Life Span Institute Blog

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

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.

Technology may lead to a way for those unable to physically talk to speak virtually

A pioneering research project at KU may one day give voice to individuals robbed of their speech by neuromuscular diseases such as ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

Seeking a better understanding of the motor problems experienced by individuals with autism spectrum disorder

The child in the chair looks like she’s preparing to play a video game. She leans toward the monitor in a darkened room, the dim light of the screen illuminating her face. A dot appears on the screen. But instead of zapping the dot with a game controller, she tracks its movement only with her eyes. Throughout the test, a camera mounted to the monitor records the movement in fine detail: the pace, the direction, the focus. 

Training your working memory may help curb chronic health conditions

We have all had moments when we chose to skip the gym and eat the piece of cake or take the extra helping, even though we knew that we wanted to lose weight. These decisions are impacted by delay discounting: in this case, the reward of eating fattening food is immediate, while the pay-off of good health and weight maintenance associated with exercising and avoiding unhealthy foods is largely delayed.

In the news: Brain imaging research on smoking and decision-making

The science website PsyPost recently highlighted findings authored by Michael Amlung published in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging.

Shogren to deliver inaugural lecture as Beach distinguished professor

Karrie Shogren, director of the KU Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) will deliver her inaugural presentation as the Ross and Marianna Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 in the Kansas Room of the KU Memorial Union.

Lifelong Disability Rights Champion Judith Heumann to Participate in Campus Celebration

Judith Heumann, internationally recognized disability rights leader and activist will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the University of Kansas and Lawrence communities and guests worldwide Oct. 28-29. The Life Span Institute is a proud co-sponsor of “ADA 30 – Nothing About Us Without Us – A Celebration with Judith Heumann,” scheduled for Oct. 28-29.