NLS Music Section Celebrates 50 Years!

Last night, we had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful concert at the Library of Congress, celebrating 50 years of service for the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) music section! We joined NIDRR SBIR grantee Bill McCann from Dancing Dots to listen to Justin Kauflin, a very talented jazz pianist from right here in the DC area.

Justin Kauflin grew up in Silver Spring, MD. He began studying violin and piano at 4 and, by age 6, was performing in concerts, at weddings and nursing homes, and eventually becoming concertmaster for several orchestras. He studied music at the Governor’s School for Performing Arts and William Paterson University. He has played jazz professionally since he was 15, including international tours with Quincy Jones and his mentor Clark Terry and the Clark Terry Ensemble. He has been a client of the Library Service since losing his vision at age 11 and is also a client of Dancing Dots, using their Braille music software (developed with funding from NIDRR’s SBIR program) to learn and compose new music.

The concert featured original compositions, Beatles covers, and jazz standards, all played solo on a gorgeous Steinway piano in the LOC’s Coolidge Auditorium. He showed he is well on his way to Jazz Master status – playing with subtlety, depth, and passion.  Justin’s guide dog Candy sat nearby, enjoying the music and standing up to applaud with the audience.

Justin Kauflin, Bill McCann, and Jon something at the reception following the concert

Justin chats with Dancing Dots Bill McCann and Dr. John Hanson, head of the NLS Music Section

Justin Kauflin playing piano on stage. Candy sits on his left.

Justin Kauflin performing at the Coolidge Auditorium. Guide dog Candy sits nearby.

Justin was introduced by Karen Keninger, director of the NLS, who highlighted the special music collection. The collection was established in 1962 and represents the largest collection Braille music, large-print scores, and recorded instructional material about music and musicians. The service is available to individuals with disabilities free of charge, either through postage-free mail or via download.

More about this concert.

The NLS Music Section Blog

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2014 TLG Scholarship Essays Highlight the Resilience and Strength of Families Experiencing Disability

The NIDRR-funded Center on Families with Disabilities Through the Life Cycle: Disability Culture Perspectives at Through the Looking Glass just announced the results of their 2014 College Scholarships for Students of Parents with Disabilities program! More than 700 essays were submitted for the program, with 16 students receiving $1,000 scholarships. In their essays, the students describe the routine, remarkable, and sometimes difficult stories of parents with disabilities and their children. Despite the wide variation in parental disability and other demographic features among scholarship applicants, several consistent themes emerged that have been documented over the years by Through the Looking Glass in national research studies: the normalcy of growing up with a parent with a disability, and the resilience and strength of these families despite social and financial obstacles.

The 16 winners attend or will attend colleges and universities across the US. Selection criteria included academic performance, community service, letters of recommendation and an essay describing the experience of growing up with a parent with a disability. Students applying for these scholarships included those with parents who were quadriplegic, blind, deaf, amputees, as well as parents with spinal cord injury, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, mental illness, ALS, HIV/AIDS, traumatic brain injury, muscular dystrophy, or intellectual disability.

According to TLG, there are almost no scholarships for the hundreds of thousands of students who have parents with significant disabilities or medical conditions. These awards not only recognize the diversity and contributions of these families, but their financial need. U.S. families with a disabled parent are twice as likely to be below the poverty level than are families with non-disabled parents. In addition, standard college financial aid applications do not typically weigh the considerable medical or specialized equipment expenses that many parents with disabilities incur. These expenses can substantially reduce the family income by tens of thousands of dollars each year.

A new round of scholarships will be announced in January 2015. All of the submitted essays will be used by Through the Looking Glass to document the experiences of students who experience disability in their families.

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NIDRR Project Seeks Participants for the Development of an App for Wheelchair Users

Wheelchair users are invited to participate in a research study conducted the NIDRR-funded Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project, Self-Management Assistance through Technology (SMART) – Virtual Coaches for Wheelchair Users, at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories at University of Pittsburgh. To be eligible to participate in this study you must be a wheelchair user between 18 and 85 years of age. Participants may attend one or multiple focus group meetings with the research team to review concepts and prototypes as well as provide suggestions and feedback to improve the apps. Individuals who are unable to attend the focus group or who live outside of the Pittsburgh area may be interviewed by phone or in person at a mutually agreed upon location. Each focus group will take no more than two hours and each individual interview will take no more than one hour.

If you are interested or would like to know more information please contact Tanya Liu (hsl16@pitt.edu) or Annmarie Kelleher at 412/822-3700. Please feel free to disseminate information about this research study opportunity for wheelchair users: App Development for Wheelchair Users flyer and Study Participation Consent Form.

We are posting this for information purposes as a courtesy to our readers. For more information please contact the Self-Management Assistance through Technology (SMART) – Virtual Coaches for Wheelchair Users or Principle Investigator, Dan Ding, PhD directly at 412/822-3684.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Disability News Weekly Roundup – Monday, October 13 – Friday, October 17

Human Interest:
‘Argo’ hero Tony Mendez battling Parkinson’s (The Washington Post)
Tony Mendez, the real-life CIA agent portrayed in the movie “Argo,” is using his fame to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease, a disability for which he is in treatment. He spoke publicly about it for the first time at an international symposium for the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, an organization helping develop a new treatment for the disease. He recently underwent Deep Brain Stimulation: an electrode was implanted in his brain to block electronic signals, preventing tremors and other symptoms. The results, so far, have been encouraging.

How one musician helped a teen with hearing impairment enjoy her first live concert (Huffington Post)
Dutch teenager Vera, who wears a cochlear implant as she was born with a severe hearing impairment, was recently able to experience her first live music concert. The event was part of mobile company Vodafone’s “Firsts” series, which celebrates the many ways technology can help people enjoy new experiences. Netherlands musician Kyteman was asked to compose music specifically tailored to Vera’s limited hearing range. The girl tested the music in studio to ensure that she could hear all the notes. Then, the music was performed with an 18-piece orchestra for a crowd of 400 people, including Vera.

Employment:
White House to spotlight disability employment (Disability Scoop)
Ten people from across the country were honored at the White House this week for their efforts to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities. These “Champions of Change” included a veteran with a disability who runs his own organic egg business, company managers who have taken steps to boost disability employment within their ranks, and the founder of a company that helps ensure that the digital systems businesses use are accessible.

Research:
Autism symptoms eased by broccoli extract, study finds (Disability Scoop)
A chemical that is found in broccoli and other vegetables may be able to improve behavior and social skills dramatically in people with autism. According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in as little as four weeks of taking daily doses of the broccoli sprout extract sulforaphane, many teens and adults with autism saw significant gains in behavior, socialization, and communication. The study involved 40 males ages 13 to 27 with moderate to severe autism, 26 of whom received daily doses of sulforaphane while the rest were given a placebo.

Cause of ALS found, Northwestern team says (Chicago Tribune)
Researchers at Northwestern University say they have discovered a common cause behind amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that could open the door to an effective treatment. The discovery could also show the way to treatments for other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. The researchers identified the breakdown of cellular recycling systems in the neurons of the spinal cord and brain of ALS patients that results in the nervous system slowly losing its ability to carry brain signals to the body’s muscular system.

Technology:
Sandia dynamic leg prosthesis technology auto-adjusts for all day fit (Medgadget)
Custom sockets for prosthetic legs do not conform to the changing shape of an amputee’s stump. To improve fit and provide all-day comfort, Sandia National Labs have developed a special sensor and shape-changing socket. The sensor detects pressure within the socket being applied to it in multiple directions: perpendicular to and along the length of the leg. The socket has built-in pockets that can be filled with a fluid to change its shape based on the sensor readings. The article includes a video presenting the technology.

Cane offers shock-absorbing technology, design features intended to mimic natural hip movement (Rehab Management)
The design of the Ergoactives Tucane Ergonomic Cane incorporates features built to mimic the hip’s natural movement while providing stability at virtually any angle. The cane is equipped with shock-absorbing technology and is designed to improve spinal injuries and pain by providing the user proper posture just by walking with it. A spring mechanism located on its handle also allows users to feel as through the cane is “walking with them.” The system is propelled as the user lifts the cane and the Tucane’s grip is engineered to absorb vibration from the cane’s impact on the ground.

New OtoSense mobile app identifies sounds for users – and learns new sounds (The Hearing Review)
The OtoSense is a new mobile app that identifies and distinguishes the source of incoming audio alerts such as alarms, sirens, timers, and bells, turning smartphones and tablets into assistive alerting devices for deaf and hard-of-hearing users. The app, which is downloadable from the Google Play store, comes with a built-in library of standard fire and smoke alarm sounds. Additionally, OtoSense can be personalized by users, recording and storing the most significant sounds of their environment. Users are notified of their sounds via flash and vibration.

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Resumen Semanal de las Noticias sobre la Discapacidad – Lunes, 6 de Octubre – Viernes, 10 de Octubre

Interés Humano:
Una pareja obtiene la independencia, y encuentra un vínculo (The New York Times)
Una pareja a punto de casarse se conocieron hace cinco años en un taller protegido en Providence del Norte, RI, donde las personas con discapacidades intelectuales realizaron trabajos repetitivos por poco diner, en forma aislada. El artículo sigue la pareja en el dia de su boda y describe los acontecimientos que condujeron a ella, incluyendo la investigación y el cierre posterior del taller y sus experiencias para encontrar un empleo remunerado y gratificante, así como un lugar para vivir de firma independiente.

Educación:
Consejo de DC aprueba proyectos de ley de educación especial, tiene como objetivo acelerar la entrega de servicios (The Washington Post)
El Consejo del Distrito de Columbia ha aprobado por unanimad tres proyectos de ley diseñados a reformar los servicios de educación especial en la ciudad, con el objetivo de acelerar la entrega de servicios a los estudiantes con necesidades especiales, y dar mejor informacion y recursos a los padres que ellos pueden utilizar para abogar por sus hijos. Los proyectos de ley expanden los requisitos de elegibilidad para los servicios de intervención temprana para los bebés y los niños pequeños con retraso en el desarrollo. Para los estudiantes mayores, la ley requiere que las escuelas comiensen la planificación para la transición a la edad edulta a los 14 años de edad; actualmente, el proceso se inicia cuando los estudiantes tienen 16 años de edad.

Viviendo:
Clasificación nombra las mejoras ciudades para las personas con discapacidades (Disability Scoop)
Una nueva clasificación de la página web Wallethub de financiación de consumidores está ofreciendo una visión sobre los mejores y peores lugares vivir en el país para personas con discapcidades. La clasificación factora tres áreas clave para evaluar cada localidad: el entorno económico, calidad de vida, y atención a la salud. El suburbio Overland Park de Kansas City, MO fue clasificado como la ciudad número uno en general para personas con discapacidades, seguida por Lubbock, TX. Providence, RI fue el peor en la clasificación. Entre las grandes ciudades, Tampa, Fl llegó más alto en la clasificación en el número ocho, seguida por Baltimore en el número 14.

Rehabilitación:
Continentes y océanos: Aplicación de aprendizaje gratuita para mejorar las habilidades de escuchar de MED-EL (Hearing Review)
Continentes y océanos es una aplicación de ordenador gratuita de MED-EL USA diseñada para probar y mejorar las habilidades de escuchar para las personas con implantes cocleares. Cuenta con tres niveles que se van haciendo progresivamente más difícil. Los jugadres escuchan tanto voces masculinas y femininas, ya que nombran los continentes y los océanos del mundo y tocan la pantalla para verificar lo que se dijo. Diferentes accentos aumentan el nivel de dificultad para desafiar a los jugadores, que están calificados de acuerdo a qué tan rápido responden.

Tecnología:
Subtitulado en vivo de Google Glass para personas sordas y con problemas de audición capciona los oradores cercanos (Medgadget)
Una nueva aplicación de Google Glass lee los labios para ayudar a los usuarios sordos en  conversar con las personas oyentes. Desarrollada en Georgia Tech, la aplicación trabaja con teléfono inteligente que ejecuta los algoritmos de reconocimiento de voz. La persona con la que el usuario de Google Glass está hablando simplemente habla en el teléfono y el texto transcrito automaticamente aparece dentro de Glass. El artículo incluye un breve vídeo que demuestra la aplicación en uso.

Agarre suave del pasamanos Safety Glo al lado de la cama se ilumina, tiene como objetivo la movilidad de cabecera optimizada (Rehab Management)
La Barranda de Noche Safety Glo cuenta con una almohadilla en la parte superior d ela barrandilla con un resplandor suave para permitir a los usuarios localizar el riel durante el movimiento en la noche. El agarre suave de la barrandilla está diseñado para recargar a la luz ambiental, sin baterias ni cables eléctricos. El producto está diseñado para encajar de forma segura a un somier metálico y audar a los usuarios cambiar de posición, sentarse, o transferir a una silla o silla de ruedas. Está diseñado para adaptars a doble colchones o colchones rey y también viene con componentes para conectar a diferetnes marcos de la cama.

Sistema DETECT de la Univesidad Emory para la evaluación de la conmoción cerebral en la línea lateral (Medgadget)
Investigadores en la Universidad Emory han estado trabajando en un sistema para el diagnóstico directo de las conmociones cerebrales ya en las líneas laterales del camp de deporte o campos de batalla. El sistema DETECT de Emory utilizan una pantalle de diadema inmersiva y los auriculares con cancelación de ruído para prácticamente a aislar a la persona de su entorno sensorial. Un contraldor similar a los de videojuegos se utiliza para interactuar con rutinas diferentes presentadas al usuario, con el sistema mediendo las respuestas a los retos que presenta. El examen dura entre diez y quinze minutos. El artículo incluye un vídeo que presenta el sistema.

Robot que utiliza el idioma japones de signos desarrollado como compañero hablador para los ancianos (gizmag)
Toshiba ha desarrollad un robot androide que comunica en el idioma de signos japones. El resultado de un programa de ídeas en-casa, el androide tiene el aspecto de una jóven japonesa, con ojos que parpadean y, supuestamente, una cálida sonrisa. También hay planes para incluir el reconocimiento de voz y tecnología de síntesis para la comunicación natural. Toshiba espera introducir el robo para su uso con las personas mayores y personas con demencia en 2020, ayudando a los cuidadores o familiares a mantener vigilancia sobre sus seres queridos. El artículo incluye un breve vídeo que delinea el desarrollo de la tecnología

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Disability News Weekly Roundup – Monday, October 6 – Friday, October 10

Human Interest:
A couple gaining independence, and finding a bond (The New York Times)
A couple about to wed met five years ago at a sheltered workshop in North Providence, RI, where people with intellectual disabilities performed repetitive jobs for little pay, in isolation. The article follows the couple on the day of their wedding and describes events that led up to it, including the federal investigation and subsequent shutdown of the workshop and their experiences finding gainful and rewarding employment as well as a place to live independently.

Education:
D.C. Council approves special-education bills, aims to speed delivery of services (The Washington Post)
The Council of the District of Columbia has unanimously approved three bills designed to overhaul special-education services in the city, aiming to speed delivery of services to students with special needs, and give parents better information and resources they can use to advocate for their children. The bills expand eligibility requirements for early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delay. For older students, the law requires schools to begin planning for the transition to adulthood at age 14; currently, the process starts when students are 16.

Living:
Ranking names best cities for people with disabilities (Disability Scoop)
A new ranking by the consumer finance website WalletHub is offering insight on the nation’s best and worst places for people with disabilities to live. The ranking factors three key areas to assess each locale: economic environment, quality of life, and health care. The Kansas City, MO, suburb of Overland Park was ranked the overall number one city for people with disabilities, followed by Lubbock, TX. Providence, RI, fared worst in the ranking. Among big cities, Tampa, FL came in highest in the ranking at number eight, followed by Baltimore at 14.

Rehabilitation:
Continents & Oceans: Free learning app to improve listening skills from MED-EL (Hearing Review)
Continents & Oceans is a free computer app from MED-EL USA designed to test and improve listening skills for people with cochlear implants. It features three levels that get progressively more challenging. Players listen to both male and female voices as they name the continents and oceans of the world and tap the screen to verify what was said. Different accents increase the difficulty level to challenge players, who are scored based on how fast they respond.

Technology:
Google Glass live captioning for deaf and hard of hearing captions nearby speakers (Medgadget)
A new app for Google Glass reads lips to aid Deaf users in conversing with hearing individuals. Developed at Georgia Tech, the app works with a smartphone that runs voice recognition algorithms. The person with whom the Glass wearer is speaking simply talks into the phone and the transcribed text automatically appears within the Glass. The article includes a short video demonstrating the app in use.

Safety Glo bedside handrail’s soft grip glows, targets optimized bedside mobility (Rehab Management)
The Safety Glo Bedside Handrail features a pad on top of the rail with a soft glow to allow users to locate the rail during movement at night. The handrail’s soft grip is designed to recharge in room light, without batteries or power cords. The product is engineered to fit securely to a metal bed frame and help users reposition, sit up, or transfer to a chair or wheelchair. It is designed to fit twin to king mattresses and also comes with components to attach to different bed frames.

DETECT sideline concussion assessment system from Emory University (Medgadget)
Researchers at Emory University have been working on a system for live diagnosis of concussions whether on sport field sidelines or battlefields. Emory’s DETECT system uses an immersive head-worn display and noise-cancelling headphones to virtually isolate the person from his sensory environment. A video game-like controller is used to interact with different routines presented to the user, with the system measuring responses to the challenges it presents. The test takes ten to fifteen minutes to complete. The article includes a video presenting the system.

Signing robot developed as chatty companion for the elderly (gizmag)
Toshiba has developed an android robot that communicates in Japanese sign language. The result of an in-house ideas program, the android has the look of a young Japanese woman, complete with blinking eyes and, purportedly, a warm smile. There are also plans to include speech recognition and synthesis technology for natural communication. Toshiba hopes to introduce the robot for use with the elderly and individuals with dementia by 2020, aiding caregivers or family members in keeping watch on loved ones. The article includes a short video outlining the development of the technology.

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Capacitar a las personas con discapacidad a través de la iniciativa empresarial y el empleo

Para el Mes de la Herencia Hispana, escribimos acerca de Dr. Fabricio Balcazar y sus investigaciones sobre las discapacidades, la creación de capacidades, y el empleo para las personas con discapacidades. Durante nuestros intercambios, Dr. Balcazar compartió con nosotros su artículo recientemente publicado sobre la iniciativa empresarial y las personas con discapacidades. Estamos destacando esta investigación en honor del Mes Nacional de Concientización del Empleo de Personas con Discapacidades (NDEAM por sus siglas en inglés).

El artículo, Un modelo de “empowerment” para dar iniciativa emprendedora a personas con discapacidades en EEUU (publicado en la revista Intervención Psicosocial), describe la creación de un programa de iniciativa empresarial a través de la iniciativa Chicago Add Us In (AU i por sus siglas en inglés), que es patrocinada por la Oficina de Política de Empleo para las Personas con Discapacidad (ODEP por sus siglas en inglés) en el Departamento de Trabajo de los EEUU (DOL por sus siglas en inglés). El programa de iniciativa empresarial descrito en el artículo ayuda  a contrarrestar las barreras que las personas con discapacidad enfrentan en relación al trabajo, promueve empoderamiento, y facilita la auto-suficiencia financiero de personas con discapacidades. El programa tiene varios componentes claves que incluyen: un curso sobre cómo escribir un de negocios, asistencia técnica, asesoramiento y asistencia de una incubadora de empresas, y subvenciones empresariales. El artículo ofrece varios estudios de caso en profundidad que muestran el proceso de empoderamiento de los consumidores y la forma en que el programa de iniciativa empresarial afecta a los empresarios con discapacidades que han participado.

En honor del Mes de Herencia Hispana y NDEAM, compartimos algunos de nuestros recursos, en inglés y español, para personas con discapacidades que buscan empleo o que trabajan actualmente:

  • Servicios de Pequeñas Empresas y Autoempleo (SBSES por sus siglas en inglés) es un servicio de ODEP y proporciona información, asesoramiento, y derivaciones relacionadas con el autoempleo y la iniciativa empresarial para las personas con discapacidades. Usted puede contactarlos a través de la Red de Adaptaciones Laborales al 800/526-7234 o visitar su sitio web en org/entre.
  • Instituto Nacional de Teletrabajo (NTI por sus siglas en inglés) es una organización que es pionera en el desarrollo de puestos de trabajo de teletrabajo para personas con discapacidades. Puede contactarlos vía correo electrónico a info@nticentral.org o puede visitar su sitio web en nticentral.org.
  • Centro VCU de Capacitación en la Investigación de Rehabilitación conduce investigaciones sobre la discapacidad y el empleo, rehabilitación vocacional, y empleo con apoyo. Proyectos actuales incluyen el RRTC sobre el Empleo para Personas con Discapacidades Físicas y un Centro de Autismo de Excelencia. Usted puede visitar su sitio web en worksupport.com o puede llamarlos al 804/828-1851 (V), 804/828-2494 (TTY).
  • Proyecto Visión es un proyecto bilingüe que conecta a los latinos con discapacidades y los empresarios. Puede contactarlos a través de correo electrónico a wid@wid.org o visite su sitio web en proyectovision.net/index_spa.html (mire debajo de la ficha “Recursos” en la parte superior derecha y luego haga clic en “Buscar Empleo” para encontrar los recursos de empleo).
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Empowering People with Disabilities through Entrepreneurship and Employment

For Hispanic Heritage Month, we wrote about Dr. Fabricio Balcazar and his research on disabilities, capacity building, and employment for people with disabilities. During our exchanges, Dr. Balcazar shared with us his recently published article on entrepreneurship and people with disabilities. We’re highlighting this research in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The article, An empowerment model of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities in the United States (published in Psychosocial Intervention), describes the creation of an entrepreneurship program through the Chicago Add Us In (AU i) Initiative, which is sponsored by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the US Department of Labor (DOL). The entrepreneurship program described in the article helps counteract the barriers that people with disabilities encounter in relation to work, promotes empowerment, and facilitates the financial self-sufficiency of people with disabilities. The program has several key components that include: a course on how to write a business plan, technical assistance, mentoring, and assistance from a business incubator, and business grants. The article offers several in-depth case studies that show the process of empowering the consumer and how the entrepreneurship program effects the entrepreneurs with disabilities who have participated.

In honor of both Hispanic Heritage Month and NDEAM, we share some of our go-to resources, in English and Spanish, for people with disabilities looking for employment or who are currently employed:

  • Small Business and Self-Employment Services (SBSES) is a service of ODEP and provides information, counseling and referrals related to self-employment and entrepreneurship for people with disabilities. You can reach them through the Job Accommodation Network at 800/526-7234 or check out their website at org/entre.
  • National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) is an organization that is pioneering the development of telework jobs for people with disabilities. You can reach them via email at info@nticentral.org or you can check out their website at nticentral.org.
  • VCU Rehabilitation Research Training Center conducts research on disability and employment, vocational rehabilitation, and supported employment. Current projects include the RRTC on Employment for People with Physical Disabilities and an Autism Center for Excellence. You can visit their website at worksupport.com or you can call them at 804/828-1851 (V), 804/828-2494 (TTY).
  • Proyecto Visión is a bilingual project that connects Latinos with disabilities and employers. You can reach them via email at wid@wid.org or visit their website at proyectovision.net/index_spa.html (look under the “Recursos” tab on the top right and then click on “Buscar empleo” to find their employment resources).
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What are Reasonable Job Accommodations for People with Disabilities?

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is “Expect. Employ. Empower.” The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability in all areas of employment (i.e., hiring, pay, job assignment, training, firing, etc.). Under Title I of the ADA, if you have a disability and are qualified to perform the essential functions or duties of a job, with or without reasonable accommodation, then the law protects you from job discrimination on the basis of your disability.

So what is a reasonable accommodation?

According to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission a reasonable accommodation is any change or adjustment to a job or work environment that permits a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential functions of a job, or to enjoy benefits and privileges of employment equal to those enjoyed by employees without disabilities. Examples of reasonable accommodations may include:

  • providing or modifying equipment or devices
  • job restructuring
  • part-time or modified work schedules (work flex)
  • reassignment to a vacant position
  • adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies
  • providing readers and interpreters
  • making the workplace readily accessible to and usable by people with disabilities

An employer is required to provide a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant or employee with a disability unless the employer can show that the accommodation would be an undue hardship — that is, that it would require significant difficulty or expense.

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a free, searchable online accommodations resource (SOAR) database to assistances individuals with disabilities, their advocates, employers, human resources departments, and other users to explore various accommodation options for people with disabilities in work and education settings. First, the user selects their impairment then he or she selects the limitation. The user then goes on to select the job function such as attending work and/or working at full production to which SOAR then offers a suggestion for reasonable accommodation (i.e., allowing for flexible work schedule, work from home, etc.).

In addition to SOAR, users can search for accommodations by disability (i.e., arthritis, hearing loss, wheelchair use, etc.). Information specialists are available by phone at 800/526-7234 (V), 877/781-9403 (TTY), through an online email form, and chat to provide confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the ADA.

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). To develop and influence disability employment-related policies and practices, ODEP also sponsors the other three research and technical assistance resources:

Lead Center

LEAD Center

 

Employer Assistance and Resource Network

EARN

 

National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability/Youth

NCWD

 

 

 

 

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Resumen Semanal de las Noticias sobre la Discapacidad – Lunes, 29 de Septiembre – Viernes, 3 de Octubre

Interés Humano:
Hermanos toman viaje por carretera estadounidense antes de que sean ciegos (CNN)
Hace seis años, dos hermanos que habían sido diagnoticados con choroideremia, un trastorno genética que conduce progresivamente a la ceguera, fueron en un viaje por carretera a través de los Estados Unidos. Un documental sobre su viaje, Conducción a Ciegas, fue publicado el año pasado después de ganar premios en los festivales de cine independiente. El lugar más hermoso visitad, de acuerdo con los hermanos, era la Torre del Diablo en Wyoming, segudo por el Parque Glacier en Montana. El mensaje principal de Conducción a Ciegas, ellos dicen, es: “No importa cuál sea su situación, viva su vida al máximo.” El documental se puede ver en línea.

Entretenimiento:
Las redes de televisión ofrecen más personajes con discapacidad (Disability Scoop)
El número de personajes con discapacidades que aparacen en la televisión abierta está en aumento, según un nuevo análisis llevado a cabo por GLAAD, una organización de defenso en los medios de comunicación. El informe mira al número de personajes que representan varios grupos minoritarios durante la temprada 2014-2015 de la televisión. Se espera once personajes con discapacidades para ser presentados regularmente en programas de horario estalar en ABC,CBS, El CW, Fox, y NBC. Sin embargo, la representación de discapacidad sigue siendo relativamente pequeña, lo que representa sólo 1.4 por ciento de los 813 personajes regulares que aparacen en programas de horario estelar de las redes de television.

Política:
¿Qué sucede cuanto los talleres protegidos se cierran? (Disability Scoop)
Los talleres protegidos que aún prevalecen en gran parte del país fueron cerradas en Vermont hace más de una década. Y ahora, la tasa de empleo de discapacidades del desarrollo en el estado de Nueva Inglaterra es doble del promedio nacional. Vermont tiene un programa de empleo con apoyo en cada uno de sus 14 condados para ayudar a las personas con discapacidades encontrar y solicitar puestos de trabajo, así como aprenderlos. A diferencia de muchos estados, el apoyo de un entrenador de trabajo no se desvanece con el tiempo, que ayuda a mejorar la retención. El estado y los programas de empleo dicen que las empresas se han mostrado en ser receptivas a la contratación de personas con discapacidades.

Rehabilitación:
Vendaje “inteligente” que se pinta emite el resplandor fosforescente para la curación de bajo (Science Daily)
Inspirado por el deseo de ayudar a los soldados heridos, los investigadores en el Hospital General de Massachusetts y la Escuela Médica de Harvard han creado un vendaje ‘inteligente’ transparente pintado que se ilumina para indicar una concentración de oxigenación en la herida de los tejidos. Dado que el oxígen juega una parte critical en la curación, la cartografía de estos niveles en las heridas y quemaduras puede mejorar significantemente el éxito de las cirugías para restablecer las extremidades y las funciones físicas. El ingrediente clave del vendaje es fósforos – moléculas que absorben la luz y luego la emiten a través de un proceso conocido como fosforescencia. Un dispositivo de lectura basada en la camára se utiliza para proporcionar un estallido de luz de escitación que activa la emisión de los fósforos dentro del vendaje, después de cual registra la emisión de los fósforos.

Investigación:
La pérdida de memoria asociada con la enfermedad de Alzheimer se invierte: Pequeño ensayo tiene éxito utilizando el enfoque de sistemas para trastorno de la memoria (Science Daily)
Un estudio pequeño de un programa original, personalizado, e integral para revertir la pérdida de memoria, nueve de 10 participantes mostraron una mejora subjetiva u objetiva de sus memorias comensando dentro de tres a seis meses después del inicio del programa. El estudio, que viene en forma conjunta del Centro Mary S. Eaton para la Investigación de la Enfermedad de Alzheimer en UCLA y el Instituto Buck para la Investigación del Envejecimiento, es el primero en sugerir que la pérdida de la memoria en los pacientes se puede invertir, y el mejoramiento sostenido, utilizando un programa complejo terapéutico. El régimen implica cambios integrales de la dieta, estimulación cerebral, ejercicio, optimización del sueño, los productos farmacéuticos y vitaminas específicos, y otras medidas que afectan la química del cerebro.

Tecnología:
El ojo biónico, Visión Biónica, de Australia da una nueva vista a las personas cegadas por el Retinitis Pogmentosa (Medgadget)
Visión Biónica, el prototipo implante de Australia, ha completado un ensayo de dos años en tres pacientes con retinitis pigmentosa avanzado. Los implantes de electrodos supracoroideos de 25 canales no causo graves efectos secundarios notables. Por otra parte, los pacientes fueron capaces de ver más luz y fueron capaces de distinguir las formas que eran invisibles para ellos antes de la implantación. El artículo incluye un vídeo de la prueba de un prototipo en un paciente.

Sistema de sonido en un enchufe bombilla ofrecido por Sonido de la Luz (Hearing Review)
El Sonido de la Luz es un sistema de altavoces inalámbrico impulsado del enchufe de una lámpara de pie o de mesa. Entre otras características, el sistema permite el ajuste de triple para las personas con pérdida de audición de alta frecuencia y ofrece sonido alrededor de 360 grados. Para instalarlo, el usuario simplemente desenrosca la bombilla existente y lo reemplaza por el sistema de altavoz Sonido de la Luz. La bombila puede ser atornillada en el nuevo enchufe, una fuente de audio, como un televisor o equipo de música se eliga, y los dispositivos se emparejan. Según el comercializador de Sonido de la Luz, el resultado es un sonido claro sin cables necesarios para ejecutarlo, auriculares para usarlo, o colocar altavoces. El artículo incluye un vídeo que muestra la instalación del sistema en una lámpara de mesa.

El bioprinter PrintAlive 3D crea injertos de piel bajo demanda para las víctimas de quemaduras (Gizmag)
Los estudiantes de ingeniería en la Universidad de Torono han creado una impresora 3D, llamda PrintAlive, que produce injertos de la piel para personas con lesiones por quemaduras.  Después de haber estado en desarrollo desde 2008, un prototipo pre-comercial de segunda generación fue completado recientemente que los investigadores dicen es más pequeño que un horno de microondas medio. Esto hace que sea lo suficientemente portátil para el transporte, que le da el potencial de un día revolucionar la atención de quemaduras en las áreas rurales y en desarrollo de todo el mundo. El artículo incluye un vídeo que demuestra la tecnología.

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