On September 23rd, the San Bruno Branch Office held a ribbon-cutting mixer highlighting the newly designed office. We had San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane in attendance (seen above cutting the red ribbon) as well as the Chamber of Commerce and a number of staff.
The 2016 Disabilities Art Showcase is co-sponsored by
The San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities and the San Mateo County Arts Commission. This Art Showcase is open to artists with disabilities who live in the County of San Mateo.
Artists are encouraged to submit 2-dimensional
artwork and photography that exemplifies their
personal views of the world. Only ONE (1) entry
may be submitted per artist.
Fifty (50) pieces of artwork by artists with disabilities will be on display during
the month of October 2016, in celebration of “Disabilities Awareness Month” Artwork by qualified artists with disabilities will be
accepted on a first-come basis.
Artwork will be exhibited on the main floor at the
Caldwell Gallery 400 County Center in Redwood City
from October 4 to October 27.
For ENTRY FORMS and RULES please contact Craig McCulloh
San Mateo County Commission on Disabilities
(650) 573-2480 or 711 CA Relay
Bahar Gholipour Senior Writer, The Huffington Post
A brain-controlled robotic suit has helped eight patients with severe spinal cord injuries recover some of their neurological function, scientists revealed Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports.
After 12 months of training in a lab, some of the participants started to regain sensations below the point of their spinal cord injury, and others also regained some muscle movement, according to the findings.
“As you can imagine, this is for us a very important milestone,” said Dr. Miguel Nicolelis of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “Nobody ever imagined that one day, we will be talking about the possibility of using brain-machine interface to induce partial neurological recovery in patients who have been diagnosed as having complete spinal cord injury.”
The robotic suit that the participants used consists of an exoskeleton that is guided by brain activity picked up by electrodes placed on the scalp. Signals from sensors in the lining of the exoskeleton travel to users’ forearms, where they still have sensation, so that they can receive some form of sensory feedback as they learn to walk with the exoskeleton.
The system also makes use of a virtual reality environment that enables the user to practice moving an avatar as they imagine walking.
The amount of neurological improvement the participants experienced is not enough to allow them to walk unassisted, but it can improve their quality of life, the researchers said.
“For almost a decade, [the patients] had remained on the most severe classification of spinal cord injury. By the end of 2014, half of these patients had to be reclassified as being partial paraplegic,” Nicolelis said in a press briefing.
Experts not involved in the study were excited by the findings.
“This is very cutting edge,” said Ela Plow, researcher at Cleveland FES Center and assistant professor at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner College of Medicine. “Telling the patient that they are completely injured is a very difficult process, because that means almost telling them that they have no potential for recovery. But then they took these patients and gave them long-term retraining through a mix of techniques and realized that they could generate a process of partial recovery. That was very promising.”
Plow emphasized, however, that a lot of work remains to be done before such a complex intervention can be used in the clinic. “This is practical within a lab setting, but it may be difficult to translate this into the clinic right away,” she said.
Edelle Field-Fote, a professor at Emory University School of Medicine and the director of spinal cord injury research at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, shared that view: “From the perspective of realistic clinical application, the time, equipment, technical expertise required to do this 12-month intervention puts it out of reach of real-world clinical practice.”
However, the findings provide scientists and physicians with several takeaways, as well as some key questions to explore further. For example, would a longer training period give patients in the clinic as much benefit as the patients in this study? Should doctors start to incorporate VR into the traditional methods they use with patients?
“It provides us with a window into what we can start thinking about for our clinics,” Plow explained.
Going from zero to some functioning is rare in cases of severe spinal cord injury that are classified as “complete,” meaning that there’s a complete disconnect in the nerves of the spine at the level of injury. But it’s not unheard of.
Previous research has shown that in many cases of complete spinal cord injury, some nerves may survive the original trauma. These remaining nerves may have the potential to respond to training and recover some function.
The new findings are consistent with those of other labs and case reports that “have shown that with intensive training, it is possible to regain some walking function, even after very severe injury,” Field-Fote said.
Nicolelis and his colleagues believe that the intensive training may have helped reorganize the remaining neural connections in these patients.
“We might have triggered a process of reorganization in the cortex and spinal cord of these patients ― what we normally refer to as plasticity,” Nicolelis said. “We may have rekindled these remaining nerves to be able to send messages from the brain of the patients to the periphery.”
Mind-Controlled Artificial BodiesBrain-machine interfaces are at the forefront of attempts to restore mobility to people with various forms of paralysis. Over the past few years, these attempts have included outfitting several patients with chips in their brains and robotic arms, and even restoring the sense of touch from a prosthetic hand. But the advances are still confined to the lab.
The new study is part of a long-term endeavor called the Walk Again Project, an international collaboration between researchers in Brazil, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Two years ago, the researchers demonstrated the brain-controlled exoskeleton at the 2014 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony in Sao Paolo, Brazil. There, with some help to stand upright, Juliano Pinto, a paralyzed person wearing the exoskeleton, kicked the first ball.
During training after the demonstration, “We started realizing the patients were experiencing an improvement in their neurological examinations,” Nicolelis said. “They started regaining sensitivity below the level of the lesion and started exhibiting voluntary movements.”
Seven of the eight patients in the study had what’s known as a Grade A spinal cord injury, meaning they had a complete lack of motor and sensory function below the level of injury. After the training, three of them saw enough neurological improvement to be reclassified to Grade C, which is reserved for patients who can show some voluntary muscle movement below the level of injury. Another patient with a Grade B injury was also reclassified to Grade C.
It’s not clear why the four other participants didn’t respond as significantly to the training. Also unclear is the exact mechanism underlying the patients’ partial neurological recovery.
Future research should focus on identifying the factors that contributed to better outcomes in certain patients, Plow said. That way, physicians can potentially identify which patients with complete spinal cord injuries have the best chance of partial neurological recovery.
Blind Music Academy Offering Free Concerts in August
In its third year, LightHouse’s summer Music Academy grows and expands. With an emphasis on composition, performance and learning to read and write music in braille for musicians who are blind or have low vision and are ages 16 to 24, our talent pool and ambition continues to grow. This year we’re excited to host students from the United States, Mexico and Canada. And with the opening in May of the LightHouse’s state-of-the-art San Francisco facility, Blind Music Academy will now be held both in the city and the country.
Each year Blind Music Academy culminates with a performance by our blind students, and this time around the group has announced that they will perform not once but three times, with additional concerts in both downtown Napa and San Francisco. Experience the power of Music Academy by joining us at one of these three, free concerts:
Blind Music Academy Summer Tour Dates
Friday, August 5 – Covenant Presbyterian Church, 7:30 p.m.
1226 Salvador Ave, Napa, CA 94558
Saturday, August 6 – Enchanted Hills Camp, 4:00 p.m., with dinner following.
3410 Mt Veeder Rd, Napa, CA 94558
Tuesday, August 9 – LightHouse for the Blind, 5:30 p.m., with reception following.
1155 Market Street, 10th Floor, San Francisco 94103
Each concert is free. For those attending the concert at Enchanted Hills Camp, we are requesting a donation if you wish to join us for dinner after the show. Please RSVP for all concerts to Tony Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Blind Music Academy
Enchanted Hills Camp has paired up with Bill McCann, founder and president of Dancing Dots Braille Music Technology. Bill McCann pioneered this specialized music academy model both in Canada and in the United States. Music Academy is for musicians who are blind or have low vision between the ages of 16 to 24 years old who are serious about music or might be thinking of entering the profession. This academy introduces students to using non-visual techniques to compose music, read the works of others, learn performance skills and gain the capacity to compete for and win employment in the music field.
This year’s Music Academy session is full. If you have questions about next year’s session, please contact Taccarra Burrell at email@example.com or 415-694-7318.
San Mateo Community Members Submit Over 11,000 Signatures to Place Tenant Protection Measure on November 2016 Ballot
SAN MATEO -- This morning, Monday, June 27, community volunteers delivered over 11,000 signatures of San Mateo residents to qualify a tenant protection ballot measure for the November 2016 election.. The ballot measure would ask voters to approve rent stabilization and protections from unjust evictions in the City of San Mateo.
In order to qualify the measure for the November ballot, gatherers had to obtain signatures from 15% of the registered voters in the City of San Mateo, or about 7,100 signatures.
The submission of approximately 4,000 signatures more than the required number is the result of a massive effort by the San Mateo community over eight weeks, and included residents from all walks of life. ”Reyna Gonzalez, a member of St. Matthews Catholic Church who works as a nanny, spent countless hours gathering signatures. “More than 200 volunteers participated in this historic effort. We were motivated by the injustice and hardship many renters and community members were facing. Every time we turned around people were thanking us. Person after person said that something needed to be done. We are excited to have taken the first step in bringing about a solution.”
Current law places no limit on the amount or frequency of rent increases imposed by landlords. The proposed measure would limit rent increases to once per year and tie them to increases in the cost of living. The measure would also restrict “no-fault” evictions.
“The campaign to place rent stabilization on the ballot exposed the true heart of San Mateo”, said Reverend Penny Nixon of the Congregational Church of San Mateo, “The heroic effort of so many volunteers from all different walks of life became a community together, and felt the support of the larger community. I believe the majority of people in San Mateo want a city that is characterized by the spirit of this campaign—community, care and compassion.”
Saturday, July 26th!
This marks the fifth year for the Devil's Slide Ride, which was known in its first two years as the "Giro di Pacifica." The goal is to provide a truly outstanding one-of-a kind event, and they're building on their past experience, using your much-appreciated and helpful feedback from their previous events to make this year's even better!
For every case of reported elder abuse, another 24 go unreported. Help us stop this cycle. Join us in the fight against elder abuse.
CID joined San Mateo County Supervisor Adrienne Tissier and the Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team as they spoke at this vigil on the importance of preventing elder and dependent abuse. Older adult abuse has been on the rise.
As San Mateo County’s older adult population grows, there is more of a need than ever to protect our older and dependent adults.
Find more information at www.smchealth.org/ElderAbuse
This event is supported by the Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team (EDAPT) which is a partnership between the San Mateo County’s Health System’s Aging and Adult Services, District Attorney’s Office and County Counsel’s Office. EDAPT is funded by Measure A.
A Service to Voters with Disabilities for the June 7th Primary
Voters with disabilities who are not able to vote at polling places or at established voting centers can take advantage of a Mobile Voting Center; a mobile electronic voting system to allow a voter to independently and in private cast a ballot away from traditional polling locations.
May 9 to June 6, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
May 28 and June 4, Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
June 7, Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Election Day)
Call 650.312.5222 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours
ahead of time to schedule an appointment.
VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES CAN:
VOTE ON THE DISABLED ACCESS UNIT
Voters can vote privately & independently on an accessible electronic voting machine.
FEATURES OF THE DISABLED ACCESS UNIT
Integrated audio ballot reader and the use of adaptive devices.
The service is open to all voters with disabilities.
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- Work Incentive Planning Assistance >
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