Research In Focus: A Weekly Digest of New Research from the NIDILRR Community

Research In Focus is a weekly publication featuring reader-friendly summaries of the latest research from NIDILRR-funded projects. Each installment presents you with an overview of a recently-published NIDILRR-funded study, highlighting important findings, and discussing implications or directions for future research. This could be a starting point to learn more about the intervention, technology, or program. We hand-select the articles from our diverse library collections, aiming to broadly cover interesting research in many areas of disability, various types of intervention, and a wide range of age spectrum from early childhood to aging with and into disability. To be alerted to new articles, sign up for our weekly email newsletter News and Notes from the NIDILRR Community and Beyond! These articles are also available in Spanish.

Being physically active is an important part of staying healthy. Running and walking outdoors are popular options, but people with disabilities, especially mobility disabilities, may not have full access to traditional parks and trails. Fitness facilities, such as gyms and health clubs, can offer alternative ways for people to be physically active, but those facilities may still present barriers to getting a workout since many fitness facilities may lack critical features that would enable... Read this article

Date published:
2017-07-19

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage anywhere along the spinal cord that often results from an accident or other trauma. People with SCI may be at risk for developing medical complications, such as pressure ulcers or urinary tract infections. According to prior studies, people with SCI who drink more alcohol may have a higher risk of these medical and other health complications than those who drink less. Identifying people with SCI who drink more alcohol, particularly those who “binge-drink... Read this article

Date published:
2017-07-12

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is lasting damage anywhere along the spinal cord as a result of accident or disease. A traumatic SCI results from a sudden trauma, such as a car accident, a fall, or a sports-related injury. After experiencing a traumatic event, some people develop a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People with PTSD may have flashbacks of the trauma, avoid situations similar to the traumatic event, or experience frequent anxiety. People with a traumatic SCI... Read this article

Date published:
2017-06-21

People with visual impairments have difficulty seeing, even with glasses or contact lenses, or are unable to see at all when they are blind. Statistics show that working-age Americans with visual impairments have much lower employment rates than their peers without disabilities. Past research has found that inaccurate perceptions about people who are blind or visually impaired contribute to this low employment rate. For instance, employers may not know whether people who are blind or... Read this article

Date published:
2017-06-14

Driving is a key to independence for many Americans, including Americans with disabilities. Whether they drive a standard vehicle or a modified one equipped with a ramp or lift, many drivers with disabilities can obtain permits to park in designated accessible parking spaces. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) indicates specific requirements for these parking spaces such as the number of accessible parking spaces to be set aside in a lot, signage and ground markings, and designated... Read this article

Date published:
2017-05-31

Individual placement and support (IPS) is an evidence-based supported employment program designed to help people with mental health disabilities find and keep jobs. In an IPS program, employment specialists work with clients in the community mental health setting to develop job goals, find job placements, and receive on-the-job supports. IPS programs may be run by state departments of mental health or vocational rehabilitation or they may be run within community mental health centers.... Read this article

Date published:
2017-05-17

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have conditions like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, or other genetic syndromes. People with IDD may have challenges with learning, communicating or decision-making, and sometimes, challenges with mobility. Previous studies have shown that adults with IDD are less likely to be physically active than adults without IDD. They may encounter barriers to being physically active, including mobility or health... Read this article

Date published:
2017-05-10

About half a million Americans are treated for burn injuries each year, and many of these burn injuries occur in the workplace. A burn injury may result from a fire or contact with hot liquids, electricity, or chemicals. People may experience physical limitations after a burn injury that may make it difficult to return to work. Studies have shown that up to one in four burn survivors become unemployed and do not return to work after their injury. Several factors may present barriers to... Read this article

Date published:
2017-04-26

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is lasting brain damage after a head trauma, such as from an accident. A TBI can cause symptoms that last for many years after the injury. Research has shown that fatigue is one of the most common long-term problems people may experience after a TBI. Fatigue may cause a person to feel too tired to keep up with work, family, or leisure activities. In past studies, regular exercise such as walking has been linked to lower levels of fatigue in people with many... Read this article

Date published:
2017-04-19

Serious mental illnesses (SMI) are conditions like schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder. In past studies, people with SMI have reported more physical health problems than people without SMI. In particular, they may have a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese, as well as a higher risk of diabetes. According to some researchers, these problems may be caused by side effects of medications taken to treat SMI, but they could also be due to high-fat/low-fiber diets or a lack of... Read this article

Date published:
2017-04-12

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