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E-readers prove easy on the eye for dyslexics

Using an e-reader may help some dyslexic students understand what they read more effectively, researchers at Harvard University argue.In a paper published in the journal PLOS One, the authors found that…...

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terrymc's curator insight, September 23, 2013 12:33 PM

The advantages of e-books cannot be underestimated for those with print-impairment. See also http://www.jisctechdis.ac.uk/techdis/events/detail/2013/tdtuesday14052013

Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets
Articles on the joys and challenges of being differently abled and the gadgets that help us be independent and productive.
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50 Online Early Readers (with audio) - mattBgomez

50 Online Early Readers (with audio) - mattBgomez | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
I found an awesome website that has over 100 early readers with audio! The site is Unite For Literacy and I took the first 50 of the books and created a Symbaloo webmix for my class. The best part is these books work on the iPad as well! I will make another webmix of 50 more books soon.

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Great site for children's books with audio!

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How the Human Brain and Skull Connect May Have Implications for Spina Bifida and Chiari Malformations Treatments

How the Human Brain and Skull Connect May Have Implications for Spina Bifida and Chiari Malformations Treatments | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Researchers discover network of tissue communication that ensures the brain and spinal cord are matched with the skull and spinal column during embryonic development.

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MyStorybook.com - Free Storybook Making Online

MyStorybook.com - Free Storybook Making Online | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Write and share your very own storybooks with this free online app!

 


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A.K.Andrew's curator insight, September 25, 5:59 PM

Looks like a great tool for young and not so young!

natasha dcosta's curator insight, October 3, 11:40 PM

teachers and technology 

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Music Therapy Can Help Stop Violence In Special Needs Children

Music Therapy Can Help Stop Violence In Special Needs Children | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Music therapy can help children with ASD or ODD to stop violent behavior and assist with developing cognitive functioning, social skill interaction, and grade point average.

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Jewish Quarter of Old City to become wheelchair accessible - Jerusalem Post

Jewish Quarter of Old City to become wheelchair accessible Jerusalem Post. A NIS 20 million initiative spearheaded by the Jerusalem Municipality, Bituach Leumi and the Jerusalem Development Authority will make the Jewish Quarter in the Old City and...


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Scientists bypass spinal cord non-invasively to trigger walking

Scientists bypass spinal cord non-invasively to trigger walking | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Japanese researchers have created an “artificial neural connection” (ANC) from the brain directly to the spinal locomotion center in the lower thoracic and lumbar regions of the spine, potentially one day allowing patients with spinal-cord damage, such as paraplegics, to walk.


The study led by Shusaku Sasada, research fellow, and Yukio Nishimura, associate professor, both of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS), was published online in The Journal of Neuroscience on August 13, 2014.


Neural networks called “central pattern generators” (see Ref. 2 and 3 below) in the locomotion center (lower than the lesion site) are capable of producing rhythmic movements, such as walking, even when isolated from the brain, the researchers suggest.


The researchers worked with neurologically intact subjects who are were asked to allow the computer to passively control their leg movements.


As a surrogate, the researchers used muscle signals normally generated by the arm movements associated with leg movements. These signals were used to control a computer-driven magnetic device that non-invasively (externally) stimulated neurons in the spinal locomotion center.


Additional simultaneous peripheral electrical stimulation to the foot via the ANC enhanced this walking-like behavior. Kinematics of the induced behaviors were identical to those observed in normal voluntary walking. The researchers said they are planning clinical studies in the near future.


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California Hospital Blood Tests Vary from $10 to $10,169 for Identical Test

California Hospital Blood Tests Vary from $10 to $10,169 for Identical Test | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Research shows significant price difference for blood tests in California hospitals, with some patients charged $10 for one test and others charged $10,169 for identical test.

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List of the Best Private Special Needs Schools

List of  the Best Private Special Needs Schools | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
List of the best U.S. private schools for special needs students based on educational offerings, student to faculty ratio, awards won, and extra-curricular activities.

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Jewish Special Needs Education: Removing the Stumbling Block: Our Children Aren't Broken - Thoughts On How Society Treats Disability

Jewish Special Needs Education: Removing the Stumbling Block: Our Children Aren't Broken - Thoughts On How Society Treats Disability | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

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Lisa Friedman's curator insight, July 21, 7:28 PM
When we spend our lives trying to “fix” our children and our students; no matter how pure our intentions, we perpetuate a societal concept of “normal” that views disability as broken. - See more at: http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-children-arent-broken-thoughts-on.html#sthash.IxIYYxWl.dpufDo you know Jonathan Mooney? You need to. He’s awesome. This past Spring I heard him speak and I’ve recently finished reading his book, “The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal”. - See more at: http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-children-arent-broken-thoughts-on.html#sthash.IxIYYxWl.dpufDo you know Jonathan Mooney? You need to. He’s awesome. This past Spring I heard him speak and I’ve recently finished reading his book, “The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal”. - See more at: http://jewishspecialneeds.blogspot.com/2014/07/our-children-arent-broken-thoughts-on.html#sthash.IxIYYxWl.dpuf
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Recent U.S. Disability Statistics from the Census Bureau

Recent U.S. Disability Statistics from the Census Bureau | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
The U.S. Census Bureau provides American disability facts for features for the anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26 .

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Idiopathic Coliosis (AIS) - Pediatric Spinal Deformity Information

Idiopathic Coliosis (AIS) - Pediatric Spinal Deformity Information | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Information regarding AIS a common form of pediatric spinal deformity affecting 3% of children in the world.

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FingerReader: MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time

FingerReader: MIT finger device reads to the blind in real time | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing an audio reading device to be worn on the index finger of people whose vision is impaired, giving them affordable and immediate access to printed words.

 

The so-called FingerReader, a prototype produced by a 3-D printer, fits like a ring on the user’s finger, equipped with a small camera that scans text. A synthesized voice reads words aloud, quickly translating books, restaurant menus and other needed materials for daily living, especially away from home or office.

 

Reading is as easy as pointing the finger at text. Special software tracks the finger movement, identifies words and processes the information. The device has vibration motors that alert readers when they stray from the script, said Roy Shilkrot, who is developing the device at the MIT Media Lab.

 

For Jerry Berrier, 62, who was born blind, the promise of the FingerReader is its portability and offer of real-time functionality at school, a doctor’s office and restaurants.

 

“When I go to the doctor’s office, there may be forms that I wanna read before I sign them,” Berrier said.

 

He said there are other optical character recognition devices on the market for those with vision impairments, but none that he knows of that will read in real time.


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Chris Carter's curator insight, July 10, 11:39 AM

This is extraordinarily useful!

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New Social Security Policy for Same Sex Relationships

New Social Security Policy for Same Sex Relationships | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
New US Social Security policy lets the agency recognize some non-marital legal relationships as marriages for determining entitlement to benefits.

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Penalties and Fines for Hospitals that Treat the Poor

Penalties and Fines for Hospitals that Treat the Poor | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Last week, the federal government revealed that it will fine more than 2,600 hospitals in the coming year, because too many Medicare patients treated at these hospitals are ending up back in the hospital within 30 days of going home. Two new conditions have been added in this round of penalties: elective hip and knee replacement, and chronic lung disease.

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Guide to Adaptive Skiing Resorts

Guide to Adaptive Skiing Resorts | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
There have been many ground-breaking introductions of adaptive ski equipment over the years. The first ski outriggers were created around 1970. These were followed by a list of other game-changing devices in the sport including the ski bra in 1974, which prevents ski tips from crossing, the first sit ski in 1978 and the mono ski in 1984.

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Starting to consider holiday vacations? Here's some info that might help.

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8.4M in Funding for Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

8.4M in Funding for Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
$8.4M in continued funding to improve employment opportunities for people with disabilities announced by US Labor Department.

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How to connect to hearing aids for auditory accessibility on your iPhone or iPad - iMore

How to connect to hearing aids for auditory accessibility on your iPhone or iPad - iMore | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

"The iPhone and iPad come equipped with some great accessibility features that open the door to all kinds of functionality for those with hearing and visual impairments. One especially useful feature for those with auditory impairments is the ability to pair their iPhone or iPad with many supported hearing aids. There are even some hearing aids that carry the made for iPhone moniker so you know your experience will be seamless. To get started, you've just got to pair them together! "


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Washington, DC: Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Attractions

Washington, DC: Top 5 Wheelchair Accessible Attractions | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Almost every aspect of the city is wheelchair accessible; from the metro to all attractions and landmarks. After all, what would you expect from the...

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‘Shape-memory polymer’ material could help reconstruct faces

‘Shape-memory polymer’ material could help reconstruct faces | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Injuries, birth defects (such as cleft palates) or surgery to remove a tumor can create gaps in bone that are too large to heal naturally. And when they occur in the head, face or jaw, these bone defects can dramatically alter a person's appearance. Researchers will report today that they have developed a "self-fitting" material that expands with warm salt water to precisely fill bone defects, and also acts as a scaffold for new bone growth.


Currently, the most common method for filling bone defects in the head, face or jaw (known as the cranio-maxillofacial area) is autografting. That is a process in which surgeons harvest bone from elsewhere in the body, such as the hip bone, and then try to shape it to fit the bone defect.


"The problem is that the autograft is a rigid material that is very difficult to shape into these irregular defects," says Melissa Grunlan, Ph.D., leader of the study. Also, harvesting bone for the autograft can itself create complications at the place where the bone was taken. Another approach is to use bone putty or cement to plug gaps. However, these materials aren't ideal. They become very brittle when they harden, and they lack pores, or small holes, that would allow new bone cells to move in and rebuild the damaged tissue.


To develop a better material, Grunlan and her colleagues at Texas A&M University made a shape-memory polymer (SMP) that molds itself precisely to the shape of the bone defect without being brittle. It also supports the growth of new bone tissue.


SMPs are materials whose geometry changes in response to heat. The team made a porous SMP foam by linking together molecules of poly(ε-caprolactone), an elastic, biodegradable substance that is already used in some medical implants. The resulting material resembled a stiff sponge, with many interconnected pores to allow bone cells to migrate in and grow. Upon heating to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the SMP becomes very soft and malleable. So, during surgery to repair a bone defect, a surgeon could warm the SMP to that temperature and fill in the defect with the softened material. Then, as the SMP is cooled to body temperature (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), it would resume its former stiff texture and "lock" into place.


The researchers also coated the SMPs with polydopamine, a sticky substance that helps lock the polymer into place by inducing formation of a mineral that is found in bone. It may also help osteoblasts, the cells that produce bone, to adhere and spread throughout the polymer. The SMP is biodegradable, so that eventually the scaffold will disappear, leaving only new bone tissue behind. To test whether the SMP scaffold could support bone cell growth, the researchers seeded the polymer with human osteoblasts. After three days, the polydopamine-coated SMPs had grown about five times more osteoblasts than those without a coating. Furthermore, the osteoblasts produced more of the two proteins, runX2 and osteopontin, that are critical for new bone formation.


Grunlan says that the next step will be to test the SMP's ability to heal cranio-maxillofacial bone defects in animals. "The work we've done in vitro is very encouraging," she says. "Now we'd like to move this into preclinical and, hopefully, clinical studies."


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Thoughts on Ableism in America Today

Thoughts on Ableism in America Today | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Thomas C. Weiss writes on ableism in America today including federal and state policies.

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5 Practical Steps to Getting Started on a Family Budget | Marla Murasko's Musings From A Special Needs Mom | special needs, family, fashion, travel and more

5 Practical Steps to Getting Started on a Family Budget | Marla Murasko's Musings From A Special Needs Mom | special needs, family, fashion, travel and more | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

Via Special & Determined | A Special Needs Mom Blog
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Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions

Non Accessible Tourism Costing Economy Billions | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Researchers find European tourism sector losing out on 142 billion a year due to poor infrastructure, services and attitudes towards travelers with disabilities.

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Retinitis Pigmentosa: Inherited Eye Diseases

Retinitis Pigmentosa: Inherited Eye Diseases | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Information regarding Retinitis Pigmentosa a group of inherited diseases that cause retinal degeneration in the eyes that causes gradual decline in vision.

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Tactile Interface Technology for People with Vision Disabilities

Tactile Interface Technology for People with Vision Disabilities | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it
Learning from the blind to effectively use multiple fingers and teach these strategies to sighted individuals who have recently lost vision or are using tactile displays.

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Oldest case of Down's syndrome from medieval France

Oldest case of Down's syndrome from medieval France | Differently Abled and Our Glorious Gadgets | Scoop.it

The oldest confirmed case of Down's syndrome has been found: the skeleton of a child who died 1500 years ago in early medieval France. According to the archaeologists, the way the child was buried hints that Down's syndrome was not necessarily stigmatized in the Middle Ages.

Down's syndrome is a genetic disorder that delays a person's growth and causes intellectual disability. People with Down's syndrome have three copies of chromosome 21, rather than the usual two. It was described in the 19th century, but has probably existed throughout human history. However there are few cases of Down's syndrome in the archaeological record.

 

The new example comes from a 5th- and 6th-century necropolis near a church in Chalon-sur-Saône in eastern France. Excavations there have uncovered the remains of 94 people, including the skeleton of a young child with a short and broad skull, a flattened skull base and thin cranial bones. These features are common in people with Down's syndrome, says Maïté Rivollat at the University of Bordeaux in France, who has studied the skeleton with her colleagues.

 

"I think the paper makes a convincing case for a diagnosis of Down's syndrome," says John Starbuck at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He has just analyzed a 1500-year-old figurine from the Mexican Tolteca culture that he says depicts someone with Down's syndrome.

 

A similar argument was put forward in a 2011 study that described the 1500-year-old burial in Israel of a man with dwarfism (International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, DOI: 10.1002/oa.1285). The body was buried in a similar manner to others at the site, and archaeologists took that as indicating that the man was treated as a normal member of society.

 


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