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.

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage anywhere along the spinal cord, often due to an accident or other trauma. SCI typically causes a loss of movement and feeling below the damaged part of the spinal cord, often leading to paralysis and other changes in functioning. People with SCI may be more likely to develop depressed mood than members of the general population: Current research shows that up to 25 percent of people with SCI experience depression, and up to 12 percent report major... Read this article

Date published:
2016-07-20

Young adults with disabilities are less likely to find employment than young adults without disabilities, and those youth with disabilities who are employed may earn less than their peers without disabilities. Unemployment and under-employment rates are especially high for young women with disabilities and some ethnic minority youth, such as African Americans.

School factors such as low budgets or large class sizes could contribute to high unemployment rates in youth with disabilities... Read this article

Date published:
2016-07-13

Youth with disabilities have access to a variety of services throughout their school years and as they transition to adulthood. These services include special education, transition supports, vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, and social and health services. After high school, however, these services can become fragmented and harder to access. Compared to youth without disabilities, research has shown that youth with disabilities may be less likely to continue with their education or... Read this article

Date published:
2016-07-06
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.3 million Americans are living with the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI refers to damage to the brain caused by an external force, such as a fall or a car accident. TBI can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the degree or extent of brain tissue damage and severity of symptoms such as loss of consciousness and amnesia. People who have TBI may experience difficulties with thinking and... Read this article
Date published:
2016-06-22

With advances in cancer treatment, more and more people with cancer diagnoses are returning to work after treatment or continuing to work while being treated for their cancer. The effects of cancer such as fatigue, pain, depression, and cognitive difficulties can have an impact on work life. Cancer survivors may find they need information and resources regarding legal protections to prevent job loss, managing their employers’ expectations when they return to work, and benefits and services... Read this article

Date published:
2016-05-25

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder that begins early in childhood and lasts throughout a person's life. Children with ASD may receive a variety of services in school and through their health care providers to meet their developmental needs, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, social skills training, and behavioral and mental health services such as applied behavior analysis (ABA). However, many children with ASD may not have had access to... Read this article

Date published:
2016-05-18

The health impacts of smoking cigarettes are well known and, while the number of smokers in the US has generally declined, rates of smoking among people with mental illness remain higher than those among people without mental illness. People with severe mental illness (SMI) are even more likely to be smokers. Research has shown that combining medication with support programs can help people with SMI who want to quit smoking. Brief motivational interventions can help these smokers get started... Read this article

Date published:
2016-05-11

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots within the spinal canal resulting in temporary or permanent loss of movement and/or feeling. Learning to manage health after SCI can be a long and complicated process that is dependent on numerous personal and environmental factors, and it is an important part of the overall recovery process. Employment has been shown to be a key part of recovery and strongly related to health, life-satisfaction, and longevity... Read this article

Date published:
2016-05-04

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nervous system disorder that interferes with how the brain and spine transmit signals to muscles and causes loss of motor function including mobility and speech. People with ALS (pALS) may experience such significant speech impairments that they cannot rely on their natural speech to meet their communication needs in face-to-face interactions.

About 80 percent of all pALS use some form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), such... Read this article

Date published:
2016-04-27

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord or the spinal nerve roots within the spinal canal and resulting in temporary or permanent loss of movement and/or feeling. Individuals with SCI often experience complex health issues making them high users of primary care. At the same time, they face many barriers to receiving quality healthcare such as inaccessible medical offices or equipment, problems with transportation, lack of SCI knowledge among primary healthcare providers,... Read this article

Date published:
2016-04-20

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