Our Most Notable and Favorite Articles for the Week Ending January 15, 2016

At Advancing Opportunities, we excel in providing residential and respite services to people of with all disabilities, along with advocacy and education services for parents and guardians and assistive technology support.  As a leader in the field, we are pleased to share our experience, knowledge, and expertise with the disability community through our social media outlets: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  In our Disability and Ability Highlights of the Week column, we will select the best of what we found and shared and present them.  Please click on the titles with embedded links to find the full article.


Artistic Robot

“The Giant” is a clever and creative piece of folk art by Bruno Podemsek, on display at the Milwaukee Museum of Art. It’s not quite the assistive technology Advancing Opportunities specializes in, but it does express the thought and creativity that goes into inventing and providing AT for people with all disabilities.  This week we have many examples of both the science and creativity of AT!    Photo by Daniel L. Berek. The original can be found here.



Disability in the news (mostly in New Jersey, the population we serve)
ABLE accounts may be available
sooner than previously believed.



For parents of a child with a disability (parenting, special needs):
A mom is inspired by her daughter with Down syndrome
to design special eyeglass frames for her and people like her.

“Parents of Children with Disabilities: Are We Speaking with or for a Community”?

“Gemina, The Crooked Giraffe” – a wonderful new picture book to help children understand and accept disabilities.



Advocacy and self-advocacy:
Disability advocate Liz Weintraub’s stance on siblings of people with disabilities, from the Sibling Leadership Network

Decoding Dyslexia, a national advocacy group, continues to grow, as it pushes for education reforms at the federal level.

Meet Corbett O’Toole, a lifelong advocate for people with disabilities.



Inspirational and Informative (or Both!):
David Bowie
brought his gifts to millions, including those with disabilities.  A special tribute.

Here’s a positive story about a man with cerebral palsy who succeeded in college with a combination of his own determination and his willingness to self-advocate, to request the assistive technology he needed.



Disability awareness:
Empthy – the greatest gift for a child with special needs



Assistive technology:
Our own Fred Tchang, Director of Assistive Technology Services
, appeared on The Coffee Klatch, online talk radio, to discuss the benefits of AT.

The Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE) and the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) published a report on its findings and recommendations issued at last year’s meeting in Budapest.

This noteworthy innovation allows for independent wheelchair parenting.

Maayan Ziv, a graduate of Digital Media, has a passion for creating a more accessible world for people who use wheelchairs.  And she may have succeeded!

Travis Diller is succeeding in college, with the help of assistive technology from Advancing Opportunities.



Medical news – research:
Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital use MRI for insight on the brain and dyslexia.  In another study, French scientists have identified an important marker in the brain for speech in a deep fold in Broca’s area.

UCLA scientists have discovered that an overlooked region in brain cells houses a large number of mutated genes previously tied to autism.

New, miniaturized single-cell sequencing techniques are helping researchers tease out how autism-linked genes work in the brain.



Special education (including college for students with disability):
Adaptive digital curricula
are lacking in the sciences and social studies, but educators are facing the challenges.

Learning the Greek and Latin roots of words (prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms) is an effective way for people with dyslexia to acquire vocabulary and word-recognition skills.



Employment for people with disabilities:
Kessler Foundation report: Employment for people with disabilities declined for the fourth month in a row.



Animals and animal therapy:
Training puppies as service dogs for the blind is very rewarding
, but it’s hard to say good bye.


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