News and Notes 148 January 21

Do-it-yourself AT product listings in AbleData project, publications on AT inventions from the NIDRR community and other sources; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Vocational Rehabilitation (RRTC-EBP VR) publishes Emphasizing the Positive, summary of interventions to increase happiness in people with spinal cord injuries; University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Research Registry seeks participants with spinal cord injury for various studies; ODEP and LEAD Center releases report, Best Practices in Employee Retention and Return-to-Work; NIDRR announces it will fund Field Initiated Projects (FIP) applications submitted in fiscal year 2014 rather than publishing the FIP funding opportunity for 2015; RERC on AAC was highlighted in article on Penn State researchers in Centre Daily newspaper; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities announces 2015 webcast series; Northeast ADA Center to host webinar, Exams and Testing, on delivering exams and courses to individuals with disabilities.

Date sent: 
2015-01-21
NARIC news: 

Did you see the story about the 7th grader who built a Braille printer with a Lego robotics kit? That kind of do-it-yourself spirit is what drives a lot of innovation in assistive technology (AT). If you like to tinker, the AT database from the NIDRR-funded AbleData project has more than 1,000 do-it-yourself listings for AT products. If you're an inventor or developer, check out this factsheet from the 2003-2008 RERC on Tech Transfer on getting your invention market-ready (PDF). You may also be interested in these publications on invention and innovation in AT from the NIDRR community and other sources, available from our collection.

Resource Highlight: 

Emphasizing the Positive
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Vocational Rehabilitation (RRTC-EBP VR) (H133B100034) recently published Emphasizing the Positive: The Role of Attachment Style, Social Support, and Coping on Happiness in Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries. This plain-language summary provides specific interventions for vocational rehabilitation counselors to facilitate positive behavior changes and increase the experience of happiness in people with disabilities.

NIDILRR News and Events: 

NIDRR Releases Updates on Transition to ACL and FY15 Competitions
In a letter to colleagues, NIDRR Director John Tschida provides an update on progress in the transition to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and announces that NIDRR will not publish the Field Initiated Projects (FIP) funding opportunity for 2015. Instead, NIDRR will fund FIP applications that were submitted in FY14 and scored well within the funding range. This is the only competition for FY15 where NIDRR is exercising this option. A link to NIDRR's FY15 Grant Forecast table is also included. Full text of the letter is available from NARIC's website.

News items: 

AAC Research in the Spotlight
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC) (H133E140026) was highlighted in a recent issue of the Centre Daily on the Penn State researchers who explore the future of augmentative communicatione. Principal Investigator Janice Light, PhD, and other RERC team members discussed their current projects and the future of AAC research.

VCU-RRTC Announces 2015 Webcast Series
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities (VCU-RRTC) (H133B130011) announced the topics and schedule for its webcast series. The series kicks off February 12th with Disability Diversity Training: A Review of Potential Evidence-Based Factors. Other topics for 2015 include working with multiple sclerosis, assistive technology in the workplace, plans to achieve self-support, and more. Registration is free for individual webcasts or the entire series.

Grantee event: 

Webinar: Exams and Testing
The NIDRR-funded Northeast ADA Center (H133A110020) will host a webinar, Exams and Testing, January 28th, 1pm ET. Presenters will discuss the accessibility requirements and challenges for Title II and III organizations in delivering exams and courses to individuals with disabilities effectively and in compliance with ADA requirements. Registration is free but required.

Participate: 

University of Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Research Registry
The NIDRR-funded University of Michigan Model Spinal Cord Injury System Center (UMSCIS) (H133N110002) seeks individuals interested in participating in research on SCI through its Spinal Cord Injury Research Registry. The registry is open to adults aged 18 years or older with SCI. UMSCIS uses the registry to recruit for several types of studies, including over-the-phone surveys, medication studies, clinical service interventions, and at-home interviews.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Best Practices in Employee Retention and Return-to-Work
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the LEAD Center released a report, Best Practices in Employee Retention and Return-to-Work: An In-Depth Look Inside an Exemplary American Corporation. The report offers suggestions and identifies replicable best practices that benefit both employers and employees, highlighting effective policies and practices gleaned from analysis of a large corporation.