Convaid Products, Inc., a Torrance-based manufacturer of custommade, compact lightweight adaptive-assisted wheelchairs recently announced that its Trekker has received its CE Certification, qualifying it as having met the requirements mandated by the European Union (EU) for products officially imported into the EU nations. CE is the acronym for the French “Conformite Europeenne”, a set of rules governing import into the EU to protect member nations from products that might endanger safety, pose a pollution hazard […]

Striking A Chord: Music’s Impact On Cognitive Delays & Physical Disabilities

BOOK EXCERPT BY SHARLENE HABERMEYER, MA “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh As a young child, Anthony suffered with severe language, social, and emotional issues. Socialization was a particular challenging issue. It was difficult for him to socialize with his peers, to work independently at school, and he was argumentative with his teachers. But music changed all that. Today, Anthony attends […]

The Olmstead Decision Has Been Misinterpreted

BY JILL BARKER, DAVID HART AND TAMIE HOPP The Olmstead decision, which interprets the Americans with Disabilities Act, is so clear that persistent misinterpretation by federal agencies can only be described as purposeful. INTRODUCTION The 25th Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 2015 offers an opportunity to set the record straight about what the landmark Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999)1, actually says about the ADA’s […]


Whatz-It Color Scale Indicator is a low tech indicator which supports people with autism and other communication difficulties in scaled decision making situations. Its graduated color scale (green to red) allows a selection of intensity rather than identifying an exact number or abstract facial expression. Whatz-it was designed to address problems with communicating difficult concepts, such as pain, when the user is in a potentially stressful situation. When using a simple device like the Whatz-it, […]

Creating a Better IEP Meeting Experience for Families

BY DR. MARY A. HOUSER AND DR. CHARLOTTE L. FONTENOT Whether at the pre-IEP conference, during the IEP conference, or beyond, it is the parent who steers their child’s educational course. Every parent of an exceptional child receiving special education  in the public schools today has heard the words, “IEP meeting.” For some, these words conjure positive thoughts about a productive meeting that will educationally benefit their child. For others, however, the words “IEP meeting” […]

Why do we need national guidelines for adults with intellectual disability and dementia?

BY: Matthew P. Janicki and  Seth M. Keller Abstract As the number of older adults with intellectual disability increases and they present with suspected or identified dementia and are referred to health and social care practitioners, the rationale grows for standardization in clinical practice relative to screening and assessment, diagnosis, and social care approaches for providing in-community supports. The availability of national guidelines prescribing what to do and how to do it during preliminary and […]

Bullying: Prevalence & Resources – Part 2 of 3

ANNUAL EDUCATION ISSUE BY LAUREN AGORATUS In each state there is a Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center which provides technical assistance to families as well as professionals. PTIs provide information about the rights of the students and the responsibilities of the districts. Research shows that children with disabilities are even more likely to be the victims of bullying than their peers without special needs. Special initiatives have been created to address this issue. Families […]

An Endless List Of Role Models

BY H. Barry Waldman, DDS, MPH, PhD & Steven P. Perlman, DDS, MScD, DHL (Hon) These heroes are living proof of the saying, “It is better to try and fail, than to fail to try.” Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.1 Aspiration is a strong desire, longing or ambition.1 Hope and aspirations are the twin pillars which maintain the drive of […]