News and Notes 248 January 25

NARIC acknowledges the birthday of the late Ed Roberts, a pioneer in disability rights who established the World Institute on Disability, a collaborator on nearly 20 NIDILRR-funded projects; NIDILRR requests comments on its draft long-range plan for the period 2018-2023; Research In Focus reports on healthy lifestyle and supportive neighborhood as key factors in the community participation of people with mobility disabilities; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities publishes Physical Activity Calendar for 2017; LiveWell selects five new assistive technology apps for development and release in 2017; Southeast ADA Regional Center hosts webcast, Top 5 ADA Topics: Notes from an ADA Specialist (Part 2); StatsRRTC combines its State-of-the-Science Conference with the release of the 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium; Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) at the Department of Education releases the Business Roundtable Report: Employer Engagement in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR).

Date sent: 
2017-01-25
NARIC news: 

Monday's Google Doodle marked what would have been the 78th birthday of Ed Roberts, considered by many the father of the independent living movement and a pioneer in disability rights and civil rights. A childhood polio survivor, his activism started in high school, where he successfully advocated for school administrators to remove driver education and physical education requirements so he could graduate. As a college student, he co-founded the Physically Disabled Students Program at the University of California, Berkeley, the first program of its kind. Under his leadership, the Berkeley Center for Independent Living became a model for disability rights movements around the world. Ed Roberts received a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant" and used it to establish the World Institute on Disability (WID) in Berkeley which has conducted or collaborated on nearly 20 NIDILRR-funded projects since WID's founding in 1984.

Research In Focus:
Staying Healthy and Connecting with Neighbors May Help People with Mobility Disabilities Stay Involved in Their Communities
A healthy lifestyle and a supportive neighborhood may be key factors for community participation, Research In Focus shows.

Resource Highlight: 

2017 Physical Activity Calendar
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (90RT5021) has published a Physical Activity Calendar for 2017. Setting and achieving physical activity goals can improve the mental and physical well-being of individuals with lived experience in psychiatric disability, their family members, and even mental health providers. This calendar can help individuals set and stick to their goals. Designed to help people think about physical activity differently, this calendar challenges readers to identify activities that they enjoy, find free or low-cost resources in the community, and identify people who will help them stay motivated to achieve their goals.

NIDILRR News and Events: 

NIDILRR Seeks Comments on Draft Long-Range Plan
NIDILRR is requesting comments on its draft long-range plan for the period 2018-2023 (PDF). This long-range plan provides an overview of the state of people with disabilities in the United States and NIDILRR’s current investments and potential future directions for research grants. NIDILRR is publishing the draft plan to obtain public comment on the proposed research and development activities to help the agency fulfill its mission. Comments will be accepted by email to NIDILRRfuture@acl.hhs.gov. Comments are due by close of business on Monday, March 20th.

News items: 

2017 App Factory Development Projects Announced
The NIDILRR-funded LiveWell - The Information and Communication Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Community Living, Health, and Function (90RE5023) has selected five new assistive technology apps for development and release in 2017 as part of its App Factory development project. The five selected apps are: Arts Access International's real time audio description and assistive listening for local venues; BlueSky Design's Pow!r Mount Plus; IDEAL Group's IDEAL Communicator; TummyTime Fun posture control trainer; and Shepherd Center's Reminders for the Home for Android Wear. These new apps will provide solutions to a range of challenges that users with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities face.

Grantee event: 

ADA Live! Top 5 ADA Topics Part 2
The NIDILRR-funded Southeast ADA Regional Center (90DP0090) will host a webcast, Top 5 ADA Topics: Notes from an ADA Specialist (Part 2), February 1st, 1-1:30pm ET. This session of ADA Live continues exploration of the most frequent workplace accommodation requests and possible solutions. Topics will include leave, reassignment to another position, accessible or reserved parking, service animals, and reasonable accommodations for job-related testing or training. No registration is required and questions may be submitted in advance. Listen to Notes from an ADA Specialist Part 1, originally broadcast in January.

State of the Science Conference and Disability Statistics Compendium Release
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) (90DP5022) will combine its State-of-the-Science Conference with the release of the 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium, February 13th and 14th. The two-day event will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, DC. On the first day, the conference will bring together scientists, administrators, and staff from disability programs, and leaders from disability policy and advocacy communities to discuss the state of disability statistics and how to move the field forward. The second day will feature the release of the Compendium, a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies, with related panel discussions. Registration is free for both days, with webstreaming available for the Compendium release and discussions.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Business Roundtable Report on Employer Engagement in VR
The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) at the Department of Education has released the Business Roundtable Report: Employer Engagement in Vocational Rehabilitation (VR). The report is the result of a series of roundtable discussions with members of the business community focused on employment in four high-demand business areas: Federal contracting, banking/finance, health care, and information technology. Roundtable discussions centered on human capital needs and challenges, skill needs and job requirements, recruitment strategies, and methods to employ more job seekers with disabilities. The report presents the findings of the roundtables and recommendations for improved employer engagement and meeting the needs of businesses.