Posts Tagged disability

[BLOG POST] Disability-Friendly Homes: Easy Modifications You Can Make Today

If you’re living with a disability that makes it challenging to carry out normal activities in the typical home, it can be overwhelming to tackle the necessary modifications. There are many types of disabilities, and each has its own set of helpful home modifications. Of course, these recommendations will not work for everyone, but many can be helpful to a number of common disabilities. If you’re looking at disability-friendly home alterations, here are some good projects to start with.

Accessible Home Security

If you have a mobility issue, keeping yourself safe in your home can be a challenge. Door chains are often placed too high for some people to comfortably reach. Install a door security measure such as a chain at a lower level so that you can easily open the door and talk to someone without putting yourself at risk for forced entry.

Deadbolts are also an ideal home security measure. If your deadbolt is difficult to twist, have someone help you adjust the hardware so that the bolt can glide more smoothly.

Organize for Accessibility

Certain areas can be more expensive to modify for accessibility. The kitchen, for example, has a number of places that should ideally be adjusted such as the stove, sink, and countertops. However, remodeling a kitchen is no easy feat. Instead, you may want to consider organizing it for maximum accessibility.

Place all heavy items, including food items, on lower shelves. Lesser used items such as holiday serving platters can go in harder to reach areas. For deep cabinets or even refrigerators, lazy susans can be a great way to ensure that things in the back are within reach. You might also purchase a grasping tool that extends to reach things that are up high or farther away.

Bathrooms are the Riskiest Room in the House

There are many hazards in the average bathroom. Some disabilities increase the risk of slips and falls. Fortunately, modifying the bathroom can be affordable in many cases. Handrails beside the toilet are a great first step, making it easier to sit and rise from the toilet. A shower seat is another excellent precaution.

Slipping in a shower or tub can be fatal or at least seriously damaging. Furthermore, standing for a shower can be difficult for people with chronic fatigue. The ability to sit makes personal hygiene much simpler.

Dim Lighting Should Be Corrected

Dim lighting can make traversing your own home dangerous. Mobility or vision problems can lead to tripping or other accidents. On top of decluttering your home, improving the lighting can vastly improve your safety and mobility. Take care to light areas that do not receive much natural light and add fixtures where necessary to light main areas of the house.

Altering your home to make it more disability-friendly can vary widely in cost depending on your needs. If you’re struggling to find the money you need to upgrade your house, you can always begin with simpler projects such as reorganizing for convenience or placing smaller safety measures. Every small step can make your life easier.

Image via Pixabay by midascode

This post was written by Paul Denikin, who runs On his blog, Paul shares his knowledge with home improvement novices, and connects with other people seeking to modify their homes for a loved one with a disability.

Source: Disability-Friendly Homes: Easy Modifications You Can Make Today – Assistive Technology Blog

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[WEB SITE] Dating Someone With a Disability Doesn’t Have to Be Awkward

blonde woman and boyfriend embracing each other

My Boyfriend Has a Disability. So What?

The next time, it wasn’t really weird at all.

Now, I honestly barely notice – or care ‒ that he has no foot from the left shin down (for which he wears a prosthetic leg). To answer your next question: he was born with it, due to amniotic band syndrome, which can restrict growth of limbs in the womb and cause other problems such as cleft palate. To answer your other question — we met online.

Incidentally, he also has a corrected club foot, a scar from a corrected cleft lip, issues with his hands — one has just two fingers and a thumb, and the other has four fingers which work fine but look a bit oddly shaped at closer inspection. But so what? Nothing much to see here (apart from the fact that he’s also gorgeous). Move along. Right?

Or so I thought. I’m more than a little flabbergasted at the latest figures from the charity Scope, released ahead of Valentine’s Day, which suggest that 67 percent of people in Britain “feel uncomfortable talking to disabled people.” Apparently, my generation, the maligned millennials feel twice as uncomfortable as other groups, with 21 percent saying that they had “actually avoided talking to a disabled person.” This has prompted Scope to launch a campaign called “End the awkward.”

Well, I’ve been on a lot of first dates, and let me tell you about awkward. Silence between two people who have nothing in common is awkward. Making a joke and having the other person not laugh at all is awkward. Hell, even accidentally making intense eye contact with a stranger on the train is awkward.

Honestly, when my now-boyfriend first told me on our first date, my reaction was “Huh, interesting, why’s that, hmm these meatballs are really good, tell me more, does it bother you, how does it affect you, do you want another drink, please let’s have another cocktail so we can keep talking.” But I don’t think I’m unusual or being especially good or anything, to be clear. It was just common sense to me.

Obviously, I do notice — in the sense that I can see. But does it bother me? Is it really awkward? Er, no.

Being with someone who has a disability definitely shouldn’t be awkward. Yes, it’s something you might not encounter every day, but as far as dating goes, it’s generally something to accept and get used to, like someone’s nervous laugh, their inability to grasp why you care so much about a certain television show, or their annoying habit of always being late (and yeah, he does the last one too, but then so do I, so who am I to judge?).

Maybe it’s because as a kid I was told not to stare at people with disabilities, the same as I was told not to stare at any people. And while some people with disabilities will tell you they welcome people looking and asking questions about obvious markers of appearance, others say they hate it. Just like everyone.

I do accept that there are certain issues. Yes, luckily for him, my boyfriend doesn’t need anyone to help him with doing stuff, and he doesn’t have to use a wheelchair (although he does use one sometimes), which might be harder to manage.

And no, it doesn’t hurt that I find him ridiculously sexy and that he himself is pretty open and comfortable about things.

But I’d be lying if I said I’d never worried about whether we’ll ever be able to do typical couple-y stuff like go on long country walks (because too much walking can hurt) or, I don’t know, hike Machu Picchu.

I sometimes worry about other people’s potential reactions — in case it might hurt or annoy him rather than because I give a toss what people think. I don’t like it when his leg causes him pain. I feel sad that the disability means he hasn’t always been as confident as he might have been.

And sure, I’ve had moments of sadness and doubt where I’ve thought, Wow, maybe we’ll never be able to take glorious city breaks where we walk round the sights and streets until our feet ache like hell to the point where our cold drink at the bar afterward feels like heaven.

But you know, I’m sure – if our relationship is meant to be ‒ we’ll figure it out, just like anything in any relationship. Do a bit less walking, a bit more taking the train or car. A bit less hiking up hills and a bit more sitting in country pubs. Something else altogether. It’s hardly purgatory.

Disability is just not a dealbreaker for me in the same way someone being rude to me would be. Or someone humiliating me or someone who just stops texting for no reason or generally behaves like a jerk. That’s freaking awkward. As anyone who’s done dating in a city will tell you, at length, you don’t have to have a disability to do those things.

Which is why I’m genuinely surprised at the Scope figures.

Admittedly, before I met my boyfriend, I didn’t really know anyone who had real mobility problems and hadn’t given people with disabilities much thought, other than briefly thinking that living with a disability must be pretty hard work.

But I still don’t give people with disabilities (as if they’re one big group…) much thought, even though I’m dating someone who qualifies. Because “they” often don’t need you to treat them hugely differently to anyone else.

OK, so people in wheelchairs need you to consider access, people who can’t walk far might need you to consider transport alternatives. People with learning disabilities might need you to make other allowances or slightly alter your expectations of what they can do.

But the key thing here? They’re all people. The same damn rules apply.

Treat others how you want to be treated. Consider everyone as individuals with interests, flaws, successes, insecurities and passions, just like everyone else. We’ve all got things to deal with in life. Some people’s are just a bit more visible.

My boyfriend may not have all his limbs or fingers, but he’s still a whole human being. And whatever happens with us, relationship-wise or otherwise, that won’t change. Duh.

If the Scope research makes people realize that a bit more, perhaps we can all (especially people my age, please!) focus less on the fact that people with disabilities are “awkward” and more on the important relationship issues. You know, like giving him a hard time for how long he takes to text back, taking issue with the fact he doesn’t like whisky (WHAT? I LOVE it), groaning at his sarcastic jokes and trying to convince him that spirulina powder really is a superfood worth spending loads of money on.

There are plenty of things in a new relationship that can be awkward, as anyone who’s ever dated anyone will know. But your partner’s disability? Not so much.

Source: Dating Someone With a Disability Doesn’t Have to Be Awkward | The Mighty

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[WEB site] First trial of Cognition Kit wearables demonstrates effectiveness in measuring mental health

The neuroscience company Cambridge Cognition Holdings PLC, which develops near patient technologies for the assessment of brain health, has announced results from a new technology feasibility study. The results demonstrate for the first time that consumer grade wearables such as the Apple Watch® and Microsoft Band can be used to accurately measure clinically relevant cognitive performance in everyday life using the Company’s new Cognition Kit software.

Mental health conditions are among the leading causes of disability worldwide. With more than 450 million people living with mental illnesses, the cost of treatment and care to global economies will double by 2030 to over $6 trillion (Source: World Health Organization).

Current methods of brain health assessment rely on infrequent snapshots to characterise impairment and recovery. Such sparse sampling will often miss clinically significant changes, which can impact on a patient’s quality of life and limit the ability to accurately measure the effect of intervention and treatment.

Cognition Kit is a wearable software platform developed under a joint venture between Cambridge Cognition and London research agency Ctrl Group to address this growing need. The technology will enable doctors, scientists and patients to better understand and manage day-to-day brain health by measuring the key biological and psychological factors affecting mental performance accurately in real time.

The new study shows for the first time that wearable consumer devices can be used clinically to measure cognitive performance accurately when programmed with the Cognition Kit software.

During the study participants wore a wearable device to monitor their levels of stress and physiological activity using built-in sensors of heart rate, galvanic skin response and skin temperature.

Throughout each day, subjects completed game-like micro tests of cognition on the device to measure attention, memory, mood and reaction speed.

After each cognitive game, subjects reported how they felt by selecting one of six faces to convey their current mood. On June 24th, the day of the EU referendum results in the UK, the researchers observed a significant drop in the general mood of the British participants in the study.

The 30 million data points recorded demonstrate distinct patterns of performance within and across days, allowing a rich picture of a subject’s cognitive health to emerge. Cognition Kit thus has the potential to revolutionise brain health treatment at all stages – from patient assessments during the development of disease-modifying interventions to monitoring of patient health.

With drug development companies increasingly being required to demonstrate clinical outcomes-based value of treatments in patients, this Cognition Kit study provides evidence that new technologies could transform healthcare and medical research in a wearable health industry estimated to be worth $2 billion (Source: Soreon Research Wearable Healthcare Report 2014).

Cambridge Cognition is in discussion with a number of pharmaceutical partners following significant early interest boosted by the results of the study and expects to sign the first Cognition Kit contracts in the near future.

Francesca Cormack, PhD, Director of Research and Innovation, Cambridge Cognition commented

”This proof of concept study demonstrates for the first time that these consumer devices are enabling the rapid and accurate collection of largescale scientific datasets. This not only allows dramatically more detailed knowledge of moment-by-moment brain function but also opens up new possibilities to develop machine learning algorithms that will enable earlier detection and intervention in brain disorders.”

Ben Fehnert, Co-founder of Ctrl Group and Director of Cognition Kit commented

”Simple, regular interaction with peoples own phones and wearable devices is key to helping understand daily and longer term fluctuations in cognitive function. This study is the first demonstration of how Cognition Kit software can build a rich picture of brain health using peoples own devices during their daily lives.”

About Cognition Kit

Cognition Kit is a joint venture between Cambridge Cognition and Ctrl Group formed in 2016 to develop digital health tools on mobile and wearable devices. Cognition Kit software takes research out of the lab and into daily life, enabling doctors, scientists and the public to better understand and manage day-to-day brain health.

Source: First trial of Cognition Kit wearables demonstrates effectiveness in measuring mental health

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[WEB SITE] New wearable electronic device could revolutionise treatment for stroke patients

Stroke patients are starting a trial of a new electronic device to recover movement and control of their hand.

Neuroscientists at Newcastle University have developed the device, the size of a mobile phone, which delivers a series of small electrical shocks followed by an audible click to strengthen brain and spinal connections.

The experts believe this could revolutionise treatment for patients, providing a wearable solution to the effects of stroke.

Following successful work in primates and healthy human subjects, the Newcastle University team are now working with colleagues at the prestigious Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, India, to start the clinical trial. Involving 150 stroke patients, the aim of the study is to see whether it leads to improved hand and arm control.

Stuart Baker, Professor of Movement Neuroscience at Newcastle University who has led the work said: “We were astonished to find that a small electric shock and the sound of a click had the potential to change the brain’s connections. However, our previous research in primates changed our thinking about how we could activate these pathways, leading to our study in humans.”

Recovering hand control

Publishing today in the Journal of Neuroscience, the team report on the development of the miniaturised device and its success in healthy patients at strengthening connections in the reticulospinal tract, one of the signal pathways between the brain and spinal cord.

This is important for patients as when people have a stroke they often lose the major pathway found in all mammals connecting the brain to spinal cord. The team’s previous work in primates showed that after a stroke they can adapt and use a different, more primitive pathway, the reticulospinal tract, to recover.

However, their recovery tends to be imbalanced with more connections made to flexors, the muscles that close the hand, than extensors, those that open the hand. This imbalance is also seen in stroke patients as typically, even after a period of recuperation, they find that they still have weakness of the extensor muscles preventing them opening their fist which leads to the distinctive curled hand.

Partial paralysis of the arms, typically on just one side, is common after stroke, and can affect someone’s ability to wash, dress or feed themselves. Only about 15% of stroke patients spontaneously recover the use of their hand and arm, with many people left facing the rest of their lives with a severe level of disability.

Senior author of the paper, Professor Baker added: “We have developed a miniaturised device which delivers an audible click followed by a weak electric shock to the arm muscle to strengthen the brain’s connections. This means the stroke patients in the trial are wearing an earpiece and a pad on the arm, each linked by wires to the device so that the click and shock can be continually delivered to them.

“We think that if they wear this for 4 hours a day we will be able to see a permanent improvement in their extensor muscle connections which will help them gain control on their hand.”

Improving connections

The techniques to strengthen brain connections using paired stimuli are well documented, but until now this has needed bulky equipment, with a mains electric supply.

The research published today is a proof of concept in human subjects and comes directly out of the team’s work on primates. In the paper they report how they pair a click in a headphone with an electric shock to a muscle to induce the changes in connections either strengthening or weakening reflexes depending on the sequence selected. They demonstrated that wearing the portable electronic device for seven hours strengthened the signal pathway in more than half of the subjects (15 out of 25).

Professor Stuart Baker added: “We would never have thought of using audible clicks unless we had the recordings from primates to show us that this might work. Furthermore, it is our earlier work in primates which shows that the connections we are changing are definitely involved in stroke recovery.”

The work has been funded through a Milstein Award from the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

The clinical trial is just starting at the Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata, India. The country has a higher rate of stroke than Western countries which can affect people at a younger age meaning there is a large number of patients. The Institute has strong collaborative links with Newcastle University enabling a carefully controlled clinical trial with results expected at the end of this year.

A patient’s perspective

Chris Blower, 30, is a third year Biomedical Sciences student at Newcastle University and he had a stroke when he was a child after open heart surgery. He describes his thoughts on the research:

I had a stroke at the age of seven. The immediate effect was paralysis of the right-hand side of my body, which caused slurred speech, loss of bowel control and an inability to move unaided. Though I have recovered from these immediate effects, I am now feeling the longer term effects of stroke; slow, limited and difficult movement of my right arm and leg.

My situation is not unique and many stroke survivors have similar long-term effects to mine. Professor Baker’s work may be able to help people in my position regain some, if not all, motor control of their arm and hand. His research shows that, in stroke, the brains motor pathway to the spinal cord is damaged and that an evolutionarily older signal pathway could be ‘piggybacked’ and used instead. With electrical stimulation, exercise and an audible cue the brain can be taught to use this older pathway instead.

This gives me a lot of hope for stroke survivors. My wrist and fingers pull in, closing my hand into a fist, but with the device Professor Baker is proposing my brain could be re-taught to use my muscles and pull back, opening my hand out. The options presented to me so far, by doctors, have been Botox injections and surgery; Botox in my arm would weaken the muscles closing my hand and allow my fingers to spread, surgery would do the same thing by moving the tendons in my arm. Professor Baker’s electrical stimulations is certainly a more appealing option, to me, as it seems to be a permanent solution that would not require an operation on my arm.

I was invited to look around the animal house and observe a macaque monkey undergoing a test and this has made me think about my own stroke and the effect it has had on my life.

I have never seen anything like this before and I didn’t know what to expect. The macaque monkey that I observed was calmly carrying out finger manipulation tests while electrodes monitored the cells of her spinal cord.

Although this procedure requires electrodes to be placed into the brain and spine of the animal, Professor Baker explained how the monkey had been practicing and learning this test for two years before the monitoring equipment was attached. In this way the testing has become routine before it had even started and the animal was in no pain or distress, even at the sight of a stranger (me).

The animals’ calm, placid temperaments carry over to their living spaces; with lots of windows, natural light and high up spaces the macaques are able to see all around them and along the corridors. This means that they aren’t feeling threatened when people approach and are comfortable enough that even a stranger (me, again) can approach and say ‘hello’.

From my tour of the animal house at the Institute of Neuroscience I saw animals in calm, healthy conditions, to which the tests were just a part of their daily routine. Animal testing is controversial but I think that the work of Professor Baker and his team is important in helping people who have suffered stroke and other life-changing trauma to regain their independence and, often, their lives.

Source: Newcastle University

Source: New wearable electronic device could revolutionise treatment for stroke patients

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[WEB SITE] This is all new to me! – Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center.

This is all new to me!

You’ve just finished meeting with the doctor. He or she shared information about a new diagnosis or condition. Maybe you’re the one now facing life with a disability (either permanent or temporary) or maybe you will be supporting a family member with a new condition. Either way, you probably have a lot of questions about managing health, returning to work or finding a new job, or changing your living situation. How will this disability affect my marriage? My finances? My ability to work? The good news is there are many resources available to help you answer these questions. In this post and the next, we’ll share items from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere to help you get started on this new path. First up, resources from the NIDILRR community:

Finding Treatment:

You or your family member are ready to move out of the hospital and into a rehabilitation setting. What does that mean? What is the difference between acute rehab and subacute rehab? How do I know if I’ve picked a good rehab center? Download the Consumers Guide to Choosing a High Quality Medical Rehabilitation Program, originally developed under a NIDILRR grant by Boston University and National Rehabilitation Hospital (Now MedStar). It has checklists, questions to ask at a facility, and a great glossary of terms.

Finding Technology

Whether you need to add a ramp to your home, find a modified van, get a screen enlarger, or find a new carry-all bag for a walker, you’ll find these kinds of assistive technology and much, much, MUCH more at our sister project AbleData. Browse by category or search for specific products or activities (like cooking or reading). Take the time to browse through the factsheets and articles while you’re there!

Newly Injured or Diagnosed:

  • New to spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • New to traumatic brain injury (TBI)
    • InfoComics use a graphic-novel format to tackle some of the challenges families face when a loved one has a TBI, originally developed by the University of Washington TBI Model System Center
    • Family Support After TBI, developed under a NIDILRR grant, is a training program to help families manage the cognitive, behavioral, and social changes that can happen after TBI
  • Hot Topic Modules from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center present factsheets and videos on issues you and your family may be facing:

New to a Secondary Condition/Aging with Disability

You may not be new to your disability, but you may be experiencing age-related disabilities or secondary/co-occurring disabilities:

  • People with psychiatric disabilities often face issus with obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. The RRTC on Psychiatric Disabilities and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions has a diabetes toolkit to meet their needs:
  • People with physical disabilities are living longer and experiencing age-related disabilities on top of their existing conditions. The Aging RRTC offers factsheets and plain language articles to help

New to Caregiving or Working with a Caregiver

People new to disability may also be new to relying on and working with a caregiver. On the other side of the coin, family members may be new to providing care for a loved one.

New to Work with a Disability

You’re ready to return to work or find a new job. What can  you expect in the workplace? How can technology help me? How do I talk to my employer about my disability?

New to Self-Advocacy

You may find yourself in the position of being your own best advocate, whether it’s for healthcare, legal rights, access to your community, or even bigger policy issues.

New to Parenthood/Grandparenthood with a Disability

Life changes and new family members arrive! Learn about your rights as a parent, and tools to help you take care of someone new.

New to Meeting/Working with/Serving People with Disabilities

Maybe you have a new co-worker with a disability. Perhaps you have customers with disabilities. Or it could be your son’s playmate’s mom is a person with a disability. You may not have a lot of experience in talking with, working with, or serving people with disabilities. These resources may help:

This is all new to me (part II)!

Yesterday we introduced you to a library full of excellent resources from the NIDILRR community aimed at helping people new to disability or entering new phases in life with a disability. Today, we continue with organizations, agencies, and resources from the greater disability and rehabilitation community.

First, let us point you to our Librarian’s Picks, brochures that list agencies, organizations, and websites targeting specific topics: Advocacy, Aging, Assistive Technology, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Caregiving and Caregivers, Children with Special Needs, Education, Employment, Finding Rehabilitation Services, General Spanish Language Resources, Independent Living, Mental Health, Sensory Disability, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Universal Design. Some of the resources we’ll cover here appear in these brochures as well. These are also available in Spanish.

Finding basic information about a disability, treatment, or drug

Many people will turn to their favorite search engine and enter a few key words. What comes back may be a mountain of information, not all of it helpful. Probably the best and most reputable resource we can recommend to find out about a specific condition, treatment, or drug is Medline Plus, maintained by the National Library of Medicine. Every article is reviewed by a health professional. You’ll find basic definitions, causes and treatments, and recommendations for related resources. Many articles also link to videos, clinical trials, and even peer-reviewed journal articles. If you want to dive deeper, search PubMed at NLM for abstracts of journal articles, books, and reports (more than 10 million volumes!).

If you do turn to your favorite search engine, please take a few minutes and read through these resources from NLM on evaluating health information:

Find a resource center

The Administration for Community Living has several resource centers that connect people to information and support resources

Find a disability-specific organization

Often, the best source of information and support is someone who’s “been there, done that.” Disability-specific organizations are run by people with personal and professional experience in a disability, such as stroke (National Stroke Association), mental health (National Alliance for Mental Illness), or vision loss (National Federation of the Blind). Visit our Disability Resources pages or search our Knowledgebase to find an organization that meets your needs.

Find a professional organization

Many professions have national organizations that provide certifications, educational programs, and other supports for their members. They may also have “Find a Professional” or other resources to connect the general public to their members or professionals in their field. You’ll find several in our Finding Rehabilitation Servicesbrochure.

Find local help

Have you called 211? 211 is community-level information and referral. Just dial those three numbers (2-1-1) and a real, live person will answer, ask you some questions, and point you to resources in your community to help with support, treatment, benefits, financial assistance, and much more. You can also look up your 211’s website and search their resource databases. Many of these centers offer information services in languages other than English.

Find your nearest public library

When was the last time you visited your public library? We routinely recommend that our patrons visit or call their local library for assistance. Ask to speak with a reference librarian, tell them the topic you’re interested in, and we guarantee you’ll walk out with a stack of books and a ream of printouts from good-quality online sources. Find your library at or call 211.

Please note that these resources primarily support people with disabilities and their families in the US. If you are outside the US, please contact us and we’ll do our best to identify an appropriate resource in your home country.

Source: This is all new to me! | Collection Spotlight from the National Rehabilitation Information Center

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[BOOK] Disability: Proceedings of a Seminar on Rehabilitation of the Disabled – Βιβλία Google


R.M. Kenedi, J.P. Paul, John Hughes
Springer, 2 Φεβ 2016524 σελίδες

Source: Disability: Proceedings of a Seminar on Rehabilitation of the Disabled – Βιβλία Google


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[BOOK] Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach – Barbara Gibson – Βιβλία Google

Rehabilitation is dedicated to helping people not only survive, but also thrive. Despite this complex goal, the organizing principles of rehabilitation still rely on biomedicine to construct disability as a problem of impaired bodies. Rehabilitation professionals are committed to helping to enhance people’s lives, but many struggle with how to do so in light of the bigger questions regarding their roles in, for example, working to maintain hope for recovery and/or promoting greater acceptance of diverse abilities. A key problem is the lack of theoretical tools for working through the function of rehabilitation in the lives of disabled people. Rehabilitation, for the most part, reflects a narrow mechanistic conception of movement. It considers movements of body structures such as joints, functional movements such as walking, or more recently, how movement and mobility facilitate participation in social roles. Despite a nascent concern with the environmental factors contributing to disablement, movement is still focused primarily on mobilizing people’s bodies. Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach reexamines the philosophical foundations of rehabilitation, expanding the concept of movement beyond the physical body. Drawing from disability studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, cultural studies, and bioethics, this theoretically rigorous yet accessibly styled text: Explores the limitations of biomedicine as the organizing framework of rehabilitation Evaluates new directions to diversify contemporary rehabilitation practice Establishes the parameters for a reconfigured ethics of rehabilitation By embracing multiple ideas of movement—not only physical, but also social, emotional, and political—alternative approaches to rehabilitation are revealed.

Source: Rehabilitation: A Post-critical Approach – Barbara Gibson – Βιβλία Google

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[ARTICLE] OnabotulinumtoxinA Improves Pain in Patients with Post-Stroke Spasticity: Findings from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial – Full Text HTML/PDF



Patients with post-stroke spasticity (PSS) commonly experience pain in affected limbs, which may impact quality of life.


To assess onabotulinumtoxinA for pain in patients with PSS from the BOTOX® Economic Spasticity Trial, a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.


Patients with PSS (N=273) were randomized to 22- to 34-weeks double-blind treatment with onabotulinumtoxinA + standard care (SC) or placebo injection + SC and were eligible to receive open-label onabotulinumtoxinA up to 52 weeks. Assessments included change from baseline on the 11-point pain numeric rating scale, proportion of patients with baseline pain ≥4 achieving ≥30% and ≥50% improvement in pain, and pain interference with work at week 12, end of double-blind treatment, and week 52.


At baseline, most patients (74.3%) experienced pain and 47.4% had pain ≥4 (pain subgroup). Mean pain reduction from baseline at week 12 was significantly greater with onabotulinumtoxinA + SC (–0.77, 95% CI –1.14 to –0.40) than placebo + SC (–0.13, 95% CI –0.51 to 0.24; P < 0.05). Higher proportions of patients in the pain subgroup achieved ≥30% and ≥50% reductions in pain at week 12 with onabotulinumtoxinA + SC (53.7% and 37.0%, respectively) compared with placebo (28.8% and 18.6%, respectively;P<0.05). Reductions in pain were sustained through week 52. Compared with placebo + SC, onabotulinumtoxinA consistently reduced pain interference with work.


This is the first randomized, placebo-controlled trial demonstrating statistically significant and clinically meaningful reductions in pain and pain interference with work with onabotulinumtoxinA in patients with PSS.


Pain prevalence varies widely (10–70%) among post-stroke patients 1, 2, 3 and 4. Several mechanisms may contribute to this range (e.g., peripheral nerve damage, soft tissue trauma, central post-stroke pain, complex regional pain syndrome 5, 6, 7 and 8). Spasticity and pain are factors contributing to “learned non-use” of the affected limb and are often disabling, interfering with daily activities, sleep, walking, physiotherapy, leisure activities, and ultimately affecting patients’ quality of life 9, 10 and 11.

In randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials, onabotulinumtoxinA has been shown to significantly reduce excess muscle tone and decrease disability among patients with upper-limb spasticity 12 and 13, and to further reduce spasms and improve gait in patients with lower-limb spasticity 14 and 15. OnabotulinumtoxinA is effective at reducing pain in patients with cervical dystonia and chronic migraine 16. Prospective open-label studies have shown that onabotulinumtoxinA can reduce pain in patients with post-stroke spasticity (PSS) 8, 17 and 18. However, the efficacy of onabotulinumtoxinA in reducing pain in patients with PSS has not been demonstrated in a large, randomized, placebo-controlled study.

The BOTOX® Economic Spasticity Trial (BEST) was a prospective clinical trial designed to compare the efficacy of onabotulinumtoxinA or placebo (in addition to standard care [SC]) in helping patients with PSS achieve their personal functional goals 19. Here we present results from BEST comparing the effectiveness of onabotulinumtoxinA + SC versus placebo + SC on pain.

Continue —> OnabotulinumtoxinA Improves Pain in Patients with Post-Stroke Spasticity: Findings from a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Why Diversity in Staff Can Improve Business Performance

[INFOGRAPHIC] Why Diversity in Staff Can Improve Business Performance

It is estimated that in excess of one billion people, roughly 15% of the global population, have some form of disability. Of the one billion, between 110 and 190 million people have difficulty in functioning. This of course can have implications for employment, but it is clear that more needs to be done by employers with regard to employing people with disabilities. In Asia for example, it is estimated that there are 238 million people of working age with a disability, with unemployment often as high as 80% among these. However, the unemployment rate figure for people with disabilities in Canada is a little lower at over 20%. A telling stat is one from the U.S. that indicates that over 60% of people with disabilities in America said they would like to find work, but could not find jobs.
This infographic from Burning Nights aims to increase awareness on the difficulties that persons with disabilities face in gaining employment, while also focusing on some of the benefits that both employers and employees can attain from choosing to employ persons with disabilities. (click here to open infographic in a bigger window, and then click again)
infographic explaining why diversity in staff can improve business performance. Text version is below the infographic.
Text version:
Why Diversity in Staff Can Improve Business Performance
Disability affects a significant portion of  the global population. Here, we look at some of the benefits to both businesses, and people with disabilities, of obtaining employment.
Stats on Disability:
Over 1 billion people, roughly 15% of the global population, have some form of disability. Of the one billion, it is estimated that between 110 and 190 million have difficulty in functioning.
Rates of disability continue to increase due to aging population and an increase in chronic health conditions.
In developing countries, the rate of disability in children is expected to increase due to malnutrition, child labour and diseases.
Children with disabilities  are less likely to start or stay in school in comparison with persons without disability.
Employment and Disability Around the World:
In Asia, it is estimated that there are 238 million people of working age with a disability , with unemployment as high as 80% among these.
The unemployment rate for people with disabilities in Canada is over 20%.
In China, approximately 80% of people with disabilities are employed.
In India, 74% of people with physical disabilities are unemployed.
Over 60% of people with disabilities in America said they would like to find work, but could not find jobs.
What Are Reasonable Adjustments?
Modifying or acquiring equipment.
Facilitating training or mentoring.
Can include making changes to a disabled person’s working pattern.
May involve little or no cost.
Ensuring that information is provided in accessible formats.
Reasonable adjustments must be made to support applications from people with disabilities and employees with disabilities.
Making alterations to premises.
Benefits of Hiring Persons With Disabilities:
Enables a business to reach a bigger market, and develop greater flexibility.
Provides social opportunities and an income for people with disabilities.
Diversity in any work environment helps to develop better solutions to business challenges.
Enables companies to better serve their customers who also have disabilities.
Studies in the US found that people with disabilities had better retention rates and less absenteeism rates.
In the UK, B&Q found that employing workers with disabilities had resulted in increased employee satisfaction and better retention and productivity rates.
“Each person is talented in his or her own way, and we should look at what they have and what they don’t have.” – Tan Tong Hai, Chief Executive Officer  of Starhub Ltd.
“Disability is a matter of perception. If you can do just one thing well, you’re needed by someone.” – Martina Navratilova, Former world number 1 tennis player
“Persons with a disability bring with them something that a lot of other people  don’t have. They are able to manage a very difficult life. They couldn’t manage ordinary life without developing excellent problem-solving skills, which makes them an asset.” – Mark Bagshaw, Managing Director Innov8


Source: Assistive Technology Blog: [INFOGRAPHIC] Why Diversity in Staff Can Improve Business Performance


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[ARTICLE] The relationship between caregiver impacts and the unmet needs of survivors of stroke – Full Text HTML



Caregivers play a crucial role in meeting the needs of survivors of stroke. Yet, little is known about how they are impacted by their caregiving role.


To describe the relationship between survivor long-term unmet needs (>12 months) and caregiver impacts, and identify characteristics that are associated with reported moderate to severe impacts on caregivers.


This was a cross-sectional survey using data from the Australian Stroke Survivor and Carer Needs Survey. Community dwelling adults 12+ months poststroke and their caregivers participated. Caregivers and survivors were asked about the extent to which the domains of work, leisure and family, and friend and spousal relationships had been impacted using a Likert scale of responses. The extent to which survivor needs were being met was measured over the domains of health, everyday living, work, leisure, and finances, and the total number of unmet needs was calculated. The association between survivor unmet needs and caregiver impacts was assessed using multivariable logistic regression adjusted for caregiver and survivor characteristics.


Of the 738 completed survivor surveys, 369 contained matched caregiver data (survivors: median age, 71 years; 67% male) (caregivers: median age, 64 years; 26% male). For caregivers, the domains of work, leisure, and friendships were most impacted. The odds of a caregiver experiencing moderate to extreme impacts increased with the number of reported survivor unmet needs. This was greatest for spousal (aOR [adjusted odds ratio]: 1.14; 95% CI [confidence interval]: 1.07, 1.21; P<0.001) and friend relationships (aOR: 1.14; 95% CI: 1.07, 1.21; P<0.001). Caring for a survivor who needed daily living assistance was associated with moderate to extreme caregiver impacts across all domains.


Caregivers of survivors of stroke experience large negative impacts, the extent to which is associated with survivors unmet needs. Targeted, long-term solutions are needed to support survivors and caregivers living in the community.

Continue —>  The relationship between caregiver impacts and the unmet needs of survivors of stroke.

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