ASDC welcomes our newest Organizational Member, the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. (IDRT). IDRT is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and service providers through research and development, training, technical assistance, and advocacy. Although their work benefits people with all disabilities, they specialize in research and development efforts on behalf of children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing. They have particular expertise in the development of American Sign Language accessible computer software and other assistive technology products.
For more information about IDRT visit their website at www.idrt.com
Join ASDC and thousands of others for the inaugural 5K Run/Walk supporting the 2015 ASDC Conference. Save the date for Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 8:00 am for the Run/Walk. For more information or to register visit 5kfordeafchildren.blogspot.com
Looking forward to seeing you on September 27th!
Albert Pujols “Pinch Hits” to Support 20th Anniversary of the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide For Differently-Abled Kids®
The World’s Greatest Toy Store® Teams Up with Baseball World Champion and Proud Father to Continue Special Needs Advocacy Efforts and Backing #ToysforAll
WAYNE, NJ – August 19, 2014 – Toys“R”Us® today announced the release of its 20th Anniversary edition of the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs. Now in its second decade of annual publication, the complimentary shopping guide is a go-to for families, friends and caregivers involved in the special needs community, and is available in Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide, as well as online at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbledin both English and Spanish. This year, Toys“R”Us is teaming up with baseball World Champion, proud father and special needs advocate, Albert Pujols, who appears on the cover alongside Cameron Withers, a 5-year-old boy from Los Angeles.
While Pujols is known for his passion on the diamond, his dedication to the special needs community is even greater. As a parent to a daughter with Down syndrome, Pujols serves as a vocal advocate for children with special needs through the Pujols Family Foundation. Since 2005, the Pujols Family Foundation has worked diligently to provide children and families living with Down syndrome with the tools they need to thrive. As part of the launch of this year’s Guide, Pujols will bring that same devotion to his partnership with Toys“R”Us in helping to reach its customers nationwide and raise awareness of this one-of-a-kind resource.
“As a proud dad to my beautiful daughter, Bella, who lives with Down syndrome, I understand how important it is to have resources like the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids to help in making informed choices to support a child’s development. And, as a professional athlete, I truly value the importance of play and recognize the impact it has in the lives of children who face everyday challenges – for these kids, playtime is not just about fun, it’s an opportunity to explore their strengths and experience success in reaching each new milestone,” said nine-time All-Star baseball player, Albert Pujols. “I have a tremendous amount of passion for this cause, and I’m excited to partner with Toys“R”Us to make it easier for gift-givers to find toys for the special needs children in their lives that will inspire their imagination, encourage inclusive play and help them develop new skills.”
Trusted Toy Recommendations Tailored to Children’s Individual Abilities
Serving as a trusted resource for family, friends and caregivers of children with special needs, the Guide is packed with everyday playthings selected for their unique ability to help kids build critical skills, such as creativity, fine and gross motor and self-esteem, during playtime. Each of the toys featured in the 63-page buying guide has been vetted in partnership with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children of all abilities.
To equip parents with targeted recommendations as they set out in selecting a toy for their child’s specific set of abilities, each toy in the Guide is paired with skill-building icons, which help users easily identify the playthings that are most suitable for the child they’re shopping for. The following are examples of toys featured in the 2014 Guide, highlighted by the skill they promote:
- Auditory: Baby Einstein Octoplush from Kids II®
- Creativity: Mega Bloks Build ‘n Learn Table from MEGA® Brands
- Fine Motor: Hot Wheels KidPicks Super 6-in-1 Track Set from Mattel®
- Gross Motor: Monster Dirt Diggers from Little Tikes®
- Language: Doctor Role Play Set from Melissa & Doug®
- Self Esteem: Classic Doodler with 2 Stampers from Fisher-Price®
- Social Skills: Elefun & Friends Chasin’ Cheeky from Hasbro®
- Tactile: Cyclone from Radio Flyer®
- Thinking: Connect & Create Geometric Set from Imaginarium™
- Visual: Marker Maker from Crayola®
“For two decades, the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids has been a valuable resource for parents looking to find toys that help build specific skills for their children,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “We’re honored to partner with Albert Pujols in our goal to bring joy to children of all abilities. Toys“R”Us has a long-standing commitment to ensuring tools like the guide are accessible and available for parents and children everywhere.”
Through the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has long supported the special needs community through organizations such as: American Society for Deaf Children, Autism Speaks, the Pujols Family Foundation, HollyRod Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society, National Lekotek Center, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy.For more information, please visit www.toysrusinc.com/charitable-giving/
Shopping the Guide, In-Store, Online and On-the-Go
Those who prefer to browse online can take advantage of the shop-by-skill option at Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled. Customers can narrow their toy selection by focusing on a specific skill to refine their search. Shoppers can also view the Guide via their smartphone by scanning the QR code featured on dedicated signage located at their Toys“R”Us store’s Customer Service Desk. Those searching for mobile apps can also download the official Toys“R”Us App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. Using the same skills criteria featured within the traditional Guide, the App Guide provides a convenient, on-the-go resource for viewing, researching and comparing mobile apps designed to build individual development skills for children of all ages. All apps featured within this helpful resource can be found in the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android.
In addition to finding toy recommendations, parents can peruse the Guide’s “Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys,” prepared by the National Lekotek Center, as well as “Safe Play Tips for Children with Special Needs,” which were created based on research collected from leading safety and special needs organizations, to help avoid playtime injuries.
Kiwa Digital has recently released a new app which includes American Sign language narration. This App is available on both iTunes as well as the Google Play Store.
Kiwa Digital has recently joined ASDC as an Organizational Member and has provided ASDC families with a redemption code to use the App at no charge.
In order to access the App from your iPad.
- Access the App Store on your iPad.
- Tap the Featured star at the bottom.
- Scroll to the bottom of ‘Featured’ and you should see ‘Redeem’.
- Enter the code manually.
- Codes are NE6WN6RJT3LT or WAWNHPYLRLYW
For more information about Kiwa Digital visit their website at www.kiwadigital.com
The MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Wellesley Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Development are studying the neural basis and development of social cognition in children with different language experiences, including American Sign Language.
They are looking for children interested in participating in an FMRI study who are
- a KODA, CODA, Deaf, deaf, or have a profound hearing loss
- between the ages of 4 and 13
- use ASL on a regular (daily) basis (studies are conducted in ASL)
Studies take about half a day and include lunch, snacks, and playtime. Kids are rewarded with gift certificates, pictures of their brains, and fun prizes.
For more information, email ASLbrains@mit.edu
For more information and videos visit their website at kidsbrains.mit.edu/aslbrains
Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) is pleased to bring you the first of their planned monthly emails with information sharing research findings from the Science of Learning Center development, links to resources, and plenty more. VL2 plans on addressing different topics each month, and if there is a topic you want to learn more about, please let them know!
In the meantime, click here to view Eye Gaze and Joint Attention.
It’s the time of year to start thinking about what your child will be doing this summer. The ASDC 2014 Summer Camp List is a resource that will help you with planning your child’s summer experience. Many states and organizations are offering summer camp experiences for students of all ages and abilities.
Norah Matthews a deaf mentor from Southeast New Mexico has shared this list of recommended Apps available to help adults and children learn ASL.
Quality captioning universally is the CCAC mission. They invite you to join the online grass-roots project called the CCAC if you have interest in more captioning.
Many people cannot comprehend speech well in group situations, even with other resources and technologies. Good communications are vital for everyday life. Captioning and subtitles are required in so many places, and the CCAC outlines ten places they call the ten CCAC categories of life, from education, employment and entertainment, to government, healthcare and transportation and more.
The CCAC is all volunteers, and a “working community” online. It’s an advocacy organization with members who are deafened, hard of hearing, deaf, hearing and others. Membership is free for all “consumers.” A nice balance of consumers and providers are now members, all working together online to encourage and create new captioning inclusion projects. Any captioning advocacy project, from a small local one, to a regional or national project, and collaborations internationally too, are invited. The CCAC has no resources other than the energy and the large need they see for millions globally, to have real time captioning for healthy lives.
CCAC itself does not sell any captioning, CART, or broadcasting services or products. The founder is a person who is deafened, and is also a member of many established organizations. one CCAC goal is to “build bridges” for a focus on much more inclusion of captioning.
The CCAC has developed an informative public website with useful articles and videos. It also has an active Members’ Forum online that many describe as intelligent and effective. The CCAC has helped members in “CCAC Action Requests,” not only for specific information, but also with “letters of support” when any member is seeking real time speech to text. The CCAC also offers public data collection documents on the website, for all to submit information about local and broader captioning advocacy, so others can be inspired, and they can share information together online.
There is much more information about the CCAC on their website, including the “Join” membership form. They welcome your interest and support! For more information visit their website at www.ccacaptioning.org