News and Notes 160 April 15

Free resources from the NIDILRR community in observation of Occupational Therapy (OT) Month; two policy-related NIDILRR programs, Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program: Research Policy Fellowship, and Distinguished Residential Disability and Rehabilitation Policy Fellowship, are open for applications; TU Collaborative publishes Developing Faith Communities; MARS3 Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center pilots ReWalk robotic exoskeleton outside the lab; Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT) edits the most recent issue of Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits (ATOB); ADA Knowledge Translation  Center publishes The Pendleton Project: Making Health Care Accessible to All, highlighting the expansion of health care access for people with disabilities in Pendleton, OR; TU Collaborative to host webinar, Welcoming Congregations; Who I Am, a set of disability awareness materials from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers employers tools to facilitate staff training around issues of disability employment and workforce diversity.

Date sent: 
2015-04-15
NARIC news: 

April is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month, sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Occupational therapists (OTs) help people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do following injury, illness, or disability. According to AOTA, common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. We've put together a virtual toolbox of free resources developed by the NIDILRR community that OTs and their clients can use right away.

Resource Highlight: 

Developing Welcoming Faith Communities
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) (H133B130014) has published Developing Welcoming Faith Communities: Inspiring Examples of Faith-Based Initiatives to Help Individuals with Mental Health Conditions Participate Fully in the Life of Religious Congregations (PDF). This resource provides a brief background on the importance of religion and spirituality for individuals with mental health conditions and offers examples of what current religious communities are doing to welcome and support members with mental health conditions. Religious organizations can use this document to foster a welcoming environment and mental health providers can use it as a way to advocate for the inclusion of individuals with mental health conditions. See the webinar notice below for more information.

NIDILRR News and Events: 

NIDILRR Policy-Related Programs Open for Applications
NIDILRR continues to accept applications for two policy-related programs. The Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Program: Research Policy Fellowship is open to institutions of higher education. Deadline for applications is May 15th. The Distinguished Residential Disability and Rehabilitation Policy Fellowship is open to individual researchers. Deadline for applications is May 18th. For more information, see the individual Federal Register announcements and these tutorial guides prepared by NIDILRR.

News items: 

MARS3 Pilots ReWalk Outside the Lab
A pilot study of the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton at the NIDILRR-funded Machines Assisting Recovery from Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury for Reintegration into Society (MARS3) Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (H133E120010) was featured in news stories on ABC7 Chicago, Chicago Tonight on WTTW, and WGN. Sargeant RJ Anderson, Jr., an Army veteran with a spinal cord injury, received training as part of the pilot study at MARS3 in the use of the ReWalk, and is among the first people to take the technology out of the lab and into his own home thanks to an anonymous donor. He will participate in a study to determine the optimal training program necessary for independent use of ReWalk for ambulation over level ground and un-level areas such as outdoor surfaces and stairs.

ATOB Focuses on Knowledge Translation and Technology Transfer in AT
The NIDILRR-funded Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer (KT4TT) (H133A130014) has edited the most recent issue of Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits (ATOB). Articles in this issue address three questions: 1) What do government agencies sponsoring research and development (R&D) need to know about technology transfer in order to generate beneficial societal impacts? 2) What existing infrastructure can sponsors and grantees leverage to communicate the outputs from their R&D efforts? 3) How effective is knowledge translation compared to traditional diffusion and dissemination communication strategies? The entire issue is freely available via open access.

Northwest ADA Center Partnership Expands Health Care Access
The NIDILRR-funded ADA Knowledge Translation Center (H133A110014) has published The Pendleton Project: Making Health Care Accessible to All, the latest ADA Success Story. The article highlights the Northwest ADA Center's (H133A110015) partnership with the Oregon Office on Disability and Health (OODH) for a community engagement initiative to increase access to health care for people with disabilities in Pendleton, OR. The project resulted in significant and lasting improvements in physical and program access, and better representation for the community.

Grantee event: 

Webinar: Welcoming Congregations
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) (H133B130014) will host a webinar, Welcoming Congregations, April 16th, 2-3:30pm ET. Presenters will discuss the study Developing Welcoming Faith Communities, and highlight training and technical assistance programs to help individual congregations and mental health organizations, including peer-run programs, to promote participation in congregational life. Registration is free but required.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Who I Am
Who I Am, a new set of disability awareness materials from the Campaign for Disability Employment at the Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers employers tools and discussion guides to facilitate staff training and education efforts around the issues of disability employment and workforce diversity. The materials include a new public service announcement featuring nine diverse people with disabilities sharing the many ways they describe themselves, from personal interests to family relationships to occupations. The campaign includes videos and posters in English and Spanish.