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Alliance for Person-Centered Accessible Technologies

an IGERT program developed by ASU & CSULB

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Autism and Airport Screening

Via Patrick McGurrin

The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of Minnesota have recently published work describing the work potential of people (men for this study) with autism that are high functioning. They found that people with autism were equally as effective in searching baggage as travelers passed through airport security, and greatly improved at this job with time.  The study, as described by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, is “part of a growing push to find jobs that autistic people may actually perform better than so-called neurotypical individuals.”


The Alternative Limb Project

Via Patrick McGurrin

Dancer's prosthetic leg covered in gemstones

Crystallized leg. Image from the Alternative Limb Project

People may not always react appropriately when they see a person using a prosthetic device, inadvertently leading to unwanted social perceptions. In general, people have the tendency to interact, directly or indirectly, in a different manner between a person with and without a prosthetic device (or any other assistive technology).

Piper Robotics Conference

Via Patrick McGurrin

The Piper Health Solutions Workshop on Rehabilitation Robotics, having taken place in February 2013, was a gathering of renowned roboticists, neuroscientists, and rehabilitation specialists. The goal of the two-day seminar was to discuss ongoing issues related to research in rehabilitation and sensorimotor function. Neuroprosthetics were of particular interest at the conference because of their potential for 1) helping to restore function to a paralytic limb and 2) designing an artificial limb with high functional capability. This field is of particular interest to rehabilitation technology in that these novel designs are implementing an interface capable of integration with the user’s own central nervous system, making it possible for users to have more natural control of the device with decreased cognitive load, more precise level of control, and most importantly, a reinstatement of sensory information in the affected limb. The conference, as a whole, celebrated current advancements in robotics and neuroprosthetics.

News: 3-18-2013

Via Denise Baker

“Sequestration And Its Effect On Individuals With Special Needs”
Melissa Stuart of the The Friendship Circle outlines how sequestration could impact programs and services for people with disabilities. Education, Medicare, transportation, and housing assistance are just a few of the programs that will likely see budget cuts. It is still uncertain how these cuts will directly affect individuals who use these services, but longer wait times and reduced options seem inevitable.

Autism meets Miss America Beauty Pageant

From Lisa Lacy

When the word Autism is uttered, many people have puzzled looks on their faces or a smirk as if to say, "I have heard that word before. Not sure what it means, but, it seems as if every child that is a bit quirky is labeled with that word.” Autism seems to be on the rise and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect two –six children out of every 1,000 in the U.S. Autism spectrum disorders affect three different areas of a child's life: Social interaction, Communication (nonverbal and/or verbal), and behaviors and interests. The debate continues on whether the increase of autism is due to external causes or more expansive diagnosis. Regardless of which side of the argument you find yourself (whether you are a parent, a teacher social worker or physician), children with ASD are integral participants in schools and communities, and want to be viewed and treated as normally as their non ASD peers.

What We're About

People with disabilities are the largest minority; about 20% of Americans have a disability. When we think of people with disabilities, images that may come to mind are of the devices that some people with disabilities use: assistive technologies. These may include wheelchairs, white canes, hearing aids, prosthetic limbs, and companion animals. Throughout recent history, special classrooms and courses of therapy are all technologies that people with disabilities have used and in some cases, continue to utilize.

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