Archive for December, 2019
With the holiday season upon us, it is easy to hold a gathering where all guests — with and without disabilities — feel welcomed, respected and have fun. All it takes is some planning. With some help from Alie Kriofske Mainella, an expert on working for inclusion of people with disabilities, here are some tips to ensure your gatherings are inclusive, thoughtful and welcoming to all.
1. Don’t be afraid to include guests with disabilities.
People with disabilities have their disabilities 24/7, so they know how to create work-arounds so that they feel comfortable. If you know someone has a disability, use a simple strategy — ask the person what they need to be fully included. All too often people with disabilities are not invited to events, or don’t go because they feel embarrassed to “put someone out” by asking for a simple thing that will help them attend. By telling them that their presence is valued, and asking what they need, you will build a new level of trust and affection. For example, one of the biggest things that aging loved ones need is a ride. So help them find a carpool or send an accessible taxi or Uber to pick them up and return them home.
2. Include a line about disability accommodations in the RSVP.
Keep in mind that not all disabilities are visible, so you may not know that someone you want to include in your event has a disability. By including a line about accommodations and food allergies in the invitation’s RSVP, you are already letting guests know that everyone welcome. If it’s an event for children, parents can tell you, right off the bat, what their child’s needs might be to attend the event. They will be happy you asked! “We want everyone to have fun — please let us know if you have dietary restrictions or require other special accommodations to attend! We will do our best to meet special needs.” Note that you aren’t promising to meet all needs — if you can’t find a sign language interpreter at the last minute or there is another issue, for example, you will be able to let your guest know in advance. Indeed, they may be able to help you find a solution!
3. Physical Access.
Most public places are accessible. However, because religious institutions are exempted from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many of them are not fully accessible. Thus, if your event is at a venue that is not physically accessible to all, move it to a place that is. That can mean a different room in a place of worship, or to a completely different place. Venues should have a ground level entrance or ramp, an elevator if it’s upstairs, and accessible bathrooms. Most public places (hotels, restaurants, bowling, video games, pools, bounce houses, etc.) are usually equipped for people with disabilities. Just check with the venue ahead of time. If you have someone coming who uses a wheelchair, you should also put the food on a table that is low enough for them so they can take it themselves.
4. Special Diets and Fragrance Allergies.
Anyone can have allergies, celiac disease or lactose intolerance, but you won’t know unless you ask on the invitation RSVP. Making sure there is an option for cake, snacks, treats and other food for these guests can be as simple as picking up a gluten free cupcake to serve with the cake. It is thoughtful to have refreshments that everyone can enjoy and/or asking people not to wear perfume to your event.
5. Addressing attitude.
Kids and adults can be daunted when encountering someone who is different from them. If children are at the event, you can talk to them at the start of the event about kindness and respect for each other and each other’s differences. A holiday gathering is a great opportunity for kids to learn about one another.
6. Involving parents.
Holiday gatherings can be exhausting for the hosts. Asking a parent or two to volunteer to help out, particularly if it’s a big group, can lighten the load for the hosts. Parents may feel more comfortable, especially if their child has social anxiety issues, if they are invited to stay or help as an option.
7. Sensory overload awareness.
Holiday gatherings can cause sensory overload for any child or adult. But for a person with autism or a sensory processing disorder, a large gathering can be really overwhelming. Offer opportunities for guests to take a break, perhaps in a quiet room away from the crowd. Some venues may have options for turning down music or minimizing stimulation — and that is useful anywhere there are a lot of kids! Latex allergies (balloons) and chemical sensitivities (use of highly scented cleaners or staff wearing perfumes) are real issues. Solutions: Use alternative mylar balloons. Ask people to not wear strong scents, and choose unscented cleaning products. Avoid flashing lights that can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy.
If a guest attending the gathering is non-verbal or communicates in other ways such as American Sign Language or a communication board, talk about it with the guests. Installing free Dragon software onto an iPad in advance can enable you to speak with someone who is deaf as it instantly transcribes what you are saying. Having an interpreter can be worth the cost, as all the people can communicate and maybe learn a little sign language! Remember to speak directly to a child or adult whether they are verbal or not.
9. Reading, Cognitive Access and Vision Issues.
Children and adults with cognitive, learning disabilities or vision impairments might not be able to read the menu, instructions for a scavenger hunt or a game score sheet. Pictures and verbal instructions are useful, as well as pairing children with those who can help. It’s always great to have an extra pair of reading glasses around if you are inviting seniors. But you can always tell someone who can’t see or read what they will need or what to know.
10. Enjoy the gathering!
Don’t let inclusion stress you out. If you are reading this list and considering these tips, you’re already doing more than most! Stay positive, smile and have a great time!
[Abstract] Motor Imagery Based Brain-Computer Interface Control of Continuous Passive Motion for Wrist Extension Recovery in Chronic Stroke Patients
- Twenty-one patients successfully recovered active wrist extension.
- Motor imagery based BCI control of wrist CPM training was applied.
- Typical spatial and spectrum patterns of ERD/ERS formed after training.
Motor recovery of wrist and fingers is still a great challenge for chronic stroke survivors. The present study aimed to verify the efficiency of motor imagery based brain-computer interface (BCI) control of continuous passive motion (CPM) in the recovery of wrist extension due to stroke. An observational study was conducted in 26 chronic stroke patients, aged 49.0 ± 15.4 years, with upper extremity motor impairment. All patients showed no wrist extension recovery. A 24-channel highresolution electroencephalogram (EEG) system was used to acquire cortical signal while they were imagining extension of the affected wrist. Then, 20 sessions of BCI-driven CPM training were carried out for 6 weeks. Primary outcome was the increase of active range of motion (ROM) of the affected wrist from the baseline to final evaluation. Improvement of modified Barthel Index, EEG classification and motor imagery pattern of wrist extension were recorded as secondary outcomes. Twenty-one patients finally passed the EEG screening and completed all the BCI-driven CPM trainings. From baseline to the final evaluation, the increase of active ROM of the affected wrists was (24.05 ± 14.46)˚. The increase of modified Barthel Index was 3.10 ± 4.02 points. But no statistical difference was detected between the baseline and final evaluations (P > 0.05). Both EEG classification and motor imagery pattern improved. The present study demonstrated beneficial outcomes of MI-based BCI control of CPM training in motor recovery of wrist extension using motor imagery signal of brain in chronic stroke patients.
Reveals how the invisible disability of epilepsy affects the travel experience
Social stigma of epilepsy is found to have greater impact on travel than seizures.
Illuminates the plurality of lived experiences of disability in a travel context
Problematises travel as visible, an escape from normality, independent and authentic
Challenges the discourse of visibility in the disablist environment of tourism
Growing up, my biggest secret was that I had epilepsy. I have had it since I was 5. Neurologists kept saying, “She’ll grow out of it.” I’ve tried medication after medication, trying to control the seizures and limit the number of side effects. I’ve tried weaning off medication, only for a seizure to return within one or two days. Life becomes more bearable when my seizures are controlled, but I never feel carefree. Epilepsy is much more than having seizures.
With my epilepsy comes fear. I am constantly cautious and afraid. I am afraid of having a seizure during school, at work or in public. Although I’ve been seizure-free for over a year, I am afraid of driving down the road and feeling that tingling in my stomach and not being able to pull the car over quickly or safely enough. I am afraid of injuring my brain and body beyond repair. I am afraid of who will see me. I am afraid of waking up from a seizure and being alone. I am afraid of forgetting my medication.
With my epilepsy comes depression. For me, epilepsy has always brought along depression for company. With each anti-seizure medication, the depression waxes and wanes, but it always lingers like a permanent resident in my brain. When I am honest about my suicidal thoughts, doctors prescribe an antidepressant. We both hope the depression will fade, but I am usually met with a new set of side effects. Together, both conditions appear invincible, but I always fight back. Depression tells me to die instead of taking the pills from the container. Depression tells me the darkness is here to stay. Depression steals my energy and my smiles. When I am always outnumbered, and the fight is unfair, I wonder how much of who I have become is due to the medication and how much is truly me.
Too often, with epilepsy comes shame. All through grade school, I heard kids at school make fun of seizures and even pretend to have seizures. I listened and watched. As one of the quietest students in class, my lips felt zippered shut, but my face turned red. They did not know what it feels like to lose control of your body. They didn’t know what it was like to wake up confused and disoriented, not knowing how long the seizure lasted or what was happening before it. I was not brave enough to speak up.
My closest friends didn’t know I had epilepsy. I snuck away at sleepovers to take my medication at 8:00 p.m. I made excuses as to why I couldn’t drive, why I wouldn’t drink alcohol, why I occasionally arrived to school late, why I visited a hospital that was over an hour away rather than the local doctor’s office, or why there was a bruise on my forehead. When I started telling people outside of my family, they would reply with phrases such as “I didn’t know that you were an epileptic,” “I need to be careful around you,” or “At least it’s not something terminal.” They may not have known their words were insensitive or hurtful, but I have never been met with comfort or acceptance after telling my story. Only shame.
Epilepsy can be somewhat of an invisible illness. Sometimes I can hide it. Other times, I can’t. Epilepsy is much more than having seizures. For some people, myself included, it’s a lifelong challenge.
Having epilepsy can mean battling depression, anxiety, insomnia, muscle weakness, lethargy, weight gain, and a host of other negative side effects from seizures and medications. It can mean staying home from work or school because of an aura. It can mean keeping secrets from best friends. It can mean refusing to give up regardless of what others think and say, how many medications you’ve tried, and the side effects that never subside. I have often wondered who I would be without epilepsy. While I fight the shame and stigma within myself, I have learned and accepted that epilepsy is a part of who I am.
But only one part.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
21 POSITIVITY QUOTES TO HELP YOU BEAT DEPRESSION
1 – “NEVER CONFUSE A SINGLE DEFEAT WITH A FINAL DEFEAT.” -F SCOTT FITZGERALD
Depression signs often come in multiple episodes. You might feel like you have won, but you find yourself in another panic attack. Fast forward, a round of anxiety can follow the later depression episode.
However, F. Scott Fitzgerald encourages you to keep moving forward. In his quote, he states that you should never get discouraged in fighting depression. He reassures you by saying that a single setback should not deter you from building resilience to fight your mental illness.
2 – “OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FALLING, BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME, WE FALL.” -CONFUCIUS
Confucius encourages you to be resilient in fighting depression. Falling on the way is just a setback. Your success in overcoming depression is your ability and strength to recover from a low day and anxious week. Your success is in moving forward.
3 – “EACH MORNING WE ARE BORN AGAIN. WHAT WE DO TODAY IS WHAT MATTERS MOST.” -BUDDHA
According to Buddha, you should forget yesterdays panic attack and always start fresh. You must forget your worries and move forward. Each morning is branded as a new chance for you to feel better and become stronger. Therefore, each day presents you an opportunity to gather your mental strength and maintain emotional stability.
4 – “THE WAN WHO MOVES A MOUNTAIN BEGINS BY CARRYING AWAY SMALL STONES.” -CONFUCIUS
Depression is a complex mental illness that affects your daily well-being. Beating it encompasses immense procedure that requires total involvement. Depression presents you with an insurmountable task, ranging from dealing with depression to anxiety regardless of your emotional strength.
Confucius’s quote inspires you to keep fighting the depression battle. The fact that slow or straightforward progress can gradually produce enormous results reassures you when you are weak, tired, and low.
5 – “BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND ALL THAT YOU ARE. KNOW THAT THERE IS SOMETHING INSIDE OF YOU THAT IS GREATER THAN ANY OBSTACLE.” -CHRISTIAN D. LARSON
According to Christian D. Larson, depression is a battle that requires inner strength. The first step to beating depression and anxiety is accepting that you have the will and power to do it. Self-believe can give you the bravery to move forward and win.
6 – “THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE WE HAVE KNOWN ARE THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWN DEFEAT, KNOWN SUFFERING, KNOWN STRUGGLE, KNOWN LOSS, AND HAVE FOUND THEIR WAY OUT OF THE DEPTHS.” – ELISABETH KÜBLER-ROSS
We become stronger by being resilient in the battle against depression. Those who have beat depression before have a deeper understanding and compassion that makes them sensitivity about its causes.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross encourages victims not to shy away from acknowledging our secret battles. Instead, victims should be proud of the work we put into beating our mental illness.
7 – “START BY DOING WHAT’S NECESSARY, THEN DO WHAT’S POSSIBLE, AND SUDDENLY YOU ARE DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE.” – SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI
To overcome depression is a complex process that requires patience. Therefore, pushing yourself too hard and very quickly can cause you more harm. Take it slow, and you will overcome the challenge you encounter as you progress
St. Francis of Assisi states that today’s problems can be tomorrow’s strengths. Thus, you should never give up because something seems impossible today.
8 – “SMILE, BREATHE, AND GO SLOWLY.” -THICH NHAT HANH
According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the battle of depression is a continuous process that can never end. Every day presents new mental challenges. You must give yourself space to face your challenge slowly. Therefore, breath, pose, have fun before you continue.
9 – “YOU DON’T HAVE TO CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS. YOU JUST HAVE TO STOP LETTING THEM CONTROL YOU.” _ DAN MILLMAN
Depression can push you into deep thoughts that can be unwanted. The biggest challenge can be if you let your ruminations control you. Dan Millman inspires you not to give up if you fail to control your thoughts. He encourages the depressed by telling them that they have the power to determine how their thinking can affect their emotions and responses.
10 – “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” -Albert Einstein
You must keep your hope alive if you want to win the depression battle. You should stop dwelling in the past and face the present head-on. According to Albert Einstein, hoping for tomorrow can help you from preventing recurring depressive episodes and future anxiety relapses.
11 – “THERE ARE FAR, FAR BETTER THINGS AHEAD THAN ANYTHING WE LEAVE BEHIND.” -C. S. LEWIS
To overcome depression, you must train your mind to hope for a brighter future. By focusing your mind on a positive future, it helps you overcome the darkest moments from your past. Always hope for a bright future and your fears and anxieties cannot push you to depression.
12 – “YOU ARE NOT YOUR ILLNESS.” –JULIAN SEIFTER
Depression can drive you crazy at times. It can take up most of the persons’ daily life. Julian Seifter encourages you to be honest with your mental illness and believe that it does not define personality.
13 – “YOU, YOURSELF, AS MUCH AS ANYBODY IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE, DESERVE YOUR LOVE AND AFFECTION.” -BUDDHA
Depression destroys lives. It can make you second guess yourself and mental state. However, loving yourself is the first step towards accepting and implementing effective ways of overcoming the problem.
14 – “THERE IS HOPE, EVEN WHEN YOUR BRAIN TELLS YOU THERE ISN’T.” -JOHN GREEN
Hold on to the hope of a better future even when the day seems gray in their minds. John Green’s inspiration quote can uplift a person who is feeling down by helping them control their emotional responses.
15 – “YOU’RE LIKE A GREY SKY. YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL, EVEN THOUGH YOU DON’T WANT TO BE.” -JASMINE WARGA
The worst bit of battling depression is when people lose their self-worth. They withdraw from the conventional world. However, a simple reminder of their goodness can be what they need to keep moving forward.
16 – “NOBLE DEEDS AND HOT BATHS ARE THE BEST CURES FOR DEPRESSION.” – DODIE SMITH
Dodie Smith believes that instead of feeling depressed, you should spend more time giving back to society. She bases his concept on the fact that you elevate your self-worth whenever you help a person in need. So, take a little time out for self-care. You earned it!
17 – “CONCERN SHOULD DRIVE US INTO ACTION AND NOT INTO A DEPRESSION. NO MAN IS FREE WHO CANNOT CONTROL HIMSELF.” -PYTHAGORAS
A depressed person should always remember that they should strive to regain control of their emotions. They should never let their minds determine their actions. A small reminder of this vital truth can uplift you from your depression state.
18 – “YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE A LIE. LIVING A LIE WILL MESS YOU UP. IT WILL SEND YOU INTO DEPRESSION. IT WILL WARP YOUR VALUES.” -GILBERT BAKER
The best way to fight depression is understanding its root causes. Gilbert Baker points out that faking your lifestyle is a cause of depression that you should never let take over your life. Instead, stay true to your values, and you will live a stress-free experience.
19 – “IF YOU WANT TO CONQUER THE ANXIETY OF LIFE, LIVE IN THE MOMENT, LIVE IN THE BREATH.” -AMIT RAY
Depression is often caused by dwelling in the past events and thought. Amit Ray, in Om Chanting and Meditation believes that unless you are ready to let go of the past, you are not prepared to battle what is depressing you.
20 – “LIFE IS TEN PERCENT WHAT YOU EXPERIENCE AND NINETY PERCENT HOW YOU RESPOND TO IT.” -DOROTHY M. NIEDERMEYER
You can draw your inspiration from Dorothy M. Niedermeyer’s quote by understanding that you are in control of your actions. Your mind is just a powerhouse of both good and evil thoughts.
21 – “The pupil dilates in darkness and in the end finds light, just as the soul dilates in misfortune and in the end finds God.” -Victor Hugo
This quote by Victor Hugo, Les Misérables encourages you to remain positive even during the dark day of your depression.
[BLOG] My CVI Journey – A blog dedicated to sharing ideas and inspiration for helping kiddos with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) improve vision
If you reside in Ontario and you suspect your child may have Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) or another type of visual impairment, Ontario’s Blind-Low Vision Early Intervention Program is a program that could help your family.
When our daughter turned 2.5 months old and still wasn’t fixing or tracking, we started to suspect she was having a problem with her vision. We knew her actual eyes were fine because she’d had eye examinations done immediately after birth, but since she’d had […]
For the first several months of my daughter’s life, I found getting through tummy time to be a challenge on the best of days. Most of the time, my daughter hated it. She’d cry and scream from the minute I rolled her over onto her […]
When I first began learning about Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), there’s one thing that was immediately clear: it was an absolute must that my husband and I include opportunities for visual stimulation throughout our daughter’s daily routine. Our daughter’s visual therapist encouraged us to do […]
[Abstract] A Review on Surface Electromyography-Controlled Hand Robotic Devices Used for Rehabilitation and Assistance in Activities of Daily Living
Spinal cord injuries, traumas, natural aging, and strokes are the main causes of arm impairment or even a chronic disability for an increasing part of the population. Therefore, robotic devices can be essential tools to help individuals afflicted with hand deficit with the activities of daily living in addition to the possibility of restoring hand functions by rehabilitation. Because the surface electromyography (sEMG) control paradigm has recently emerged as an interesting intention control method in devices applied to rehabilitation, the concentration in this study has been devoted to sEMG-controlled hand robotic devices, including gloves and exoskeletons that are used for rehabilitation and for assistance in daily activities.
Materials and Methods
A brief description is given to the previous reviews and studies that have surveyed the robotic devices used for rehabilitation; a comparison is conducted among these studies with respect to the targeted part of the body and the device’s control method. Important issues about controlling by sEMG signal are accentuated, and a review of sEMG-controlled hand robotic devices is presented with an abbreviated description for each endeavor. Some criteria related to sEMG control are specifically emphasized, for instance, the muscles used for control, the number of sEMG channels, and the type of sEMG sensor used.
It is noted that most of the sEMG-based controls for the devices included in this study have used the nonpattern recognition scheme due to the weak sEMG signals and abnormal pattern of muscle activation for stroke patients. In addition to sEMG-based control, additional control paradigms have been used in many of the listed robotic devices to increase the efficacy of the system; this cooperation is required because of the difficulty in dealing with the sEMG signals of stroke patients. Most of the listed studies have conducted the experiments on a healthy subject to evaluate the efficacy of the systems, whereas the studies that have recruited stroke patients for system assessment were predominately using additional control schemes.
This article highlights the important issues about the sEMG control method and accentuates the weaknesses associated with this type of control to assist researchers in overcoming problems that impede sEMG-controlled robotic devices to be feasible and practical tools for people afflicted with hand impairment.
To determine how pre-conception care (PCC) influenced the outcome of epilepsy, pregnancy and malformation risk in women with epilepsy (WWE)
All primigravida in the Kerala registry of epilepsy and pregnancy (KREP) with the final outcome of pregnancy known who were enrolled prospectively in pre-conception stage (PCC group) or first trimester of pregnancy (PRG group) were included. The two groups were compared for fetal and maternal outcomes including seizure control and complications of pregnancy.
There were 320 (30.4%) in PCC group and 732 in PRG group. Both groups were comparable for epilepsy classification, maternal birth defects and family history of epilepsy but the PCC group had significantly higher education (48.9%, p = .027) and employment (22.1%, p < .001). They had higher usage of folate in pre-pregnancy month (87.5%, p < .001) and first trimester (96.3%, p < .001) than PRG group. Fewer women in the PCC group were off AEDs in first trimester (5% vs 9.3%, p = .018). Within monotherapy group, use of levetiracetam (10.8%, p = .017), valproate ( 34%, p = .002) in PCC group and carbamazepine (39.1%, p = .04), phenobarbitone (13.3%, p = .001) in PRG group was significantly high. More women in this group were seizure free during pregnancy (62.8%, p = .005) than PRG group. Early fetal loss was better captured in PCC (90.6%,p = .025) than in the PRG. There was no difference in malformation rate between PCC (7.2%) and PRG groups (6.1%, p = .3).
PCC reduced the risk of seizures during pregnancy and improved the periconceptional use of folate but did not influence the fetal malformation risk.