Project Categories

Collaboration through Avatars: Disability and Community in Virtual Worlds of Second Life

Award Year: 2011 Investigator: Eiko Ikegami
One of the greatest challenges in United States public health is the growing number of people with disabilities, now numbering over 50 million. While there is a broad awareness about the usefulness of online mutual help groups, it is less well-known that individuals with disabilities have started to self-organize in grassroots initiatives in online virtual worlds, such as that of Second Life (SL).

Intellectual Disability and the American Medical Welfare State

Award Year: 2011 Investigator: Harold Pollack
This project explores the accomplishments and shortcomings of the American medical welfare state in assisting individuals and families affected by intellectual disabilities. To highlight the specific policy challenges posed by different disabilities, the project focuses on three common genetic conditions associated with intellectual disability: Phenylketonuria (PKU), Down syndrome, and fragile X syndrome. The project has two intertwined strands.

Minds Apart: Severe Brain Injury and Health Policy

Award Year: 2006 Investigator: Joseph Fins
The two very public court cases of Karen Ann Quinlan and Terri Schiavo have colored much of the debate about the persistent vegetative state and futile medical treatment. But another recent case, that of Terry Wallis, a man with severe brain damage who began to speak after spending 19 years in a nursing home in a minimally conscious state, provides a different example - one of possible improvement, although not full recovery. Joseph J. Fins, M.D.

When Walking Fails

Award Year: 1996 Investigator: Lisa Iezzoni
When walking fails, people lose easy movement essential to daily life as well as a fundamental sense of value. Available evidence suggests that about one-quarter of Americans age 55 and older have trouble walking, and almost 10 percent are unable to walk even a few blocks due to such chronic conditions as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and arthritis.