RTC/CL Happenings, Spring/Summer 2016

Alice and GlenE Alice Zhang Honored

Congratulations to E (Alice) Zhang (pictured on right) on receiving the 2015 Early Stage Graduate Award from the Friends of the Life Span Institute on April 8. Zhang is a graduate research assistant in the Research and Training Center on Independent Living (RTC/IL) and a doctoral student in KU's Department of Applied Behavioral Science.

She conducts her research under doctoral advisor Dr. Glen White (left in photo), Director of the RTC/IL. Her recent master's thesis focuses on how to increase parking opportunities for people with lift-equipped vans. The results of this study have been widely disseminated and will be published next year in the Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community.

Ron Garcia and some studentsRon Garcia Visits RTC/IL

Ron Garcia values curiosity, and he put his own to full use when he visited the RTC/IL for two days in January. Garcia is a member of the Scientific and Consumer Advisory Panel (SCAP) for the Center. These external advisors contribute their expertise and experience to help keep the Center's research both rigorous and relevant to the lives of people with disabilities.

As Executive Director of New Vistas Center fro Independent Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Garcia had two goals for this visit: "To learn how I can support KU's center in its work, and to learn how this center's work has applications on the ground level - to make a difference in the lives of people we serve." He met with research staff and graduate students to discuss their projects and goals. Pictured from left: (back) Jeff Gordon, Ron Garcia, Kelsey Shinnick; (front) E (Alice) Zhang.

RTC/IL Produces Spanish Version of Disability Language Guidelines

The RTC/IL has produced a Spanish language version of its internationally known Guidelines: How to Write and Report About People with Disabilities. Since the first edition of the Guidelines was published in 1984, some of its recommendations have been adopted by the Associated Press, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association and other organizations.

"The sixth edition was the only previous version that we translated into Spanish, but as language evolves, we saw a need for a new Spanish edition," noted Center Director Glen White.

"We know that Spanish has many regional variations, and our focus on colloquial expressions presents real challenges for translation," said White. "Yet we feel it is important to make this information available to Spanish speakers in the United States and around the world. Our goal is to encourage people to use respectful language and to stimulate conversation about what that means in their own culture." 

Hodgesmith and colleaguesHodgesmith Collaborates with Spaulding-Harvard TBI Model System

Martha Hodgesmith was a facilitator for and delivered the opening presentation at the Spaulding-Harvard Traumatic Brain Injury Model System's invitational Severe TBI Stakeholder Summit at Spaulding Rehab on May 16. This summit educated participants about critical gaps that exist between patient needs, rehabilitation services, research findings and existing health care policy involving persons with severe TBI. Hodgesmith helped plan the event, which adopted a rapid presentation method that our Center employed in our 2013 Bridging Meeting.

Hodgesmith (center) is pictured with Ian Graham, PhD, (left) and Joseph Giacino, PhD, Summit Director and Project Director, Spaulding-Harvard TBI Model System. Graham was a cofacilitator and worked with our Center for our 2013 Bridging Meeting.

Kansas Adopts Center's Accessible Parking Etiquette Guide

Glen White, E (Alice) Zhang and Kelsey Shinnick presented their research on parking accessibility at a meeting of the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns last November, along with a brochure about etiquette for using accessible parking spaces. Now the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns (KCDC) is endorsing the brochure, and the Department of Revenue's Division of Vehicles plans to give the brochure to people who receive accessible parking placards and licenses, as well as including some of the information in its driver's licensing test manuals.

The brochure is currently in revision; we will announce its availability soon, and it will be distributed electronically by KCDC and the Department of Revenue.

Glen and Kelsey with some folks in a Peruvian libraryIndependent Living in Peru

Glen White (seated at left) and Kelsey Shinnick (standing, left) traveled to Lima, Peru in January 2016 to meet with and interview key Peruvian disability leaders as a follow-up to the Lima Concerns Report, conducted in conjunction with White's previous visits in 1999 and 2012.

Through their interviews they learned that disability leaders were more politically involved, yet little corresponding progress was made in disability rights and opportunities. One of the strongest concerns was the lack of accessible public transportation. The Lima metropolitan transit system purchased new mass transit buses, yet none of them was accessible. White encouraged the key informants to write and submit presentation proposals to the 2016 NCIL Conference, and two of these proposals were accepted.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Andrew Myers and Craig Ravesloot published "Navigating time and space: how Americans with disabilities use time and transportation" in Community Development, Volume 47, Issue 1, 2016, pp. 75-90, Nov. 2015.

Craig Ravesloot is lead author of Living Well with a Disability, a Self-Management Program (PDF), published in a Supplement to Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Feb. 12, 2016, Vol. 65, No. 1, US Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tom Seekins and Glen White are among the coauthors.

Partners Present Center Findings

Craig Ravesloot, Andrew Myers, Lillie Greiman and Bryce Ward presented "Housing Characteristics, Home Experiences and Community Engagement of People Who Report Impairment" at the 2016 NARRTC conference on May 6.

Charles Drum, Tom Seekins and Sara Rainer created a poster about the Community Engagement Initiative, which Rainer presented at the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) College of Health and Human Services Research Celebration on February 5. In addition, Rochelle Jewell, a student from the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) at UNH, developed a poster about the research project that aims to increase access to health care and recreation. She presented her poster at the New Hampshire LEND Capstone event on May 13.

dot nary uses the accessible scaleDisability in the KU Picture

Dot Nary is pictured in the new University of Kansas Viewbook for students who are considering attending KU. Nary (left in photo) mentored Jordyn Gunville (right) for a service learning project in which Gunville studied the barriers that people with disabilities experience in accessing health care and promoting their own health. Part of Gunville's work focused on the lack of accessible weight scales for wheelchair users in health care settings. (The scale in the photo is in KU's campus health center).

Nary says, "As an aspiring medical student, Jordyn wanted to learn more about disability and health. She plans to return to her reservation in South Dakota, where there is a high rate of disability among the tribe. I expect she will use what she learned about health for people with disabilities in her future practice."