RTC/CL Happenings, Winter 2015

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Glen White and Jean Ann Summers published two articles about their research on improving college students’ abilities to advocate for themselves. Both pieces appear in the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, Volume 27, No 3 (Jan. 2015): 


  • Evaluating the Effects of a Self-Advocacy Training Program for Undergraduates with Disabilities by Glen W. White, Jean Ann Summers, E Zhang, Val Renault
  • Providing Support to Postsecondary Students with Disabilities to Request Accommodations: A Framework for Intervention by Jean Ann Summers, Glen W. White, E. Zhang, Jeffrey M. Gordon   

Dot Nary published a guide to “Making homes more visitable for wheelchair users and potential hosts” in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Oct. 2014, Volume 95, Issue 10, pages 1995–1996). Health care providers can easily remove this educational page from the journal to share with patients and their caregivers.

New Products

Medical Exams

Catherine Graham is featured in a YouTube Video, Medical Examinations and People with Disabilities produced by Able South Carolina. There are two versions for full accessibility, with descriptive narration in the link above and ASL provided in a second version on YouTube.   

Brain Injury and Health Care

Martha Hodgesmith and Val Renault produced an Issue Brief (PDF available upon request) on “Improving Access to Health Care for Kansans with Brain Injuries” based on a collaboration with the Disability Rights Center of Kansas. This report summarizes information gathered from Kansans who have brain injuries (BI) at town hall meetings held in three Kansas locations. The brief presents recommendations for changes in policy and practice to improve the health care experience of Kansans with BI.

Rating Sites for Usability

The Center produced CHEC It Out: Map Your Community's Usability (YouTube) a motion graphic that promotes the CHEC (Community Health Environment Checklist). This free tool enables people with disabilities and their advocates to rate the usability of stores, restaurants, health care practices and other community sites. Users can then place the ratings on an online map to share the information with others.


Dot Nary and Val Renault are conducting trainings for assessors from Aging and Disability Resource Centers who will use the state of Kansas’s new Medicaid Functional Eligibility Instrument. The Center is collaborating with KU’s Center for Research on Aging and Disability Options and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services to develop this assessment for long-term services and supports. The current round of on-site pilot trainings will inform the development of an online curriculum.

Expanding Access on Campus

Dot Nary spearheaded a project to help the University of Kansas develop more accessible options for health-promoting activity (KU News). She collaborated with KU’s Recreation Services and several students to map accessible activity routes on the campus. 


Center researchers made presentations at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Nov. 2014.

  • Jerry Schultz presented “Use of the Community Tool Box to Build Capacity within Centers for Independent Living.”
  • Alice Zhang presented a poster titled "Analyzing the Effects of Different Signs to Increase the Availability of Designated Van Accessible Parking Spaces," co-authored with Glen White. 
  • Jeff Gordon presented a session on the ADA Accommodations Training Project to integrate students with disabilities into higher education settings.

Jerry Schultz presented “Participatory Evaluation and Capacity Building with Community Health Initiatives” at the Kansas Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Oct. 2014. Co-authors are Stephen Fawcett, Vicki Collie-Akers, and Christina Holt.

Tom Seekins, Craig Ravesloot and Lillie Greiman presented “Emerging Themes in Rural Communities” at the APRIL conference in Oct. 2014, discussing their work on the geography of rural disability, results from their pain study and new developments to remotely assess rural community accessibility using Google maps. 

Partners from Washington University made two presentations on the CHEC tool for mapping accessible community sites. Jessica Dashner presented the tool to the Kansas Assistive Technology steering committee in Dec. 2014. Savannah Sisk and Stephanie Flower presented “Mapping Community Usability” at the APRIL conference in Oct. 2014. 

Fabricio Balcazar made these presentations in Chicago:

  • “Cultural Competence – Dealing with the Complexity of Human Diversity: A Conceptual Framework.” Invited Presentation at LEND Program, Oct. 2014.
  • “Support Entrepreneurship with People with Disabilities,” Invited Guest Speaker, Invited Panel Discussion at ICRE 2014 Entrepreneurship Jump Start Fair, Chicago, IL, Sept. 2014.


Martha Hodgesmith and Val Renault consulted with Joseph T.  Giacino, Project Director of the Spaulding-Harvard TBI Model System, and his colleagues in Jan. 2015. The Harvard team was interested in learning about the process of our Bridging Meeting for a Stakeholder Summit they are planning to host on access to rehabilitation after severe TBI.