News You Can Use
When we find useful information related to assistive technology or disability, we'll post it here.
November 18, 2003: Foundation Solicits Proposals To Improve Long-term Care and Supportive Services For At-risk Older Adults
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is calling for proposals for the Community Partnerships for Older Adults program. The program supports efforts of local public-private partnerships to improve long-term care and supportive services systems for at-risk older adults. Up to seventeen communities will receive development grants of up to $150,000 for 18 months. Universities, hospital-based health systems, professional associations, state agencies, and for-profit entities are not eligible to apply. The deadline for the Letter of Intent is January 9, 2004 (3:00 p.m. EST). The complete Call for Proposals can be ordered by calling 207-228-8374 or downloaded from the Web sites:
Link to source: http://partnershipsforolderadults.org/.
November 14, 2003: FCC Requires Digital Wireless Telephones Be Accessible To Hearing Aids
In July 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) modified the exemption for wireless phones under the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 to require that digital wireless telephones be made accessible to people who use hearing aids. This ruling helps ensure that access to telecommunications services will be open to all users. Specifically, the decision mandates testing and labeling of cell phones, and requires manufacturers and providers to ensure that a portion of their products are compatible with hearing aids and cochlear implants. A technical working group of representatives of the hearing aid and wireless telecommunications industry has been established, and will work with the RERC on Telecommunications Access on research and field validation. The FCC will reassess the impact of the rule in July 2006.
Link to source: http://www.fcc.gov/.
November 7, 2003: State Resource Directories on ADA Compliance and Technical Assistance
The National Arts and Disability Center [NADC] released a new online listing of State Resource Directories on ADA Compliance and Technical Assistance. Each state has its own directory that contains listings of organizations and agencies that provide technical assistance regarding the ADA and the Arts. Included in these listings are disability agencies and organizations for creating an access advisory committee for conducting outreach to the disability community.
Link to source: http://www.nadc.ucla.edu/states.htm.
September 12, 2003: $25,000 Accessible America 2003 Award Competition
The National Organization on Disability is sponsoring the third annual $25,000 Accessible America 2003 Award Competition. The purpose of the Accessible America 2003 competition is to recognize exemplary practices communities use to facilitate the comprehensive involvement of citizens with disabilities in community life. Communities are encouraged to enter by October 31, 2003.
Link to source: http://www.nod.org.
September 11, 2003: "Technology Assessment of the U.S. Assistive Technology Industry"
A report, "Technology Assessment of the U.S. Assistive Technology Industry," has been released by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security, Office of Strategic Industries and Economic Security, Strategic Analysis Division.
Link to source: http://188.8.131.52/atreportweb/.
August 13, 2003: iBOT Powered Wheelchair Approved by FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for sale to the general public the iBOT powered wheelchair, which can climb stairs and has a gyroscopic stablization system. Independence Technology, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, produced the iBOT. This revolutionary wheelchair will sell for approximately $29,000 according to published reports. Sales of the iBOT will be limited to people for whom the wheelchair is prescribed by an approved doctor or therapist and who have passed a test demonstrating their ability to safely use this complex product.
June 27, 2003: Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Blindness and Low Vision is creating a database to aid in the collection of data for its research on the issues facing people who have a sensory loss then develop another type of sensory loss after age 55 (i.e. deafness then blindness). The RRTC is developing of list of people with dual sensory loss who they can contact to ask about these people's experiences and strategies for meeting the challenges posed by dual sensory loss.
Link to source: http://www.blind.msstate.edu/.
June 20, 2003: Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM)
65 consumer and provider groups - such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the American Foundation for the Blind - have launched the Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) coalition. The ITEM Coalition will target policies under Medicare and Medicaid that hinder 2.5 million Americans living with disabilities and other chronic disabling conditions from obtaining needed assistive equipment.
June 5, 2003: U.S. Census Issues Report - Disability Status 2000
Census 2000 counted 49.7 million people with some type of disability. They represented 19.3 percent of the 257.2 million people who were aged 5 and older in the civilian noninstitutionalized population - or nearly one person in five. This report provides a statistical analysis of the census results regarding Americans with disabilities.
Link to source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disable/disabstat2k.html.
May 9, 2003: AARP Releases Beyond 50.03: A Report to the Nation on Independent Living and Disability
AARP has released a new study that takes an in-depth look at the roles of supportive services, family and community, and our social and physical environments in enhancing the independence of age 50+ persons with disabilities. This is the third in a series of reports on the issues facing people over 50. The report states that most Americans age 50 and over who have disabilities desire independence and control in their daily lives; however, there are often not enough affordable options to help meet their needs.
Link to source: http://research.aarp.org/il/beyond_50_il.html.
May 1, 2003: NEC Foundation of America to Focus Exclusively on Technology for People with Disabilities
The NEC Foundation of America has announced that beginning in 2003 its sole focus will be on technology for people with disabilities. This new exclusive focus replaces the dual focus of the foundationâ??s first dozen years on science and technology education, principally at the secondary level, as well as on technology for people with disabilities. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in support of the development, application, and use of technology by and for people with disabilities.
Link to source: http://www.necfoundation.org/.
April 3, 2003: Questionnaire on Inter-disciplinary Work in the Area of Assistive Technology
Marion Hersh and Gloria Moss are conducting a pilot study on the extent to which inter-disciplinary research in the fields of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering. Marion is a lecturer in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She works on assistive technology for deaf, blind and deafblind people, as well as issues relating to technology and ethics. Gloria is a free-lance researcher, based in London, England. There is some evidence that the nature of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering encourage interdisciplinary work. They are therefore using this questionnaire to investigate the extent to which interdisciplinary work does in fact take place in these fields, any barriers and good practice. This questionnaire is both confidential and anonymous. All data will be kept securely and only statistical data will be published. They would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes answering the questionnaire. It should not take more than 20 minutes. Unfortunately they cannot offer a reward Â just the knowledge that you will be contributing to better understanding of the research process in assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering and the development of good practice. They hope to present the preliminary results of this work at the AAATE Conference in Dublin and would therefore be particularly grateful for speedy replies as the deadline for paper submission is 18 April 2003. However, they hope to produce a longer version of this paper for journal publication and will therefore also welcome later replies.
March 29, 2003: Designing for the Future
Finding accessible housing is often challenging. Even having an accessible home built can be daunting unless the home is custom built. "Designing for the Future" in the Real Estate section of the March 29, 2003 Washington Post discusses one couple's experience and trends in accessible housing. A glossary of terms and a resource list are also included. The article is available from the Washington Post Web site.
February 28, 2003: The Winter Deaflympics have begun in Sundsvall, Sweden!
The Winter Deaflympic Games, the International Olympic Committee-sanctioned event for deaf athletes, opened on February 26 in Sundsvall, Sweden. Competition will continue through March 9. The 15th Winter Games of the Deaflympics will include Alpine Skiing, Nordic Skiing, Ice Hockey, and a new addition, Snowboarding. 300 athletes from 20 countries are participating. The official website for the 15th Winter Deaflympics is www.deaflympics.com. Daily e-mails of highlights and results will be available throughout the Games. If you would like to subscribe for the e-mails, please sign up at www.deaflympics.com now!
Link to source: http://www.deaflympics.com/.
February 21, 2003: Social Support & Paralysis Survey
The University of Nevada, Reno is conducting a study sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to examine social support in adults with paralysis. People with paralysis report lower levels of support compared to the general population. For this study, they are interested in exploring factors that might explain this difference and how support can be improved. In order to do this they need to hear from you! Participation in the study is completely voluntary and all information is strictly confidential. If you are interested, please visit their website at www.supportandparalysis.org or call them toll-free at 1-866-317-8431.
Link to source: http://www.supportandparalysis.org/.