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This page provides information and resources to help you more fully understand the characteristics of specific disabilities.
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Description: The TBI InfoComics were created to educate survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury, their families/caregivers, and healthcare providers about common symptoms of TBI and how to manage them. Our InfoComics are written to be accessible to people who may have memory issues or trouble reading large blocks of text. They present the most vital and up-to-date information about physical, cognitive and emotional issues people with TBI may be dealing with. The content we present in our comics represents the...
Description: Welcome to the NARIC Web site, our gateway to an abundance of disability and rehabilitation-oriented information organized in a variety of formats designed to make it easy for users to find and use. For the past 30 years NARIC staff members have been dedicated to providing direct, personal, and high-quality information services to anyone throughout the country. This link takes you to the most current information about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Description: The National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC) is the library of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). We collect, catalog, and disseminate the articles, reports, curricula, guides, and other publications and products of the research projects funded by NIDILRR. NIDILRR funds more than 250 projects each year that conduct research on a wide range of issues including technology, health and function, independent living, and capacity...
Description: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Each year there are a reported 1.7 million civilian brain injuries in the United States. In the military from 2000 through 2012, more than 266,000 service members sustained a TBI. Brain injury has become known as the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most brain injuries are mild, and most people recover in a matter of weeks....
Description: For Educators and Professionals This site is designed to provide educators and professionals with practical information that can be used to identify and provide appropriate services to children with a brain injury. The following information is located within this section. TBI Identification Protocol: Information and documents related to how to identify a student with a traumatic brain injury. Manual: This will connect you with the Brain Injury in Children and Youth: A Manual for...
Description: What is a concussion? Probably not what you think it is. In this talk from the cutting edge of research, bioengineer (and former football player) David Camarillo shows what really happens during a concussion — and why standard sports helmets don't prevent it. Here's what the future of concussion prevention looks like. Dr. David Camarillo, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He holds a B.S.E in Mechanical and...
Description: The Invisible Disabilities® Association is about believing. We believe you! The frequently invisible nature of illness and pain may lead to disbelief about that illness or pain by those surrounding the person who lives daily with invisible disabilities. This disbelief can lead to misunderstandings, rejection by friends, family and heath care providers. It may also lead to accusations of laziness or faking an illness. We are passionate about providing awareness that invisible illness,...
Description: The mission of AAHD is to advance health promotion and wellness initiatives for children and adults with disabilities. AAHD works to reduce health disparities between people with disabilities and the general population, and supports full community inclusion and accessibility. AAHD accomplishes its mission through advocacy, education, public awareness, and research efforts at the federal, state, and community levels. What is AAHD? The American Association on Health and Disability (AAHD) is a...
Description: Inclusion can be defined as being a part of a group or a part of something. Inclusion can also be defined as learning to live together; treasuring diversity; and sharing gifts and abilities. There have been numerous demands from individuals with disabilities living in the community who are tired of being denied or ignored by a society that does not honor their right to participate in all aspects of community living.  The materials found in this guide were prepared by youth leaders with...
Description: We believe that individuals who are deaf-blind are valued members of society and are entitled to the same opportunities and choices as other members of their community. NFADB is the largest national nonprofit organization serving the deaf-blind community. What We Do Train and support families as they advocate for the needs of their child and family. Connect families to other families with similar interests and needs. Collaborate with other organizations to make sure...
Description: As a national technical assistance center funded by the federal Department of Education, NCDB works to improve the quality of life for children who are deaf-blind and their families by: Creating visibility and direction for identified priorities through a range of practices, activities, supports and partnerships. Identifying and encouraging new innovations in local, state, and national practice and policy. Promoting opportunity for reflection, debate, and constructive dialogue around ideas and...
Description: Giving people who are deaf-blind the tools to live, work and thrive in the communities of their choice.
Description: The Clerc Center, a federally funded national deaf education center, ensures that the diverse population of deaf and hard of hearing students (birth through age 21) in the nation are educated and empowered and have the linguistic competence to maximize their potential as productive and contributing members of society. This is accomplished through early access to and acquisition of language, excellence in teaching, family involvement, research, identification and implementation of best practices,...
Description: The vision statement for DHAM states: "Disability history education and awareness will promote positive attitudes in schools creating a culture of mutual respect, understanding, and equal opportunities for all."  (Disability Awareness)
Description: The Disability History Museum hosts a Library of virtual artifacts, Education curricula, and Museum exhibits. These programs are designed to foster research and study about the historical experiences of people with disabilities and their communities. The Disability History Museum is a virtual project, it has no bricks or mortar. It aims to provide all site visitors, people with and without disabilities, researchers, teachers and students, with a wide array of tools to help deepen their...
Description: If you have just recently found out about your child’s hearing loss or know of a child who has been recently diagnosed with a hearing loss you are on the right track to finding more information for Virginia residents. Knowledge is power! Being informed in the area of deafness/hearing impairment and teaching your child or children with hearing losses to be independent is important.
Description: On November 2, 2012, the Braille Authority of North America (BANA) adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) as an official braille code to replace English Braille American Edition (EBAE) in the U.S.  At that time, BANA also maintained the current Nemeth Code for Mathematics and Science Notation,the Music Braille Code, and the International Phonetic Alphabet as official braille codes.  January 4, 2016, was identified as the general implementation date for UEB in the U.S. ...
Description: Because TBI is the only disability related to a specific event, accommodations on an IEP may not be immediately available. Often, it is appropriate to start with a 504 plan and then if the symptoms remain, move to an IEP. There are three ways a student may be considered an individual with a disability under section 504. A student is considered to have a disability under 504 if the student: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Has a...
Description: The Models of Best Practice in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder guidance document from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) includes addressing social communication skills. Because of the characteristics of ASD, we have to think far beyond just reading, writing, and arithmetic to include a wide range of other skills! These social communication challenges can severely limit opportunities in the classroom and in the community. In order for students to be more...
Description: Anyone who has experienced a brain injury, either their own or that of a friend or loved one, understands the worry, confusion, and stress it creates. Support groups provide a chance to learn from others who have been living with brain injury, share your own experiences, and give and get encouragement from those who really understand. You can search Brain Injury Association of Virginia database of local support groups. Just type in the name of the group (if you know it) or you can select the...
Description: Brain Injury Services Coordination Unit (BISCU) is located within the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Virginia’s designated “lead state agency” for planning and monitoring services that enhance the quality of life and vocational goals of persons with acquired brain injury. BISC Unit manages about $6 million in programs and services, primarily through federal/state grants, and statefunded contracts with organizations across the Commonwealth. BISC Unit...
Description: As a busy parent, keeping your child healthy and safe is always a top priority. The Heads Up to Parents Site will help you recognize, respond to, and minimize the risk of concussion or other serious brain injury. This includes Educational Materials, Brain Injury Basics, Helmet Safety, Videos,  and Trainings.
Description: PANDAS is short for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections. A child may be diagnosed with PANDAS when: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders suddenly appear following a strep infection (such as strep throat or scarlet fever); or The symptoms of OCD or tic symptoms suddenly become worse following a strep infection. The symptoms are usually dramatic, happen “overnight and out of the blue,” and can include motor and/or...
Description: The Brain Injury Strategies App is intended to provide ideas for supporting an individual who is returning to learning. It addresses various areas of concern that can happen after a concussion, a type of traumatic brain injury. The end product is a summary of selected strategies that can be implemented by an educator for an individual student. (Note: To preview Brain Injury Strategies App, use 1234 as student ID.)
Description: We have developed Communication Guidelines and Resources to support educational team members in enhancing the communication abilities of students with ASD and to create lifelong learners. The Communication Guidelines and Resources are designed to: Enhance understanding of what communication is, Enhance understanding of why communication is important, and Advance expectations, knowledge, and skills related to communication based assessments, strategies, and supports. The Communication Guidelines...
Description: Who We Are The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families. It was conceived in Arlington, Virginia in February, 1989 by a group of 18 people determined to make a difference in the way the system works. Where We Come From Members of the National Federation come from all...
Description: Currently 4 videos are available: No Fighting, No Biting! Managing Sibling Conflict The goal of this workshop is to give parents some strategies to cope with conflict between siblings, including situations where one sibling has a disability. Presented by: Meladie Gey Burke, LPC, RPT Transition 101: Agency Linkages Agency linkages are critically important for students with disabilities as they prepare to transition to postsecondary education, training, employment and independent living. The goal...
Description: Dyslexia and dysgraphia are both learning issues. Dyslexia primarily affects reading. Dysgraphia mainly affects writing. While they’re different issues, the two are easy to confuse. They share symptoms and often occur together. This article provides a simple table can help you tell them apart. It gives information about What is it?, Signs you may notice, possible emotional and social impact, What can help, and Accommodations. If your child is struggling with reading or writing, it can be...
Description: How can I help students who are recovering from a concussion? As a teacher, you play an important role in helping students recover from a concussion as they return to school. Making short-term changes to your students' school work load and schedule- and giving them time to help their brain heal- can help them get back to their regular school routine. As they begin to feel better, you can slowly remove these changes. Concussion symptoms may return as students get back to physical or mental...
Description: Wellness is a rapidly growing area of focus for people across the U.S. The popularity of health advice segments on TV news and talk shows, of high tech fitness tracking devices and apparel, and of stress management and meditation workshops are a few of the indicators of a growing interest in whole-person well-being. For individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the benefits of attending to wellness are at least as great as those experienced by the rest of the population. But...
Description: Some kids have a really tough time getting organized and starting tasks. Planning, focusing and using working memory can be big challenges too. Use this visual guide to see how executive functioning issues can affect a child’s daily life. Meet Josh, a sixth grader who has executive functioning issues. Executive functions work together to help the brain organize and act on information. They include: Organizing, setting priorities and starting tasks Focusing, shifting or sustaining attention...
Description: The Virginia Family Special Education Connection Website provides Local Disability Services information for all of the Counties/Cities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These services include: Arc (The Arc) Care Connection for Children (Health Department Program) Centers for Independent Living Child Development Services Program - Clinics Community Services Board (CSB) Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) Department of Social...
Description: Puberty can be a time of mixed feelings for parents and pre-teens. It may be a time of pride and celebration, as well as a time of worry and confusion. It is hard for pre-teens to understand the many changes that come along with puberty. Also, parents may feel unsure of how to explain these changes to their child. All parents eventually face the challenge of teaching their children about the natural changes of puberty. However, parents of pre-teens with ASD may need the help of additional...
Description: Holidays are a time for family, friends and…endless eating. That can be tough for kids with sensory processing issues who are sensitive to the tastes, smells and textures of foods. These tips can help reduce food battles—and let you and your child enjoy the holidays.
Description: Traveling with kids can be tough no matter what. But sensory processing issues can add some unique challenges. These troubleshooting tips can help you anticipate your child’s needs and avoid vacation meltdowns. 1 of 10 Bring a “self-regulation” survival pack.If your child has visual sensitivities or is sensitive to sounds, textures or smells, you might have already found tools that help him. Fill a small backpack with the items he might need (such as sunglasses, earplugs and...
Description: Find hundreds of organizations, businesses, and agencies to support your family!
Description: Governor Terry McAuliffe has recognized October 2015 as Dyslexia Awareness Month for the Commonwealth of Virginia. October has traditionally been declared Disability Awareness Month and continues as such. In 2004, the International Dyslexia Association’s Board of Directors voted to promote this month as Dyslexia Awareness Month as well, and from that time forward, activities have been focused during this month by organizations associated with research, instruction, and support of...
Description: Since 1996, SibNet (for adult brothers and sisters) has connected tens of thousands of sisters and brothers from around the globe with their peers, providing members with validation, information, and advice. Like the greater sibling community, SibNet has a diverse membership: We come from all economic, religious, and cultural backgrounds.  We have sibs who have autism, intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, fragile X, and other disabilities.  Some of us...
Description: Sibshops provide young brothers and sisters (8-13 years of age) peer support and information in a lively, recreational setting. For the adults who run them and for the agencies that sponsor them, Sibshops are evidence of their loving concern for the family member who will have the longest-lasting relationship with a person who has a disability.
Description: SibTeen is a Facebook group where teenage sibs of people with disabilities can connect with others who get it. It's a fun and thoughtful group where members share unique concerns, joys, frustrations, and information with others who truly understand! Like SibNet and Sib20, SibTeen is a “closed” Facebook group.  This means that others can see that you belong to SibTeen, but they can't see what you've posted.  Only other SibTeen members can see what you’ve posted to...
Description: Sib20 is a Facebook group where twenty-something sibs of people with disabilities connect with others who "get it." It's sibling support from a young adult perspective. Sib20 is also a community—a remarkably thoughtful, nonjudgmental community of sisters and brothers who share concerns, challenges, insights, and joys that only other sibs are likely to understand. And members share information about services, resources, and strategies that help other members advocate for their brothers and...
Description: Your family needs to plan for how your sibling will live in the future, but starting the conversation can be very difficult. Here are some tips to prepare you to start talking with your family. What do you want to say to your parents and sibling? Think about what you want to tell your family about the importance of planning for the future. What role do you foresee playing in your sibling’s life in the future? What other obligations do you have in your life that you need to balance? What...
Description: Girls and women with ASD are often underdiagnosed and lack effective comprehensive services to establish and maintain a quality of life. During this session, Dr. Lori Ernsperger will provide effective interventions and strategies for addressing specific issues which include friendship making, social communication skills, hygiene, personal safety, and self-determination skills.
Description: Girls and women with ASD are often underdiagnosed and lack effective comprehensive services to establish and maintain a quality of life. During this webcast, Dr. Lori Ernsperger will highlight the core gender differences between males and females with ASD. The focus of this webcast will be to review the current research and findings on girls and women with ASD and provide recommendations for future research.
Description: The Office of Community Support for Military Families with Special Needs is pleased to provide the Department of Defense Special Needs Parent Tool Kit — Birth to 18. This tool kit provides information and resources that will help you improve your quality of life and teaches you how to advocate for your child with special needs. Each of the six modules addresses issues you are likely to encounter throughout your child’s life. Whether your child has been recently diagnosed with a...
Description: Social Security touches the lives of nearly every American, often during times of personal hardship, transition, and uncertainty. Our programs serve as vital financial protection for working men and women, children, the disabled, and the elderly. We administer the largest disability program in the nation. Unfortunately, there are some common misconceptions about our program. We want to ensure that the American public understands this important program and has a clear picture of the individuals...
Description: Here are Mary’s Top 10 Tips on communicating with someone who has a disability. This video engages the viewer while educating them on the proper disability etiquette. This video is part of a series on disability awareness and inclusion in sports and physical education.
Description: Prader-Willi Syndrome is a complex genetic disorder of the 15th chromosome; the most common known genetic cause of life-threatening obesity in children.
Description: The following contains various simulation activities designed to increase students’ understanding and empathy for their classmates who experience challenges following a brain injury. Each page includes a description of the activity, a recommended subject area relevant to the activity, objectives and procedures, a list of materials, and discussion points to facilitate conversation following each activity. Please note that these activities are designed to stimulate the senses to give a...
Description: At the Brain Injury Research Institute, our purpose is to study the short and long-term impact of brain injury in general, and specifically in concussions. We focus our attention on the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and the physiological effects of this condition on the lives of CTE victims and their families.