June 2006, Vol.6, No.6
Dear AAMR Friends and Colleagues:
TRAINING GREATLY ENHANCES INTER-RATER RELIABILITY OF THE SUPPORTS INTENSITY SCALE, REVEALS NEW STUDY
A new study headed by Dr. James Thompson, lead author of the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS), a professional planning tool, shows that the inter-rater reliability correlation coefficient of the SIS Index Score is .87, which is in the "excellent" range based on conventional standards for adaptive behavior scales. Originally, the SIS authors reported a correlation coefficient of .54 when the Scale was launched in 2004. Dr. Thompson believes that the more recent increase in inter-rater reliability was largely the result of having interviewers trained in how to administer SIS and experience working with the instrument. Read more about the study and why inter-rater reliability is important at http://www.siswebsite.org/page.ww?section=News&name=Press+Release+Detail&pressrelease.id=25. To learn more about SIS, visit www.siswebsite.org. To enquire about SIS training, send an email email@example.com
MORE THAN 50 MILLION AMERICANS REPORT SOME LEVEL OF DISABILITY ACCORDING TO NEW U.S. CENSUS BUREAU STATISTICS; STUDY ALSO HAS LATEST NUMBERS ON PERSONS WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
About 18 percent of Americans in 2002 said they had a disability, and 12 percent had a severe disability, according to a report released recently by the United States Census Bureau. About 14.3 million people or 6% of the population ages 15 and older had limitations in cognitive functioning or a mental or emotional illness, such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, or mental retardation that interfered with their daily activities. The estimate specifically for mental retardation is 2.304 million, consisting of 1.2 million persons ages 15 or older and 1.1 million persons from birth to 14 years, or approximately .8% of the general U.S. population. Data for this study was derived from the Survey of Income and Program Participation from June-September 2002. To read the report, visit http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p70-107.pdf. For a chart on the prevalence of mental retardation, see Table 2 (15 years and older) and Table 7 (under 15 years) athttp://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/sipp/disable02.html. To read a press release on the launch of the report, visit http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/aging_population/006809.html
The U.S. Census Bureau study confirms numbers from a well-established source of numbers in the intellectual and developmental disabilities field—the State of the States study conducted by leading researcher David L. Braddock. According to the 2005 edition of this study (based on 2004 data), the prevalence of mental retardation and developmental disabilities (including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and autism) in the United States is 1.58% or 4.618 million persons. The prevalence of mental retardation alone is .78% or 2.308 million persons (p. 59 of the State of the States study, 2005). To read an introduction to the 2005 State of the States study, visithttp://www.aamr.org/Reading_Room/pdf/SOS2005.pdf. To purchase a copy, call (301)-604-1340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Both the U.S. Census Bureau study and the State of the States study are based on population samples, with confidence intervals/relative standard errors reported.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO WAIVE UP TO $17,500 IN STUDENT LOANS TO ATTRACT MORE SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS
To address the shortage of special education teachers in the United States, President Bush signed the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 earlier this year, enacting a provision to forgive up to $17,500 in loans for certain highly qualified full-time elementary and secondary school special education teachers. To qualify, an individual must be teaching children with disabilities that correspond to the person’s special education training with the required skills and knowledge. Read a letter from the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education, Margaret Spelling announcing this provision athttp://www.ed.gov/policy/highered/guid/secletter/060301a.html.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of special education teachers is expected to increase faster than the national average—18% to 26%—for all occupations through 2014. An estimated 135,000 more special education teachers than there were in 1998 will be needed by 2008, with chronic attrition being a major barrier to supplying qualified special education teachers, says a study conducted by the Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education at the University of Florida (Visithttp://education.ufl.edu/copsse/research-focus-areas/supply-demand.php for the Center's research briefs on special education issues).
NEW ONLINE DATABASE LAUNCHED ON RESEARCH IN ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY AND COGNITIVE DISABILITY
A new assistive technology database by the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado allows users to search over 600 citations of research pertaining to technologies used by persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities by keyword, author name, journal, category of assistive technology, and other fields. Visit http://www.colemaninstitute.org/database.php to access the database.
NATIONAL STUDY FINDS STRESS LEVELS OF CAREGIVERS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH WITH MANY NOT KNOWING WHERE TO LOOK FOR SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM CARE SERVICES
Each year, family caregivers provide an estimated $257 billion in informal care services to persons with chronic diseases and disabilities in America. Now a new report by the National Quality Caregiving Coalition of the Rosalynn Carter Institute shows that overall, caregiver stress levels are high nationally, with regional and state level differences in other areas such as number of caregivers by state, caregiver coping strategies, and the needs of caregivers. The study shows that caregivers nationally are 14% more likely to rank their quality of life as fair or poor and 30% of respondents did not know where they would turn to for information on short and long-term care. The study uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Read Caregiving: A National Profile and Assessment of Caregiver Services and Needs athttp://www.rci.gsw.edu/pdfs/Caregiver_Report.pdf
61% of persons with intellectual disabilities receive care from family members, according to the latest, 2005 edition of the State of the States study by David Braddock. The study also points out that there is an estimated 2,805,608 family caregivers for persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities in America (p.59, 2005 edition). For an analysis of government support and services received by families of persons with developmental disabilities, visithttp://ici.umn.edu/products/prb/171/default.html (Full story in AAMR F.Y.I., April 2006 at http://www.aamr.org/FYI/fyi_vol_6_no_4.shtml#data)
RECORDINGS FROM THE 2006 INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON THE ALLIANCE FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION IN MONTREAL NOW AVAILABLE
The recent International Summit for the Alliance on Social Inclusion held in Montreal in May drew participants from more than 25 countries with the common goal of sharing best practices in social inclusion among persons with intellectual disabilities. Conference recordings of more than 20 sessions are now available. Sample recordings include: "Does the Biomedical Model Contribute to Inclusion of People with Disabilities?" by Benedetto Saraceno of the World Health Organization; "Social Inclusion: The State of the World/L’inclusion sociale: que se passe-t-il dans le monde?" by Serban Ionescu of the University of Sorbonne; and "Dialogue on the Conceptualization and Measurement of Intellectual Disabilities" by Stephen Greenspan, Robert Schalock, Marc Tassé, and Miguel Angel Verdugo.
To see a complete list of recordings available, visit www.aamr.org and look under "What's New." To order, call (613)-824-2583 or email email@example.com
AAMR F.Y.I. is compiled by Anna Prabhala, Editor. Please submit comments, suggestions, tips, and news to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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