New bill aims to make air travel easier for wheelchair users

By MAX BACHMANN: Complete Post through this link…

A new bill that would strengthen accommodations for wheelchair users who fly was unanimously approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee earlier this month.

The Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act was introduced June 9 by some Democrat and Republican members of the House. If passed, the bill would result in major improvements in wheelchair accessibility aboard flights, Paralyzed Veterans of America National President Charles Brown said.

“Some of these provisions [in the bill] include training requirements for assisting passengers with limited mobility and properly stowing assistive devices; improving the Department of Transportation’s complaint process; and addressing the need for more access standards,” he said in a statement. 

“The bill also requires continued study into safe and secure in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems; and for the Department of Transportation to perform a more in-depth analysis of mishandled wheelchairs as reported by airlines,” Brown added.

Accessible Technology in small doses!

From the Braille and Talking Book Library: Complete Post through this link…

Please join us for a short 20-minute tech topic presentation, with a few minutes for questions afterward.  Each month will have a different topic or demonstration. Each session will be recorded so if you can’t make it or want to go back to it, we have you covered. 

June 27th at 10 a.m.  – Seeing Ai App for Reading Text

Zoom Log-in Info:

Meeting ID: 814 7499 6108
Passcode: 7vHeG5

Schedule of Upcoming Sessions: 

  • July 25 – iBill Currency Reader
  • August 29 – BookShare

Perfectionistic parental attitudes are indirectly linked to compulsive gaming behaviors, study finds

by Eric W. Dolan: Complete Post through this link…

New research published in Computers in Human Behavior suggests that perfectionistic parental attitudes can contribute to maladaptive responses to failure in their children, which in turn may increase the risk of compulsive gaming behaviors. The study highlights the importance of considering parental influences in understanding the development of gaming disorder.

The researchers conducted this study to investigate how perfectionism influences people’s reactions in demanding situations where cognitive performance is required, particularly in the context of gaming. They were interested in understanding the relationship between perfectionism, reactions to failure in gaming, and the development of addictive gaming behaviors.

Army families said they were swindled. Congress moves to counterpunch.

By Alex Horton: Complete Post through this link…

ngd-cruelty at its worst…

Following a Post report, lawmakers push to toughen oversight of military financial counselors who advise the grief stricken about their life insurance benefits.

Lawmakers are pursuing legislation that would enhance the military’s oversight of financial counselors tasked with helping the survivors of deceased service members, following an outcry from grief-stricken families who alleged they were fleeced out of hundreds of thousands of dollars by an Army employee who exploited them.

The amendment to next year’s defense policy bill has early bipartisan support. It would require financial counselors employed by the Defense Department to submit records verifying they have no conflicts of interest or stand to improperly benefit from their position when they are hired, and then submit similar documentation annually. Presently, such vetting relies mostly on an honor system.

The push from Capitol Hill follows a Washington Post report in February detailing the allegations of four military families who said an Army financial counselor took control of their life insurance money through brokerage firms where he also was employed. They accused him of strip-mining their accounts through trades that earned him thousands of dollars in commissions, often executed, the families alleged, without their consent or consultation.

Body dysmorphic disorder is common, yet widely misunderstood

ByToni Pikoosi: Complete Post through this link…

‘My bulbous nose makes me look like a monster,’ Blair said, staring into her lap as she sat in front of me.

Blair did not, in fact, look like a monster. Her nose was well proportioned for her face. She had been told by countless people before that there was nothing wrong with her nose and that it suited her well, but she struggled to believe them. Blair (whose name has been changed here for anonymity) often felt like these people were just trying to be polite, or that they had to compliment her because they were her friends or family.

Each of us faces pressures with regard to our physical appearance; by one estimate, nearly three-quarters of people wish that they could change the way they look. Body dissatisfaction is so prevalent that researchers often refer to it as ‘normative discontent’ – it’s more common to dislike your body in some way than to like your body as it is. So was Blair just dissatisfied with her nose? Or was there something more going on?

This was not typical body dissatisfaction. Blair was struggling with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), a common and debilitating psychiatric condition in which someone becomes fixated on perceived flaws in their physical appearance. This fixation can involve any bodily feature, but commonly centres on the skin, facial features such as the nose or teeth, hair, genitals, or bodily proportions. BDD affects up to 2.9 per cent of the population, with even higher rates in certain settings, such as cosmetic and dermatology practices and among bodybuilders. While some people mistakenly assume that it predominantly affects females, research suggests that BDD occurs in men and women at comparable rates.

Why hundreds of thousands of poor, disabled children are missing out on federal help

By Gabrielle Emanuel: Complete Post through this link…

The closet under the stairs is Connor Biscan’s favorite place to hang out at his family’s home in Wilmington, Massachusetts. It’s filled with oversized stuffed animals, big balls and other items that bring him comfort.

As a toddler, Connor would open and close cabinets repeatedly, screw and unscrew water bottle caps. His mother, Roberta Biscan, watched him carefully. It wasn’t long before Connor was diagnosed with autism.

Biscan remembers feeling an overwhelming sense of sadness and despair. One big concern was financial. She’d held a customer service job for more than a decade, and as a single parent to her son and newborn twins, she’d always planned on working. But, soon after Connor’s diagnosis, she realized she needed to quit.

“I couldn’t work for the first 10 years of his life because I was just so busy with therapy appointments [and] doctor’s appointments,” Biscan recalled. “I just had to be available.”

Biscan regularly stayed up until the early morning hours searching for resources to help her family get by.

One night she stumbled on what would become their lifeline: Supplemental Security Income or SSI.

The federal safety net program serves people who are very poor, and who have a disability or are elderly. About a million of America’s most vulnerable children receive money through SSI and, in many states, receiving SSI qualifies them for health insurance under Medicaid. One report estimated that the program lifts about half of its child beneficiaries out of poverty.

Michigan extending deadline for Medicaid renewal forms

By ANNE RUNKLE: Complete Post through this link…

The state will not remove anyone from Medicaid coverage who does not return their renewal forms by a June 30 deadline.

Medicaid beneficiaries who received renewal packets with a deadline of June 30 are still asked to return their forms by that date to avoid losing coverage, according to a statement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

However, MDHHS will not disqualify anyone from coverage for not returning the paperwork until the end of July, under new guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Medicaid is a state and federally funded low-income health insurance program.

An app can transform smartphones into thermometers that accurately detect fevers

By Stefan Milne: Complete Post through this link…

If you’ve ever thought you may be running a temperature yet couldn’t find a thermometer, you aren’t alone. A fever is the most commonly cited symptom of COVID-19 and an early sign of many other viral infections. For quick diagnoses and to prevent viral spread, a temperature check can be crucial. Yet accurate at-home thermometers aren’t commonplace, despite the rise of telehealth consultations.

There are a few potential reasons for that. The devices can range from $15 to $300, and many people need them only a few times a year. In times of sudden demand — such as the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic — thermometers can sell out. Many people, particularly those in under-resourced areas, can end up without a vital medical device when they need it most.

To address this issue, a team led by researchers at the University of Washington has created an app called FeverPhone, which transforms smartphones into thermometers without adding new hardware. Instead, it uses the phone’s touchscreen and repurposes the existing battery temperature sensors to gather data that a machine learning model uses to estimate people’s core body temperatures. When the researchers tested FeverPhone on 37 patients in an emergency department, the app estimated core body temperatures with accuracy comparable to some consumer thermometers. The team published its findings March 28 in Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.


By KATHERINE SELBER AND WILL SELBER: Complete Post through this link…

On Aug. 31, 2021, the last American plane departed Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, bringing America’s latest, longest war to an ignominious end. Since that day, Afghanistan has quickly faded from America’s rearview mirror. Over the last 20 years, the United States spent two trillion dollars and lost 2,439 servicemembers there. 3,500 military widows were left without their spouses, 6,000 children without at least one parent, and 14,000 parents without their sons or daughters. But despite this grim toll, the United States has only just begun to bear the brunt of its two-decade-long war. In fact, for countless Afghanistan veterans, the trauma from the war continues unabated.

The fall of Afghanistan, specifically the chaotic nature of the noncombatant evacuation operations and the abandonment of tens of thousands of Afghan allies, left thousands of Afghanistan veterans to face an old but largely forgotten mental health condition: moral injury. This diagnosis refers to the damage done to a person’s conscience when witnessing or participating in an event that violates their moral or ethical code. And it is currently wreaking havoc on America’s Afghanistan veterans. If steps are not taken to address this problem, the result will be a disgruntled veteran population more prone to mental health problems, substance abuse, incarceration, and radicalization.

The three elements of a more effective response are simple but difficult. First, there should be more research and funding for moral injury. Second, the American government and the Department of Defense should be more candid in acknowledging the failure of America’s war in Afghanistan and in addressing the plight of Afghan allies still at risk. Third, the Department of Defense should provide institutional heft by encouraging the creation of structured spaces, like commander’s calls or down days, in which veterans, active-duty personnel, and others can discuss the war, its ending, and its consequences. Senior military leaders can lead the way by discussing these topics virtually in order to help lower-echelon commanders follow in their footsteps.