Pa. seeks to standardize early intervention services | Researchers study fascia massage for children with cerebral palsy | Ohio pilots dyslexia intervention program
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January 2, 2013
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Disability Update
Pa. seeks to standardize early intervention services
Officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare say inconsistent eligibility standards for early intervention services mean students in one area may qualify for services while students in the next county may not. Some say they agree that changes are needed, but they also have raised concerns that changing the standards could result in fewer students qualifying for services such as speech therapy. The Altoona Mirror (Pa.) (12/25)
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Researchers study fascia massage for children with cerebral palsy
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine are studying how massaging the fascia tissue improves movement in children with cerebral palsy. The technique, known as rolfing after the doctor who popularized it in the 1970s, is believed to relax muscles and joints and improve movement. "This is not a cure," Karen Price, who performs the fascia-massage sessions, said. "This is giving kids the best use of what they have." San Francisco Chronicle (12/25)
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Ohio pilots dyslexia intervention program
Eight Ohio school districts are participating in a state pilot program that aims to judge effectiveness of early-reading interventions in curbing future special education referrals. Funded by the Ohio Department of Education?s Office for Exceptional Children, educators in participating districts will provide three tiers of instruction to struggling students. The Athens Messenger (Ohio) (12/26)
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Assistive Technology
Samsung engineers design more affordable DIY eye-tracking kit
Samsung engineers have developed a do-it-yourself eye-tracking kit to help individuals with neuromuscular syndromes communicate. The kit, called eyeCan, includes a pair of glasses, a webcam, infrared LEDs, copper wires and software and is expected to cost about $100, as opposed to the $10,000 price tag of current eye-tracking devices. Not yet ready for commercial use, the DIY device still has issues, such as interference with the camera from too much sunlight in the room. Yonhap News Agency (South Korea) (subscription required) (12/27)
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Other News
University to create financial training video for students with autism
The University of North Texas will use a $2,500 grant to produce a video that will help educate individuals with autism about money matters. The video, with an anticipated late spring release, will be available for free on college and financial management websites. "With this video, financial literacy professionals from around the country can gain better insight into how to take the topic of financial literacy -- as well as the core skills of budgeting -- and present it to individuals with autism," Paul Goebel of the UNT's Student Money Management Center said. The Dallas Morning News (subscription required) (12/23)
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Ohio college students with disabilities get access to internships
More students with disabilities enrolled at Wright State University in Ohio will have access to internships because of a recent partnership between the university and Procter & Gamble. "Many college students arrive on campus having never had a job, so their confidence level in being able to do it is at rock bottom," said Jeffrey Vernooy, director of the university's Office of Disability Services. Dayton Daily News (Ohio) (12/24)
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UCP News
World CP Day "Change my world in 1 minute" contest underway
United Cerebral Palsy has launched an international contest to help change the lives of people living with cerebral palsy through three innovative ideas: a solar-powered wheelchair, a fold-up wheelchair and a documentary highlighting the achievements of individuals living with CP. From now until March 31, 2013, UCP is inviting researchers, inventors and innovators to submit proposals for how they would bring these ideas to life -- and compete for a $25,000 prize. Think you could invent or create one of these three ideas? Learn more about the contest and World CP Day.
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If the wind will not serve, take to the oars."
-- Latin proverb
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About UCP
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit

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