Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERCs) Program: RERC on Health, Exercise, and Recreation

Deadline: April 6, 2017
Award Ceiling: $925,000
Purpose of Program: The purpose of the RERC program is to improve the effectiveness of services authorized under the Rehabilitation Act by conducting advanced engineering research on and development of innovative technologies that are designed to solve particular rehabilitation problems or to remove environmental barriers. RERCs also demonstrate and evaluate such technologies, facilitate service delivery system changes, stimulate the production and distribution of new technologies and equipment in the private sector, and provide training opportunities.

Health for All Adolescents

Wednesday, February 1, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
HHS/Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), in partnership with the American Public Health Association, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, and The Lancet’s Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing: Webinar. Health for All Adolescents. This webinar will provide a closer look at policies and other multi-sectoral factors that affect adolescents worldwide, and will discuss findings from The Lancet report, Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing.

The Health Care Policy Debate: Why Does it Matter? What is Your Role?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
Learn about the current health care policy debate and what policies are important to children, youth, and adults with disabilities and their families. Strategies for successful health care advocacy will also be discussed. This webinar is specifically designed for AUCD network trainees.

Annual Disability Statistics Compendium & State of the Science Conference

February 13-14, 2017, Washington, DC
Registration is FREE. The State of the Science Conference is open for in-person attendance only. The Annual Disability Statistics Compendium offers both in-person and webcast participation options. Please register if you plan to attend in-person or via webcast. The agenda, presenters, and logon procedures (for web viewers) will be emailed to you as they become available.  For questions regarding your registration, please email or call 603-862-4320.

Bridging the gap: from evidence to improved health for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Hilton Hotel, Belfast, Northern Ireland

June 19-21, 2017

The IASSIDD Health SIRG will be holding a conference in Belfast, N Ireland on the 19th-21st June 2017 at the Hilton Hotel. The theme of the event is “Bridging the gap: from evidence to improved health for persons with IDD”. An international planning group has been working to organize the conference which will feature keynote addresses by Dr Bev Temple (CANADA) and Prof Roy McConkey (N. IRELAND).

The conference focuses on the following 6 themes:

  • Obesity led by Dr Tessa Hilgenkamp (The NETHERLANDS)
  • Mental health co-led by Prof Angela Hassiotis (UK) and Prof Sally Ann Cooper (SCOTLAND)
  • Frailty and aging led by Prof Hélène Ouellette-Kuntz (CANADA)
  • Mortality co-led by Dr Emily Lauer (USA) and Prof Pauline Heslop (UK)
  • Access to healthcare/primary care guidelines co-led by Dr Matt Hoghton (UK), DR Bill Sullivan (Canada) and Dr Esther Bakker (The NETHERLANDS)
  • Health promotion and healthy environments co-led by Dr Jenneken Naaldenberg (The NETHERLANDS) and Lisa O’Leary (SCOTLAND)

During the two-day conference, a state-of-the-evidence 30-minute lecture (plenary-style) and 1hr workshops/practical sessions will be provided for each theme. Each theme will also have a dedicated space and time for a poster session. Two types of posters will be included: research reports and new conceptualization and theory.


Accepted posters will be grouped into poster tours. These tours will feature poster authors presenting their research for 5 minutes followed by a short time for discussion. Each tour will be open to all participants. There will be enough time during the conference for participants to visit the other posters.

Registration will be capped at 150 participants per day.

One June 21st, some participants (members of the IASSIDD Health SIRG) will join the planning committee to form small task and finish groups for each theme (4-5 people per theme). These groups will use the time together to develop a plan to produce an ‘outcome’ over the next year. Outcomes are meant to ensure our time together leads to action and may include a journal article, a policy brief, consensus statement or guidelines, or a research proposal.


The best poster overall will be awarded the MAHM “Frans Scholten Award” of €1000. The best poster by a student (first author and presenter) and the best poster by an early career researcher* (first author and presenter) will also each receive €1000. *early career researchers are individuals within 10 years of obtaining their last degree.

Social Event

Monday June 19th at 7pm: Tour and Dinner at the Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast historical landmark (

• Includes a glass of wine on arrival, a 30-minute tour of the gaol, a four-course meal, wine with dinner, and an Irish band

• 20-minute walk from the Hilton Hotel or a short taxi ride

• only 75 USD per person.

The Crumlin Road Gaol dates back to 1845 and closed its doors as a working prison in 1996. After extensive renovations the gaol re opened as a visitor attraction and conference centre. Today you can take a guided tour of the prison and hear about the history of the site from when women and children were held within its walls through to the political segregation of republican and loyalist prisoners and learn about why the decision was taken to close the prison. During the tour of the gaol you will view all four wings from the architecturally-stunning gaol circle and of course pay a visit to the condemned man’s cell before seeing the execution cell where the majority of the 17 men were hanged.

Important Dates:

  • December 15, 2016 – abstract submissions open
  • February 15, 2017 – abstract submissions close
  • March 15, 2017 – communication of acceptance or non-acceptance to presenters
  • April 15, 2017 – early bird registration deadline

(Register for the Conference at

June 19 & 20, 2017 – join us in Belfast!

Resources within Reason: The Evidence for Inclusion

“Did you ever have someone ask you for a definition of inclusion? Or did you ever wish you could quickly access the research that documents the benefits of inclusion for young children with and without disabilities? If you answered yes, you may find this issue of Resources within Reason useful. It features resources that will help you quickly pull up and share definitions, research findings, and access essential examples of the evidence for inclusion. These materials may be used to raise awareness, support planning, offer strategies, and hopefully, change attitudes…”

Staying Healthy and Connecting with Neighbors May Help People with Mobility Disabilities Stay Involved in Their Communities

People with mobility disabilities have difficulty standing, walking, or climbing stairs. Because of such difficulty, they may have trouble participating in recreational, social, civic, or religious activities in their communities. The participation limitation may stem from physical problems such as pain or fatigue, from environmental barriers like living in areas without public transportation, or both. People with mobility disabilities may have an easier time participating in their communities if they live in safe and well-connected cohesive neighborhoods where neighbors help each other, and if they have high self-efficacy– a belief in themselves and their ability to manage life’s demands. In a recent NIDILRR-funded study, researchers looked at the connections between health and function, neighborhood supports, self-efficacy, and community participation for people with mobility disabilities. The researchers wanted to find out which types of community activities people with mobility disabilities consider most important, and how their health and function, neighborhood supports, and self-efficacy affect their community participation.

Aging and Dementia Care for People with Intellectual Disabilities

 Thursday, February 16, 2017

3:00pm | Eastern Daylight Time

Presented by: Matthew Janicki, PhD

Many organizations are seeing the aging of their clientele and their numbers increase, and concerns are growing about how to deal with age-associated effects evidenced with aging. One such age-associated condition, Alzheimer’s disease (and related dementias), affects a significant number of adults with Down syndrome (about 65% of adults age more than 60) and a proportional number of adults with other causes of intellectual disability (about 6% of adults age more than 60). Many at-risk adults live on their own or with friends, and many affected adults live in small community group homes or with their families. How to provide sound and responsive community care is becoming a challenge for agencies faced with an increasing number of such affected adults. This webinar covers key elements of dementia and how it affects adults with intellectual disabilities, provides a brief overview of screening and assessment strategies and methods, and examines ways that organizations can employ to adapt their current services to make them dementia capable. Specifically covered are the elements and types of dementia, as well its onset, duration and effect, and techniques for adapting environments, aiding with staff interactions and communication, as well as challenges to active and supportive programming. Models for supports depending on the stage of dementia are also discussed, as are training foci areas and community care models that provide for “dementia capable” supports and services. Special attention is given to the use of group homes as a viable community care model.

Matthew P. Janicki, Ph.D. is the co-chair of the US National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices, research associate professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Director for Technical Assistance for the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health (RRTCDD) at the University.

 Play recording (1 hr 4 min)


HealthMatters Program Team Consulting on Walmart Foundation Grant to AUCD “Nutrition is for Everyone”

Walmart Foundation Grant to AUCD Expands Nutrition Efforts for People with Disabilities in Four States

SILVER SPRING, MD – The Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) is pleased to announce that the Walmart Foundation has granted AUCD and four of its member Centers $300,000 to launch the “Nutrition is for Everyone” project. This one-year pilot project will provide nutrition education for an estimated 20,000 people in the disability community across Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Based on public health data, the four selected states were identified as areas where people with disabilities are least likely to be consuming fruits and vegetables and therefore in the most need for nutrition education and support. The “Nutrition is for Everyone” program design employs “ Nutrition Ambassadors,” trained experts from the AUCD network and local community who will help people with disabilities, as well as their families and friends, develop the knowledge and skills to necessary to make healthy decisions about their nutrition needs.

“We are thrilled that AUCD was selected for this collaborative funding that benefits the field,” said Andy Imparato, AUCD’s Executive Director. “This is the first time the Walmart Foundation will support direct training people with disabilities and community members on nutrition, and we are confident the project will have a positive impact on the health of people with disabilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.”

The network Centers collaborating on this effort will receive over $190,000 in combined funding to facilitate the program, in which they will competitively select a state “Nutrition Ambassador.” Ambassadors will develop a tailored work plan based on their state’s specific needs. Ambassadors will provide training for community members with disabilities and their friends and families, to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving nutrition education and subsequently increase the rates of consumption of fruits and vegetables for people with disabilities.

Nutrition and disability experts from the Institute on Disability and Human Development, AUCD’s member Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago, will serve as consultant advisors, sharing lessons learned from “HealthMatters Program,” a program that builds capacity for organizations across the country to implement health promotion programs for people with developmental disabilities.
The four Centers working with Nutrition Ambassadors and AUCD on this project are:

Partners for Inclusive Communities at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, AR

Since 1994, Partners for Inclusive Communities (Partners) has trained students to support people with disabilities and their families. Partners has graduated 74 nutrition students with 20 of those receiving more than 300 hours of training. Graduates have gone on to become credentialed as Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists.

Human Development Center at Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA

Many projects at the Human Development Center focus on supporting the education and health of people with disabilities, as well as children and families from diverse and under-served populations. Current nutrition education and health literacy projects include the Early Head Start- Child Care Partnership, a federally funded collaboration with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center to promote better nutrition and food safety in a cost-efficient, culturally sensitive manner.

Center for Learning and Leadership at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK

The Center for Learning and Leadership is located in the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. The community relationships developed by this Center demonstrate a strong commitment to supporting self-advocates as they build capacity in their communities and enact systems change. The Center will draw on the research and guidance of academic associates at the College of Allied Health, as well as current research at the Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity Lab.

Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD), University of Tennessee Health Science Center

The Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities (BCDD) will leverage its Act Early Ambassador experience with systems change in developmental monitoring to benefit “Nutrition is for Everyone.” BCDD is an interdisciplinary program that supports children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families through training, service, applied research, information dissemination, planning, and policy development. BCDD offers inclusive nutrition consultations across the lifespan for people with disabilities.

AUCD is a national, nonprofit network of centers in every state and territory working to advance policy and practice for people living with disabilities and their families. Learn more about AUCD and its Public Health is for Everyone program, which offers resources for public health professionals to create programs that benefit entire communities, including people with disabilities, by visiting or on Twitter at @AUCDnews.

The mission of the Walmart Foundation is to create opportunities so people can live better. They provide grants to the thousands of organizations that share their mission. In 2014, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave $1.4 billion in cash and in-kind contributions around the world. Global in-kind donations accounted for $1 billion. Learn more at, or on Twitter at @WalmartGiving.

Dementia and Intellectual Disability Workshops

Dementia and Intellectual Disability Workshops

The National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG) is offering a series of workshops on “Dementia Capable Care of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia” at several locations over the next coming few months. This workshop is offered as a two-day “basic” course or a three-day “Train-the-Trainer” course. It is based on the newly developed, evidence-informed NTG Education and Training Curriculum on Dementia and Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities and is designed to complement the requirements for workforce skill enhancement under the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. These workshops are appropriate for clinicians, program administrators, family caregivers, and staff with direct or ancillary care responsibilities of older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in disability-, health care-, and aging-related agencies.

The dates, locations, and registration information of the upcoming workshops in the San Diego, Topeka, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Worcester, and Chicago areas can be accessed via the NTG’s website at:

NTG is supported by the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health at the University of Illinois.

Contact Dr. K. Bishop at