News and Notes 279 September 6

In observance of Pain Awareness Month, NARIC shares research and resources on pain management in its Spotlight blog; Research in Focus discusses advance development of psychiatric directives people with psychiatric disabilities can develop before they are no longer able to speak for themselves; Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) releases two factsheets on burn injury and TBI; Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC) announces Student Research Award to two students developing Shuffle Speller prototype AAC system; StatsRRTC and IC-RRTC report continuing job gains for Americans with disabilities in August nTIDE report; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of Individuals with Physical Disabilities (VCU-RRTC-PD) will host State of Science Conference on the Employment of People with Physical Disabilities; Diversity Partners Intervention: Moving the Disability Employment Needle Through Value Added Relationships Between Talent Acquisition Providers and the Business Community will host webinar, Employer Engagement: Meeting Needs, Adding Value; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) seeks interview participants for study on participation of rural youth with disabilities in community events; Administration for Community Living (ACL) has developed publication, Principles for Person-Directed Services and Supports During Serious Illness.

Date sent: 
2017-09-06
NARIC news: 

September is Pain Awareness Month, sponsored by the American Chronic Pain Association. Pain can impact the participation of people with disabilities in many ways. People with physical disabilities such as spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis may live with pain as a secondary condition to their disability. People with traumatic brain injury may have chronic headaches (PDF) after their injury. Pain is a key symptom in chronic, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and lupus. Pain can also be a physical effect of depression. We shared research and resources on pain, pain management, and the impact of pain on participation from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere in our Spotlight blog.

Research In Focus:
Along with Their Care Teams, People with Psychiatric Conditions Can Make Their Treatment Needs Known Before a Crisis Hits
Professional and peer mental health counselors can both help people with psychiatric disabilities develop psychiatric advance directives to be used when they may not be able to speak for themselves. Learn more in this week's Research In Focus.

Resource Highlight: 

Burn Injury and TBI Factsheets
The NIDILRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) (90DP0082) has released two new factsheets on burn injury and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) After Burn Injury explains PTSD after burn injury and common symptoms that may occur. Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: What to Expect in the Trauma Center, Hospital, and Beyond describes how a severe TBI affects the injured person and how family members and caregivers can support their loved one on his or her road to recovery. Factsheets are available in English and Spanish.

News items: 

RERC on AAC Student Research Award Announced
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC) (90RE5017) announced the winner of the 2017 RERC on AAC Student Research and Development Award at the annual RESNA Conference in July. The award went to two students who developed the Shuffle Speller, a prototype AAC system for people with severe speech and physical disabilities that helps them spell out words using eye-gaze or EEG for input. The system adapts to the capabilities of the user and their input device, reducing errors and improving speed as it learns. This technology could be used in hospital settings, where a speech therapist may not be available to set up an AAC device for a patient and train them on its use. In addition, a student team sponsored by the RERC on AAC received third prize in the RESNA Student Design competition for their open source computer application to evaluate the effectiveness of new input devices such as trackpads and eye tracking devices.

August nTIDE: Job Numbers Remain Upbeat for Americans with Disabilities
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) (90RT5022) and the RRTC on Individual-Level Characteristics Related to Employment Among Individuals with Disabilities (IC-RRTC) (90RT5017) reported continuing job gains for Americans with disabilities in the August National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) report. For the 17th consecutive month, both the labor participation rate and the employment-to-population ratio increased, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report and current research in employment and access to transportation were discussed in the most recent nTIDE Lunch & Learn.

Grantee event: 

State of the Science Conference on the Employment of People with Physical Disabilities
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of Individuals with Physical Disabilities (VCU-RRTC-PD) (90RT5035) will host the State of the Science Conference on the Employment of People with Physical Disabilities, September 26th and 27th, in Richmond, VA and via webcast. Participants will discuss issues and implications from new knowledge gained from VCU-RRTC-PD’s disability employment research activities and will present research on effective policies, practices, and interventions to improve the employment outcomes of people with physical disabilities. The conference will include expert panel discussions around empowering individuals with physical disabilities to access quality employment, independence, and integration into society. Registration is free and required.

Webinar: Employer Engagement - Meeting Needs, Adding Value The NIDILRR-funded Diversity Partners Intervention: Moving the Disability Employment Needle Through Value Added Relationships Between Talent Acquisition Providers and the Business Community (90DP0035) will host a webinar, Employer Engagement: Meeting Needs, Adding Value, September 25th, 2-3pm ET. Presenters will discuss the importance of enhancing the value of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to employers in order to establish and sustain relationships. VR counselors will share their real world experiences with employers, along with strategies to assess and meet the needs of businesses. Registration is free and required.

Participate: 

Rural Youth with Disabilities Interview Study
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) (90RT5025) is conducting interviews for a study on how young adults with disabilities participate in social and community events in rural areas. Participants must be 18 to 34 years old, be in or from a town of less than 10,000 inhabitants, and have had an IEP in high school and/or a current disability. Participation involves a 1 to 2 hour interview and participants will be compensated for their time. For more information, contact Rayna Sage, PhD, at 406/243-5233 or rayna.sage@umontana.edu.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Principles for Person-Directed Services and Supports During Serious Illness
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has developed Principles for Person-Directed Services and Supports During Serious Illness (PDF). The publication was developed in consultation with stakeholders to ensure that people who have serious illnesses are able to control their care and services. This includes people with disabilities and older adults who may face challenges in making decisions for their own care. The principles defined in the publication will be used to inform policy discussions and enhance existing programs and services related to serious illness among older adults and individuals with disabilities.