March 2017

HDC Partners with Team Gleason for ALS Conference

The Human Development Center at LSU Health New Orleans School of Allied Health Professions will host a conference addressing communication strategies for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The two-day conference held in partnership with Team Gleason, called ALS, Communication and All That Jazz, will take place June 9 and 10, 2017, at LSU Health New Orleans’ Human Development Center, 411 South Prieur Street.

            The conference is intended for allied health and other health professionals caring for people with ALS, people with ALS and family members, and any other person interested in participating. National experts will address subjects including no-tech, low-tech and high-tech augmentative communication strategies, pro-active message banking, strategies to enhance speech clarity, voice banking, partner-assisted scanning and laser pointer with low-tech boards, assessment and feature matching for speech-generating technology, successful use of computer/AAC device strategies, as well as environmental controls and home automation systems for all budgets. Attendees will participate in a hands-on demo and practice with communication technologies.

            As ALS progresses, motor control and speech production may decline.  Movement of the arms and legs, and use of speech are severely compromised. People with ALS leave their jobs, give up use of the computer and accept assistance with even simple tasks as their abilities to engage in these activities are compromised. Most people are unaware of the broad range of adaptations and devices designed to compensate for decreased motor control. Many patients can benefit from use of a head mouse, arm supports, or voice recognition software for example. Many people with ALS can continue doing certain tasks, just in a different way. The program can be found here. Links to the presentations, handouts and videos (videos available only after the conference to conference attendees) can be found here.

            The registration fee is $60 for the two-day conference. The registration fee includes all conference sessions, breakfast and lunch on both days of the conference.

Nutrition Is For Everyone, March 2017

Louisiana is preparing to offer two more Cooking Matters classes this spring. A nutrition student, Colleen, has recently joined the program team as an intern. She has many years of experience with people with disabilities and is excited to integrate nutrition into her work. The Louisiana team continues to work on adaptation to the curriculum to make sure it is as inclusive as possible.

Related News: Tuesdays with Liz

‘Tuesdays with Liz’ is a weekly video series highlighting current issues in disability policy. It is hosted by Liz Weintraub, a long-time disability advocate, and produced by AUCD.  If you have any comments, feel free to email to: Liz Weintraub or Kim Musheno at

In this week’s edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz interviews four Nutrition is for Everyone ambassadors – Sarah Keathley (Arkansas), Lauren Griffiths (Louisiana), Lee Wallace (Tennessee), and Megan Krampe (Oklahoma). These ambassadors speak about the projects in their states that focus on how eating and learning about healthy food is important for everyone, including people with disabilities.

Lauren’s is the third video in the playlist.