RehabWire Volume 1 Number 2, March 1999

Welcome to the second edition of RehabWire. The Arc has declared March to be National Mental Retardation Awareness Month. In honor of this declaration, most of this issue of RehabWire is devoted to mental retardation and developmental disabilities. For more information on National Mental Retardation Awareness Month, contact Liz Moore at The Arc: 817/261-6003 or visit their web page at

Newsflash!Did You Know...?

.. there are many benefits to hiring people with mental retardation?
According to The Arc: "Employers who hire individuals with mental retardation may be eligible to receive on-the-job training reimbursement from The Arc, the state's rehabilitation agency, or a local Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) program. Employers may also receive tax credits under the Targeted Jobs Tax Credit provisions of the IRS." Employers who have hired people with mental retardation find their employees to be productive, dependable, and overall very satisfactory. Supervisors may have to spend slightly more time in training, but the rewards outweigh the complications.

Research in the New Millennium

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Community Integration of Persons with Mental Retardation, University of Minnesota (H133B980047) Charlie Lakin, PhD
Abstract: The Center conducts research, training, technical assistance, and dissemination of relevance to enhancing inclusion and self-determination of citizens with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities (MR/DD). The research program has a strong applied focus and recognizes broad responsibilities for organized, comprehensive, and accessible research in each of six outcome areas: support to families, state system reform, Medicaid services, policies and practices for full participation, consumer controlled services, and direct support personnel. The approach to each priority area includes: (1) research syntheses of the state of knowledge and practice; (2) secondary analyses of high quality, topically relevant national and state data sets; (3) case studies of best practices; (4) evaluation of demonstration efforts to improve policy and practice; (5) survey and interview studies of critical issues; and (6) group process studies with key constituencies. An integrated "intramural" training program addresses the development of a "next generation" of skilled disability researchers and rehabilitation professionals, including graduate students, postdoctoral associates and research interns. "Outreach" training programs provide training and technical assistance to agencies and individuals providing support to people with MR/DD, including members of their own families. Outreach programs include conferences and workshops for a wide variety of national, regional and state audiences, a state of the science conference, and intensive technical assistance with community organizations, including advocacy and self-advocacy organizations. The Center disseminates practical information to targeted audiences (i.e., IMPACT, Policy Research Brief, Frontline Initiative) and maintains high standards for scholarly productivity (i.e., books, journal articles). The Center provides print and Web site access to a variety of other information including descriptions of best practices, national statistics on services and expenditures, resource guides, and distance learning training.
Find out more at:

National Resource Center on Supported Living and Choice for People with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Syracuse University (H133A990001) Steven J. Taylor, PhD
Abstract: This center conducts information dissemination, training, and technical assistance on community inclusion, with a specific focus on supported living and choice. The center identifies and documents innovative policies and practices for home ownership, self-directed support services, self-determination, self-advocacy, and community participation. Activities include the preparation of information materials for direct support staff, a national survey of state funding for supported living, a disability studies scholars program to encourage advanced students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities to pursue careers in disability-related fields, and increased efforts to address the needs of historically under represented groups. The center maintains an information clearinghouse on supported living and choice and disseminates resource material targeted to people with developmental disabilities, family members, professionals, direct services staff, policy makers and providers. The center supports academies sponsored by the President's Committee on Mental Retardation (PCMR) and offers assistance and support to Self Advocates Becoming Empowered, state and local providers, developmental disability councils, and protection and advocacy agencies. In providing technical assistance to states, the center coordinates its efforts with the National Home of Your Own Alliance and the Robert Wood Johnson Self-Determination Initiative, both at the University of New Hampshire.
Find out more at:

Keep up on the latest acquisitions to REHABDATA through NARIC’s REHABDATA Connection subscription service. Visit The REHABDATA Connection Page for more information.

New Research: From the NIDRR Projects

Fowler Jr, W. M.,.Carter, G. T., Kraft, G. H. (1998) The Role Of Physiatry In The Management Of Neuromuscular Disease. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 9(1), 1-8. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases, University of California/Davis. Accession Number: J36043
Abstract: Article providing an overview of the role of physiatrists in the clinical evaluation and management of neuromuscular disorders. Discusses measurement of strength, range of motion, spine deformity, pulmonary function, and neuropsychologic aspects, and functional evaluation of the upper and lower extremities. Also discusses various aspects of clinical management.

Library booksHeller, T. (1998). Current Trends In Providing Support For Families Of Adults With Mental Retardation. TASH Newsletter, 24(5), 21-24. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Mental Retardation, University of Illinois/Chicago, Institute on Disability and Human Development, College of Associated Health Professions. Accession Number: J35472
Abstract: Article about trends in support for older adult parents of adult children with mental retardation. Topics include: the life-long impact of caregiving; theories of lifespan caregiving; planning for the future; the role of siblings; family needs and service use; and models of intervention to support older caregivers, including support and psycho-educational groups, outreach through the aging network, and family support programs.

Fujiura, G. T. (1998). Demography Of Family Households. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 103(3), 225-235. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Improving Community Integration for Persons with Mental Retardation, University of Minnesota RRTC on Residential Services and Community Living. Accession Number: J35872
Abstract: Study examining the demographics of individuals with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities (MR/DD). Data are from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a national household survey. The researchers estimated a total 1991 population of 2.97 million Americans with MR/DD, with 2.63 million living outside the formal long-term care system.

Sanford, J. A., Story, M. F., Ringholz, D. (1998) Consumer Participation To Inform Universal Design. Technology and Disability, 9(3), 149-162. Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible and Universal Design in Housing, North Carolina State University School of Design, Center for Universal Design in Housing. Accession Number: J36167
Abstract: Article about ways that consumer participation is essential for universal design. Four areas of consumer involvement in universal design are identified and examined: (1) identification of user needs; (2) evaluation of products; (3) discussion of regulatory requirements; and (4) exploratory design and development.

Updating the REHABDATA Thesaurus.

The REHABDATA Thesaurus is a key instrument in indexing the materials in the NARIC collection. The Thesaurus is a constantly evolving document which is modified and updated on a regular basis. Each month we look at a term, how it’s defined, and how it’s used in indexing rehabilitation and disability literature.

Mental retardation and developmental disabilities are often considered interchangeable. Examining the use of these terms in REHABDATA shows this is not the case:

Scope Notes: Includes disabilities which are manifested before age 22 and which constitute a substantial limitation to the individual; use specific disability listed under Narrow Terms when applicable.

Scope Notes: Includes persons with retardation.

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