RehabWire Volume 2 Number 6, July 2000

The July 2000 issue of RehabWire goes international. NIDRR’s research is expanding to meet the needs of a global community. This research helps to foster the inclusion of people with disabilities in this global community.

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium.

Ideas for the New Millennium, World Institute on Disability (WID) (H133A990006) led by Kathy Martinez. Eva M. Gavillán, EdD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project creates a productive international exchange of information and expertise on disability and rehabilitation, connecting disability research and advocacy leadership in ten target countries with their peers in the United States. At the heart of this exchange is an online information system that captures innovation, links government officials, policymakers, disability leaders, rehabilitation specialists, researchers, and innovators in a lively exchange of ideas, networks, resources, and contacts. This sustainable network of information and resources on substantive disability issues is available across professions, cultures, and communities. The issues critical to the information exchanges are: (1) disability rights and independent living, (2) employment and entrepreneurial activity, (3) access and technology, (4) mass media images, and (5) influence through governance. Using a civil rights perspective, the project addresses disability policy, law, advocacy, research, and related developments in the ten countries. The project systematically promotes international exchange, reports results, and analyzes their significance in consumer-friendly formats and forums, including a comprehensive database, five annual symposia, as well as a monthly webzine and online exchange of information in English and Spanish. The project collaborates with five disability-led organizations with substantial international experience.
Find out more about this and WID's other international projects at:

Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center: Improved Technology Access for Land Mine Survivors, Physicians Against Land Mines Center for International Rehabilitation (H133E980031) led by William Kennedy Smith, MD and Dudley S. Childress, PhD. Robert J. Jaeger, PhD, Project Officer.
Abstract: This RERC is active in research, development, and demonstration; consumer surveys; education and training; utilization activities; technical assistance; and dissemination relating to improved technology access for land mine survivors. To accomplish these activities, the project: (1) maintains a consumer database and assessments of current prosthetic technologies; (2) develops or adapts technical advances in the design, production, and delivery of appropriate assistive devices; (3) designs and disseminates education, training, utilization, and outcome programs; (4) acts as a clearinghouse, providing researchers, educators, administrators, and funders access to resources that have been developed to facilitate service delivery to amputees in the United States and other countries; (5) disseminates information through an international newsletter and international journals, telecommunications, presentations at international meetings, training programs, consultations, open discussions, and other types of communication; and (6) develops and disseminates specific programs and products that address the needs of amputees and service providers in low-income countries where the vast majority of land mine survivors live. The RERC also establishes an Advisory Council that includes consumers and practitioners.
Find out more at:

Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE), State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo (H133A990010) led by John Stone, PhD. Eva M. Gavillán, EdD, Project Officer.
Abstract: The mission of this Center is to improve rehabilitation services by obtaining and disseminating information on international rehabilitation research and practices. CIRRIE has four primary objectives: (1) develop and maintain an international research database, searchable from an accessible Web site, organized according to the major types of rehabilitation research, as delineated in the NIDRR Long-Range Plan; (2) assist grantees of the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS) to establish an international component within their domestic conferences by facilitating and subsidizing participation by international experts and involve U.S. experts in international conferences; (3) conduct an international exchange of research and technical assistance experts based on requests from rehabilitation research centers in the U.S. and other countries; (4) disseminate information to rehabilitation service providers on the cultural issues relevant to meeting the needs of recent immigrants. Publications include monographs addressing the relevant cultural issues for the top ten countries of origin of foreign-born people in the U.S. The monographs are based on a model of the service provider as a "culture broker," with the first monograph in the series addressing the theory of culture brokering and its relevance to rehabilitation practice. A workshop on this topic is also available.
Find out more at:

Silhouette of the earthInternational Disability and Development Consortium ( IDDC's aim is to promote the rights of people with disabilities more effectively and efficiently through collaboration and sharing of information and expertise.

Rehabilitation International ( Rehabilitation International is a federation of national and international organizations and agencies working for the prevention of disability, the rehabilitation of people with disabilities, and the equalization of opportunities within society on behalf of persons with disabilities and their families throughout the world.

disability (Eng), incapacité (Fr), handicapat (Rom), handikapp (Swed), Unfaehigkeit (Ger), arbeidsongeschikt (Dutch), rokkantság (Hun), võimetus (Est), invalidita (Slov).

New Research: Selections from REHABDATA.

Brandstater, M. E. (2000). WWPM&R@MM. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 81(3), 251-254. Accession Number: J38742.
Abstract: Article about international trends in the profession of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). Includes data from a survey on PM&R certification, training, and practice in 45 countries. Data include: number of PM&R specialists, by world region and for the top 10 countries; practice patterns (percent of time spent in inpatient versus outpatient rehabilitation, electromyography, and pediatric rehabilitation, and participation in PM&R subspecialties); availability and organization of clinical training in PM&R; and existence and process of certification.

Ditunno Jr, J. F., Ditunno, P. L., Graziani, V., Scivoletto, G., Bernardi, M., Castellano, V., Marchetti, M., Barbeau, H., Frankel, H. L., D'Andrea Greave, J. M., Ko, H-Y., Marshall, R., Nance, P. (2000). Walking Index for Spinal Cord Injury (WISCI): An international multicenter validity and reliability study. Spinal Cord, 38(4), 234-243. Accession Number: J39440.
Abstract: Study aimed at constructing a walking scale for use in clinical trials of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI), and determining its validity and reliability. Original items were developed by experts at 2 centers in Italy and the United States. Concurrent validity was determined through comparison with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). Subsequent independent blind rank ordering of items was completed at 8 SCI centers in Australia, Brazil, Canada (2), Korea, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Final consensus on rank ordering was reached during an international meeting (face validation). Inter-rater reliability was found to be 100% when 40 video clips of patients walking were examined at all 8 centers.

Kersten, P., McLellan, D. L., Gross-Paju, K., Grigoriadis, N., Bencivenga, R., Beneton, C., Charlier, M., Ketelaer, P., Thompson, A. J. (2000). A questionnaire assessment of unmet needs for rehabilitation services and resources for people with multiple sclerosis: Results of a pilot survey in five European countries. Clinical Rehabilitation, 14(1), 42-49. Accession Number: J38499.
Abstract: Article reporting results of a pilot study of unmet rehabilitation needs for persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 5 European countries (Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom). Participants (including persons with MS, caregivers, and professionals) were interviewed using the SUN (Services and Unmet Needs) questionnaire, which was developed for this study. It was found that participants with MS reported on the average 2.9 unmet needs, while caregivers and professionals reported on average 2.4. Some problems were encountered with the SUN, including difficulty in distinguishing needs and objectives. The authors recommend formal validation and reliability testing of the different language versions of the SUN.

Masakado, Y., Chino, N. (2000). The current state of stroke rehabilitation in Japan. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 13(4), 219-223. Accession Number: J38784.
Abstract: Article describing distinctive features of stroke rehabilitation in Japan, including effects of the Japanese insurance system, and discussing development of assessment tools that can be used to predict stroke outcome: the 22-item Stroke Impairment Assessment Set (SAIS) and the 6-item Short Behavior Scale (SBS). The course of stroke rehabilitation in Japan is compared to that in other countries, including the United States. Cultural differences in assessment with the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) are also explored.

La Grow, S. J. (2000). Measuring rehabilitation outcomes for visually impaired persons in New Zealand. Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, 94(5), 322-327. Accession Number: J39402.
Abstract: Article describing how rehabilitation outcomes are measured by the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind, the only New Zealand provider of specialized services for people who are blind and visually impaired. Methods include subjective measures (client surveys) and objective measures (goal achievement measures and functional assessments).

Thornton, P. (2000). Disability employment policies and practices in other countries (part I). Employment in the Mainstream, 25(1), 15-24. Accession Number: J38518.
Abstract: Article about employment policies for people with disabilities in Germany and Japan. Both countries use schemes involving employment quotas and levies on employers who do not meet their quotas. Discusses the historical development and current features of German and Japanese policy and legislation. Other aspects of German and Japanese policy that are discussed include: policies related to severe disabilities and other specific disabilities; benefits or grants for employers, persons with disabilities, and institutions; vocational rehabilitation (VR); and the role of the Japanese Ministry of Labor and the Japan Association for the Employment of the Disabled (JAED).

Thornton, P. (2000). Disability employment policies and practices in other countries (part II). Employment in the Mainstream, 25(2), 14-27. Accession Number: J39436.
Abstract: Article surveying policy and legislation related to employment and vocational rehabilitation (VR) of people with disabilities in Poland, Austria, China, and Hungary. Discusses the history of legislation in each of the countries, provisions of current laws, funding, and employer obligations (quotas and levies).

How do you say NIDRR in French?
Who administers disability and rehabilitation programs in other countries? Here’s a list courtesy of the Council of Europe: