Disability News Weekly Roundup Monday, Dec 9 – Friday Dec 13

Disability News Weekly Roundup -12/9-12/13


Reuters—Psychiatrists less likely to take insurance than others

Researchers found only about half of psychiatrists accepted private insurance between 2009 and 2010, compared to almost 90 percent of doctors in other specialties. Dr. Tara Bishop and her colleagues write in JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday that some advocates have raised concerns over limited access to mental health services due to psychiatrists refusing to accept insurance.

Science Daily—Study Shows Exercise Improves Depression in Parkinson’s Patients

A new study by a movement disorder neurologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that depression improved among patients with Parkinson’s disease who participated in a long-term group exercise program.

Science Daily—New Definition for Old Age

Previously, studies of aging used only one characteristic of people, their chronological age. The new study provides a framework for measuring aging based instead on characteristics of people that change with age, including life expectancy, health, cognitive function, and other measures. These measures can be used by demographers to better understanding aging societies.


Richmond Times-Dispatch—McDonnell Urges $38 Million for Mental Health System

In addition to action in the two-year budget he will present to lawmakers Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell created a task force to study improvements in mental health services and crisis response.

The Hill—New Regulations for Friday: Electric Motor Efficiency Tests

The Pentagon is proposing to reissue its rules for special education programs (.pdf) for people with disabilities and their families. The new rules would revise current regulations to incorporate amendments made to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act made in 2004.

The Hill—With Dozens Missing, VA Bills Clear the House

The House passed two bills on Tuesday: in a 346-1 vote, members passed the Department of Veterans Affairs Major Medical Facility Lease Authorization Act, H.R. 3521 and in a 353-0 vote, the House passed the VA Expiring Authorities Extension Act, H.R. 1402 to extend various authorities of the Department of Veterans Affairs, in votes that were held despite the absence of several dozen members.


Science Daily—Dietary Amino Acids Improve Sleep Problems in Mice with Traumatic Brain Injury

Scientists have discovered how to fix sleep disturbances in mice with traumatic brain injuries — a discovery that could lead to help for hundreds of thousands of people who have long-term and debilitating sleep and wakefulness issues after they suffer concussions.


USA Today—Craig Morton Sues NFL for Failing to Protect Players from Head Injuries

The 84-page lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in northern California, claims the league had access to medical research on the impact of concussive and sub-concussive hits but “produced industry-funded, biased, and falsified research” that said otherwise.

Special Interest:

Fox NY  —Long Island boy asks Santa for prosthetic arm (and Xbox)

Christopher was born without part of his left arm. On a recent visit to see Santa Claus, Christopher whispered a secret wish: he wanted an Xbox One and fingers to play with it. Robert Jackson, a family friend, was so moved he started fundraising. He hopes to raise $25,000 by Christmas. That’s what it will cost to buy Christopher a prosthetic arm.

ABC News — Nelson Mandela Memorial Interpreter Angers Deaf Community

Millions of TV viewers saw Thamsanqa Jantjie, 34, interpreting speeches by Barack Obama and other global leaders at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg. His gestures baffled and angered deaf people around the world, with experts saying he did not know even basic signs such as “thank you” or “Mandela”.

The Washington Post—Fake Signer at Mandela Event Says he Hallucinated

The sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial says he suffers from schizophrenia and hallucinated and saw angels while gesturing incoherently just 3 feet away from President Barack Obama and other world leaders, outraging deaf people worldwide who said his signs amounted to gibberish.

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