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October 2003

News for the investigators, staff and associates of the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies

Karen Henry, editor

The Life Span Institute at the University of Kansas

1052 Dole Human Development Center

1000 Sunnyside Avenue

Lawrence, KS 66045-7555 (785) 864-4295 TDD (785) 864-5051

LSI web site:

Back issues at LSI web site:

Submit your presentations: A calendar and archive of seminars, presentations and training by and of interest to Life Span investigators begin at Send your submissions to

Notice: The Work Group on Health Promotion and Community Development, directed by Stephen Fawcett, is now the Work Group for Community Health and Development



Sack to oversee $10.8 million to expand loan cooperative for Kansans with disabilities
LSI Emergency Evacuation Task Force Report
Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders Center hires Advanced Statistical Methods coordinator
Web Accessibility Workshop for Managers Who Hire or Contract Web Services
LSI Employee Evaluation Form
Life Span in the News




Turnbull Testimony


Project Development

Sack to oversee $10.8 million to expand loan cooperative for Kansans with disabilities

LSI Parsons researcher Sara Sack, who led efforts that created a successful loan cooperative for Kansans to finance life-changing assistive technology, was awarded a $10.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education the U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration and the State of Kansas.

The grant, announced by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, will greatly expand the ability of the Kansas Assistive Technology Cooperative (KATCO), established in 2000, to make low-cost loans for assistive technology to people with disabilities by stabilizing the cooperative's flexible loan program.

Sack will oversee the new grant that will make loans through KATCO. The majority of individuals on the cooperative's board and loan advisory committee are Kansans with disabilities.

Assistive technology includes motorized wheelchairs, adapted vehicles and communication devices that enable individuals to pursue educational goals, gain employment and live independently.

KATCO is a collaborative effort between KU researchers, led by Sara Sack, director of the Assistive Technology for Kansans program and KU associate scientist, and the Kansas disability community.

Sack said that Kansas is a national leader in recognizing the importance of assistive technology for independent living.

"What we heard most often from Kansans with disabilities was the lack of available funding," Sack said. "An individual could get a job if they had a van with a lift for their wheelchair to get to the office, but they couldn't borrow money until they already had the job. It was a Catch-22."

Funds from the U.S. Rehabilitation Services Administration help develop a Telework program in Kansas by authorizing loans that support working by distance as an employment option for Kansans with disabilities.

"The Telework program recognizes that increased access to assistive technology can reduce or eliminate barriers to employment, such as inadequate transportation, fatigue and inaccessible work environments," Sack explained.

As part of the award, the university also will study the impact of the acquisition of technology on Kansans with disabilities.

"This significant grant brings federal money to Kansas, which with state funds will make new technologies available to Kansans with disabilities," said Jim Roberts, interim vice provost for research at KU. "We're pleased that KU, through the strength of the Life Span Institute, is able to serve Kansans throughout the state in this way."

Note: The KATCO award was a feature story in the Topeka Capitol-Journal (see and the Hays Daily News and mentioned in other media.

LSI Emergency Evacuation Task Force Report

The LSI Emergency Evacuation Committee has completed an Emergency Evacuation Plan for all Life Span Institute employees with offices in the Dole Human Development Center and the Stewart wing of Haworth, after a series of meetings and two consultations with John Mullens, assistant director of the KU Public Safety Office.

The task force discovered that there was no written emergency evacuation plan for the Life Span Institute. Further, the task force queried several LSI employees with mobility impairments and discovered that none of them had ever been instructed about evacuation procedures. As mentioned in the report and in a previous Lifeline Online (see, some LSI employees with mobility impairments have experienced evacuation problems in Dole.

While this plan is limited for use by LSI employees with offices in Dole and Haworth, the task force did address the issue of evacuating visitors and students in LSI offices.

Finally, the task force strongly encourages other LSI sites to develop similar plans with a local public safety official.

The Plan has been sent to all LSI-affiliated offices and programs in the Dole Human Development Center and Haworth Hall and is online at:

The Task Force, chaired by Ed Zamarripa, included Karen Henry, Pam Willits, Barbara Miller, Dot Nary, Vickie Turbiville, and Cindy Roberts.

Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders Center hires Advanced Statistical Methods coordinator

David Slegers was recently hired as the first coordinator for the Advanced Statistical Methods Core of the Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders Center (BNCD) directed by Mabel Rice.

As coordinator of the Advanced Statistical Methods Core, directed by Todd Little, David will assist BNCD investigators by planning and conducting advanced statistical analyses using cutting-edge methods including mixed modeling, structural equation modeling and other techniques for the analysis of multivariate, longitudinal data. He will also assist Center investigators with grant proposal preparation and final report preparation including write-up of methods, procedures and results sections. In addition, he will take part in training BNCD investigators in applications of advanced statistical techniques.

David is currently completing his Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from Bowling Green State University. He has most recently worked in the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and was previously employed by ACT in Iowa City. David’s research interests include longitudinal modeling, Bayesian hierarchical models, test theory, and Bounded Rationality decision-making algorithms.

Web Workshop for Managers: How to Hire or Contract an Accessible Web Site

Most LSI program and center managers are aware of and have attempted to ensure that their web sites meet the state and federal guidelines for developing web sites that are accessible to all site visitors—including those with disabilities. But most of us must rely on those we hire—staff, students, or professional web developers—to design our web sites and assure us that they are accessible. In reality, our sites may not meet web accessibility standards. As a disabilities research institute, web accessibility is not only the right thing to do, it will no doubt increasingly be required by granting agencies—and enforced by state and federal regulation.

The Web Workshop for Managers, tentatively scheduled for the week of February 23-27 (firm time and date to be announced later) will include the following:

A brief overview of the State of Kansas Web Accessibility Content Guidelines, the World Wide Web Consortium Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, and/or Section 508 Standards for Web-based Intranet and Internet information and applications
A model RFP for contracting professional web services
A checklist for hiring student/staff web developers
A checklist for reviewing web site work in progress
An overview of automated accessibility validation tools and their limitations
The importance of manual site testing with screen reading software, e.g., using the same software interface as person who is blind or has visual impairments
The workshop presenters are Parsons researchers Pamela Cress and Steve Mills, who have helped develop and disseminate state web accessibility standards, and Karen Henry, who developed one of the first accessible websites at KU while at Academic Computing Services.

For more information, contact Pamela Cress ( or Steve Mills ( at the Life Span Institute at Parsons or Karen Henry ( in Lawrence.

LSI Employee Evaluation Form

The new and improved LSI employee evaluation form will premier online at the LSI website Monday, November 17, at The form should be used for evaluations reflecting job performance during the 2003 calendar year that are due beginning late April 2004 to LSI Director of Administration and Finance, Ed Zamarripa.

Life Span in the News

The $8.5M NIH child-neglect prevention study which will shared by KU and three other universities got wide coverage in the Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri media, including mentions on primetime news broadcasts on Topeka and Kansas City TV network affiliates, several radio stations news broadcasts and in the Kansas City Star and Topeka Capitol Journal..

Director Steven Warren and Juniper Gardens Senior Scientist Judy Carta will direct the Kansas City site study that will follow 100 single teenaged mothers in two groups from pregnancy to when their children are three years old. Both will get services and support, but one group will receive intensive direct intervention in a comprehensive parenting training program.

A major part of this program was developed by Susan Landry, professor of pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Landry will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, 2004, in the Kansas Room of the Kansas Union at KU. News release at:

Joe Donnelly, director of the Center for Physical Activity and Weight Management, was once again called on to weigh in on the American obesity epidemic – this time on the role of the restaurant industry’s trend toward super-sizing portions. See


Allen Crim, LSI Parsons program assistant, was honored on October 3 with the InterHab President’s Award during the organization’s annual conference.

Allen is project manager of Coordinated Resource and Support Services (CRSS), a program that supports individuals with a dual diagnosis of mental retardation and mental illness. Allen works closely with Tri-Valley Developmental Services and CLASS LTD, along with five mental health centers in the counties served by those CDDOs. Additionally, he has also served New Beginnings, Tri-Ko, Connections, Bridges, New Hope and Southeast Kansas Independent Living Center.

InterHab cited Allen for filling the gaps between mental health and developmental disability services for the past nine years. An expert in immediate crisis management, Allen often includes working 24 hours straight, one-on-one, to manage an individual’s behavior and address his/her needs. He constantly works to improve services provided by CRSS and has earned the respect of area disability professionals and the families of those he serves.

InterHab is a statewide resource network for persons with disabilities.

Ann and Rud Turnbull will receive the National Advocate Award from American Music Therapy Association at its annual meeting in November 21 in Minneapolis. They will present the keynote address with their son, J.T., and five of his former (KU-trained) music therapists.


Ann Turnbull, Rud Turnbull, Marilyn Shank (formerly at KU) and Sean Smith, “Exceptional Lives: Special Education in Today’s Schools”, 4th edition, Merrill-Prentice Hall 2004.

Festus E. Obiakor, Stephen Enwefa, Cheryl Utley, Sunday O. Obi, Nomsa Gwalla-Ogisi and Regina Enwefe, “Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders” (2004). Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders: Arlington, VA. (Series Editors: Lyndal Bullock, Robert A. Gable, & Kristine J. Melloy).

The Work Group for Community Health and Development's framework for community action to promote health was featured in the new landmark study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. This model for documenting and evaluating community efforts was used as the guiding framework for the Community chapter of the Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century (National Academies Press, 2003).

Wayne Sailor and Matt Stowe, “The Relationship of Inquiry to Public Policy”, Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (in press)

Wayne Sailor, et al., “Toward a Technology of "Nonaversive" Behavioral Support and Positive Behavior Support: Evolution of an Applied Science, Positive Behavior Support: Critical Articles on Improving Practice for Individuals with Severe Disabilities”, Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (in press).


Colombo, J., “Maternal DHA and the Development of Attention in Infancy and Early Childhood”. The Sonia Wolf Wilson Lecture in Human Ecology, University of Texas at Austin, 23 October 2003.

Colombo, J., “Disengagement and Visual Attention in Infancy”. Developmental Psychology proseminar, University of Texas at Austin, 24 October 2003.

Freeman, R., & Eber, L. (October 4, 2003). “Data based decision making”. CCBD. St. Louis, MO.

Freeman, R. (September 16, 2003). “Introduction, overview, and breakout session for fall forum on positive behavior support: Coaches training”. University of Kansas. Lawrence, KS.

Freeman, R. (October 9, 2003). “Teacher facilitated problem-solving teams”. Families and Schools Together. Knoxville, TN.

Freeman, R. & Kidwell, P. (October 2, 2003). “Using online instruction in positive behavior support”. Interhab. Overland Park, KS.

Rasmussen, K., & Cress, P. (2003, October). “Kansas Equipment Exchange”. Presentation at the 41st Annual Conference of the Kansas Federation of the Council for Exceptional Children, Hutchinson, KS.

Turnbull Testimony

Rud Turnbull recently was joined by Amy McCart, Matt Stowe, and several special educators as they gave testimony to a special interim study commission of the Kansas State Legislature on a bill that would create incentives for schools to use Positive Behavioral Support. Members of the legislature, two LEA (local education agency, e.g., Argentine Middle School, Kansas City, Kansas) representatives, and the representative of the state school boards' association testified against the bill on the ground that no new requirements should be placed on LEAs unless there is more new money provided to do the work. The bill creates an incentive, not a requirement of state law; there already is a federal requirement.

Rud Turnbull will give testimony on November 6 to the Kansas Supreme Court Judicial Council, Subcommittee on Criminal Law on applying the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision prohibiting capital punishment of people with mental retardation to Kansas law.

Editor’s Note: Kansas death penalty law was called unconstitutional in light of the 2002 Supreme Court decision by several disabilities advocates at the Kansas House-Senate Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice last week. See


Freeman, R., Zarcone, J., Kidwell, P., Smith, C., & Wickham, D. (2002). (Module 7) Designing positive behavior support plans [Online]. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas UCDD. Available:

Smith, C., Freeman, R., Wickham, D., Kidwell, P., & Houghton, J., (2003). (Module 9) Systems Change [Online]. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas UCDD. Available:

Zarcone, J., Freeman, R., Kidwell, P., Smith, C., & Wickham, D. (2002). (Module 8) Emotional and behavioral health [Online]. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas UCDD. Available:

Zarcone, J., Freeman, R., Smith, C., Wickham, D., Houghton, J., & Kidwell, P. (2003). (Module 6) Multi-component interventions [Online]. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas UCD. Available:

Other Materials

Freeman, R. (2003). Functional behavioral assessment. [Online]. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. Available:

Houghton, J., & Freeman, R. L. (2003). “Freebies 2003!! A practical guide for finding free reinforcers”. Lawrence: Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, University of Kansas.

Tieghi-Benet, M., Miller, K., & Freeman, R. (2003). “Encouraging Student Progress: Self-guided problem solving system for supporting students with academic and behavioral problems in schools”. University of Kansas: Lawrence.

Project Development

Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development

Past Submissions not Previously Reported

1. Joseph Donnelly, Dennis Jacobsen, Richard Washburn, Debra Sullivan and Cheryl Gibson submitted a new one-year proposal “Metabolic Advantage of Atkins vs. Conventional Low Fat Diets” to the Atkins Foundation on October 15, 2003.

2. Jean Ann Summers submitted her fourth-year supplement “Midwest Child Car Research Consortium” to University of Nebraska @ Lincoln (prime contractor to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on October 15, 2003.

3. Steven Mills submitted a new, three-year proposal “STAR-IT: Science Through Astronomy, Research and Information Technology” to NSF on October 17, 2003.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Steven Barlow, in collaboration with Kathleen Weatherstone at KU Medical Center and Jose Gierbolini at Stormont-Vail Hospital, will submit their third-year continuation “Sensorimotor Control of the Human Orofacial System” to NDCD on November 1, 2003.

2. John Colombo and Kathleen Kannass, in collaboration with Laura Caulfield at Johns Hopkins University, will resubmit a five-year proposal “Zinc and Biobehavioral Development in Early Childhood” to NICHD on November 1, 2003.

3. Stephen Fowler, in collaboration with Barry Festoff at KU Medical Center (prime contractor), will resubmit a five-year proposal “Synuclein Aggregation, Crosslinking and Centrosomes” to NINDS on November 1, 2002.

4. Susan Kemper will resubmit her five-year, competing continuation “Speech Accommodations by and to Older Adults” to NIA on November 1, 2003.

5. Michael Vitevitch will resubmit his five-year proposal “Processing Neighbors in Speech Perception and Production” to NIDCD on November 1, 2003.

6. Dean Williams will resubmit his three-year proposal “Laboratory Models of Maladaptive Escape Behaviors” to NICHD on November 1, 2003.

7. Troy Zarcone will resubmit his two-year proposal “Behavioral Consequences of Amphetamine Dependence in Mice” to NIDA on November 1, 2003.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Nancy Brady and Susan Bashinski received a new, five-year award “Promoting Communication Outcomes for Children with Deaf-Blindness through Adaptive Prelinguistic Strategies” from DE/OSERS which began October 1, 2003.

2. Charles Greenwood, Judith Carta and Dale Walker received a new, five-year award “Center on Outcomes for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers” from SRI International, prime contractor to DE/OSERS, which began October 1, 2003.

3. Eva Horn and Susan Palmer received a new, five-year award “Children’s School Success” from Indiana University, prime contractor to DE/OSERS, which began October 1, 2003.

4. Sara Sack received a new one-year dual award “Kansas Telework Program” from the DE/RSA, with matching funds from the Kansas SRS, which began October 1, 2003.

5. Sara Sack received a new one-year dual award “Kansas Alternative Finance Program” from the DE/NIDRR, with matching funds from the Kansas SRS, which began October 1, 2003.

6. Wayne Sailor and Rachel Freeman received a new, five-year award “Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports” from University of Oregon, prime contractor to DE/OSERS, that began October 1, 2003.

7. Michael Wehmeyer and Susan Palmer received a new, five-year award “The Impact of Interventions on Self-Determination and Adult Outcomes” from DE/OSERS that began October 1, 2003.

8. Michael Wehmeyer and Nancy Garner received a new, three-year award “Beyond High School: Replicating a Multistage Model Infusing Self-Determination into 18-21 Services” from DE/OSERS which began October 1, 2003.

9. H.R. and Ann Turnbull received a new, five-year award “Policies Affecting Families of Children with Disabilities (Beach IV)” from DE/OSERS that will begin November 1, 2003.

Comments and questions to:

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).