The best web sites for vision-, hearing- and motion-impaired users have been announced by 7-123 Software. The Salem, Mass. software company released its seventh annual winners list on March 31. The web sites were reviewed to recognize noteworthy contributions to the accessible gaming community. Read the list here.
Some parents claim the state of Florida is forcing them to send their children with special needs to subpar nursing homes rather than providing in-home care. At the center of the story is Kidz Korner, a nursing home where hidden camera footage captured children in wheelchairs spending hours by themselves in the hallway with very little interaction. Read more.
Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks and first legally deaf player on the NFL, surprised a couple of his biggest fans with tickets to the Super Bowl. Coleman surprised nine-year-old twins Riley and Erin Kovalcik while the girls were taping a segment for Good Morning America. The girls, who are also hearing impaired, had written Coleman a letter that went viral expressing their admiration of his accomplishments despite having a disability. Read more.
The Schneider Family Book Awards honoring books that highlight the disability experience were announced this week along with the renowned Caldecott and Newbery awards for children’s literature by the American Library Association. The awards are given to authors and illustrators in three different categories “for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” This year’s winners included stories about an artist wounded while serving in World War I, a princess with a foot deformity who helps chase dragons and a courageous American pilot who is captured by Nazis and sent to a concentration camp.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared a new blood test on Friday that can detect mental disabilities in infants. The laboratory test called CytoScan Dx Assay is not intended for prenatal screening but for helping doctors diagnose some developmental disabilities earlier, such as Down syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome.
Whereas other existing tests are generally only used after a child starts exhibiting signs of a disorder, doctors said the new test should be available to use before any signs occur to help get appropriate care right away. Read more.
In her new book “Raising Henry,” Columbia University professor Rachel Adams separates her son from his Down syndrome diagnosis. In this New York Times book review, Adams is applauded for making the argument that Henry’s diagnosis is a disability, not a tragedy, but is asked for more personal reflection of who Henry is. Read more.
Boys born prematurely are more likely to be at risk of disability than girls, according to new reports from the “Pediatric Research” journal. The research papers, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, concluded that baby boys have a higher likelihood of infections, jaundice, birth complications and congenital conditions in general but the biggest risk was preterm birth. The findings were published to coincide with the third annual World Prematurity Day on Sunday, Nov. 17. Read more.
People with disabilities will no longer be able to skip long lines at Disneyland and Walt Disney World starting Oct. 9. The change is in response to able-bodied patrons who were abusing Disney’s current disability policy that gives eligible visitors guest assistance passes for quicker access to rides. Read more.
New research suggests a connection between the “bonding” or “love” hormone oxytocin and those brain systems that produce pleasure and motivation. According to the study published in the journal Nature, interfering with oxytocin’s activity can inhibit social behavior, possibly demonstrating why some children with autism are not as interested in other people.
Despite an increased risk for complications from the flu, many children with disabilities are not being vaccinated.
According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about half of children with neurological conditions, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy and other disorders receive the flu vaccine each year. While that’s on par with the vaccination rate for all children, those with special needs face bigger health risks, even death, if they contract the flu. Read more.