Disability News Weekly Roundup 11/4 – 11/8

Disability News Weekly Roundup -11/4-11/8

Health:

Fox News— Depression: The Second Leading Cause of Disability Worldwide

New research led by Alize Ferrari from the University of Queensland and the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research in Australia found that depression is the second leading cause of the global disability burden. The World Health Organization states that approximately 350 million people worldwide have depression, or about four percent of the world’s population.

Science Daily—Increased Anxiety Disorders Among Active Component Service Members

Approximately 218,000 incident s of anxiety disorders were diagnosed among the active-component of the U.S. Armed Forces, a rate that steadily increased over a surveillance period in the past 13 years. “In the U.S. Armed Forces, mental disorders, of which anxiety disorders are a subset, are a leading cause of morbidity, disability, healthcare service utilization, lost duty time, and attrition from military service,” Army Colonel William Corr, the deputy director of AFHSC’s division of Epidemiology and Analysis.

Policy:

Consumer Affairs—Flying to Get Easier for Passengers with Disabilities

As part of what it terms an “ongoing effort to ensure equal access to air transportation for all travelers,” the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is requiring airline websites and automated airport kiosks to be accessible to passengers with disabilities. Additionally, DOT will let airlines choose between stowing wheelchairs in a cabin compartment on new aircraft or strapping them to a row of seats — an option that will ensure that two manual, folding wheelchairs can be transported at a time.

ABC News— US Airways Fined for Lapses in Disabilities Aid

Federal rules require that airlines provide free, prompt wheelchair assistance to passengers with disabilities, including helping passengers to move between gates to make connecting flights. The Department of Transportation says it has fined US Airways $1.2 million for failing to provide adequate wheelchair assistance to passengers in Philadelphia and Charlotte, N.C.

New York Times—Rules to Require Equal Coverage for Mental Ills

The Obama administration on Friday will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment.

Fox News—Veterans Affairs Suspends Mandatory Overtime for Workers as Disability Claims Backlog Drops

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki says he is temporarily suspending a program that requires disability claims processors to work at least 20 hours of overtime per month… The processing of claims in a timely manner has intensified in recent years as more soldiers returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. The number of backlogged claims has dropped from 611,000 in late March to about 401,000.

Science:

Science Daily—Earliest Marker for Autism Found in Young Infants

Eye contact during early infancy may be a key to early identification of autism, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. Published this week in the journal Nature, the study reveals the earliest sign of developing autism ever observed — a steady decline in attention to others’ eyes within the first two to six months of life.

Science Daily—Digital Tech Improve Remote Rehabilitation, Medical Monitoring for Patients

The platform developed for BackHome (led by BDigital) is designed to help to provide greater physical and social autonomy to people with severe disability, who will be able to control their surroundings at home with home automation sensors and interact and communicate with friends and family through standard social networks and email. Moreover, a home telemonitoring system will be developed as part of the project to monitor the activities scheduled for the patient’s recovery, such as stimulation exercises and cognitive rehabilitation through creative activities (plastic, music, etc.) or exercises to improve memory and concentration through Brain-Computer Interfaces (BNCIs).

Sports:

Washington Post—Powelifter’s Paralympics Life Ban Lifted 9 Years After Ex-Partner Spiked Drink with Steroid

An Azerbaijani powerlifter’s life ban from the Paralympics has been lifted after proving that his former girlfriend spiked his drink with an anabolic steroid at the 2004 games in Athens. The International Paralympic Committee said on Friday it could review Gunduz Ismayilov’s case nine years later because he provided “new and very relevant evidence.”

Special Interest:

New York Times—Disabled Chinese Struggle for a Good Education, and Acceptance

For many, gaining access to treatment and jobs is a challenge. Poverty is a common companion. The World Bank estimates 20 percent of the world’s poorest are disabled. They face hurdles to getting a good education, reducing their chances of emerging from poverty. In China, too, disabled people are poorer than their able-bodied peers with a disposable income about half of the national average.

CNN—Disabled Veterans Learn How to Rock Climb

Photojournalist Bob Crowley journeys to a legendary climbing area to see disabled civilians and vets tackle the cliffs. Veterans speak on how climbing serves as therapy and a stress reliever as they share in the camaraderie of rock climbing.

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