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Involuntary Sterilization of Disabled Americans: An Historical Overview

Thousands of Americans with disabilities have undergone sterilization procedures without providing informed consent. Beginning in the early 1900s, supporters of the eugenics movement sought to sterilize those with cognitive impairments in order to “cleanse” the human gene pool of “undesirable” traits. This was sanctioned by many state governments, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court…

Attending College with a Disability

There are a range of campus and university services available to students with disabilities who attend college. Learn more about what they are, how to access them, and more here. What to expect Most colleges and universities have disability service offices and accommodations in place for students with disabilities. However, higher education institutions aren’t required…

4 Kids Shows and Movies Featuring Characters with Disabilities

Children with disabilities often are severely underrepresented in movies, books, and pop-culture. If they are featured, the portrayal can often be inaccurate and the character is often played by a person who does not have an intellectual, developmental, or physical disability. In recent years the film and television industry has been making strides towards more…

Research Update: Vacuum Extractors and Forceps Are Both Associated with a Higher Risk of Shoulder Dystocia

Vacuum extractors and forceps are both tools that can be used to assist with a vaginal birth. In developed countries, vacuum extractors have become much more commonly used than forceps, and in certain situations are the safer choice. However, this tool also involves serious risks. For example, some studies have found an association between the…

New Drug to Treat Chronic Drooling

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a drug called Xeomin (incobotulinumtoxinA), to treat excessive drooling in adults. Excessive drooling, or chronic sialorrhea, is a common symptom of cerebral palsy (CP), Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other neurological disorders. Sialorrhea can involve problems with swallowing and difficulty controlling facial muscles. Xeomin…

Assistive Equipment for Personal Hygiene

For people with limited range of motion, spastic reflexes, or problems with strength and dexterity, maintaining personal hygiene can be difficult. In order to make tasks like brushing hair or clipping nails more manageable, people with motor disorders such as cerebral palsy often use assistive equipment. These are items that can help those with disabilities…

Obstetrical Care for Women with Disabilities

“When I found out I was pregnant, I was overjoyed, but also apprehensive,” writes Erin E. Andrews, in an article for the American Psychological Association (1). She goes on to explain: “I am a congenital triple amputee who uses a power wheelchair for mobility. I was less concerned about the effects of my disability, and…

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)

The STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) defines sensory processing as “the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate responses.” SPD occurs when these sensory signals are not detected by the brain or are not matched with the correct responses. This can cause a person with sensory…