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John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development;
This report provides an overview of practices and strategies taking place in U.S. corporations that are considered promising practices in the recruitment, hiring, and retention of people with disabilities. It explores the trends and needs of the retail sector and also examines how retail employers are meeting their workforce needs by hiring people with disabilities.
John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development;
Heldrich Center Executive Director Kathy Krepcio presented "An Overview of U.S. Corporate Practices in the Employment of People with Disabilities: Spotlight on the Retail Sector" at a Disabilities Stakeholders Forum in January 2008.
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation;
This updated resource features more than 80 charts and tables with detailed information about the Medicare program and the 42 million seniors and younger people with disabilities who rely on the program for health insurance coverage. It covers a wide range of relevant data, including state-by-state information when available. Each section can be accessed individually, or the full chartbook can be downloaded in its entirety.
National Association of State Directors of Special Education;
Tools for Promoting Educational Success and Reducing Delinquency grew out of a joint initiative hosted by the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN). The two organizations brought together a small group to develop what came to known as the "Juvenile Justice Shared Agenda" to address concerns about the over-representation of students with disabilities in the juvenile justice system. As envisioned, the Shared Agenda has two components: (1) an in-depth overview of the issues and (2) a series of "tools for success" -- best and promising practices that are being implemented with success in schools throughout the country and can be used in classrooms to prevent students -- including those with disabilities -- from being referred to the juvenile justice system because of their behavior in school. The Tools have evolved into the set of nine components or Steps that relate to various stages of a student's age, juvenile status or type of intervention.. The nine Steps included in the Tools document are: - Pre-school Early Intervention: Birth Through Age 5 - Universal Interventions - Targeted Interventions - Intensive Interventions - Transition from School to Post-School Activities - Children in the Child Welfare System - Court-Involved Youth - Youth in Juvenile Justice Facilities and - School Re-enrollment and Transition from Juvenile Justice Facilities The Tools were researched and written by more than 60 individuals working together on the Share Agenda initiative. A list of the participants can be found in the document.
MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Initiative, The;
Part of the Volume on the Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning
In this chapter I examine the accessibility of today's games, or rather the lack of. Even common medical conditions such as arthritis, repetitive stress injuries, and diminished vision may prevent individuals from playing today's top software titles, not to speak of the barriers that these titles pose to the blind, deaf, and immobile. The clearest and most disheartening manifestation can be found when examining the special-needs sector. There we find children who cannot partake in their most coveted play activities, due to inconsiderate (and therefore inflexible) game design. I chose this sector to both define the problem and explore its solutions. Written from the perspective of a designer, the chapter first describes the lack-of-play and its residual impact as perceived in a school that caters to over 200 children with special needs. In an attempt to create the "ultimate-accessible" game, I demonstrate how games can be designed to be intrinsically accessible while retaining their original playability. Lastly, I show how normalization-of-play may improve upon the social, educational, and therapeutic aspects of the children's daily lives. Tying this fringe-case with the grander ecology of games, I discusses how better accessibility may encourage more people to enjoy games -- be they gamers, students, or patients.
A random assignment study of a welfare-to-work program for recipients with work-limiting medical and mental health conditions shows that participants had increased employment and decreased welfare payments.
Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq. Early evidence suggests that the psychological toll of these deployments may be disproportionately high compared with the physical injuries of combat. Research has focused primarily on three conditions: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Karney et al. review the empirical literature on these three conditions, focusing on research that supports projections about the likely outcomes for OEF/OIF veterans and their families. These include an increased risk of suicide, substance abuse, and cardiovascular disease. Mental health conditions among veterans are also associated with reduced work productivity and future job prospects and may be a precursor to homelessness. Post-combat mental health disorders also affect servicemembers' spouses and children: For example, each of the three disorders has been linked to intimate partner violence and divorce. The authors also emphasize that it is common for veterans with one of the three conditions -- PTSD, depression, or TBI -- to also develop another of the three, and such individuals tend to experience more severe symptoms, poorer treatment outcomes, and more disability in social and occupation function. Karney et al. conclude with two series of recommendations: one for future research, and one for policy and interventions to mitigate the consequences of post-combat mental health conditions.
Information is covered for families of veterans returning from deployment in Iraq or Afghanistan about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other emotional and behavioral problems that veterans may face. Before developing this pamphlet, companion to CP-534-IADIF (Post-Deployment Stress: What You Should Know, What You Can Do), RAND surveyed a couple hundred existing educational materials on these topics. The researchers then coded and classified these materials and reviewed them to identify gaps in information and to isolate the best materials from which to draw upon. Based on these refined materials, the booklet was further improved by feedback from RAND Corporation experts, other military mental health experts, and nine focus groups including service members and their families.
Program for Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, University of Calgary, Canada;
Oscar Pistorius is a Paralympic bionic leg runner and record holder in the 100, 200, and 400 meters who wants to compete in the Olympics. This paper provides an analysis of a) his case; b) the impact of his case on the Olympics, the Paralympics and other -lympics and the relationships between the -lympics; c) the impact on other international and national sports; d) the applicability of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It situates the evaluation of the Pistorius case within the broader doping discourse and the reality that new and emerging science and technology products increasingly generate internal and external human bodily enhancements that go beyond the species-typical, enabling more and more a culture of increasing demand for, and acceptance of modifications of the human body (structure, function, abilities) beyond its species-typical boundaries and the emergence of new social concepts such as transhumanism and the transhumanisation of ableism.
Women's Refugee Commission (formerly Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children);
Around the world, an estimated 3.5 million displaced people live with disabilities in refugee camps and urban slum settlements. The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, undertook a six-month research project to assess the situation of those with disabilities among refugee and conflict-affected populations. Using our field research in five countries, Ecuador, Jordan, Nepal, Thailand and Yemen, the Women's Commission sought to map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify gaps and good practices and make concrete recommendations on how to improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons with disabilities.
- Refugees with disabilities are among the most hidden, neglected and socially excluded of all displaced people in the world.
- They are excluded from or unable to access mainstream assistance programs as a result of attitudinal, physical and social barriers and are forgotten in the establishment of specialized and targeted services.
- Refugees with disabilities are more isolated following their displacement than they were in their home communities and their potential to contribute and participate is seldom recognized.
Special Olympics has published the results of a multi-legged study of the impact of Special Olympics programs on the lives of its athletes in the United States. According to Changing Lives through Sport -- A Report Card on the Impact of Special Olympics, the benefits of participation in Special Olympics are substantial.
The research shows that there is an overwhelming consensus among Special Olympics athletes, coaches and family members that there is significant improvement in athletes' sense of self, social skills and social interactions due to their participation in Special Olympics.
In addition, parents also see health benefits that are critical, given the unmet health needs of people with intellectual disabilities.
The evidence from these studies clearly illustrates that Special Olympics enables people with intellectual disabilities to demonstrate and experience sports competence and suggests that gains in self-confidence, self-esteem, employment and socialization can carry beyond Special Olympics.
For example, more than half (52 percent) of adult Special Olympics athletes have jobs. While reliable data about the employment status of the general population of adults with intellectual disabilities are hard to come by, values as low as 10 percent have been cited. This suggests a strong relationship between Special Olympics participation and the ability to be employed.
The new research also shows that Special Olympics athletes have much in common with other athletes. For example, Special Olympics athletes enjoy the social experiences that accompany participation in sports training and competition. Teammates provide an important and valuable source of friendship, with more than half of the athletes socializing with teammates outside of Special Olympics. As with other athletes, Special Olympics athletes are motivated to participate by their enjoyment of sports and by the competition Special Olympics provides. They are serious about their sports and are not seeking sympathy or even special treatment.
Overall, the rationales for participation are similar to other athletes at various levels and in various programs. Even those who leave Special Olympics due to life changes overwhelmingly express their satisfaction with their Special Olympics experience and would be willing to reestablish their participation if circumstances permitted.
The study is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impact of the Special Olympics experience on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. More than 2,000 interviews of a representative sampling of U.S. athletes, coaches and families members were conducted over a period of four months starting in October 2004. The study was carried out by the University of Massachusetts Boston and the University of Utah with support from the Gallup Organization. Dr. Gary Siperstein and Coreen Harada from the University of Massachusetts Boston and Dr. Michael Hardman and Jayne Maguire from the University of Utah served as investigators.
A preliminary report on the evaluation of the Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia Unified Football Pilot Project.
There is growing support in European societies for the total inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in all aspects of the community. Sport provides a means for supporting this integration process.
Unified Sports is one mechanism for promoting social inclusion through sport. Unified Sports is a Special Olympics initiative that provides opportunities for sportsmen with and without intellectual disabilities to play on integrated sport teams. This experience allows athletes and partners to develop sport skills, have meaningful competition experiences, and create long lasting friendships.
In 2005, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia developed a school-based pilot project that merged the Special Olympics school curriculum SO Get Into It with Special Olympics Unified Football. The goals of this pilot project were to improve the sport skills, social skills, and self-esteem of students with and without intellectual disabilities. In addition, the project aimed to improve the understanding and acceptance of students without disabilities towards people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia and Special Olympics, Inc., commissioned the Special Olympics Global Collaborating Center (GCC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston to implement a comprehensive evaluation of this pilot project.
The findings of this evaluation suggest that this model of Unified football has been successful in promoting social inclusion. Though separated by their educational settings, these students with and without intellectual disabilities have come together on the playing field to learn about sport and one another.