News and Notes 77 July 31

Note on the passing of Lita Jans, PhD, researcher who published studies on employers' hiring of workers with disabilities; video on reintegration after burn injury and severe trauma; participants sought for survey of individuals with SCI on their experiences with healthcare providers; Cents and Sensibility, a guide to money management for people with disabilities; Laugh and Learn discussion of humor and disability covered by radio station WBUR in Boston; webinar by the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on strategies to engage a broad audience in research activities;  use of secondary data sources to understand aspects of community living for people with disabilities; online courses in universal design offered by the IDeA Center at Buffalo.

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NARIC news: 

In its quarterly newsletter, the staff of the NIDRR-funded Through the Looking Glass (H133A110009) recognized the passing of their friend and colleague Lita Jans, PhD. Dr. Jans was a bilingual psychologist who conducted a number of groundbreaking research studies including the Chartbook on Women and Disability in the US (PDF), a review of personal assistance services cooperatives (PDF) with the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Personal Assistance Services, and a 2011 survey of human resources professionals on why don't employers hire and retain workers with disabilities with the NIDRR-funded Pacific ADA National Network Center. We at NARIC extend our condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues. 

Resource Highlight: 

Reintegration After Burn Injury and Severe Trauma
The NIDRR-funded Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System Center (BH-BIMS) (H133N120002) recently posted the video of a panel discussion held in June, Reintegration After Burn Injury and Severe Trauma: Experiences and Strategies for Personal and Family Recovery. The panel featured survivors who had received treatment at BH-BIMS sharing their experiences and feelings about the impact of injury on their lives and families and the importance of family support to their recovery. 

News items: 

Comedians with Disabilities Share the Gift of Humor
A panel of comedians with disabilities joined the NIDRR-funded New England ADA National Network Center (H133A110028) for Laugh and Learn, a discussion of humor and disability at the Institute for Human Centered Design on July 24th. Boston radio station WBUR covered the event and profiled panelist Will Lautzenheiser, a film maker and amputee. In the accompanying video, Lautzenheiser explains why he finds laughter to be a healing and bonding mechanism. 

Model Systems Share Tools to Engage Audiences
The NIDRR-funded Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (H133A110004) hosted members of the Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Burn Model System Centers for a webinar, Engaging with Audiences: A Learning Collaborative. During the webinar, panelists from six Model System Centers shared strategies to engage a broad audience including individuals with injuries, clinicians, and policy makers, in research activities. The full session is now available to view, as well as a compendium of the information shared during the webinar (PDF) published by the Center for Patient and Consumer Engagement

Secondary Data Expands Understanding of Community Living for People with Disabilities
Two projects at the NIDRR-funded Research and Training Center on Community Living  (H133B110006) are using a variety of secondary data sources to understand how socio-demographic, personal, environmental, and other factors influence community living for people with disabilities. The first project on multiple chronic conditions (MCC) among people with disabilities analyzed the prevalence of MCC among five disability subgroups and summarized key findings in an infographic and fact sheet (PDF). The second project investigated the effect of vocational rehabilitation on community living and published a fact sheet (PDF) describing the relationship between employment outcomes for people with disabilities and their type of living arrangement. Additional fact sheets on time use, housing and transportation, and socio-demographics are forthcoming. 

Grantee event: 

Online Courses in Universal Design
The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Design in the Built Environment (H133E100002), part of the IDeA Center at Buffalo, offers two online courses in universal design (UD) beginning August 12th. Design for Health, Wellness, and Social Participation, and UD and Housing 2: Design Applications, teach how to make places, products, and systems more inclusive of diverse populations such as people with disabilities and those aging with and into disability. These courses are designed for policymakers, occupational and physical therapists, advocates, architects, builders, contractors, and planners. Course information, including fees and registration, is available from


SCI and Healthcare Providers
The NIDRR-funded New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center (NERSCIC) (H133N120002) is conducting a survey of individuals with SCI in the New England area to collect their experiences with healthcare providers, including family practice, psychiatry, mental health, internal medicine, or SCI-related specialty care. The survey is anonymous and will be available through September 3rd. Results from the survey will be used to help consumers with SCI in New England to find and select healthcare providers with experience in working with spinal injuries. For hard copies of the survey, or for more information, contact Judi Zazula at or 866/607-1804. 

Elsewhere in the Community: 

Cents and Sensibility - A Guide to Money Management for People with Disabilities
The Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) and Widener University developed Cents and Sensibility, a guide to money management specifically designed for people with disabilities. The guide covers the basics of personal finance, banking, and credit. The guide was highlighted in a recent Philadelphia Enquirer article. Cents and Sensibility may be downloaded free of charge (PDF) from PATF.