu-related complications in children
Medical records gathered from 79 hospitals across 12 countries revealed six risk factors for identifying children at greater risk of suffering severe complications due to influenza. The risk factors included dehydration, breathing problems, need for oxygen therapy, heart rate above the normal age-based range, and history of conditions such as chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy and developmental delay. The findings were published in the British Medical Journal. The New Zealand Herald (8/15)
Other News

Assistive Technologies

How iPads make education more accessible to students with disabilities
The range of mobile applications available on the iPad offers many options for students with various disabilities, adaptive technology expert Therese Willkomm said during a four-day iPad boot camp in Concord, N.H. This article highlights some of the apps discussed at the conference, such as TextGrabber, which reads aloud pictures taken of text. Concord Monitor (N.H.) (8/15)
 
Companies ask FCC to exempt e-readers from accessibility rules
Companies such as Amazon, Sony and Kobo asked the Federal Communications Commission to exempt their e-readers from requirements that they be accessible to people with disabilities. The companies said e-readers are not designed or marketed for advanced communications services, but disability advocates disagreed and pointed out that some of the devices are being marketed for school use. Disability Scoop (8/14)

 

Transitions

Some Va. students with disabilities receive incorrect scorecards
Virginia school officials will meet with representatives from education and testing company Pearson to discuss the more than 4,000 incorrect scorecards that were given to students who took the Virginia Alternative Assessment Program. Officials are saying the problem arose when students’ scores were converted into proficiency levels — fail, pass/proficient or pass/advanced. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/13)
 
Ohio bakery helps workers learn business operation skills
Crumbles Bakery in Poland, Ohio, hired workers with disabilities, providing employment and teaching them how to run a business. Workers participate in all aspects of the business, from packaging and baking to cleaning. WFMJ-TV (Youngstown, Ohio) (8/18)
 
Other News

UCP News

World CP Challenge starts in one month!
Have you registered your team for the World CP Challenge yet? This four-week fitness activity helps to support people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities, and starts Sept. 4 and ends on World Cerebral Palsy Day, Oct. 2. Teams of four challenge themselves to take 10,000 steps a day — and nearly any activity, from walking to biking to yoga, can be converted into steps. Join today to get active and help support a great cause!Help Life Labs make the 2013 Design-athon a success!
 
UCP’s Life Labs is partnering with Enabled by Design to hold the 2013 Enabled by Design-athon, a two-day event dedicated to finding innovative solutions to problems faced by people with disabilities. Through presentations, speeches and active designing, the Design-athon is a great way to jumpstart ideas that make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Check out the Life Labs blog to learn more about the Design-athon and how to get involved.
 
Some people grumble because roses have thorns; I am thankful that the thorns have roses.”
— Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr,
French critic

UCP SmartBrief

Hello UCP family,

We hope you enjoy this week’s UCP SmartBrief, a compilation of news stories, articles and new research impacting the lives of people with disabilities and family members.

If you should have any questions please contact Elizabeth Eckman at eeckman@ucp-oc.org.

Thank you,

UCP of Orange County

Disability News

Why Internet accessibility may be the next big civil rights issue
The U.S. Justice Department this year is expected to issue guidelines on how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to websites. Recent lawsuits against companies such as Netflix and Target have brought the issue of online content accessibility to the forefront. “Websites are the new frontier,” said Brian G. Muse, a law partner with LeClairRyan in Williamsburg, Va. Detroit Free Press (7/5)

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Study examines IVF and risk of autism, intellectual disability
Overall, in vitro fertilization treatments were not linked to an increased risk of autism in singleton children, but IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection carried a slightly higher risk of autism or intellectual disability, a Swedish study showed. Conception of twins under the most serious forms of male infertility was tied to a fourfold greater risk of autism compared with less severe forms of male infertility, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. CNN/The Chart blog (7/2), Reuters (7/2)

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Other News

Assistive Technology

Technology helps make school laboratory accessible
Purdue University is helping budding scientists with disabilities — many of whom graduate without conducting research — gain laboratory experience in its Institute for Accessible Science, where students have access to a range of high- and low-tech adaptive tools. For instance, one student who is legally visually impaired uses a device called Penfriend to read labels and computer software to record lab data. Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) (7/1)

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Volunteers build adaptive equipment for Minn. school district
Retired engineers and woodworking hobbyists build adaptive furniture and equipment for a fraction of commercial costs at a workshop located in a Minnesota school district. Their designs range from a chair with interchangeable parts that adapts to children of all sizes to a laser-guided bowling ball launcher. “We think we produce a better product than we can purchase because we can customize it to the child we are serving,” special-ed executive director Ann Casey said. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (7/4)

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Other News

Transitions

Colo. woman creates virtual world for people with disabilities
Coloradan Alice Krueger, who has multiple sclerosis, created the online community Virtual Ability within Second Life, and the community has more than 700 members with disabilities. Users, who create avatars that are not bound by physical limitations, can interact with other members in the virtual world. Retired University of Colorado neuroscience professor Mark Dubin says such programs can be therapeutic. The Denver Post/Colorado Public News (7/5)

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Other News

UCP News

Full Spectrum Newsletter
Want to find out more about how to get involved in the World CP Challenge, read about the Adventure Trails of UCP of Central Pennsylvania, learn about an underwater wheelchair ballerina, or the PCORI awards? Then check out the latest issue of our Full Spectrum newsletter, and be sure to sign up to receive the newsletter each month!

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Life Labs Blog
Life Labs, a technology and grassroots-focused initiative of United Cerebral Palsy dedicated to identifying, developing and supporting ideas that will make a difference for people living with disabilities, has continued to feature some amazing stories on their blog. Learn more about what Life Labs is up to and the stories they are highlighting on their blog.

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“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”

— George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright and essayist

UCP Smart Brief: February

UCP Smart Brief

Disability Update

Children’s skills improve with cell treatment for cerebral palsy
Children with cerebral palsy who received transfusions of donated umbilical cord blood cells as well as erythropoietin and rehabilitation performed better in tests of motor and cognitive function, according to a study in the journal Stem Cells. The most progress was seen in children younger than 3. News.com.au (Australia) (1/31)

Study finds lack of efficacy for psychological, dietary ADHD therapies
A review of 54 studies in the American Journal of Psychiatry showed little evidence that nonpharmacological treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, such as psychological or dietary interventions, can reduce symptoms. Parents should not be discouraged because the findings only “demonstrate that what we once thought worked is more limited and more questionable,” study co-author Dr. Emily Simonoff said. WebMD/HealthDay News (1/30)

Other News

EEOC: Disability-related job bias claims were at record high in 2012
Disability Scoop (1/29)
Bioness’ device gets FDA OK for treating pediatric foot drop
Medscape (free registration) (1/25)
Class-action lawsuit targets lengthy waiting list for group-home placement in Maine
Portland Press Herald (Maine) (1/30)

Assistive Technology

CDC awards $10.2M contract for disabilities research
The CDC awarded RTI International a five-year, $10.2 million contract for research into the causes and prevalence of developmental disabilities, including cerebral palsy. The research will support work by the Developmental Disabilities Branch of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. WashingtonTechnology.com (1/28)

Fla. nonprofit offers instruction on iPhone accessibility
The Lighthouse of Broward in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., offers instruction to people who are visually impaired on how to use the iPhone’s accessibility features. The smartphone’s standard features such as navigation, a currency reader and other voice-activated functions make it accessible right out of the box, said Eric Barrette, technology specialist at the Lighthouse of Broward. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (1/29)

Transitions

Minn. schools offer varsity sports through adaptive-sports leagues
Minnesota started an adaptive high-school sports league 40 years ago with floor hockey and now has 1,700 participants in four sports where students with disabilities can compete against other schools and earn varsity letters. Some say Minnesota offers a model for other states and districts. Recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education called for schools to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in school athletics. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press (1/31)

Wash. focuses on addressing effects of “toxic stress”
Washington state is charting a new path for improving educational outcomes for young children who have been exposed to toxic stress, including deprivation, abandonment, abuse and more. Such exposure can affect brain development and a child’s school readiness, researchers say. State agency officials, researchers and educators are working together to launch and monitor pilot programs in early-childhood settings across the state in hopes of developing a national model. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (1/30)

Other News

Ga. city builds park with slides, swings adapted for children with disabilities
The Augusta Chronicle (Ga.) (1/30)

Hot Off the Press: UCP News!

Disability Update

  • Large share of ED visits made by adults with disabilities.
    Nearly 40% of emergency department visits in the U.S. involved working-age adults with disabilities, NIH researchers reported in the journal Health Services Research. An analysis of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found that the severity of a disability’s limitations correlated with greater use of emergency departments as did lack of access to primary care. Nurse.com (1/2)        
  • Illinois lawmaker will file bill to protect adults with disabilities
    An Illinois lawmaker said he will introduce a bill that would create an Adult Protective Services unit overseen by the state’s Department on Aging, which would be responsible for protecting home-bound adults with disabilities. Gov. Pat Quinn called for reforms to strengthen protections after a report said the state failed to investigate the deaths of 53 adults with disabilities. Belleville News-Democrat (Ill.) (1/2)        
  • Other News
  • Unemployment rate for people with disabilities declined for 4th consecutive month
    Disability Scoop (1/7)        

Assistive Technology

  •  Books for the visually impaired offer support for other disabilities
    Students at Toyon Elementary in San Jose, Calif., who have trouble decoding print are finding help in the form of accessible digital books that were originally created for people who are visually impaired. The books have an operating system that reads the text aloud and offers audio-based reference points. “All of my students have really high comprehension, and they get it,” special-education teacher Tammy Irvine said. “They just can’t access the print.” KQED.org (1/3)        
  • IPad helps Pa. woman find more independence
    Kelly Berta, a 24-year-old Pennsylvania woman with apraxia of speech and arthrogryposis, a disease that affects her muscles, is using an iPad to communicate with people outside of her immediate family. Berta’s speech difficulties led her to develop her own language that her mother understands, but the iPad and its applications allow her to use icons to express her thoughts to others and gain more independence. “This gives her a way to say things in a way that everyone can understand,” Carrie Kane, a speech-language pathologist, said. The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.) (12/31)        
  • Other News
  • Maine teachers use tablets in lessons for students with disabilities
    Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration)/The Forecaster (1/2)        

Transitions

UCP News

  • UCP announces $25,000 innovation contest
    Are you, or is someone you know, an inventor? United Cerebral Palsy has announced $25,000 in prize money to anyone who can create one of the three winning ideas submitted to the World Cerebral Palsy Day’s “Change my World in 1 Minute” contest. Established to raise awareness, and help improve mobility, independence, accessibility, communication or social connections for people living with cerebral palsy, UCP is now seeking to bring the three winning “Change my World in 1 Minute” entries to life. Learn more about the three ideas and how you can get involved.        
  • UCP welcomes new year of growth and progress
    In this month’s “Full Spectrum” newsletter, UCP President and CEO Stephen Bennett welcomes 2013 and the opportunities it will bring for UCP, particularly for the Public Education and Outreach and Life Labs initiatives. Learn more about UCP, our goals for the new year, our affiliates’ success stories, and much more in this month’s newsletter.        

       

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County Therapists Participate in Cortical Visual Impairment Training

United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County Therapists Participate in Cortical Visual Impairment Training

Led by: Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

Dr. Jennifer Simpson, UCP-OC CEO Cathleen Collins and Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy
Dr. Jennifer Simpson, UCP-OC CEO Cathleen Collins and Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

The therapy team at United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County (UCP-OC) made a clinical educational leap forward with significant support from Abbott Medical Optics by participating in a unique therapeutic training for Cortical Visual Impairment. The training led by the renowned Dr. Christine Roman-Lantz prepared UCP-OC therapists for the launch of United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County’s collaborative research initiative with the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at UC Irvine. The project led in part by Principle Investigator Dr. Jennifer Simpson to better understand, serve and care for children with or at risk for Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) associated with cerebral palsy. CVI “visual impairment that occurs because of brain damage…[visual impairment] exists not in the structures of the eye or optic nerve, but in the visual processing centers and visual pathways of the brain.” [1]

The training followed Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy’s presentation of the topic to CHOC Children’s physicians and nurses at CHOC’s Grand Rounds the day prior.

UCP-OC Therapy Team with Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy
UCP-OC Therapy Team with Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy

Dr. Roman-Lantzy is the Director of The Pediatric View Program at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and serves as Project Leader of the CVI Project at The American Printing House for the Blind in Louisville, KY. Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy serves at Project Consultant/Trainer to two five-year multi-state CVI-mentor training projects. She has lectured extensively around the world regarding the CVI educational materials she has developed.  

Dr. Jennifer Simpson is Associate Professor, Ophthalmology School of Medicine at UC Irvine and a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute.

From Left to Right: Scott Pievac, Jim Corbett, Cathleen Collins, Steve Chesterman, Dana Dowers and Dr. Jennifer Simpson
From Left to Right: Scott Pievac, Jim Corbett, Cathleen Collins, Steve Chesterman, Dana Dowers and Dr. Jennifer Simpson

A group of United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County advocates joined Dr. Christine Roman-Lantzy at a luncheon hosted by Dr. Jennifer Simpson to learn more about CVI and how to support this-first of its kind on the West Coast-research project. The UCP-OC Cortical Visual Impairment Early Intervention Program anticipated Spring 2013 will improve the diagnosis and rehabilitation of infants at risk for vision complications associated with cerebral palsy as well as premature infants at risk for CVI and decreased central vision resulting from prematurity.


[1] Roman-Lantzy, Christine. Cortical Visual Impairment: An Approach to Assessment and Intervention. New York: AFB, 2007. 5. Print.