Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fantastic (free) rehabilitation articles from Cornell

Cornell University's ILR school has a free "Digital commons" called the Gladnet Collection with loads of great articles on a range of disability and rehabilitation topics. Below are a few of the ones that jumped out.

Disability and the Muslim Perspective: An Introduction for Rehabilitation and Health Care Providers, Rooshey Hasnain, Laura Cohon Shaikh, and Hasnan Shanawani
Job Accommodations for People with Learning disabilities Dale Susan Brown
Scope of Practice for Rehabilitation Counseling from the CRCC
The Disability Divide: A Study into the Impact of Computing and Internet-related Technologies on People who are Blind or Vision Impaired Scott Emery Hollier, Curtin University of Technology

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Birthday

Okay, since its my birthday, I thought I've give you a variety of happy birthday information and trivia.

Is Happy Birthday still under Copyright? See Snopes for the answer
Research paper about the history of the copyright of Happy Birthday
200 Documents relating to the copyright of Happy Birthday

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fascinating auditory illusion

Fascinating auditory illusion (via, Boingboing). BB cites wikipedia "A Shepard tone, named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower."

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Patterson talks disability at the DNC

An excellent article from News Day on NY Governor David Patterson's speech at the Democratic National Convention.

"it was a bit unusual for some New Yorkers to watch Paterson use part of his short speech in Denver to predict a new era for the disabled would be ushered in under a president Barack Obama...It was a rare and serious foray for Paterson into the topic of disabilities. He's not one to declare that he won't let blindness stop him, or that he refuses to use his disability as an excuse. Paterson doesn't dip into those profile-in-courage cliches, as inspiring as they can be. He mostly deals with his disability by, seemingly, not dealing with it all."

I continue to be impressed by Mr. Patterson's attitude and humor. As the article notes, he doesn't take to being an "inspiration", and I think it's a healthy attitude for himself and for others to see of those with disabilities. He also obviously has an easy humor about him, I love the opening joke about his time being up. The full speech is below, thanks to You Tube.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BBCs missing model Pt III (the final chapter)

After two previous posts on this issue, this (may be) the final chapter about this show. (Pt I and Pt II) A winner has been crowned in the BBCs show the missing Model. The Telegraph (UK) has an article about the winner, Kelly Knox.

Since the original post, I have become aware of a beauty pagent here in America called Ms. Wheelchair America (no prizes for guessing who the contestants are). Sadly, according to the official Ms. Wheelchair America website, Maine was not represented this year.

Ms. Wheelchair Texas Flicr collection

Maine VRC Missing Model Pt I

Maine VRC Missing Model Pt II

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Paralympic manual revisions due to offensive language

In a follow up to an earlier Maine VRC post, here's some video about the recall of the volunteer manual for the 2008 Paralympic games in Beijing due to start September 6.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Cognitive Disability: A Challenge to Moral Philosophy

There's an upcoming conference at Stonybrook University in NY which sounds fascinating.

"Cognitive disability: A challenge to Moral Philosophy"

"The realities of cognitive disability pose a significant challenge to certain key conceptions philosophers have held. Philosophers have conceived of the mark of humanity as the possession of rational cognitive capacities. They have traditionally extended the mantles of equality, dignity, justice, responsibility, and moral fellowship to those with these abilities, whom they speak of as "persons." What then should we say about those with severe cognitive disabilities? How should we treat these individuals and what sorts of entitlements can they claim? Should we grant the arguments of some philosophers who want to parse our moral universe in ways that depend on degrees of cognitive capacity, not on being human? How do claims for the moral consideration of animals bear on the question? Is it morally acceptable to consign some human beings to the status of "non-persons"? Philosophers have rarely faced these questions squarely and systematically."

Further information notes that the main focus of the conversations will be regarding those with Ausism/ Aspergers, Alzheimers and "those labled 'mentally retarded'."

The conference runs from September 18-20. See Stonybrook's site for more information.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Questions for Cash for Breast Cancer research

Purina Cat Chow will donate $1 for every person who takes a breast cancer awareness questions.

" In celebration of the loving support ourcats provide, we're donating $175,00 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.
And you can help. For every person who completes our breast cancer awareness questions, we'll donate an additional $1.00 (up to $50,000 above the $175,000 minimum donation). "

Get over there now

Via the Freebie Blogger (thanks)

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

ADA revisions (mini golf concerns revisited)

I've been amazed how the minature golf piece has been reported and re-reported over and over regarding the ADA changes. Amazing.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

"Assistive Technology: A video tour of Accessibility"

A good collection of videos demonstrating various assistive technologies. Demonstrations include screen readers and magnifiers, speech to text software, an AT vendor in the UK's You tube page with various demonstrations of their equipment, and web accessibility.

Word of warning though, the videos I checked were not captioned, and I'm not sure whether any of them are. That aside There's plenty there to browse and learn about assistive technology (AT), so leave some time or return often to wade through the collection.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Post Partum Depression

Good video on Post Partum Depression from Parents TV

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Attention span

"The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds - the same as a goldfish,” said the BBC in 2002. “Our attention span gets affected by the way we do things,” Ted Selker, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told the British news agency. “If we spend our time flitting from one thing to another on the web, we can get into a habit of not concentrating.”
-As quoted by Sitepoint

Though focused on the web design aspects of attention (and not making our pages too long), it raises some interesting points regarding the way we receive information and the impact it has on us when we're required to attend to something for longer periods. I have felt for a long time that the way we receive information is contributing to this short attention span, even when we're watching a movie or a show that lasts and hour or more, scenes or camera shots rarely last more than a few seconds.

Thinking of our minds as a muscle, we need to train it to either sprint or do distance.

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