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Information Connections for Parents of Children With Disabilities

Author: Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

Published: 2011-05-05

Synopsis and Key Points:

Information Connections is an informative website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases.

Main Digest

Information Connections an informative website for parents of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases, was recently launched by the Marianjoy Medical Library.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Greater Midwest Region, provided a grant to create and manage the website.

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital's Medical Library Director and Webmaster, Nalini Mahajan, and Dr. Mary Keen, Medical Director of Marianjoy's Pediatric Program, led the initiative to create Information Connections. "The website is a portal to a number of resources and accurate clinical information which focus on autism, cerebral palsy, ADHD, Down syndrome, and traumatic brain injury, among others," notes Mahajan. "The site provides access to reliable information for families of children with these issues but also may serve colleges and universities, public libraries, and teaching hospitals as an accurate educational resource. We hope that many of these organizations will add the website to their list of credible resources."

"Dr. Keen accumulated information and resources for parents of children with developmental problems and chronic conditions for the past 20 years," explains Mahajan. "To ensure this information was readily accessible and organized, it was clear that the solution was to make it available online. Furthermore, it was important to find out what parents and families truly needed, so the website was created based on a needs assessment of 200 families and then designed and organized with their input. The result is this new website that the community literally took part in developing."

Mahajan also acknowledges the importance of the partnerships with local organizations in the development of the website. "Our partnerships with Aspire, Almost Home Kids, Child & Family Connections, Easter Seals of DuPage and Fox Valley Region, and Special Education Alliance make all the difference. We are profoundly thankful for their vision, belief, and support of the Information Connections project."

The Marianjoy Medical Library is located within Marianjoy's Outpatient Pavilion in Wheaton, Illinois, and provides comprehensive information services to Marianjoy clinicians, staff, patients, and community members. The specialty library supports patient care, education, research, and community service activities. The newly created Information Connections provides accessible and accurate information to families of children with developmental disabilities and chronic diseases. For additional information, please visit www.marianjoylibrary.org or www.informationconnections.org

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