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April 2004

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

Back issues at LSI web site:

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


LSI hosts May 6 technology transfer presentation

Positive behavior interventions focus of 2004-05 KU Colloquia on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Vince Francisco accepts UNC-Greensboro faculty post

In Memoriam: Fred samson

The Beach Center on Disability website – an ambitious approach to research dissemination

Central Office News & Announcements

LSI hosts May 6 technology transfer presentation

James Baxendale, director of the Director of KU Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property (TTIP), will speak on Technology Transfer at KU: Promoting Innovation to Benefit Society on Thursday, May 6, 4-5:30 p.m. Dole Human Development Center 2092. Baxendale will discuss national trends and issues in moving research innovations from the lab to the marketplace, including protecting intellectual property.

For further information, contact Carolyn Human (

Positive Behavior Interventions focus of 2004-05 KU Colloquia on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Positive behavior interventions are the subject of the next KU Colloquia on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities series. According to Rachel Freeman, who heads the colloquia committee, the series speakers will represent behavioral, language-related, and biobehavioral research.

She said the speakers' research will also represent a balance of levels of analysis (e.g. lab research to community based support research); settings in which research is conducted (e.g. university lab, schools, family-based, DD service, child welfare, etc.) and age ranges that reflect the entire life span.

The Colloquia series schedule will be released as soon as dates are finalized.

The committee members are Jennifer Zarcone, Greg Hanley, David Lindeman, Jessica Hellings, Stephen Schroeder, and Karen Henry.

Vince Francisco accepts UNC-Greensboro faculty post

Vince Francisco, long-time Associate Director of the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development has accepted a faculty appointment as Associate Professor of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Vince will also be the director of a new Ph.D. program in the field of community health education. He will also create and teach a new line of NIH and CDC-funded behavioral research in community health promotion.

"We are very pleased for Vince, but sad for us,” remarked Steve Fawcett, Work Group Director, “Dr. Francisco made important contributions to the science and practice of community efforts to create conditions for health and development. He helped develop method systems for studying the process of community change that have been used widely in public health. He remains an important and continuing collaborator on the widely acclaimed Community Tool Box We will miss him. But, we look forward to continuing as close colleagues in the years ahead."

In memoriam: Fred Samson

Fred Samson, former director of the Smith Center at KUMC for 16 years, died April 15. He is remembered at KU and KUMC as a true original – a scientist of keen and inexhaustible intelligence who could make science exciting and understandable even to the nonscientist, sometimes while standing on one hand – and smoking a cigar. He will be sorely missed and well remembered.

Linda Carr says that cards can be sent to Camila at 171 Lake Shore South, Lake Quivera, KS 66217.

The Beach Center on Disability website – an ambitious approach to research dissemination

Sandra Padmanabhan, Beach Center Research Associate

For many years, one of the focuses of the Beach Center on Disability is to disseminate its research in such a way to empower individuals with disabilities along with their families and service providers. The dissemination of research to nonacademic populations is a tricky business. How does an academic center package and distribute research to a group of people who may or may not appreciate the theoretical, jargon filled language of research articles without alienating academicians who also rely on the Beach Center for information? After many months of discussion, the Beach Center decided that creating a website that is “friendly” to researcher, service providers, and families was the answer. In December of 2003, the Beach Center on Disability completed the first version of its new website. So far, it has received many compliments from researchers, families and service providers a like. (For example, recently a parent from Venezuela wrote the Beach Center thanking the Center for creating one of best websites around).

To create a good website is NOT easy. It requires a group effort. It also requires listening to others’ feedback. The Beach Center staff decided from the beginning of the website development process to allow everyone at the Center the opportunity to voice their opinion on the website’s design and features. Beach Center staff met in different focus groups to decide the design, features and the content of the website. From these focus groups, two goals of the website became clear: 1.) The website needed to address the needs of an eclectic population. (The intended users of the website included not just families and researchers but service providers, policy makers, and individuals with disabilities as well.) 2.) Each of these populations would be able to access the material in a form that would be easiest for them to use the information.
The Beach Center is well known for its research. The website therefore had to include, as much as possible, downloadable research articles. But research articles alone do not always allow easy access and understanding of the material. The Beach Center therefore summarized each research article’s main points. These summaries called “Research Highlights” allow users to quickly read through an article’s main content and implement its suggestions or findings.

The Beach Center staff, however, realized that supplying research articles and summaries on the website would not be enough for some website visitors who do not have the time and/or inclination to read formal research results. The Beach Center therefore included a “stories and tips” section. The stories (posted on the website) allow families, service providers and individuals dealing with disabilities to discover the challenges and hopes (related to our research topic areas) experienced by others. These stories also allow website users to understand the issues of disability in the context of ordinary day-to-day living. In addition, tips allow researchers, families, service providers and individuals dealing with disabilities access to easy to understand, actionable steps to help solve frequent problems associated with disabilities based on the expertise of the Beach Center staff.

The Beach Center website also includes books and groups sections. The book section allows website visitors access to information on publications concerning the Beach Center research topics. Website users can therefore access books to get more in-depth information on Beach Center research topics and in some cases even download the publications for free. The group section links users to organizations that work on the different Beach Center research topics. Families, service providers, and individuals with disabilities, after reading a tip, story or research highlight could then also connect with a group of service providers, advocates and/or families, for support and advice in the topic area.

For all resources, printer-friendly versions, e-mailing a friend and submitting ratings and comments functions are available. We also allow users to submit recommendations of resources to be included on the website. The website is also highly accessibility to individuals with disabilities (obtaining a “triple A” Bobby rating for accessibility).

Of course, the Beach Center has much more work to do in order to fulfill our two goals defined in the Beach Center focus groups. This coming Summer, Fall and Winter, we plan on several items to make our resources more timely, accessible and useful to our website visitors, including the following: fact sheets on specific issues, online instruction, threaded discussions, video-based stories and tips, non-English resources and an electronic newsletter, among many other features. We invite everyone to take a look at our new website at And let us know what you think at

Institute Activities


Glen White, Director of the Research and Training Center for Independent Living, received an award from the National Association of Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (NAARTC) "in recognition of research, teaching, and advocacy that has advanced the field of disability" at the NARRTC annual conference in Washington, D.C. on April 26.


Glen White, Director of the Research and Training Center for Independent Living, conducted leadership and community problem-solving training at the LSI affiliate Centro Ann Sullivan del Perú in April.


Colombo, J. The development of visual attention in infancy and early childhood. Mead Johnson Nutritionals Clinical Trials Expert Panel Plenary Address, Baltimore, MD.

Colombo, J., Kannass, K. N., Shaddy, D. J., Kundurthi, S., Maikranz, J., & Carlson, S. E. Maternal DHA and the development of attention in infancy and early childhood. Paper presented at a symposium at the Congress of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia.

Developmental Disabilities Center faculty, panel discussion, Red Flags for Assessment and Early Intervention in the Young Child for El Centro childcare staff. El Centro, based in Kansas City, is a social service agency primarily serving Wyandotte and Johnson Counties. The following areas were presented: Gross Motor (Susan Cannon, PT): Fine motor and sensory issues (Louann Rinner, OT): speech (Karla Stovall, Speech Language Pathologist): Cognitive (Katherine Mick, Psychology. Fellow): Feeding issues (Catherine Mangiaracina and Nutrition Trainee). Panel Coordinator/facilitator: Jackie Hampton, Social Worker, April 5.

Fawcett, S., Understanding and Improving the Work of Community Health and Development Invited paper to the International Conference on the Science of Behavior in Guadalajara, Mexico, Feb. 26.

Fawcett, S. and Francisco, V., The implications of KU Work Group research for violence prevention to leadership and staff of the Division of Violence Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 12.

Fawcett, S., Putting Social Capital to Work in Kansas, keynote address, Kansas Health Foundation Recognition Conference in Wichita, April 6.

Hampton, J., Overview of Developmental Disabilities Issues and Resources, Kansas City, Kansas school social workers, April 2.

Kannass, K. N., & Colombo, J. The effects of continuous and intermittent distraction on cognitive performance. Poster presented at a symposium at the International Conference for Infant Studies, Chicago, IL.

Kannass, K. N., Colombo, J., Carlson, S. E., Shaddy, D. J., & Kundurthi, S. Maternal DHA levels and toddler attention and distractibility. Poster presented at a symposium at the International Conference for Infant Studies, Chicago, IL.

Sailor, W.and Lassen. S., Positive Behavior Support Interventions in Urban Middle Schools, Second Annual Conference, Applied Behavior Analysis, April 3.

Saunders, K., Studies in the Foundation of Reading in Individuals with Mental Retardation, Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series, Kennedy-Krieger Institute of Johns Hopkins on April 22.

The University of Kansas Infant Cognition Center (Colombo, J., Shaddy, D. J., Richman, W. A., Maikranz, J. M., Blaga, O. M., Anderson, C.J., & Kannass, K. N.). The University of Kansas Early Cognition Project. Paper presented at a symposium at the International Conference for Infant Studies, Chicago, IL.

Poster Sessions

Kemper, S., McDowd, J., & Metcalf, K. (2004). Eye fixations of young and older adults while reading with distraction. Presented at the Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Liu, C., Kemper, S., & Herman, R. (2004). Eye movements of young and older adults in sentence reading. Presented at the Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Altmann, L.J.P., Kemper, S., Mathews, A., & Mullin, D.A. (2004). Syntactic priming in older adults. Presented at the Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Kemper, S., Herman, R.E., Nartowicz, J., de Liaño, G-G. (2004). Age differences in memory load interference effects in syntactic processing. Presented at the Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Additional presentations were made by former NIA trainees Deborah Eaken, Tracy Mitzner, Dana Murphy, and by former LSI RDA assistants Karen Schmidt and Lesa Hoffman

Conference Participation

Susan Kemper went on to Gainesville, Florida to participate in a two-day symposium on Language and Aging: Research and Clinical Implications organized by former post-doc Lori Altmann.


On March 3, the KU Work Group team consulted at KU with Dr. Loel Solomon, Director of Evaluation of the Community Benefit Program, on how its research might inform investments by the community grant-making program of Kaiser Permanente.


On April 5, Dr. Hugh Tilson, a member of the Institute of Medicine's Board on Health Promotion, came to KU to consult on future directions of the KU Work Group. Later in the day, he presented to Kansas policymakers and grantmakers on the new IOM study on The Future of the Public's Health in the 21st Century.

Central Office News and Announcements

Project Development

Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development

Past Submissions not Previously Reported

1. Todd Little and Noel Card (postdoctoral fellow) resubmitted a two-year NRSA individual fellowship proposal “Functions and Forms of Aggression over Time” to NIMH on April 5, 2004

2. Charles Greenwood and Barbara Terry submitted a four-year, renewal “Post-Doctoral Leadership Training Program in Intervention Research for Culturally/Linguistically Diverse Students with Disabilities” to DE/OSERS/OSEP for their Preparation of Leadership Personnel competition on April 9, 2004.

3. Rachel Freeman, Amy McCart and Wayne Sailor submitted a new, four-year proposal “Implementing Character Education Using School-Wide Positive Behavior Support” via the Kansas Department of Education (prime contractor) to DE/Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools for their Partnerships in Character Education Program on April 9, 2004.

4. Jane Wegner and Brenda Myles submitted a five-year, renewal “The Communication and Autism Project in Schools (CAPs)” to DE/OSERS/OSEP for their Preparation of Special Education, Related Services and Early Intervention Personnel to Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Children with Low-Incidence Disabilities on April 16, 2004

5. Jane Wegner submitted a second, five-year proposal “Augmentative and Alternative Communication in the Schools: Leadership and Access (ACTS)” to DE/OSERS/OSEP for their Preparation of Special Education, Related Services and Early Intervention Personnel to Serve Infants, Toddlers, and Children with Low-Incidence Disabilities on April 16, 2004.

6. Glen White and Dennis Jacobsen submitted a new, one-year proposal “Living Well with a Disability: Conditioning and Weight Loss” to the Association of Teachers on Preventative Medicine (ATPM) on April 16, 2004.

Three, two-year proposals were submitted to the Sunflower Foundation RFP – “Promoting Physical Activity and Healthy Eating to Reduce the Prevalence of Obesity in Kansas” on April 23, 2004:

7. Joe Donnelly’s “Kansas get Moving!”

8. Stephen Fawcett’s “Creating Environments for Active Living and Healthy Eating”; and

9. Glen White, Joseph Donnelly, Dennis Jacobsen and Martha Hodgesmith’s “Living Well with a Disability in Kansas”.

Four, two-year proposals were submitted to the DE/OSERS/OSEP RFP - “Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Students with Disabilities” on April 23, 2004:

10. Susan Bashinski and Nancy Peterson’s “Outcomes for Children who are Deaf-Blind after Cochlear Implantation” via Western Oregon University (prime contractor);

11. Pamela Cress, Kathryn Saunders and Charles Spellman’s “Technology Innovation for Teaching the Braille Alphabet”;

12. Charles Greenwood and Jay Buzhardt’s “Monitoring and Reporting Intervention Results for Children with/without Disabilities Ages Birth to Three: Developing a National Web-based Support Technology”; and

13. Amy McCart and Wayne Sailor’s “Determining Efficacy and Feasibility of Using a Web-Based Analysis Tool for Improving Academic and Social Outcomes for Students with Disabilities” via the Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools #500 (prime contractor);

14. Susan Jack submitted her third-year continuation “SEK-CAP: Head Start Training Project” to the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center on April 26, 2004.

15. David Lindeman submitted his fourth-year continuation “SEK-CAP: Program Evaluation Project” to the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center on April 26, 2004.

16. Susan Bashinski submitted her fifth-year continuation “Inclusive Network of Kansas (INKS)” to the Kansas Department of Education on April 30, 2004.

17. David Lindeman submitted his seventh-year continuation “Kansas Inservice Training System (KITS)” to the Kansas Department of Education on April 30, 2004.

18. Lisa Bowman submitted her fourth-year grant performance report “Project Las Estrellas” to DE/OBEMLA on April 30, 2004.

19. Chris Smith, David Lindeman and Todd Little submitted a new, two-year proposal “Evaluating Quality in Early Intervention Services” to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) on April 30, 2004.

20. Mabel Rice, in collaboration with Steve Zubrick and Catherine Taylor @ Curtin University, Australia, submitted their third-year, non-competing continuation “Twins and Singletons with Specific Language Impairment” to NIDCD on May 1, 2004.

21. Matthew Stowe, H.R. Turnbull and Ann Turnbull submitted their second-year, non-competing continuation “A Framework for Disability Perspectives on HGP” to NHGRI on May 1, 2004.

22. Steve Warren and Nancy Brady submitted their second-year, non-competing continuation “Family Adaptation to Fragile X Syndrome” via the University of North Carolina (prime contractor) to NICHD on May 1, 2004.

23. Steven Warren and Peter Smith, in conjunction with Charles Greenwood, Elias Michaelis and numerous other contributors, submitted their thirty-eighth year, non-competing continuation “Kansas Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Research Center” to NICHD on May 1, 2004.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Michael Wehmeyer and Sean Smith will submit their fourth-year, grant performance report “Mental Retardation and Technology Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on May 5, 2004.

2. Nancy Brady and Susan Bashinski will submit their second-year, grant performance report “Promoting Communication Outcomes for Children with Deaf-Blindness through Adaptive Prelinguistic Strategies” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on May 7, 2004.

3. Cheryl Utley, Paul Markham and Charles Greenwood will submit their second-year, grant performance report “Preparation of Minority Leadership Personnel: Special Education Doctoral Training in Research – Validated Interventions with Culturally Linguistically Diverse Students with Mild Disabilities in Urban Classroom Settings” to DE/OSERS/OSEP on May 7, 2004.

4. Kathryn Saunders will resubmit her five-year, competing continuation “Interdisciplinary Research Training in MR/DD” to NICHD on May 10, 2004.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Steve Mills received a new, six-month award “ESSDACK/21CCLC Evaluations” from the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, which began January 1, 2004.

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).