Life Span Institute Blog

Here you can read our researchers' stories, special achievements, and other personable narratives.

New members welcomed at SWIFT Education Center

In the last year, SWIFT Education Center welcomed more new staff members to their team. The expanded team will help the Center bring an equity-based, multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) to school districts across the country. 

Objectivity with Heart: A Conversation with Investigator Nancy Brady

Nancy Brady, Professor and Chair in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences and Disorders at the University of Kansas and a researcher at the Life Span Institute, applies her interest in communication to her research focused on clinical practices that benefit individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Applying Adaptive Exercise to Meet the Needs of People with Disabilities

Lyndsie Koon applies her interdisciplinary interests in exercise and disability to conduct research that aims to improve the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities across the life span.

Seeking to Improve the Education of Young Bilingual Children

When 11-year-old Xigrid Soto moved to the continental United States from Puerto Rico with her family, her new community and the school lacked the support she needed. “I was placed in a classroom for special needs by accident,” Soto said. “I had to teach myself English, and that was a hard experience. And so, from that, I was really determined to have it not happen to other people.”

Book Offers the Means to Develop Equity-Based Support for All Students

  Investigators at a KU education research center have distilled twenty years of education research into a new book focused on an equity-based system to support all students.

New Addiction Research Handbook Co-Authored by KU Addiction Center Scientists

A field guide to research on the scope, methods and etiology of addiction published by Cambridge University Press and featuring chapters written by three KU scientists aims to be a comprehensive resource for researchers in this broad field. 

Lives Changed: Thirty Years of the ADA

On July 26, 1990, the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act marked a new era for people with disabilities. The landmark legislation prohibiting discrimination based on disability aimed to assure that that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. The law covered several areas of public life, including employment, education, transportation, and public and private places that are open to the general public.

Helping Every Child Thrive: An Interview with Brian Boyd of the Juniper Gardens Children's Project

For Brian Boyd, director of the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project at the KU Life Span Institute, a passion for autism research ignited at a summer camp job during his undergraduate years. It led to a career dedicated to early interventions for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and a focus on community-based research.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Interrupted Routines: Center Offers Advice for Families and Caregivers

As a volunteer at an Olathe, Kan., nursing home, 19-year-old Isaac Swindler enjoyed helping people by escorting residents to the chapel, bringing them meals, and assisting with laundry. But when the nursing home was forced to limit the number of visitors to the facility in response to the spread of COVID-19, Isaac became one of the millions of Americans to lose his position – and his routine.  

Wheelchair users face barriers to access, damaged equipment when traveling

Apprehension is expected before a traveler boards a flight, whether it’s anxiety about airline safety or worrying about a delayed flight.  Yet for people who depend on wheelchairs to move through the world, the possibility of damage to their chairs poses the biggest stressor of them all. Wheelchairs aren’t just an object or item to be checked like a suitcase for a flight; they are an extension of the user and a vital part of their daily lives.