By Carolyn Said
November 23, 2016 Updated: November 23, 2016 3:35pm
When Dominika Bednarska’s wife, Perlita Payne, got her master’s degree last year, the Berkeley couple rented a wheelchair-accessible van to go to the San Jose State graduation. When Bednarska — who uses a mobility scooter — returns from a flight, if she’s too exhausted to deal with BART, they opt for a rental.
They rented through City CarShare, a San Francisco nonprofit that was the Bay Area pioneer in car sharing — hourly rentals of vehicles from dispersed locations. Its wheelchair-accessible vans cost about $12 an hour, a significant savings for short trips compared with the $140 a day that traditional rental companies charge, Bednarska said.
This month City CarShare transferred its fleet to Getaround, a privately held startup that arranges hourly rentals of people’s personal cars.
The companies said the deal would be great for City CarShare members. But the accessible vans didn’t get transferred. Instead, Bednarska said, she received an email that they’d been “decommissioned” and a reservation she’d made months ago was canceled.
At the same time, some City CarShare members said they were dismayed by the abrupt transition and by some Getaround policies, such as requiring all renters to have Facebook profiles and to refill gas tanks. Their discontent underscores the culture clash of a merger, one that’s exacerbated when a nonprofit joins with a for-profit.
Most teachers don’t feel equipped to meet their students’ emotional needs, but some programs are working to change that.
Ted S. Warren / AP Emily Goldberg Oct 17, 2016
Across the United States, up to one in five children suffers from a mental disorder in a given year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This equates to more than 17 million young people who meet criteria for disorders that affect their ability to learn, behave, and express their emotions.
Giving children access to mental-health resources early in their education, however, can play a key role in mitigating negative consequences later in life, said David Anderson, the senior director of the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute.
“It’s during childhood and adolescence where we have a large concentration of mental-health issues, and school is where many kids are spending a large portion of their day. That makes school the perfect place to focus mental-health resources,” Anderson said. “Waiting too long to pay attention to student mental health can easily lead to school dropouts or other problems later in life.”
Yet the majority of the nation’s youngest students don’t have access to mental-health resources at school. Only 23 percent of prekindergarten programs have on-site or scheduled visits from psychiatrists or psychologists, according to the Child Mind Institute’s 2016 Children’s Mental Health Report. The current shortage of mental-health professionals, which is expected to continue, only exacerbates the problem. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration projects that 12,624 child and adolescent psychologists will be needed to meet demand by 2020, but a supply of only 8,312 is expected.
Cristian Farias Legal Affairs Reporter, The Huffington Post
WASHINGTON ― Wonder the goldendoodle is retired, but he still made an appearance at the Supreme Court on Monday to show support for Ehlena Fry, the 12-year-old for whom he once worked as a service dog.
The dog wasn’t actually in the courtroom as the justices considered Ehlena’s case ― a disability rights dispute brought by her parents after their school district refused to allow Wonder to come to school to serve as their daughter’s aide.
Ehlena and Wonder are still close, and their reunion outside the courthouse showed just how large a role the pup has played in the girl’s life.
“He was a great helper to me and my family and he did a lot of things,” Ehlena, who has cerebral palsy, told a group of reporters gathered in the Supreme Court’s front plaza on Monday. “He made me independent.”
Ehlena’s mother, Stacy Fry, called Wonder “the bridge” that helped her daughter rely on herself rather than others.
The sixth-grader and her service dog are the human and canine faces of Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, a civil rights case from Michigan. The Supreme Court has been asked to determine whether a student with disabilities who was discriminated against must first “exhaust” all other administrative avenues before suing for damages in federal court.
The question is a technical one, but it could mean the world for students with disabilities who may face discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act ― even as their schools are taking steps to accommodate them under other disability rights statutes.
A pediatrician prescribed Ehlena a service dog when she was 5 so that she could “live as independently as possible,” according to court filings. And so Wonder entered the picture to help her do just that ― he assisted her with day-to-day tasks like using a walker, going to the bathroom and picking up items off the floor.
But Ehlena’s school wouldn’t allow Wonder to help her during school hours, and instead arranged for a “human aide” to assist her in ways school officials thought the service animal couldn’t. This accommodation, the school said, was perfectly acceptable to meet Ehlena’s educational needs. But her parents thought it amounted to discriminatory treatment, partly because it limited her ability to be independent.
Even after the Department of Education determined that Ehlena’s school was violating the ADA and related statutes, the school didn’t admit liability for shunning Wonder. Instead, it offered to allow the service dog in the school.
But things had gotten so bad that Ehlena’s parents decided to place her in a neighboring school that was more accommodating ― Wonder even made the yearbook there. They later sued the prior school district over the social and emotional harm Ehlena had experienced for nearly three years.
The justices spent the better part of an hour on Monday weighing whether the family’s lawsuit complied with the letter of the law. Two lower courts had determined that the Frys’ complaint should be dismissed because they hadn’t tried to work things out with the school district before suing.
Generally speaking, this “work it out” requirement is known as exhaustion, a principle that allows parties to resolve disputes in an administrative forum ― like a school, which may have subject matter expertise and be quicker at finding solutions ― rather than a court of law, where litigation could take years.
Some members of the high court, including Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer, seemed to worry that a ruling in favor of Ehlena might encourage parents to skip this initial step of working with the school and simply go straight to court whenever their child is denied rights that may be available under disability law.
“That would seem to gut the carefully written procedural system” Congress set up for kids who need special educational plans, Breyer said. The school’s lawyer, Neal Katyal, agreed that “local education experts” should get a first crack at this kind of case.
But Ehlena’s lawyer, University of Michigan Law School professor Samuel Bagenstos, emphasized that his client is only seeking compensation for the damage done rather than any further accommodations. After all, she is already in another school.
“What we have said is the injury my client experienced is not a denial of education, but, for example, the humiliation that she experienced when she was forced to go to the toilet with the stall door open and four adults watching her because defendants did not trust her to use her dog to transfer to the toilet bowl,” Bagenstos told the justices. It was this type of “emotional distress” that led Ehlena’s parents to sue, he added.
Reunited with Wonder outside the Supreme Court after oral arguments, Ehlena wasn’t privy to all the legalese going on inside the courtroom, but she was confident of her chances.
“I think we will win,” she said.
Autistic boy melts hearts on the internet after pulling off an amazing Michael Jackson Thriller dance routine filmed on a shop webcam
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Mon, 10/31/2016 - 2:28pm
by University of Iowa Health care
More than 200,000 U.S. soldiers serving in the Middle East have experienced a blast-related traumatic brain injury, making it a common health problem and concern for that population.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have various harmful long-term neurological effects, including problems with vision, coordination, memory, mood and thinking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TBI from a head injury is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, and close to 5 million Americans--soldiers and non-soldiers alike--are currently living with a TBI-related disability. Current therapy for these patients involves supportive care and rehabilitation, but no treatments are available that can prevent the development of chronic neurological symptoms.
Researchers from the University of Iowa believe they may have identified a potential approach for preventing the development of neurological problems associated with TBI. Their research in mice suggests that protecting axons--the fiber-like projections that connect brain cells--prevents the long-term neuropsychiatric problems caused by blast-related traumatic brain injury.
In a recent study, the UI team, led by Andrew Pieper, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry at the UI Carver College of Medicine, investigated whether early damage to axons--an event that is strongly associated with many forms of brain injury, including blast-related TBI--is simply a consequence of the injury or whether it is a driving cause of the subsequent neurological and psychiatric symptoms.
To answer that question, the researchers used mice with a genetic mutation that protects axons from some forms of damage. The mutation works by maintaining normal levels of an important energy metabolite known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) in brain cells after injury.
When mice with the mutation experienced blast-mediated TBI, their axons were protected from damage, and they did not develop the vision problems or the thinking and movement difficulties that were seen when mice without the mutation experienced blast-related TBI. The findings were published Oct. 11 in the online journal eNeuro.
"Our work strongly suggests that early axonal injury appears to be a critical driver of neurobehavioral complications after blast-TBI," says Pieper.
"Therefore, future therapeutic strategies targeted specifically at protecting or augmenting the health of axons may provide a uniquely beneficial approach for preventing these patients from developing neurologic symptoms after blast exposure."
In confirming the critical relationship between axon degeneration and development of subsequent neurological complication, the new study builds on previous work from Pieper's lab. The researchers also have discovered a series of neuroprotective compounds that appear to help axons survive the kind of early damage seen in TBI. These compounds activate a molecular pathway that preserves neuronal levels of NAD, the energy metabolite that has been shown to be critical to the health of axons. Pieper's team previously demonstrated that these neuroprotective compounds block axonal degeneration and protect mice from harmful neurological effects of blast-TBI, even when the compound are given 24 to 36 hours after the blast injury.
More Pictures and Videos in Link Below
By Steven Trask For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 21:17 EST, 27 October 2016 | Updated: 21:17 EST, 27 October 2016
The Commission on Disabilities along with various County staff, visited Palo Alto's fully accessible Magical Bridge Playground. The pictures above represent what true equal access looks like! San Mateo County plans to build a similar accessible playground in 2018.
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