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November 2002

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:

Reminder: Need investigator comments on new GRA Tuition Program

Steve Warren would like to provide feedback to the Provost regarding any concerns that investigators have about the new tuition program for GRAs. All investigators should have received a copy of the new program description a few days ago and it is online at: Please send comments, concerns, or questions to Steve Warren at by Monday, November 25th.



Life Span convenes Disaster/Emergency Preparedness Task Force

Merrill Advanced Studies Center plans ambitious 2003 publishing/conference schedule

Institute for Child Development launches newsletter for families and service providers


Life Span in the News


Online Publications

Correction: The last issue incorrectly stated that only the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Center sponsored the upcoming Language to Literacy lecture series. The series is sponsored by the MRDDRC as well as by other KU developmental disabilities researchers who represent a spectrum of the behavioral and biological sciences affiliated with the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, the Institute for Child Development, the Center for Reproductive Sciences, the Beach Center on Disability, the Juniper Gardens Children's Project, and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities.

Administration News & Announcements

Project Development November update

Research Design & Analysis Dec. 6 Brownbag on Modeling Intra-individual Change in Personality Traits

Information Technology Services EndNote6 workshops

Life Span convenes Disaster/Emergency Preparedness Task Force

After working on a Saturday, the last thing Dot Nary needed was to find the elevators were out of order on the 4th floor of the Dole Center for Human Development at KU when she started for home.

Nary, RTC/IL training director and Life Span Institute research assistant uses a wheelchair. But unlike most other people who use wheelchairs, she can go down stairs on her backend, if necessary.

She chose to inch down the two flights of stairs, although KU public safety officers had arrived and offered to carry her.

According to Nary, people with mobility impairments risk injury from being carried by untrained rescuers.

“We never know how well the rescuers have been trained, whether they have bad backs, etc.,” she said. “I appreciate good intentions, but I don’t necessarily want to trust my physical well-being to an unknown person.”

“And I doubt if they could have carried me if I weighed 250 pounds and used a 200-pound power chair,” she added. “We can’t depend on untrained co-workers or emergency personnel to carry us to safety.”

Nary is one the seven Life Span Institute (LSI) staff members who use wheelchairs or have other mobility impairments whose offices are in Dole and Haworth. The Institute also has one staff member who is blind and two with developmental disabilities.

“As a disabilities research institute, it became obvious after 9/11 that we needed to use our expertise to develop an exemplary emergency response plan,” said Steven Warren, LSI director.

Warren recently convened a task force that includes Nary and Vicki Turbiville, LSI project coordinator, who uses crutches, to ensure that staff who have first-hand experience with mobility impairments help shape the plan.

Moreover, both Nary and Turbiville are disabilities policy specialists and researchers.

The goal of the task force is limited to planning for fire and weather emergency evacuations of LSI staff with physical, sensory and developmental disabilities in Dole and Haworth but could eventually be submitted to KU safety and emergency officials for consideration as a campus-wide model.

“We will be studying all types of emergency evacuation procedures and equipment that might apply—from those used by nursing homes to those developed by cave and mountain rescue teams,” Nary said.

“After 9/11 the disability and emergency response communities realized advising people to simply wait in stairwells or safe rooms for rescuers to carry them to safety was too little, too late.”

Merrill Advanced Studies Center plans ambitious conference and publishing schedule

Joy Simpson, Program Administrator

The Merrill Center board of directors met this month and approved a slate of exciting conferences and projects for 2003. Hugh Catts is directing a national conference on language and reading disorders that will involve leading experts such as Reid Lyon from the NICHD and Margaret Snowling from the University of York.

Mabel Rice and Steve Warren are directing their second conference on developmental language disorders with NIH, and in the next few months expect to publish the collection from their May 2002 conference that included Don Bailey, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the Univ. of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; Catherine Lord, University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center; Carolyn Mervis, University of Louisville; Shelley Smith, Monroe Meyer Institute at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Len Abbeduto, Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and others. Their goal is to establish a unified framework on language that will prove useful for several clinical populations, including children with Downs syndrome, Williams syndrome, fragile X, Specific Language Impairment and autism. The book title is: Developmental Language Disorders: From Phenotypes to Etiologies.

The Merrill Center will also hold its 7th annual regional retreat on the theme of Recruitment and Training of Future Scientists: How Policy Shapes the Mission of Graduate Education. Keynote speakers will be Debra Stewart, President of the Council of Graduate Schools, and Martha Crago, Dean of Graduate Studies at McGill University in Canada.

The Institute for Child Development launches Speak Up for Kids newsletter

Dave Richman, psychologist and assistant professor, and Ann Clemens, project manager and graphic designer both at Developmental Disabilities Center (DDC) at KUMC, along with the able assistance of the DDC Research Committee, have launched Speak Up for Kids. The two-page newsletter designed for parents, other family members and service providers of children seen at the DDC Clinics is a simple, attractive publication written in language accessible to a broad audience.

The first issue will be distributed to family members with children who are patients in the DDC Clinics within the next two weeks and features tips for parents (including web sites for further information), descriptions of two projects of interest to families, and contact information to participate in on-going projects.

If you know of families or practitioners who should be receiving Speak Up for Kids, send their names and addresses to Sharon Barnett, DDC program assistant, at


Michael Wehmeyer named 2002 AAMR Education Award recipient

Michael Wehmeyer, director of Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, associate director of the Beach Center on Disability and associate professor of Special Education at KU has been named the 2002 AAMR Education Award recipient.

Rud Turnbull, Beach Center co-director, described the significance of Michael’s work that was recognized by this prestigious award as follows:

Michael has pioneered research into “self-determination” --- basically, living the life that you want to live. Although most people without disabilities take it for granted that they can "determine" some parts of their lives, students and adults with disabilities, especially those who have mental retardation, have been unable to make the assumption. For most of them, life was one of learning to depend on others, of ceding control over their own lives to others.

Together with the leading thinkers in the field of cognitive disability, Michael resisted this profound loss of autonomy and citizenship from an ideological perspective; more than that, he conducted research that demonstrates that independence, not dependence, can be taught, learned, and practiced.

His research has had profound effects on public policy, school curricula, and student and adult outcomes. Indeed, his research has proved to be the most significant research in America, if not the world, on how teachers, family members, and, of course, students with disabilities, especially those with mental retardation, can gain control over their lives, achieve full citizenship, and fully participate in American life.

As much as any one in the field of mental retardation, Michael combines progressive ideology with superb scholarship. The fact that he has received the AAMR Education Award and been elected to be a Fellow of the AAMR underscores his pivotal role as a researcher, educator, and leader.

Wehmeyer wins TASH Thomas G. Haring Award

Michael Wehmeyer, along with co-authors, Guy Gilberts, Martin Agran, Carolyn Hughes, were named the 2002 Thomas G. Haring Award for their article, The effects of peer-delivered self-monitoring strategies on the participation of students with severe disabilities in general education classrooms, published in Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, volume 26, 25–36.

The Thomas G. Haring Award is a $1,000 award established by Norris Haring, one of the founders of TASH, and his wife, Dorothy in memory of their son, Thomas. The purposes of The Thomas G. Haring Award are to promote research and scholarly activity in the field of severe disabilities, and to recognize excellence among researchers within the field. The LSI’s Wayne Sailor, professor of Special Education, was also one of the founders of TASH.

Life Span Institute at Parsons alumni honored by ASHA

Life Span alumni Lyle Lloyd, James McLean and Gerald Siegel will be honored by their ASHA peers at the 2002 convention this week. Lloyd, now professor of special education and professor of audiology and speech sciences at Purdue, developed an improved behavioral procedure for the audiometric testing of persons with severe intellectual impairments, while at Parsons, with retired Life Span scientist and HDFL Adjunct Professor Joe Spradlin.

James McLean, KU professor emeritus, and adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, was noted for his vision in the development of communication training for children with severe disabilities.

Gerald Siegel, professor of emeritus, University of Minnesota, was distinguished for his role in establishing the field of speech-language pathology as a scientific discipline and respected profession.

Life Span Institute in the News

The RTC/IL Disaster Preparation and Emergency Grant reported in the last issue of Lifeline Online generated local media attention. RTC/IL Director Glen White and Training Director Dot Nary were interviewed by the Lawrence Journal-World (see, Channel 6 News (see and KCUR-FM in Kansas City.

A special section of the November 18 New York Times on charitable giving featured the accomplishments of KU’s own Liliana Mayo, director, and Judy LeBlanc, program and development director of the Ann Sullivan Center. Moreover, the fundraising and support of Stephen and Carolyn Schroeder and the contributions of KU faculty were credited. See


The 36th Edition of the Kansas Statistical Abstract will soon be online. This year's abstract will be available online as a PDF file with individual pages available in Microsoft Excel and PDF. For more information, see

Online Publications

The Merrill Center is publishing online a four-part series, The Building Blocks of Language in Early Childhood, written by Joy Simpson, Merrill Center program administrator, based on interviews with Director Steven Warren and Nancy Brady, Life Span Institute Associate Research Professor. Part 1, What we know about communication between infants and parents, is available at

Parts 2-4 will be released monthly and address the early detection of disabilities and the value of an interactive environment in developing communication skills in children with developmental disabilities.

Administration News

Project Development

Paul Diedrich, Associate Director for Project Development

Past Submissions not previously reported

1. Mabel Rice, in collaboration with Shelley Smith at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, submitted a five-year competing continuation, “Morphosyntactic Abilities of SLI Probands and Families” to NIDCD on November 1, 2002.

2. Michael Wehmeyer, Susan Palmer and Jennifer Lattimore submitted a new three-year proposal “A Research Project on Quality of Life and Self-Determination” in response to DE/OSERS/NIDRR’s Field Initiated Research competition on November 13, 2002.

Upcoming Submissions

1. Joe Donnelly, Dennis Jacobsen and Matthew Adeyanju will submit their third-year progress report for “Prevention of Obesity by Alteration of Dietary Fat” to NIDDK on December 1, 2002.

2. Jim Sherman, Richard Saunders, Nancy Brady, Irene Grote, Betty Hart, Kathryn Saunders and Muriel Saunders will submit their nineteenth-year progress report for the program project “Communication of People with Mental Retardation” to NICHD on December 1, 2002.

New Awards (not previously funded) Information

1. Mabel Rice received a new, five-year center award for “Biobehavioral Neurosciences in Communication Disorders” from NIDCD that began September 23, 2002.

2. Sara Sack received a new, three-year award for “Kansas Community Personal Attendant Services and Supports” from DHHS/Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that began September 30, 2002.

3. Diane Loeb received a new, three year award for “Project CIRCLE 2: Creating Indian Resources to Facilitate Communication skills in Learning Environments” from DE/OIE that began October 1, 2002.

4. Kathleen Olson received a new, two-year award for “Kansas Mobilizing for Change: Comprehensive Workforce Development Initiative” from the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (prime contractor is the University of Minnesota) that began October 1, 2002.

Research Design and Analysis

Todd Little, Director, Research Design & Analysis

Current RDA events

Dec. 6 Brownbag: Modeling Intra-individual Change in Personality Traits

The Research Design & Analysis Unit and the Psychology Department is holding a Brown Bag on December 6 from 1- 2:30 pm. in 547 Fraser Hall. Fordham University’s Daniel K. Mroczek, Ph.D. will be presenting Modeling Intra-individual Change in Personality Traits.

Description: To advance an intra-individual lifespan approach to the issue of stability and change, we studied personality trait trajectories in adulthood. Growth curves for extraversion and neuroticism were estimated for over 1,600 men (initially aged 43 to 91) in the Normative Aging Study, who were followed over 12 years. We found significant individual differences in intra-individual change for both traits, as well as different trajectories for extraversion and neuroticism. The overall extraversion trajectory was best defined by a linear model, but neuroticism was characterized by quadratic decline with age. We then considered several variables as predictors of individual differences around these overall trajectories. Birth cohort, marriage or remarriage, death of spouse, and memory complaints were all significant predictors, explaining variability in both level and rate of personality trait change. These findings suggest that there is a good deal of variability in personality trajectories, and that some of this variability can be explained by birth cohort as well as by age-graded life events.

Information Technology Services

Janet Marquis, Director

EndNote 6 On-site Workshop

We are planning two on-site EndNote5/6 workshops taught by Sara Kanning, who is the ACS EndNote expert, one in December after classes end and another one in January the week before classes resume. We will be sending you firm dates for these soon.

For those of you are unfamiliar with EndNote, here’s the product overview:

EndNote 6 Information:

Millions of researchers, scholarly writers, students, and librarians use EndNote to search online bibliographic databases, organize their references and images, and create bibliographies and figure lists instantly. Instead of spending hours typing bibliographies, or using index cards to organize their references, they do it the easy way—by using EndNote. EndNote for Windows and Macintosh is a valuable all-in-one tool that integrates the following tasks into one program:

Search bibliographic databases on the Internet
Organize references and images in a database
Construct your paper with built-in manuscript templates
Watch the bibliography and figure list appear as you write

EndNote 6.0 smartly advances research and publishing by now organizing images with text, and by providing built-in Microsoft® Word templates for a variety of journals. Long known for Bibliographies Made Easy, EndNote 6 now defines Manuscripts Made Easy.

Comments and questions to:

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