News and Notes 7 March 7

This issue highlights on a new app designed to provide information on train and bus schedules, wheelchair users needed to participate in a study of the best way to monitor and measure how they move their arms and propel the wheelchair, employing youth with disabilities, News reported on the findings of a NIDRR-funded collaborative project studying the effects of Parkinson’s drug on brain injury recovery, hearing issues, and Brain Injury Awareness Month and Week.

Date sent: 
NARIC news: 

NARIC and AbleData partner to exhibit at RESNA
NARIC and AbleData will be in Baltimore for RESNA's 2012 conference June 30 to July 3rd. Registration and exhibit space are still open. See you in booth 408!

Resource Highlight: 

The NIDRR-funded Rehab Engineering Research Center for Accessible Public Transportation (H133E0800019) has developed an iPhone app that tells transit riders when to expect the next train or bus based on historical data and signals of other app users currently on board. The app, co-developed with Carnegie Mellon University's Traffic21 Initiative, won second place in the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) Best New Innovative Products, Services, or Applications 2011 competition. Tiramisu currently was piloted in the Pittsburgh area but is designed to be extensible to other transit systems. The free app is available from the iTunes store. Android version coming soon. 

News items: 

TBI Research in the News
The New York Times, Associated Press, Huffington Post, and Washington Post all reported the findings of a NIDRR-funded collaborative project studying the effects of a Parkinson's drug on brain injury recovery (H133A031713). In the trial, patients with severe brain injuries in vegetative or minimally conscious states showed faster improvement on the drug amantadine hydrochloride than those who were given a placebo. The collaborative project, led by JFK Johnson Rehabilitation, published their results in the New England Journal of Medicine (summary only). Read more about the study the New York Times called "a turning point in the understanding and treatment of people with severe traumatic brain injuries." 

Speaking from Experience: PI Writes about Hearing Issues
Dr. Mark Ross of the NIDRR-funded Rehab Engineering Research Center on Hearing Enhancement (H133E080006), writes on issues of hearing loss with a special perspective. As a long-time researcher in hearing technology and a hearing aid user for more than 50 years, he writes "Developments in Research and Technology," a regular column for Hearing Loss Magazine. Dr. Ross shares his knowledge and experience with readers in nearly 100 articles at

Brain Injury Awareness Month AND Brain Awareness Week!
We mentioned last week that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIA) and its state affiliates. BIA's campaign "Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone" emphasizes that brain injuries don't discriminate, they happen to all age groups, ethnicities, and socio-economic strata. In addition, the Dana Foundation sponsors Brain Awareness Week from March 12th to 18th, to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. Both organizations offer a wealth of resources on brain health, injury and disease prevention, and building research capacity. 


Currently Recruiting
Wheelchair users in Pittsburgh: The NIDRR-funded Rehab Engineering Research Center on Spinal Cord Injury (H133E0700024) is looking for manual wheelchair users over 18 with spinal cord injuries to participate in a study of the best way to monitor and measure how they move their arms and propel the wheelchair throughout the day. Studies take place at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories Bakery Square location. Contact the clinical coordinator at 412/822-3700 or download the flyer to learn more. 

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Employing Youth with Disabilities
The US Dept of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy funds a National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth to "assist state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities and other disconnected youth." Their website includes information briefs and white papers, quick reference guides, short cuts and in-depth guides, and "jump starts." Explore their resources by topic, by type, by state, and more.