News and Notes 66 May 15

Mental Health Month and World of Possibilities Expo; Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work; survey of health needs for people with disabilities in Massachusetts; Join the Conversation for Change, helping youth with disabilities transition from school to work ; COLA Guide for promoting social inclusion and community integration; study demonstrating benefit of exercise for people with physical disabilities; the future of accessible human-computer interaction discussed on NPR; webinar on program access in parks, recreation, and tourism.

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NARIC news: 

May is Mental Health Month, sponsored by Mental Health America. Meet the NIDRR grantees who are researching mental health and learn more about their work, including tools you can use right now to understand recovery (PDF), get and keep a job (see the Resource Highlight below), and advocate for yourself.

Don't forget: We'll be in Booth 125 at the World of Possibilities Expo this Friday and Saturday. Free tickets are still available

Resource Highlight: 

A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Participation and Community Living of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) (H133B130014) offers A Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work (PDF). This illustrated guide offers encouragement and vital information on the importance of work, the availability of rehabilitation programs, the ins-and-outs of work incentives, challenges of starting a new job, and more. The guide is designed for those with mental health conditions to use on their own or as part of a return-to-work group in a community mental health center, psychiatric rehabilitation program, or peer-run agency. A facilitator's manual is also available (PDF). 

NIDILRR News and Events: 

NIDRR Presents The COLA Guide: Creating Resources to Promote Social Inclusion and Community Integration
NIDRR hosts Bret Kloos, PhD, of the University of South Carolina Research Foundation, for a presentation, The COLA Guide: Creating Resources to Promote Social Inclusion and Community Integration, on May 23rd, 11am-12pm EDT, Potomac Center Plaza, 550 12th St SW, Washington, DC - Room 5083. Dr. Kloos will discuss the COLA Guide, developed in collaboration with persons using mental health services and service providers. The COLA Guide is part of a NIDRR-funded field initiated research project examining how housing and neighborhood environments can impact community integration for persons with psychiatric disabilities. Registration is free for in-person or teleconference but space is limited for both. RSVP to Doris Werwie or call 202/245-6564. 

News items: 

Study Demonstrates Benefit of Exercise for People with Physical Disabilities
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Physical Disabilities (H133B080024) published Self-Reported Depression and Physical Activity in Adults with Mobility Impairments (abstract) in the April issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The authors studied the relationship between depression and physical activity in persons with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, and post-polio syndrome, and looked at the impact of physical activity on depression levels in these groups. The major finding was that depression is lower in people who are more active. 

Corinna Lathan Envisions the Future on NPR
Corinna E. Lathan, PhD, past principal investigator for multiple NIDRR-funded small business innovative research projects and founder and CEO of AnthroTronix, was featured on NPR's Morning Edition on May 7th. Dr. Lathan was interviewed about her vision for the future of human computer interaction and developing technology to improve the lives of people with and without disabilities, including CosmoBot, a therapy tool for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. The accompanying video tours AnthroTronix labs and demonstrates CosmoBot and other tools at work. 

Grantee event: 

Webinar: Program Access in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
The NIDRR-funded ADA National Network (H133A110014)  presents a webinar on Program Access in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, May 22nd at 2pm EDT. John Wodatch, retired Disability Section Chief at the US Department of Justice, and Ray Bloomer, Accessibility Specialist with the National Park Service and Director of Education at the National Center on Accessibility, discuss how the program access standard in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to parks, recreation, and places of tourism. Registration for this program is free but required


Health Needs Assessment for People with Disabilities in Massachusetts
The NIDRR-funded New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center (NERSCIC) (H133N120002) is seeking individuals living with spinal cord injury (SCI) in Massachusetts (MA) to participate in a survey of health needs. The survey is also open to anyone with an interest in the health of people with disabilities living in MA. The survey is anonymous and will be active until May 31st. This survey is being conducted in collaboration with the Health and Disability Program of the Office of Health Equity at the MA Department of Public Health. 

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Join the Conversation for Change
The US Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration will host Join the Conversation for Change: Shape federal agency strategies for helping young people with disabilities successfully transition from school to work, May 13th through May 27th. This free, public online dialogue will examine the impact of existing federal regulations and legislation on the successful transition of youth and young adults with disabilities from school to work. Policymakers, educators, service providers, advocates, families, and youth with disabilities are invited to help federal agencies identify legislative and regulatory barriers and opportunities to improve transition outcomes for youth with disabilities. Registration is free but required to participate in the facilitated discussions. Once the dialogue has closed, a summary report will be made public.