News and Notes 188 October 28

Sesame Street's new character Julia who has autism, publications on autism and early intervention and education from the NIDILRR community and other sources available from NARIC; TU Collaborative publishes manual, A Guide to Creating Self-Directed Care Programming and related factsheet, What Is Self-Directed Care?; ZyroMath, developed through App Factory, receives award for best mobile app; principal investigator of NNJTBIS discusses TBI research on New Jersey Public Television's OneonOne; Great Lakes ADA Center hosts webinar, Accessible Trails, highlighting material from Access Board's new guidebook for trail designers and operators; Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), of which NIDILRR is member, hosts ICDR Strategic Planning Stakeholder Webinar; scientists from IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science develop NavCog, smartphone app that helps users who are blind or visually impaired navigate their environment.

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Have you met Sesame Street's newest character Julia? Julia has autism. She made her debut in a new digital storybook as part of Sesame Street's "See Amazing in All Children" campaign. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 68 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The CDC's Learn the Signs. Act Early. campaign encourages early screening and intervention, with resources for parents, health professionals, and educators. You may also be interested in these publications on autism and early intervention and education from the NIDILRR community and other sources available from our collection.

Resource Highlight: 

Self-Directed Care Manual and Factsheet
The NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) (H133B130014) has published a manual, A Guide to Creating Self-Directed Care Programming. The guide, developed in collaboration with the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, introduces a program delivered by peer specialists serving as recovery coaches to help individuals establish and support new goals for their participation in community life and get access to funds to help pay for related goods and services. Additional materials assist local agencies in replicating this initiative, including intake procedures, goal planning and program monitoring forms, and evaluation instruments. A related factsheet, What Is Self-Directed Care?, is also available.

News items: 

ZyroMath Wins Award for Best Mobile App
ZyroMath by Zyrobotics, developed in part through the NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies App Factory project (H133E110002), received the award for best mobile app for children and toddlers by the Best Mobile App Awards (BMAA). The app teaches children age 3 to 8 Common Core math skills and can autonomously learn game settings based on the child's skill level. BMAA discovers and recognizes high-quality mobile app development across platforms and audiences.

TBI Research Highlighted on OneonOne
Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, principal investigator of the NIDILRR-funded Northern New Jersey Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Center (NNJTBIS) (H133A070037/H133A120030),  was a guest on OneonOne with Steve Adubato on New Jersey Public Television. Dr. Chiaravalloti discussed current TBI research, including concussion in youth sports, and the project's latest study on memory training for individuals with TBI.

Grantee event: 

Webinar: Accessible Trails
The NIDILRR-funded Great Lakes ADA Center (H133A110029) will host a webinar, Accessible Trails, November 5th, 2:30pm ET. Bill Botten of the US Access Board and Jim Huck of the National Park Service will discuss federal trail provisions, highlighting material from the Access Board's new guidebook to assist trail designers and operators. Presenters will also share their experience in applying the standards on new and existing trails in a working monument park. Registration is free but required.

ICDR Strategic Planning Stakeholder Webinar
The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR), of which NIDILRR is a member, will host an ICDR Strategic Planning Stakeholder Webinar, November 4th at 10am ET and November 5th at 2pm ET. ICDR members will present information about the ICDR strategic planning process and proposed research problems in four topic areas. Stakeholders will be invited to assess the relative importance of each proposed problem area. The feedback will help define future goals and objectives for the ICDR strategic plan. Both sessions are the same and registration is required to attend.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

NavCog Helps Smartphone Users Navigate Surroundings
Scientists from IBM Research and Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science have developed NavCog, a smartphone app that helps individuals who are blind or visually impaired to better navigate their environment. The app vibrates or speaks to the user, providing information about the environment from Bluetooth beacons along walkways and from smartphone sensors. NavCog is available at no cost on the App Store. Cognitive assistance tools are also available for developers as an open toolkit.