News and Notes 131 September 10

September designated National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, over 40 NIDRR-funded projects focused on SCI; Wireless RERC releases SUNspot research brief on wireless device modifications by adults with disabilities; University of Alabama SCIMS seeks participants for study on women with SCI during pregnancy, labor, and delivery; White House announces call to nominate Champions of Change in the area of disability employment; NIDRR seeks recent visitors to its website for focus group; Northern New Jersey SCIS publishes report examining the impact of race and ethnicity in SCI; Rory Cooper, associate director of University of Pittsburgh Model Center on SCI featured in PN/Paraplegia News; online KTER State of the Science Conference: Knowledge Translation for Employment Research

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NARIC news: 

September 2014 has been designated by Congress as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Senate Resolution 533 expresses support for: (1) research to find better treatments, more effective therapies, and a cure for paralysis; and (2) clinical trials for new therapies for people living with paralysis. It also commends the dedication of organizations, researchers, doctors, and people across the United States that are working to improve the quality of life of people living with paralysis and their families. Currently, more than 40 NIDRR-funded projects focus on spinal cord injury, conducting research and development across the spectrum of health and function, technology, and community living and participation.

Resource Highlight: 

SUNspot - Ease of Wireless Use and Wireless Device Modifications by Adults with Disabilities
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies (Wireless RERC) (H133E110002) has released Ease of Wireless Use and Wireless Device Modifications by Adults with Disabilities (PDF), the latest SUNspot research brief highlighting issues and research questions based on the RERC's Survey of User Needs. This issue focuses on changes and modifications made by survey respondents to make these technologies easier to use. Previous issues of SUNspot are archived in the Wireless RERC Reports.

NIDILRR News and Events: 

NIDRR Seeks Input from Current Website Users
NIDRR is seeking visitors to its website to participate in a one-hour focus group. NIDRR would like to hear from its different stakeholder groups, including researchers, clinicians, and people with disabilities. Participants must have visited the website within the last year. Details on the focus group and how to apply are available from NIDRR's website.

News items: 

Report Examines Impact of Race and Ethnicity in SCI
The NIDRR-funded Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System Center (NNJSCIS) (H133N110020) has published a report, Racial and ethnic disparities in functioning at discharge and follow-up among patients with motor complete spinal cord injury (abstract), online ahead of print in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Using data from the NIDRR-funded National Spinal Cord Injury Database, the authors found small but significant differences in self-care and mobility at discharge between ethnic groups, and no difference at 1-year followup.

NIDRR Researcher Featured in Paraplegia News
Rory Cooper, PhD, associate director of the NIDRR-funded University of Pittsburgh Model Center on Spinal Cord Injury (UPMC-SCI) (H133N110011), was featured in Influence and promise (abstract) in the September issue of PN/Paraplegia News. The article highlights individuals who have affected some of the biggest and most historic changes in spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D). Dr. Cooper was recognized for his many successful years working to improve mobility and function for those with SCI/D.

Grantee event: 

Online State of the Science Conference: Knowledge Translation for Employment Research
The NIDRR-funded Center on Knowledge Translation for Employment Research (KTER) (H133A100026) will sponsor an online State of the Science Conference, September 16th and 17th. The conference is designed to address knowledge translation strategies for the effective implementation of evidence-based employment research for policymakers, vocational rehabilitation professionals, consumers, and employers/businesses. Registration is free but required.


Pregnancy and SCI
The NIDRR-funded University of Alabama Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center (UAB-SCIMS) (H133N110008) is recruiting participants with SCI for a study of medical concerns related to women with SCI during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Participants must be in their first trimester of pregnancy, at least 19 years old, and live near Birmingham, AL; Ann Arbor, MI; Louisville, KY; or Downey, CA. For more information, visit the study page to contact local project managers.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Champions of Change for Disability Employment
The White House announced a call to nominate Champions of Change in the area of disability employment. Individuals are invited to identify and honor innovators who are breaking down barriers to the middle class by providing employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, including veterans and workers with significant disabilities. Nominations must be submitted by September 14th.