News and Notes 53 February 13

This issue includes Client Centered Practice in SCI Rehabilitation, survey on mobile technology for hard of hearing users, TBIMS research in the news, The National Eye Institute Low Vision Program, the Leveling the Playing Field report finds workers with disabilities and business benefits,  JSCM special issue focuses on SCI Rehabilitation Project Phase 3.

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NARIC news: 

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration/Low Vision Awareness Month! Low vision affects 135 million people worldwide. It may be caused by injury, aging, or genetics, and cannot be corrected by prescription glasses, medicine, or surgery. The NARIC Knowledgebase lists many resources for screening, assistance, and support for people with low vision. This is a good time of year to schedule a regular eye exam, which may include screening for low vision. Lee Huffman of Access World describes how low vision screening differs from a standard eye exam. We also recommend checking out AbleData's excellent catalog of high- and low-tech solutions for low vision. 

Resource Highlight: 

Client-Centered Practice in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
The recently-completed NIDRR-funded research fellowship project Client-Centered Practices in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Rehabilitation (H133F090053) released Client Centered Practice in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation: A Field Guide (PDF). The field guide was developed for rehabilitation health professionals, educators, and supervisors to promote an understanding of the model of client-centered practice and to recommend specific strategies to facilitate client-centered practice in SCI rehabilitation. The guide is designed and distributed by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

News items: 

TBIMS Research in the News
The work of the NIDRR-funded Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) (H133A110004) is the focus of The Brain Injury Data Project: One Soldier's Story, a new article in The Atlantic. The article focuses on the value of NIDRR’s 26 year investment in the TBIMS, resulting in longitudinal data that provide important guides to general and military TBI rehabilitation. The author cites the TBIMS Database as "the gold standard for clinically describing the variations and possibilities in these patients' outcomes." Learn more about the TBIMS and the database (PDF). 

New Report Finds Workers with Disabilities Add Business Benefits
The NIDRR-funded Cornell Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employer Practices Related to the Employment Outcomes Among Individuals with Disabilities (H133B100017) contributed to Leveling the Playing Field: Attracting, Engaging and Advancing People with Disabilities, a new report from The Conference Board. The authors report that fostering the employment of people with disabilities benefits all employees and, ultimately, the organization itself. The report looks at how employers are building competitive advantage through workplace practices that engage people with disabilities, including recent veterans and older workers. The full report and executive summary are available from The Conference Board (free registration required).

JSCM Special Issue Focuses on SCIRehab Project Phase 3
The third and final phase of the recently-completed NIDRR-funded multi-site Collaborative Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems Centers Program: Improving Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Outcomes (SCIRehab Project) (H133A060103) was published in Special Issue: Relationship of Inpatient Rehabilitation Interventions to Outcomes Following Spinal Cord Injury, the November issue of the Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. This special issue includes 9 research articles (abstracts only, subscription required for full text). Full text of the key article, The SCIRehab Project: What rehabilitation interventions are most strongly associated with positive outcomes after spinal cord injury?, and Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance are available free to download.

Grantee event: 

Webinar: Employment as a Health Determinant for Medicaid Participants with Disabilities
The NIDRR-funded field-initiated project The Nexus of Employment, Health and Disability: A Study of Health Status and Quality of Life Among Medicaid Buy-In Participants (H133G100082) presents Employment as a Health Determinant for Medicaid Participants with Disabilities, February 28th, 1pm EST. The webinar will focus on findings from the field-initiated project as well as discussion about other trends and findings related to the employment and health of people with disabilities. Registration is free but required.


Mobile Technology for Hard of Hearing Users
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wireless Technology (Wireless RERC) (H133E110002) is surveying people who are hard of hearing regarding how they use their mobile phones, and also to learn about their hearing experiences while attending public meetings and events. The information collected will help designers and engineers make new wireless devices and services that meet the needs of the hard of hearing community.

Elsewhere in the Community: 

National Eye Institute Low Vision Program
The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, conducts research and works to foster awareness of low vision and other visual disabilities. NEI's website offers consumers and professionals resources for low vision, including frequently asked questions, tips for talking with healthcare professionals, and directories of specialists and services. NEI's free Living with Low Vision booklet (PDF) and video series are available online and may also be ordered as a set.