Front Page Blog

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 08:22

By Chris Law, PhD, Senior Accessibility Analyst

In a recent industry show-and-tell, Paul Schroeder of the American Foundation of the Blind gave us all a good chuckle when he said “I didn’t realize 508 referred to the number of weeks it would take to get the standards updated!”

February 2015 saw the publication of the (third) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by the Access Board. The document updates Section 508 standards that cover the accessibility of electronic and information technology within the federal government and updates Section 255 guidelines that cover access to telecommunications and apply to providers and equipment manufacturers. Collectively, this is known as the “Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Refresh.” The goal is to respond to changes in technologies, industry trends and to ensure consistency in...

Friday, April 24, 2015 - 10:43

By Angelica P. Herrera-Venson, DrPH, MPH

Senior Research Analyst

 

As we celebrate National Minority Health and Health Disparities month, it is important to reflect on the events that shaped the movement and the potential for new initiatives to influence serious change. While significant progress has been made in some areas; in others, it has remained stagnant.

FROM NEGRO HEALTH WEEK TO HEALTH DISPARITIES 

Efforts to address health disparities can be traced to the early 1900s, stemming from research by African-American scientist, W. E. B. Du Bois. His research indicated that higher mortality in African-Americans was due to their poor social and environmental conditions, rather than the prevailing myth of racial inferiority.1 

The Negro Health Improvement Week in 1915 was among the first federal activities focused on the public health needs of African Americans. In 1980, the Office of Research on...

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 12:50

By Anna Lenhart, MPH, Project Manager

What is public health? Not getting polio. Buckling your seat belt. Not inhaling secondhand smoke. Laying your sleeping infant on her back. Getting a glass of water without worrying it will make you sick. Putting on a bike helmet. Decreased infant mortality rates. Increased safety in the workplace. The past contributions and ongoing work of the public health community touch our lives every day, through the things we see and do, and more importantly – through the things we no longer see and do.

Today, April 6, is the first day of the 20th annual National Public Health Week (NPHW). Started in 1985, NPHW takes place each year during the first week of April to recognize the important contributions public health has made to our nation in the past and highlights issues important to creating a healthy future. This year’s theme is Healthiest Nation 2030 – a unique challenge calling upon every...

Monday, March 30, 2015 - 13:37

Photo by Sue Eitel

By: Martin Hayes

There is an abundance of global evidence demonstrating the serious harm associated with the placement of children in residential care institutions, such as orphanages. Residential institutions consistently fail to meet children’s developmental needs for attachment, acculturation and social integration. Extended periods of time in residential care, particularly for younger children, may stunt brain development.

The overall aim of USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF) is to reduce the number of children outside of family care by supporting community and family capacities to care for children and by strengthening national child protection systems to better regulate residential child care institutions and to provide adequate services for children to stay in family care. DCOF currently supports...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 09:12

By Cherie Takemoto, MPA, Project Manager

Because my son has a disability and works, he also must file a tax return. Last year I helped him file his returns for the first time. We began by using the IRS Free File option for people earning less than $60,000. By selecting the “Help me find Free File software” I was able to find a “name-brand” software that we used to auto-file his Federal return and his state return. Although we did not use them, I discovered that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also provides accessible tax forms and offers free tax preparation...

Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 12:02

By The New Editions Conference Team

Accessibility is a required and important part of every meeting planning process. Our population is growing older and attendees may have limitations due to aging. Individuals with disabilities are increasingly part of every community and organization. By making meetings accessible, you help create an inclusive environment and provide a greater opportunity for all attendees to participate and interact. New Editions’ conference team has planned and conducted accessible meetings for over 15 years. With “conference season” approaching, we share a few tips to help you plan inclusive meetings.

Budget

Even if you don’t know in advance whether any of the attendees will need disability-related accommodations, you should still budget for them. Include costs for sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, captioning, and printing material in alternate formats such as Braille and large print. Keep...

Monday, February 23, 2015 - 14:18

February is American Heart MonthSore Gums, Puffy Feet and Other Important Warning Signs of Heart Disease

By Carolyn Pritchyk, MSN, RN

The human heart, the size of a fist and the strongest muscle in the human body, beats about 100,000 times a day or about 2.5 billion times over a 70 year lifetime. With each beat, blood is pumped from the left chambers of the heart throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients, and collecting waste products, then returning to the right chambers of the heart. Waste products are removed as the blood circulates through the liver.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, is the leading cause of death for men and women in America. Someone dies from it every 39 seconds in the US. CVD is responsible...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 - 09:46

By Lesley Nesmith, MA, OTR/L, ATP

Get Ready, Set, Snow! Winter sports enthusiasts embrace all that Mother Nature has to offer, whether a snow capped mountain, a frozen ice rink, or the backyard. Snow skiing, ice skating and sledding are winter activities enjoyed by many, including people with disabilities. Good equipment and smart preparation help ensure safe winter fun.

There are many adaptive equipment options available for skiers with disabilities. Skiers with lower body limitations (e.g., double leg amputation, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis) may use a mono-ski or bi-ski. Individuals sit in a seat mounted to a single ski or to two skis and use hand-held outriggers. The mono-ski requires greater balance and strength than the bi-ski. Skiers with upper body limitations may be able to use a prosthetic device for skiing that fits a standard prosthetic wrist and allows bending at the elbow. This can be used for both downhill and cross-country skiing....

Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 12:55

By Ceseley Haynes, MPH

So it’s the beginning of the New Year, now what? Like many other people, you may have made the resolution to get healthy by improving your diet and increasing the amount you exercise. Transitioning into a healthier lifestyle is not easy.

If you have a disability or chronic condition, it may be even more challenging to live a healthier lifestyle. New Editions’ work on two contracts--Support of Core Public Health Functions of Disability for the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disability Development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Management of Federal Diabetes and Vision Exemption Programs for the Department of Transportation--has shown us the importance of good health for successful independent living, education, and employment for all people, especially those with disabilities. However, according to the CDC people with disabilities may experience the following barriers to good health:...

Monday, January 5, 2015 - 09:14

By Shelia Newman, MS, President

Retiring Senator Tom Harkin and I have common interests. We share a passion for improving the quality of life for people with disabilities and we both support the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have both been to Cuba twice and we have both been criticized for our comments about Cuba’s healthcare system. 

Neither Senator Harkin nor I said that Cuba has better healthcare than the US - what we said is we think Cuba’s healthcare “system” is impressive.

Senator Harkin and I praised the strengths of Cuba’s system, including a focus on preventative healthcare and training enough healthcare workers to serve every community. We are not alone in our praise. Salim Lamrani, in an October 2014 Huffington Post blog wrote: “During her recent visit to Havana in July of 2014, Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), impressed by the country's...