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  • Parenting During the College Years

    Karen Putz » Deaf Mom
    18 Aug 2014 | 2:10 pm
    Letting go isn’t easy. Not even the second time around. Today is Move In day for my daughter, Lauren. The little girl is now a college student and today’s the day I have to let go and say goodbye. Three years ago, the hubby was with me when we said goodbye to David. The tears started flowing during our final hug and the tears didn’t stop until well into the long drive home. I’m lying here in bed with my daughter next to me and the tears are already flowing this morning. I’m thankful she has her older brother on campus to ease the transition for her. As for me,…
  • An Encounter with Carlsbad 2 Special Olympians

    Disabled World
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:40 am
    Recently, Kathleen and I went on a trip to New Mexico to attend her nephew's wedding. We stayed at a hotel where some guests we had not anticipated appeared - Special Olympians! We were pleased to meet, 'Carlsbad2,' who were in Farmington, New Mexico to participate in sporting events.
  • Researchers find animal model for understudied type of muscular dystrophy

    Disability News -- ScienceDaily
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:58 am
    An animal research model has been developed for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) to be used for muscle regeneration research as well as studies of the effectiveness of potential therapies for FSHD.
  • Gammy and Victoria

    Rollercoaster Parenting
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:46 am
    Last Friday we woke up to a sublimely sad story, which has captivated the Australian media and public.An Australian couple reportedly left behind a disabled baby boy with his surrogate mother in Thailand, while taking home his healthy twin sister. There has been quite some controversy around this story since. There are conflicting stories as to when the boy's disability was diagnosed (4 months, 6 months) and whether an abortion was requested and by whom (the biological parents or the agent). The patents reportedly told they did not know of the boy's existence, a claim refuted by the surrogate…
  • Rush Limbaugh’s Comments about Robin William’s Suicide

    Fresh Perspectives
    Michael Sporer
    13 Aug 2014 | 8:49 am
    Rush Limbaugh made the following comments about the death of Robin Williams: “What is the left’s world view in general?”  “If you had to attach, not a philosophy, but an attitude to a leftist world view. It’s one of pessimism, and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they?” “[Liberals] are animated in large part by the false promises of America, because the promises of America are not for everyone,” he said. “He had it all, but he had nothing. Made everybody else laugh, but was miserable inside. It fits a certain picture or a certain image that the left has.
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    Karen Putz » Deaf Mom

  • Parenting During the College Years

    18 Aug 2014 | 2:10 pm
    Letting go isn’t easy. Not even the second time around. Today is Move In day for my daughter, Lauren. The little girl is now a college student and today’s the day I have to let go and say goodbye. Three years ago, the hubby was with me when we said goodbye to David. The tears started flowing during our final hug and the tears didn’t stop until well into the long drive home. I’m lying here in bed with my daughter next to me and the tears are already flowing this morning. I’m thankful she has her older brother on campus to ease the transition for her. As for me,…
  • Barefoot Water Skiing Featured in DevinSuperTramp Video

    30 Jul 2014 | 3:03 am
    Barefoot water skiing goes mainstream in the latest video by Devin Graham, aka DevinSuperTramp. Devin is a guy who truly is living a passionate life doing what he really loves, capturing action on film. Here’s more of Devin’s story: DevinSuperTramp Behind the Scenes Interview. The video features the World Barefoot Center crew, Keith St. Onge (co-author of Gliding Soles), David Small, Ben Groen, and Keith’s wife, Lauren. Take a moment to watch barefoot water skiing captured every which way: Barefoot Skiing Behind an Airplane I love the behind the scenes video (no captions…
  • The Dance of Communication

    16 Jul 2014 | 9:36 am
    There’s a famous quote of Helen Keller that gets to me. How it rubs me depends on whether I’m having a challenging day or feeling on top of the world. “Blindness cuts you off from things. Deafness cuts you off from people.” The quote is believed to have come from a letter to Dr. James Kerr Love (1910), published in Helen Keller in Scotland The problems of deafness are deeper and more complex, if not more important, than those of blindness. Deafness is a much worse misfortune. For it means the loss of the most vital stimulus — the sound of the voice that brings…
  • When You Hit a Major Slump

    28 Apr 2014 | 5:31 pm
    Regular readers of this blog will probably notice it’s been quite some time since I blogged here.  This has been one long, dragged-out winter in more ways than one. My normal, “energy on spin cycle” has hit an “off” button. I feel as if life is moving in slow motion. When that happens, I know it’s a time of transition and a time of growth. It’s a time for me to pull back and reflect on what really matters. The longer I took to get back to blogging, the harder it became to find the energy, drive, and the resolve to get back into it. It was the same…
  • The Growing Bolder Lifestyle

    1 Mar 2014 | 7:23 pm
    Back in 2011, I discovered an awesome website called Growing Bolder.  I stumbled upon the Growing Bolder segment on Banana George while doing some research for the Gliding Soles, Lessons from a Life on Water book I was writing at the time. “It’s not about age, it’s about attitude,” was the Growing Bolder tagline.  “It’s an attitude. A mission. A passion. A team of people who believe in the power of hope, inspiration and possibility.”  The site was filled with one inspiring story after another featuring people living passionate lives.  Marc…
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    Disabled World

  • An Encounter with Carlsbad 2 Special Olympians

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:40 am
    Recently, Kathleen and I went on a trip to New Mexico to attend her nephew's wedding. We stayed at a hotel where some guests we had not anticipated appeared - Special Olympians! We were pleased to meet, 'Carlsbad2,' who were in Farmington, New Mexico to participate in sporting events.
  • Modulating Age-related Decline in Musculoskeletal System

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:58 am
    Lifetime of fitness: A fountain of youth for bone and joint health? Ongoing, comprehensive fitness and nutrition regimens may prevent bone and muscle deterioration, injury and disease.
  • Nearly 1M Children Benefit from Child Support Services in New York

    31 Aug 2014 | 10:40 am
    The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) today recognized the nearly one million children who benefit from the State's child support program. In addition, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation declaring August "Child Support Awareness Month" in New York State.
  • High Caffeine Energy Drinks Can Cause Cardiac Problems

    31 Aug 2014 | 9:28 am
    Energy drinks can cause heart problems according to research presented at ESC Congress 2014 today by Professor Milou-Daniel Drici from France.
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): Signs, Symptoms, Prevention and Coping

    30 Aug 2014 | 11:57 am
    Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a group of inherited disorders that affect a person’s connective tissues, mainly their joints, skin and the walls of their blood vessels. Connective tissue is a complex mixture of proteins and other substances that provides elasticity and strength to the underlying structures of a person’s body. People who experience Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) usually have overly flexible joints and skin that is fragile and stretchy. The skin issue may become a real problem if a person with EDS has a wound that requires stitches for example because their skin is often…
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    Disability News -- ScienceDaily

  • Researchers find animal model for understudied type of muscular dystrophy

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:58 am
    An animal research model has been developed for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) to be used for muscle regeneration research as well as studies of the effectiveness of potential therapies for FSHD.
  • Impact of cultural diversity in brain injury research

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:26 am
    The implications for cultural diversity and cultural competence in brain injury research and rehabilitation has been the focus of recent study. Risk for brain injury is higher among minorities, as is the likelihood for poorer outcomes. More research is needed to reduce health disparities and improve outcomes among minorities with brain injury, experts say.
  • Potential therapy for incurable Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease found

    27 Aug 2014 | 8:19 am
    A potential new treatment approach for hereditary neurological disorder, the incurable Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, has been found by researchers. Patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A harbour an extra copy of the PMP22 gene which leads to the overproduction of the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22), a key component of myelin.
  • Disability, deafness often go hand-in-hand

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:07 am
    At least forty per cent of UK people with learning disabilities are suffering from hearing loss, but new research shows they are unlikely to be diagnosed. To research hearing loss in people with learning disabilities, one expert focuses on the current issues people with learning disabilities (PWLD) are facing and why they are left undiagnosed in the long-term.
  • Impact of race, ethnicity in motor complete spinal cord injury

    21 Aug 2014 | 10:26 am
    Researchers have examined racial and ethnic influences in the outcomes of patients with motor complete spinal cord injury (SCI). Findings included small but significant differences in self-care and mobility at discharge.
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    Rollercoaster Parenting

  • Gammy and Victoria

    8 Aug 2014 | 12:46 am
    Last Friday we woke up to a sublimely sad story, which has captivated the Australian media and public.An Australian couple reportedly left behind a disabled baby boy with his surrogate mother in Thailand, while taking home his healthy twin sister. There has been quite some controversy around this story since. There are conflicting stories as to when the boy's disability was diagnosed (4 months, 6 months) and whether an abortion was requested and by whom (the biological parents or the agent). The patents reportedly told they did not know of the boy's existence, a claim refuted by the surrogate…
  • Six Months

    24 Jul 2014 | 4:49 am
    Pretty much from one day to another, our 13 year old son could no longer walk.So, what do you do? You ring your service provider to inquire about a wheelchair of course.Now these guys know our boy. He started therapy there when he was maybe four or five years old. They know the way he walks, they know his quirks. They KNOW him. I explain to the intake lady that Beaver can suddenly not walk anymore.- Yeah, so he will need to be seen by an Occupational Therapist, who can then script a wheelchair.- Ok, and then...- Then we put the application in with Enable for funding...- How long will that…
  • Diagnosis - 2014, the Big Setback

    24 Jul 2014 | 3:04 am
    2014 was always going to be a difficult year of big changes. We just hadn't quite appreciated how big they would be.All three children were starting at new schools. Beaver was off to High School, and was glad for it, as the last two years of Primary School were unpleasant to say the least. The small independent school we had sent the children to had gradually been changing, and I felt our two special needs children were not really welcome there anymore. When you get a sense everything is a "management problem" and you spend lots of cash on fees and special lessons and aides and their…
  • The rollercoaster kids

    23 Jul 2014 | 4:11 am
  • Diagnosis 2013-2014

    19 Feb 2014 | 6:08 pm
    Then, very gently but unmistakably, puberty hit. And with it came a whole new set of acronyms.Before you become a parent you have certain ideas about life. Then, you have kids, and the process of reassessing starts. And then your kid develops “issues” and you can reassess some more.We have always favored what people consider a hippie lifestyle. You know the one. Vegetarian, organic, fairtrade, all natural. So how did we end up with a child medicated to the hilt? Ah, parenting…Puberty hit, the hormone household is thrown upside down and sideways. Our kids turn into cranky monsters while…
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    Fresh Perspectives

  • Rush Limbaugh’s Comments about Robin William’s Suicide

    Michael Sporer
    13 Aug 2014 | 8:49 am
    Rush Limbaugh made the following comments about the death of Robin Williams: “What is the left’s world view in general?”  “If you had to attach, not a philosophy, but an attitude to a leftist world view. It’s one of pessimism, and darkness, sadness. They’re never happy, are they?” “[Liberals] are animated in large part by the false promises of America, because the promises of America are not for everyone,” he said. “He had it all, but he had nothing. Made everybody else laugh, but was miserable inside. It fits a certain picture or a certain image that the left has.
  • Passion Sustains Discipline; Discipline Delivers

    Michael Sporer
    13 Jun 2014 | 11:05 am
    Sometimes, people who work in non-profits and government seem to take on an attitude of entitlement, feeling that because there is no pressure from stockholders, they can operate at mediocre. I have seen this phenomenon repeated frequently, especially in government. I’m sure you have witnessed government workers who have said “it’s not my job”. I talked about this in a prior post. It seems that government and non-profits sometimes aim low. In the non-profit sector, I’ve met many people who had loads of passion for the mission, but didn’t have the discipline to deliver their…
  • City of Scranton Financials

    Michael Sporer
    27 Apr 2014 | 7:01 am
    The enormority of the city's financial situation is difficult to grasp. The pension obligations are absolutely astounding.  Also, the growing arbitration award, $5 million of which is interest, is a huge problem. Is a fix possible?  Some experts seem to think so.  I'm beginning to wonder if this can be fixed. This presentation is facutal and clear.  Check it out. Download 03132014c Better Know a Budget Presentation.pdf (537.5K)
  • I Love You More Than My Dog

    Michael Sporer
    24 Mar 2014 | 1:21 pm
    This was written back in 2009 on my other blog.  It still applies. I recently read a book that compelled some thoughts about how our educational system could soar!  The book is “I Love You More Than my Dog; Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad” by Jeanne Bliss. Based on her experiences in what she calls “beloved companies”, Jeanne outlines the culture of very successful companies, and she explores how decisions made by those companies build a culture of customer loyalty.  She explores the human side of business in…
  • Education Funding in Pennsylvania - Facts

    Michael Sporer
    15 Feb 2014 | 6:26 am
    NOTE:  I Originally published this in 2011 when Governor Corbett's Budget was first proposed.  I am not a supporter of Mr. Corbett, but these are the facts based on my research.  I’ve heard many educators lament about the “draconian” cuts to education introduced in Republican Governor Corbett’s 2011-2012 State Budget.  I’ve been a government finance guy for 35+ years, so I decided to analyze the state budget line items in the education categories.  For 2010-2011, then Democratic Governor Rendell used over $1 billion in one-time ARRA funds in…
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    Rolling Around In My Head

  • Labour Day: Alchemy

    1 Sep 2014 | 8:19 am
    This morning we were out a bit early, decided to grab a bite of breakfast out before fully starting the day. As we took our seat in the restaurant a woman with an intellectual disability came in accompanied by her support worker. She glanced at me and smiled. I smiled back. We didn't speak. I had worked with her several years ago, gosh more than several years ago, when she was experiencing some really dark times.Her behaviour, then, was out of control rage for the years of abuse and victimization that she experienced. It was a long hard road that she and I travelled together. Eventually,…
  • A Choice

    31 Aug 2014 | 3:46 am
    We were heading out for the afternoon and had to stop by the post office on the way. We'd gotten a notification that a parcel was waiting for us and we wanted to make sure that, even in holiday mode, things got done. I knew it would be a small package that could fit in my wheelchair bag so we didn't worry about anything more than picking it up. As we strolled up Bay street I realized that I didn't feel like doing the usual routine.Typically, I rush ahead and go in the front of the building and take the elevator down and then rush to the back of the building to the post office and meet Joe,…
  • The Parting of The Bar Chairs

    30 Aug 2014 | 3:51 am
    After a day of watching DVD's and eating left over Chinese food for lunch, we decided maybe it was time to shower and head out to the pub. This being day one of a five day vacation, it was about 4:00 when we showered and dressed. We wandered down the street, I frustrate Joe a little bit by being an inveterate window shopper. I figured, however, and Joe eventually agreed, that wandering and meandering our way to the pub was, part and parcel, what vacation was about.I've written before about how the patrons of the pub snap into action to make sure that I have a pathway in, particularly for my…
  • A Spark In Darkness

    29 Aug 2014 | 4:16 am
    I saw a picture of Facebook this morning. It was the picture of a little girl with Down Syndrome, she was happy, smiling, looking out at the world through trusting eyes.And I immediately felt a jumble of emotions:I felt an overwhelming sadness at the prejudice that she will face in her life. It has been said, recently, that her birth was an immoral act. That she has little or nothing to contribute. That her life will be one lived without point, without purpose.I felt an overwhelming sense of pride at the fact that this little girl, her smile, her grace, her joy at living in that moment when…
  • 5, FIVE, V

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:46 am
    A couple days ago I went to get air in the tires of my power wheelchair. The wheels have a silly design in that they can't be pumped at a gas station, they have to be pumped by a mechanic. I'll never understand that. So we made our trip down to Canadian Tire where they will do this for me. I don't like going there, even though they are always nice about it, because I don't like having to ask people for help like that and it's a wee bit difficult to get to. As a result of those things I left it way too long. Strangers were telling me my tires were low.I could feel the air enter the tires, I…
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    My Private Casbah

  • My Little Worker Bee

    6 Aug 2014 | 7:11 pm
    Tonight, my kiddo had an interview for a bar-tending position at a Japanese tavern in the historic Vieux Carré (French Quarter) in New Orleans. Hir aunt sings and plays the piano there every week and she put in a bon mot with the owner. My child just called and told me that ze begins training on Tuesday. I'm so proud of this kid.Being a college student living in a world famous city might result in a young person partying way too much and getting distracted with all kinds of questionable activities. This is especially true for a young person with ADHD. But my darling chose to stay busy by…
  • The Cost of Daring to Exist as a Queer Person of Color With Disabilities

    9 Jul 2014 | 3:18 pm
    How College Wrestling Star "Tiger Mandingo" Became An HIV ScapegoatThis is really a(nother) case of a LGBQ person of color with disabilities being criminalized for daring to try to be a part of the non-disabled world. This man was used and exploited and now that they've gotten all that they can out of him, they're sending him to prison and trying to forget that he was ever there. Where are the LGBTQIA organizations now? Why are they always nowhere to be found when the LGBQTIA is Black?A few days ago, a friend brought up the problem of white older queers who exploit young queer people of color…
  • How The Healthcare Mandate Saved My Nephew's Life

    1 Jul 2014 | 12:44 pm
    For those fighting the good fight, here's a real world example of why the healthcare mandate is a good thing:Do y'all remember when I posted the gofundme link for my nephew who was diagnosed with leukemia? Thankfully, the donations that people sent made it possible for him to have his mother there with him while he went through treatment. If you haven't been through cancer, I hope you at least have the sense of compassion and empathy necessary to understand why a child would want their parent around while strange people poke and prod and inject potentially lethal chemicals into their body.
  • Sudden Death

    11 Apr 2014 | 11:58 am
    Life can be so full of sorrow. I finally met a person of color in this area. We're both personal care attendants and met at a function for our clients. I was extremely excited, because this was the first person of color I'd met and had a conversation with since I moved out here in October. Then I found out he was also a person with disabilities, which made meeting him even more awesome.We hung out a few times and it was nice to finally be around folks who I could relate to. He was originally from New Orleans and we had lots of laughs about things we remember about the city. He was raised a…
  • Skepchick, Your Ableism Disgusts Me

    10 Apr 2014 | 6:40 pm
    I'm really, really furious about this Skepchick debacle. See, this kind of b.s. is exactly why I made a decision to stop showing support for white women. I raised as much of a ruckus as I could muster when the Rebecca Watson elevator issue started. I did what I could to talk about why it wasn't just someone overreacting to treatment that should have been viewed as flattering. I used my voice as best as I could to state how no one is entitled to make opportunistic advances on women nor are they entitled to tell us how we should feel about the treatment we receive.However, what does Watson do…
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    Sunny Dreamer -- We write to taste life twice...

  • Beyond the Comfort Zone

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    Beyond the Comfort Zone Life Changes The Unknown Afraid, be brave; Apprehensive, Unsure, Concerned You never know till you try Have Faith Have Hope Not Alone Unchartered Territory The Future Never completely easy; Butterflies in stomach Changes big and small; Unfamiliar Ideas Growing Pains Just Breathe Spreading Wings August 30, 2014 In the past few weeks I've surprised myself a bit by really beginning to push beyond the boundaries of my comfort zone again. I've rolled down to LIFE Inc. on my own a couple of times, getting stuck only once in some rocks. And it only takes me half an hour one…
  • Christ Was/Is Love

    19 Dec 2013 | 12:00 am
    In the last few years Christmas has been...different for me. Of course, it's always different from when one was a child, but the last few years especially have...lacked the magic of Christmas. Why? Because it's become SO commercialized even my own family gets caught up in the trappings sometimes, trying to give their loved ones a great Christmas. And I've come to the realization this year that aside from the traditions my family still follows, like buying or making special ornaments each year and having a candlelight dinner on Christmas Eve, I personally don't need or want a big Christmas.
  • Rainbow Crow

    10 Feb 2012 | 12:00 am
    I wish I had more ummph today, but after what this week has brought me, I'm lucky I'm posting today at all. I'm really tired, but I'm trying to stick to my goal of blogging everyday this week, from Sunday the 5th to Sunday the 12th. I'm afraid all I'm up for posting today is a Native American myth I found over at S.E. Schlosser's site. I found it in her "Winter Tales" section. Rainbow Crow (Lenni Lenape Tribe) retold by S. E. Schlosser It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play…
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  • The unconsciously built connected consciousness | Cluetrain at Fifteen

    29 Aug 2014 | 12:46 pm
    [The Net is] the connected consciousness of the market itself. It makes markets smart by giving customers unprecedented powers, the most fundamental of which is each other via Cluetrain at Fifteen | Linux Journal. What I have always loved about Doc is how human he is. For me this quote encompasses everything the article has to say… It also points to what I consider as to the how the Net itself came into being… as an unconsciously built connectivity tool… because as humans we create and form what we crave.
  • The Parent’s Guide to a Minecraft Server for your kids

    27 Jul 2013 | 1:28 am
    A friend of mine posted on facebook wondering if anyone knew about running a Minecraft server, predominantly for her son. Me and my son have been through the experience and we’ve come up against a few hurdles we had to overcome. I thought it might be useful to share what we’ve done. So here it is, the Parent’s Guide to setting up a Minecraft server… a list version. A Computer – I had an old computer laying around so put that on the LAN with idea of running it headless (no monitor). Mine’s a Mac but it doesn’t make any difference, just use what you…
  • Day 31 – Gender

    30 Jan 2013 | 8:35 pm
    Day 31 – Gender, a photo by dnwallace on Flickr. gender noun 1. Grammar . a. (in many languages) a set of classes that together include all nouns , membership in a particular class being shown by the form of the noun itself or by the form or choice of words that modify,replace, or otherwise refer to the noun, as, in English, the choice of he to replace the man, of she to replace the woman, of it to replace the table, of it or she to replace the ship. The number of genders in different languages varies from 2 to more than 20; often the classificationcorrelates in part with sex or…
  • Day 30 – Staircase

    30 Jan 2013 | 2:43 am
    Day 30 – Staircase, a photo by dnwallace on Flickr. staircase noun a flight of stairs with its framework, banisters, etc., or a series of such flights. image by mariacasa
  • Day 29 – Interest

    28 Jan 2013 | 1:59 pm
    Day 29 – Interest, a photo by dnwallace on Flickr. interest noun 1. the feeling of a person whose attention, concern, or curiosity is particularly engaged by something: She has a great interest in the poetry of Donne. 2. something that concerns, involves, draws the attention of, or arouses the curiosity of a person: His interests are philosophy andchess. 14. Finance. a. a sum paid or charged for the use of money or for borrowing money. b. such a sum expressed as a percentage of money borrowed to be paid over a given period, usually one year. image by Riski Gayuh N
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    Disability Studies, Temple U.

  • Enrico Toti (1882-1916)

    Penny L. Richards
    20 Aug 2014 | 7:47 am
    Statue of Enrico Toti in Rome; much-larger-than-life muscular male nude, holding a crutch, with his left leg ending mid-thigh.  In a park setting, with blue skies.  Base is inscribed with his name and other text in Italian. With all the WWI centenary coverage, we were moved to come across this statue at the Villa Borghese gardens, on a recent family vacation in Rome.  Enrico Toti (1882-1916)
  • BADD 2014: Wikipedia Against Disablism

    Penny L. Richards
    30 Apr 2014 | 8:50 pm
    Manke Nelis (1919-1983), a Dutch singer and musician whose right leg was amputated after a motorcycle accident in the 1950s; in this image, he is an older man on a sports field, singing into a microphone, with his arms raised.  His sweatshirt reads "Nelis Goes to Hollywood." Image from Wikimedia Commons (of course). (Blowing dust from the mike) Tap tap tap.... hello? testing... hello?
  • Nelson Mandela on "the long walk to equality"

    Penny L. Richards
    5 Dec 2013 | 3:32 pm
    "We cannot claim to have reached anywhere near to where a society should be in terms of practical equality of the disabled. We continue to try. We realise that legislation and regulations are not sufficient or the end of the long walk to equality and non-discrimination. Education, raising of awareness, conscientisation, eradication of stigmatisation: these are key elements in achieving
  • RIP: Anita Blair (1916-2010) and Betty G. Miller (1934-2012)

    Penny L. Richards
    14 Sep 2013 | 9:08 pm
    Two obituaries came to my attention this morning. Both women died more than a year ago, but I'm just seeing these now. If I write about them here, I won't forget to follow up with getting Wikipedia entries going about them, when the time allows. I first mentioned Anita Lee Blair (pictured at left, a white woman dressed in a dark suit, in a portrait with her guide dog Fawn) at this blog a few
  • "Luckily or Unluckily"

    Penny L. Richards
    11 Jul 2013 | 10:58 am
    Just ran across this tidbit in the transcript of a 1997 oral history interview with Masatoshi Koshiba (b. 1926), a Japanese physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 2002:  Koshiba: ...Because my father was an army officer, I was told to enter the military school during the war. Luckily or unluckily, one month before the entrance examination I got polio, which made my right arm numb. It's still
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    Fred's Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

  • APH News: August 2014

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    6 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    The August APH News is now online! This Month’s Headlines: “Full Steam Ahead!”--Annual Meeting 2014 Registration Now Open Wings to be Presented this Year! APH Policies Regarding UEB Transition Call for Field Evaluators Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series Treasures from the APH Libraries Social Media Spotlight APH Travel Calendar New Products from APH The Braille Book Corner and much, much more…
  • The Eye-Opening Experience of Writing about Vision Loss

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    30 Jul 2014 | 8:18 am
    By Nicole C. Kear I was nineteen when I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative retinal disease that I was told would leave me blind. The very bumpy journey of acceptance that followed (and continues even today) is the subject of my new memoir, Now I See You.   Credit: Justine Cooper In my early twenties, I hid from the disease in denial. I made the most of the vision I had remaining -- living life boldly, seizing every day – and I convinced myself that doing so would make it easier to watch my vision fade. In my late twenties, after I became a mother, I realized I’d…
  • APH News: July 2014

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    10 Jul 2014 | 7:30 am
    The July 2014 issue of the APH News is now online! This Month’s Headlines: “Full Steam Ahead!”--Annual Meeting 2014 National Prison Braille Forum: Save the Date! BOP Authors Write and Revise in Louisville Braille Plus 18 receives FCC Chairman’s Award Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series Treasures from the APH Libraries Social Media Spotlight APH Travel Calendar New Products from APH The Braille Book Corner and much, much more…
  • Zagga Entertainment: Descriptive Video… On Demand

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    5 Jun 2014 | 9:20 am
    By Kevin Shaw, President and CEO, Zagga Entertainment, Ltd. Remember the scene in Moulin Rouge where Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman sing to each other on top of the elephant? Or that amazing chase sequence through the subway in the Italian Job? Or how about the upside down kiss in the first Spiderman movie? Everyone, regardless of visual ability, loves a good story. Movies and TV make up an important part of the cultural experience we all share. It’s these stories that unite us with our families, at work or with our friends. For a long time, I found myself in many awkward conversations…
  • APH News: June 2014

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    4 Jun 2014 | 7:01 am
    The June APH News is now online! This Month’s Headlines: Get the "Spirit" at Annual Meeting 2014! Announcing Josh Miele, Annual Meeting Keynote Speaker Committees Double Up for Meeting at APH 3D Printing: What Is Your Opinion? Michael Collins and Newel Perry to be Inducted into the Hall of Fame for Leaders and Legends of the Blindness Field in 2014 New Instructional Products Catalog Now Available! Treasures from the APH Libraries Oldies but Goodies: The "Established" APH Product Series Social Media Spotlight APH Travel Calendar The Braille Book Corner and much, much more…
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  • Reader Writes – carbon fiber mouth stick fabrication needed

    1 Sep 2014 | 1:03 am
    I received the following comment on my post Reader Writes: Another alternative for a touch mouthstick from Aaron who is looking for help fabricating a mouthstick solution. The aim of Lifekludger is to try and bring together people who make things (Makers) with people who need things (Livers). I post it here in hope someone might be able to assist him. Hello, I am a quadriplegic, and I had a very customizable mouth stick made for myself almost twenty years ago. The mouth stick has many easy exchangeable different types of attachments that are available to use. The attachment’s range from…
  • Apple’s App Review Should Test Accessibility – Marco.org

    8 Aug 2014 | 2:06 am
    Marco has a great post outlining why Apple (among others) should require accessibility of an app before releasing it. The closer to the design end of the development curve that accessibility is included, the better. Poor or broken accessibility is exactly the sort of problem that Apple’s App Review team should check for: many developers forget to test it, it’s easy for Apple to quickly test when reviewing each app, and it’s easy to fix. via Apple’s App Review Should Test Accessibility – Marco.org. Related posts: YouTube videos focusing on Mobile Accessibility Apple’s Retina…
  • The Great Automatic Light Saga or How to control a WeMo light from your PC

    16 Jun 2014 | 10:28 pm
    Summary: Control a lamp with a script on your PC via WiFi and a WeMo Switch This is going to get a bit convoluted so try and stick with me. I moved house the end of last year and, as happens every time, I left behind all the alterations and small tweaks I’d done to make my living environment accessible. One of these was the large light switches I’d had installed lower during a door modification to allow me access to turn the light on/off in my bedroom. Now in my next (current) house I was determined not to spend effort and dollars in such modifications as light switches to be left behind…
  • DwellClick

    4 Jun 2014 | 7:24 pm
    DwellClick lets you use your Mac without clicking. You point, it clicks . DwellClick will drag for you. Point at windows and resize areas to auto-drag, and use the control panel  for anything else. Save thousands of clicks per day. Drag hands-free with total control. What is dwell clicking? Dwell clicking enables clickless operation of your computer. Just point with your mouse or trackpad, and DwellClick clicks for you. Why use DwellClick? By avoiding the repetitive clicking action, you protect your hands from the damage that can build up with long-term computer use. DwellClick helps…
  • Handsfree calling from your Mac via Dialogue

    20 Apr 2014 | 3:22 am
      I could use this, badly. Pity I don’t have the most up to date Mac OS [10.8+] that it needs…   Dialogue Related posts:  HandsFree, a Mac app worth $4.99 in the Mac App Store, that uses your Mac as a… Snapvoice – Photos With Audio Recordings
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    Rolling Rains Report

  • From National Geographic Traveler magazine: Inclusive Tourism

    Scott Rains
    30 Aug 2014 | 2:24 pm
    Scott Rains has kayaked in Alaska's Glacier Bay, trekked through South Africa and India, and visited Guatemala and New Zealand. He also happens to be a quadriplegic, a fact the 56-year-old campus minister from San Jose, California, hasn't allowed to interfere with an ambitious travel schedule.Rains has noticed something interesting lately. Other folks his age--the 76 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 and referred to as the baby boom generation--have begun to see things his way.Wouldn't it be nice if there were ramps for easier access to train cars? Bigger doors to hotel bathrooms…
  • 5th International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT 2014) - Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

    Scott Rains
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:03 pm
     Dear Sir or Madam;Tourism International Conference, Travel Mart Exhibition, Optional Tour & MoreIt is my pleasure to invite you to participate in 5th International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT 2014) with the theme TOURISM FOR ALL that to be held from 4 till 7 December 2014, at MBPJ Civic Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.ICAT 2014 is an event that aims to bring the Elderly and People with Disabilities to the heart of a more inclusive global society, in the same time to create awareness on this potential and niche market.  It is the first of such…
  • My first trip to Ecuador - by Chelsea Kaminski

    Scott Rains
    24 Aug 2014 | 1:32 pm
    My first international adventure was an amazing one. Elaine Keane is an occupational therapist that has opened, Crecer, a free clinic in Ecuador. Six occupational therapy students, six physical therapy students, and our professors ventured to Ecuador to provide services at Elaine's free clinic along with other sites in the area, including an adult day care, nursing home, and orphanage.Throughout the week, the OT and PT students took over the caseload at Crecer Centro de Rehabilitación, Educación, Capacitación, Estudios y Recursos, Inc. My group, composed of two OT and two PT students, saw…
  • Longboarding

    Scott Rains
    23 Aug 2014 | 1:22 pm
  • Inclusive Tourism at the South-South Development Expo 2014

    Scott Rains
    21 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    he Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) is planning to organize a Forum for Accessible Tourism and Sustainable Development for All on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 (tbc) to promote accessible tourism as an effective means for poverty eradication, employment generation and social inclusion of persons with accessibility needs.DSPD is calling for nominations of initiatives (policies, projects and innovative solutions) that have proved successful in the promotion of the accessible tourism and sustainable…
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    Pipecleaner Dreams

  • Summer Done, School Year Begun

    Ashley's Mom
    22 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    Thankfully, we have survived yet another summer. School is back in session in just a few days, and I think both Ronnie and Ashley will be glad to see that day get here.Ronnie's biggest problem this summer was boredom. Unfortunately, he is not a go-getter type of guy and wants to rely on others to direct his social calendar. Since he is somewhat particular about what is on his social calendar, he also spent a lot of the summer complaining about that. He is a young man that needs to find the motivation that lives within himself, and I am not sure how to help him do that.Ronnie did participate…
  • ASL Happy

    Ashley's Mom
    21 Aug 2014 | 9:07 am
    For my son, Ronnie...
  • Don't Look Down On Me

    Ashley's Mom
    20 Aug 2014 | 8:57 am
    While this video is directed at one specific disability, the wisdom of Mr. Novick can be extended to all types of disability.
  • Yet Another Loss This Week...

    Ashley's Mom
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:20 pm
    Mary MacCracken, Writer About Disabilities, Dies at 88
  • Summer Pleasures

    Ashley's Mom
    31 Jul 2014 | 9:57 am
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    How to be an Inspiration

  • The Policeman's Belt

    Stephen Deal
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:15 am
    We are just back from our holiday in Hampshire. We stayed in a cabin on the edge of the New Forest at a place called Shorefield near Milford-on-Sea. Door to door the journey should take only a little over two and a half hours, it took us nearly six. It would have taken longer if not for a policeman's belt. The A3 is one of the arterial routes out of London: a six lane, high-speed series of fly-overs and underpasses funnelling traffic out to the M25 orbital motorway or onwards to Portsmouth with its ferry links to the continent. The road is packed with commuters, juggernauts, families on their…
  • Making A Move - Part One

    Stephen Deal
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:33 am
    If you have been a follower of this blog for any length of time you will know that in 2011 we moved to a new house. Previously we had been living in a two bedroom ground floor flat with a small garden but with two growing boys and the paraphernalia that comes with disability it was becoming a bit of a squeeze, to say the least. It took the intervention of our MP, Tom Brake and our GP, Dr T as well as social services, the district nurses and letters from a specialist doctor at Kings' Hospital to eventually get things moving, so to speak. And, of course, an Occupational Therapist, someone with…
  • Faulty Connections

    Stephen Deal
    3 Aug 2014 | 10:20 am
    Thank you to everyone who has welcomed my return to blogging, I've appreciated every comment, like, repost and retweet. I'm glad to be back, after all, if Li wasn't blogging I wouldn't be able to ask you this...What, I ask you, would you consider to be the minimum requirements, the prerequisites, for a wheelchair repair engineer? An encyclopaedic knowledge of different kinds of wheelchairs? A familiarity with the various faults that wheelchairs can develop? A well equipped toolkit so you can fix the fault you have cannily discerned and identified? You'd think so, wouldn't you. Let me disabuse…
  • Hear Hear!

    Stephen Deal
    31 Jul 2014 | 6:59 am
    Over recent years I have noticed something peculiar about people. They all mumble. They miss out bits of words. Children are the worst, what with their squeaky high-pitched incomprehensible rambling. Women are almost as bad. People in groups produce a wall of unintelligible and impenetrable sound. The whole world needs elocution lessons. Or... Just possibly it might be my hearing. To rule out this absurd possibility I recently attended the Audiology clinic at my local hospital. It turns out that 50% of us with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy have high frequency hearing loss. Guess…
  • How To Be An Inspiration is BACK!

    Stephen Deal
    30 Jul 2014 | 1:01 pm
    'When are you going to start writing your blog again?' a number of people have asked me lately. This, I have decided, is a not unreasonable question. I stopped writing the blog because it had become physically very difficult to type the words needed to express myself satisfactorily. Things though have changed a bit since my last entry in 2011 and quite a lot since I stopped regularly updating in 2010. I'm still using an iPad (an iPad Air actually) but I have discovered that if I use a longish stylus, a particular type of stand, and a non-slip mat I can position my hand in such a way that…
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    Low Visionary

  • Political party web sites fall short

    7 Aug 2014 | 4:44 pm
    Disabled people often rely on the Internet for information because many other information sources are inaccessible.  They experience accessibility barriers when finding and using information on the web if sites have not been designed and built with accessibility in mind. Why we audited  political party web sites “Can we all come to the party” is a report we produced at AccEase to see how easily people with disability can engage with party political websites before the New Zealand election on September 20th. The report says “Voting and participation in the electoral process is a…
  • A voice for everyone

    16 Jul 2014 | 1:13 am
    This is an edited version of a keynote speech delivered at the disability conference, How do we all raise the volume of the unheard voice?,  Auckland July 2 2014. Tena koutou tena koutou katoa  Minister Turia, Health and Disability Commissioners. Ladies and gentlemen. Greetings to you all. Thank you to the HDC and others who have organised this day. Thank you for asking me to speak. This is one of the few opportunities people in the diverse disability community have to meet and exchange ideas. It is valuable and important. Let’s make the most of it. Raising the volume of the unheard voice…
  • Levelling the playing field for disabled women

    9 Jun 2014 | 4:16 pm
    This is an edited and updated version of a speech given on a panel at Rehabilitation International Seminar, Embracing the Opportunities April 16 2014, held in Wellington. Disabled women in New Zealand have made progress but there is still a long way to go. I will not outline yet again in detail the many inequalities faced by disabled women. For many disabled women the playing field is some distance away, never mind whether they can access it, or whether it is level or not. In 2014 disabled women in New Zealand are still relatively invisible  and our interests, rights and perspectives are…
  • Website access: A few basics.

    13 May 2014 | 11:41 pm
    Accessibility of any kind is really about eighty percent attitude and the other twenty percent know how.  When it comes to web accessibility the same applies. If you want to do it you can. Your web site is usually your front door to the world so make sure everyone can use it in the way that suits them, not the way it suits you and your brand advisers. It takes a bit of thinking and planning, but the web is full of good and practical advice. In honour of Global Accessibility Awareness Day I have summarised a few basics to get you started. The list does not guarantee an accessible web site,…
  • From disableism to human rights

    30 Apr 2014 | 4:50 pm
    The free online dictionary defines disableism as “discrimination against disabled people”. This is rather simplistic and does not state that discrimination is both direct and indirect, the direct being, for example, an employer not giving me a job for which I am well qualified simply because I am disabled. While this is distressing, inappropriate, misguided and often unlawful, it is the disableist indirect discrimination that is often harder to confront, quantify and eliminate. Disableism as indirect, or systemic discrimination is the result of unspoken, unquestioned and often…
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  • iBeacon Accessibility Projects

    Ricky Buchanan
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Beacons are small smart devices that can give your phone or tablet a lot more information than they already have about where you are and what’s happening in the environment around you – it’s like giving your phone or tablet an extra sense. Their most common use, at least so far, is for retailers to give you information when you come close to specific products in their shops – called micro-targetted advertising – but there are a myriad of possibilities for assistive technology uses for beacons too. This article lists some projects using iBeacons to help people who have…
  • Weekend Roundup for 31 August 2014

    Ricky Buchanan
    31 Aug 2014 | 3:40 am
    Here are some of the best articles, links, and new products that I have spotted online in the past week or so which have some relevance to Apple products and disabled or chronically ill users … Good heavens it’s nearly September … how did that happen? OS X Links How to tweak the Mac’s display settings for visual impairments. iOS Links How to set the triple Home-click shortcut for accessibility on iPhone or iPad. Siri vs iOS Switch Control for hands free iPhone access. How to use parental controls on iPhone and iPad: The ultimate guide. These have tons of accessibility uses!
  • iBeacons and Assistive Technology: A Primer

    Ricky Buchanan
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:05 am
    Beacons are small smart devices that can give your phone or tablet a lot more information than they already have about where you are and what’s happening in the environment around you – it’s like giving your phone or tablet an extra sense. Their most common use, at least so far, is for retailers to give you information when you come close to specific products in their shops – called micro-targetted advertising – but there are a myriad of possibilities for assistive technology uses for beacons too. What’s an iBeacon? “iBeacon” is Apple’s…
  • Weekend Roundup for 24 August 2014

    Ricky Buchanan
    24 Aug 2014 | 6:04 pm
    Here are some of the best articles, links, and new products that I have spotted online in the past week or so which have some relevance to Apple products and disabled or chronically ill users … I’ve had a rotten week health-wise, so this is late and sparse but I managed it! iOS Links ‘iPhone slow’ explained: do iOS updates really make old phones perform worse? How to enable mono audio for auditory accessibility on iPhone or iPad Here’s how to limit iPhone or iPad use by time using a passcode and iOS’s built-in timer: There should be a video here – if you…
  • How to Switch to Typing With Dvorak

    Ricky Buchanan
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:20 am
    If you use a Mac computer and have trouble using the standard QWERTY keyboard layout, the Dvorak layout may be a good option for you. Dvorak layouts put the most frequently used keys right under your fingers, so you can type with less finger movements needed. Several years ago, I was having significant trouble with wrist and hand pain so I taught myself to use the Dvorak keyboard layout for touch typing. It was frustrating to do, but paid off handsomely in the end… here’s what I did and how you can do it too… Step 1: Should You Switch? This is what the Dvorak keyboard layout…
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    Social Security Disability Blog

  • No Jail if You Refuse to Use SSDI Money to Pay Court Ordered Obligations

    18 Aug 2014 | 1:26 pm
    The Michigan Court of Appeals recently issued an interesting decision in a case called In re Robby Lampart about the right of a state agency to go after a claimant’s Social Security disability to enforce a criminal restitution order.  In a tightly written opinion which you can read here, the Michigan appellate judges held that a trial court could not use its power of contempt (i.e., putting a defendant in jail) to coerce that defendant to use Social Security funds to pay his obligations. Usually, of course, the payment dispute involves child support rather than criminal restitution. My…
  • How Does a Social Security Judge Decide if I have “Transferable Skills” for Grid Rule Purposes?

    11 Aug 2014 | 2:59 pm
    This is a good question – the short answer is that judges will look to vocational expert witness testimony to determine whether a claimant has acquired transferable skills. Your question got me thinking that it might be helpful to review how the grid rules work and to take my readers through a grid rule analysis, so, here you go: The grid rules, or “medical vocational guidelines” can qualify you for Social Security disability benefits even if you have some capacity to work, but you are not likely to find work because of limited skills and a limited education. In order to qualify for…
  • SSA Overpayment Issues Can be Difficult to Handle

    22 Jul 2014 | 8:45 am
    If you need a lawyer to help you with an overpayment issue, you are going to have a hard time finding help. Overpayment cases arise when Social Security discovers that they have paid you too much – sometimes for years – and now they want their money back. In most cases, you will receive a letter that says something like this: We are writing to give you new information about the disability/retirement/survivors benefits which you receive on this Social Security record. We have determined that you were overpaid in the amount of $30,000. Please refund this overpayment within 30 days.
  • How to Explain Earnings After Your Disability Onset Date

    8 Jul 2014 | 7:32 am
    If your earnings record shows salary earned after the date you say you became disabled, you can be sure that the judge in your Social Security disability hearing will ask for an explanation. Example:  you say you became disabled on April 3, but your earnings record shows income in May, June and July. In this video I explain  how I advise my clients to respond to questions about post-onset earnings in three common scenarios: unsuccessful work attempts accrued earnings or benefits that are paid after the last date you were physically present at work part time work No matter what the reason,…
  • Fibromyalgia and Social Security Disability: Can You Still Win?

    21 Apr 2014 | 7:07 pm
    Social Security disability judges are increasingly reluctant to award benefits to fibromyalgia claimants unless these claims meet a certain profile.  Let me tell you about this profile – what is currently working for me in disability hearings I try here in the Atlanta area hearing offices. I first started seeing disability claims based on “multiple myalgias” or “fibromyalgia” around 10 years ago.  Back then, many disability judges had never heard of this condition and they struggled with how to approach claims where claimants seemed credible and treating doctors offered…
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    Clear Helper

  • Autism Gap Analysis (W3C Task Force)

    John Rochford
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:10 am
    Neil Milliken and I have written an autism gap analysis as part of the effort to create gap analyses by the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force. Our intent is to identify the gap between where the state of accessibility for people with autism is now when using the web, and where we want it to be. The following is information about the autism gap analysis. We included some personas with use cases that address key challenges. The personas and use cases are based upon aggregated results of interviews of people with autism-spectrum disorder (ASD),…
  • Gap Analyses for Cognitive Web Accessibility (W3C Task Force)

    John Rochford
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:14 am
    The members of the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force have been working since January to develop a set of gap analyses. A gap analysis, as we have defined it, identifies the gap between where the state of accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities is now when using the web, and where we want it to be. The gap analyses are based upon common cognitive disabilities. The following list of the gap analyses includes their primary authors (as of July, 2014). ADD / ADHD Authors: Susann Keohane, Mary Jo Mueller Aging and Dementia Authors: Katie…
  • Proposed Infrastructure For Automatic-Accessibility Personalization

    John Rochford
    29 Apr 2014 | 6:55 am
    The WC3‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force received a presentation about a project called the “Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure” (GPII), from Gregg Vanderheiden, on March 31, 2014. Quoted below is a project description. “The purpose of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) is to ensure that everyone who faces accessibility barriers due to disability, literacy, digital literacy, or aging, regardless of economic resources, can access and use the Internet and all its information, communities, and services for…
  • 2014 Boston Accessibility Conference – May 10 – Register Now!

    John Rochford
    21 Apr 2014 | 6:00 am
    Register Now for the 2014 Boston Accessibility Conference! When Saturday, May 10, 2014, 9 AM to 5 PM Where Cambridge IBM Innovation Center One Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142 (One Charles Park) – 2nd floor Near the Cambridgeside Galleria What This is a conference about making technology accessible, especially the web, but also mobile, games, and much more. It is an opportunity for designers, developers, usability professionals, accessibility experts, and end users to share information and learn from each other. Who Keynote Speaker: Judy Brewer Director of the Web Accessibility…
  • New W3C Task Force for Cognitive Accessibility

    John Rochford
    7 Apr 2014 | 7:49 am
    A new task force has been formed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to develop accessibility guidelines for people with cognitive disabilities. It is led by Lisa Seeman, a long-time expert and advocate. Task force members are well-known experts from all over the world. I am a member, an “Invited Expert”. My current, primary responsibility is to create and manage volunteer research groups of people with disabilities and others. I participate in the weekly conference calls of the task force, which so far have consisted of brainstorming sessions, presentations, and…
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  • Largesse of Longing

    31 Aug 2014 | 8:00 pm
    “GO” monoprint, 22×30″ 1993 ________________________ I’m a big Joseph Campbell fan. In his book: REFLECTIONS ON THE ART OF LIVING he mentions at the age of 80 he looked back and saw that his life had opened perfectly, chapter by chapter, so that in the end he saw that all his complaints of “shoulda been” were wasted effort. His life was going to do just what it was supposed to do after all. After a lifetime of holding myself as and hearing from others that I was: ‘too sensitive, not a terribly responsible citizen, depressive, delinquent, lacked…
  • Long Light

    27 Aug 2014 | 7:19 pm
    “BARE TREE” m/m _______________ Autumn in New Mexico is clear and yellow and purple. Deep royal blue skies in the daytime and frilly purple asters along the roadside. My whole system is balking at the turning in life takes around these parts this time of year. It makes me a bit afraid to re-enter the cold and hibernating urges of leaves and furred things. I am a furred thing too but I don’t seem to have enough. Most was lost to evolution and right now I want it back Because I feel too exposed. Will I be able to take the extra load of ‘solitary’? Will I come out…
  • Antidote To Everything That Needs One

    26 Aug 2014 | 10:39 am
    detail of painting _____________ Nothing I could add would ever improve on this except to say the gift of space seems to heal me these days: click here.
  • Fall Fashion

    24 Aug 2014 | 10:46 am
    hand-painted silk robes, 1987 _______________________ My sister, we’ll call her Generous Jennifer, has gifted me THE NEW YORK TIMES digital version. Today is a momentous one for we damsels who give a damn about how we look. The annual “T” magazine, devoted to women’s fall fashion IS HERE! I opened it up in heightened anticipatory mode this morning. Looking through, languishing on pages showing the wild, weird and oh-so-wonderful concoctions of fabric, make-up, hair and the coveted shoe. My personal fashion is lean of necessity; a uniform of 1 pair of shoes that fit…
  • Rollin’

    21 Aug 2014 | 11:07 am
    installation, ceramic “RENAISSANCE”, installed at SFe Convention Center, 10′x3′ __________________________________________________ This weekend brings a tsunami of out-of-towners to Santa Fe in search of Native American treasures at INDIAN MARKET. The town literally doubles in size with over 100,000 visitors. I have a hard time with the frenetic vibe of so many people milling around so today I decided to go down to the plaza while peace still reigned. SUCH a gorgeous day, my ferality nowhere to be found, Livvy and I stopped in a tiny glade of flowers. A statue of St.
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    Need Project Podcast

  • IEP with Melissa Horvath revisited

    15 Aug 2014 | 11:00 am
    Melissa Horvath has a masters degree in special education and has taught preschool through 6th grade in a variety of settings including regular classrooms and special schools.
  • Need Project update with Bob West

    14 Jul 2014 | 11:00 am
    Ministry President Bob West gives an update on current projects and what we are planning for the next year!
  • Hidden Disabilities with Dr. Stephen Grcevich

    15 Jun 2014 | 11:00 am
    Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as Founder and Director of Strategic Initiatives of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University.
  • The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities with Kathy Bolduc

    14 May 2014 | 9:20 pm
    Our guest is Kathleen Bolduc, Kathleen is a speaker and Author her newest book is The Spiritual Art of Raising Children with Disabilities. The book is about how to grow in your personal spiritual life while raising a family that may have more challenges then others.
  • Foster Care & Adoption with Linda Ellegard

    14 Apr 2014 | 11:00 am
    Linda is the Executive Director of Special Kids Special Families, an organization dedicated to provide community support services to families who are raising youth and caring for adults with developmental disabilities and special needs.
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    Handicapped Equipment

  • How To Raise Your Bed

    13 Aug 2014 | 9:48 pm
    Whether you are a college student strapped for space or a senior citizen that has trouble getting out of bed each day, everyone can benefit from making their bed higher. Luckily, there are effective yet inexpensive methods to raise your bed that are quite easy to do. How to Make Your Bed Higher The most […]
  • Bath Salts For Those Feeling Stressed And In Pain

    8 Jul 2014 | 11:24 pm
    Feeling Stressed And In Pain? Bath Salts Are The Answer! Overview Chances are, if you are like most people, your favorite time of the day is when you can finally sink into a warm and relaxing bath with a few candles glimmering around you and a glass of wine or good book in hand. These […]
  • How to Save on Medications

    15 May 2014 | 7:51 pm
    Finding less costly medicines is possible when you look at the options available to help save on prescriptions. From discounts through the manufacturer to ordering your medications through a reliable pharmacy online, there are simple solutions to buying medications on a budget. The first step is to decide which options will work best for you. […]
  • Ease Big Toe Pain With A Bunion Aider

    26 Apr 2014 | 11:36 pm
    If you suffer from bunions, then you already know just how painful and irritating they can be. A bunion is a type of bump located on the side of the foot. It usually occurs because some kind of structural deformity in the bones of the foot exists. However, you do not have to live with […]
  • Arch Support For Painful Feet

    4 Mar 2014 | 8:48 pm
    If your feet hurt during daily activities and they become a major deterrent to take on such activity, you need help. There are many causes of chronic foot pain. However, with the help of an experienced podiatrist, relief is in sight. Here are a few common foot conditions and possible treatments. Please consult your physician […]
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    Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News from AMS Vans, Inc.

  • AMS Vans Delivers Wheelchair Vans AND White Glove Service

    Susan Hawkins
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:03 am
    Whenever AMS Vans delivers one of our wheelchair vans to a customer, complimentary White Glove Service is also delivered. Enjoy the video! The post AMS Vans Delivers Wheelchair Vans AND White Glove... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Drug Approved in Europe

    Susan Hawkins
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:17 am
    With conditional approval of the drug Ataluren for Duchenne muscular dystrophy by the European Union, patients hope for a path to a cure! The post Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Drug Approved in... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • How Robin Williams Supported Athletes with Disabilities

    Jill Liphart
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:33 am
    Robin Williams was a funny man, almost beyond description, but what he did behind the scenes for people with disabilities will live on, too. The post How Robin Williams Supported Athletes with... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • New Stand Up Kids’ Wheelchair a Game-Changer

    Susan Hawkins
    22 Aug 2014 | 5:44 am
    The new Mybility chair is the very first stand up, all terrain wheelchair that is specifically designed for children starting at age six. The post New Stand Up Kids’ Wheelchair a Game-Changer... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • “Disability Treaty” Promises Power and Global Access

    Jill Liphart
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:26 am
    With the ratification of the international "Disability Rights" treaty, people with disabilities worldwide will see the dawn of a better day. The post “Disability Treaty” Promises Power... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
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    Enabled Kids

  • Without Kids My Heart Would Be Empty

    27 Aug 2014 | 2:45 pm
  • Tip of the Week #11

    19 Aug 2014 | 2:57 pm
  • How A Balanced Diet Improves Health for Kids

    Leslie Vandever
    14 Aug 2014 | 1:32 pm
    The fact that a balanced, healthy diet is good for children may seem obvious. The vitamins, minerals, and other substances found in the foods that make up a healthy, balanced diet influence everything about your child, from how their brain develops to the strength of their toenails. What is a healthy diet? Can it really […]
  • How to Manage Tooth Decay in Children with Chronic Diseases

    Ali Fakhimi
    14 Aug 2014 | 7:10 am
    Have you ever wondered why cosmetic dentists always stress having routine dental exams for children with chronic diseases? The dentist provides routine dental care, which is the most important step toward preventing tooth loss in later years. Often the parents and caretakers of children with chronic diseases have increased demands on their time and energy. […]
  • Top 3 Travel Sites with Special Needs Accessibility

    Janice Yeung
    7 Aug 2014 | 2:15 pm
      It is estimated that one in eight people worldwide live with special needs. Handicapped travellers are one of the most intensely growing tourism markets today. In North America alone, people with special needs are known to spend more than $13 billion each year on travelling. People with special needs constantly find it troublesome to […]
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    Support for Special Needs

  • On Labor Day, 2014

    Robert Rummel-Hudson
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:00 am
    I’m not usually one for writing contrived holiday-themed posts here (“It’s Arbor Day, folks, and special needs families just love trees!”), but I think I’m going to make an exception for Labor Day. There are a lot of hard working people in this country, but those of us in the world of disability parenting find ourselves surrounded by the hardest working humans on the planet. For our kids, finding success in school and in the world is a lot like being an astronaut. We understand that the person standing on the moon is an extraordinary individual, and we celebrate…
  • Stuck with feeding? Strategies for breaking free

    Katja Rowell MD
    29 Aug 2014 | 1:04 am
    Abby and her speech therapist were making major gains. She had mastered feeding herself, clapping and grinning, clearly proud of her accomplishments. Problem is, it all fell apart when Abby left her therapy center. Her parents tried bribes, rewards and begging, but Abby would simply refuse to eat unless she was nestled in Mom’s lap and spoon-fed. Six-year-old Abby had been medically fragile, overcoming heart surgery and oral motor concerns. Mom had done a great job supporting and feeding her daughter over the years, but now at age six, the feeding practices that served them well were…
  • Visual Schedules in the Home

    Holly M. Adams M.Ed.
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    It is not secret that students with special needs crave order and routine in their day to day lives. One of the easy ways to help them maintain that order in their lives is a visual schedule. “I thought that was only for school,” you may be asking at this point. A visual schedule is beneficial to a child in any setting where they are unable to organize themselves for a transition. “Shouldn’t my child be able to handle life at home without needing pictures? After all, home is their natural environment!” Not necessarily. Any environment where the day to day activities deviate from a…
  • To the people like her, which is perhaps everyone

    Robert Rummel-Hudson
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    As parents of children with special needs, it is very easy to get caught up in what the future looks like through the lens of our kids’ disabilities. I don’t think this is a bad thing, in and of itself. We talk about wanting the world to accept our kids as they are, and we declare that our sons and daughters have the right to move through that world with as much fairness and grace as anyone else. We believe these things sincerely, but as our kids’ primary support people, we understand the work and the worry that goes into making these things happen. We strive our whole lives…
  • Life is Good: An Interview with Dick Hoyt

    Julia Roberts
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:06 am
    Like millions of others, I first learned about Dick and his son Rick via YouTube. Dick is a dad to three boys, now grown. But he is famous for his relationship with his first son, born in 1962 with cerebral palsy. Dick has run almost 1000 endurance events including marathons and the Ironman Triathlon pushing, pulling or cycling with his son. Stop for a minute and check out this amazing video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REjt3RvazRk You can see why we wanted to feature this amazing and inspirational father as our first Future Glimpse story. Our Future Glimpse articles will highlight…
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    Friendship Circle -- Special Needs Blog

  • Special Needs Travel: 6 Essentials for Long-Haul Flights

    27 Aug 2014 | 7:49 am
    Long-haul flights can be challenging. Add in a child with special needs and it can really get interesting. For long flights, being prepared is the key to manageable flight. By packing the right items in your carry-on luggage you can ensure an uneventful and less stressful time. Here are some things I have packed when travelling on long haul flights with my son. I hope you find them usefull. Hygiene Sanitizing wipes should be priority since airplanes are notoriously not very clean. Wipes can be used not only for hands and faces but also food trays, arm rests and even seats. I recommend taking…
  • 6 Ways You Can Help Your Child With Special Needs Overcome a Fear of Water

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:35 am
    For many families, a fear of water can be a major obstacle to summer fun. Fortunately, warm weather offers many opportunities to overcome this fear without distress. A severe fear of water is known as hydrophobia. The fear may be based on a fear of drowning, a fear of becoming messy, a fear of losing control or a fear of being unable to escape. Some individuals are highly sensitive to the texture and sounds of water, and may develop an aversion based on that discomfort. In all of these cases, it is easy to make the fear or aversion worse by failing to find the root cause or by forcing…
  • 4 Ways to Help Your Child with Special Needs Share About the Day

    Jennifer Hill
    22 Aug 2014 | 6:33 am
    Those of us who are parents are all too familiar with this scenario:  Upon picking up your child from school or camp you ask excitedly, “What did you do today?”  Your child responds with an unenthusiastic, “I don’t know.” It may not be that your child does not want to share or did not have a good day, but that he does not know how to share.  The problem is with that open-ended question; it is not specific enough and has too many possible answers.  To get more information and fewer shoulder shrugs, try this proven strategy. 1. Talk to the Teacher in Advance…
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    Advocacy in Action

  • Cause of impulsive choices by kids with ADHD identified in new research

    1 Sep 2014 | 9:51 am
    Credit:  MicrosoftMany people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderADHD) make impulsive decisions that are not best for them in the long-term. Now researchers have discovered the exact process responsible for these decisions as well as the point in this process when these decisions are made. Researchers think these discoveries may lead to better treatments for people with ADHD.People with ADHD often make decisions based on the immediate reward they receive instead of considering any long-term consequences. For example, a person may decide to spend an hour playing a video…
  • Ireland International Conference on Education

    31 Aug 2014 | 2:59 am
    The Ireland International Conference on Education (IICE) is biannual conference which takes place in April and October. The October IICE-2014 will be held from the 27th to 29th of October, 2014 in Dublin. The IICE is an international refereed conference dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practices in education. The IICE promotes collaborative excellence between academicians and professionals from Education.The aim of IICE is to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals from various educational fields with cross-disciplinary interests to bridge the knowledge gap,…
  • Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting

    31 Aug 2014 | 2:53 am
    The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting, organized by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology will take place from 9th October to the 11th October 2014at the The Convention Centre Dublin (The CCD) in Dublin, Ireland. The conference will coverareas like The final plenary weaves these themes together addressing how we hope to helppatients move from merely controlling their food allergy - which is difficult for them - to a cure- which is proving difficult for us.Click here for more information.n
  • Youth Work Ireland National Outcomes Symposium

    31 Aug 2014 | 2:32 am
    Date: Wednesday 17th September 2014Venue: National Office of Youth Work Ireland, 20 Lower Dominick Street, Dublin 1Cost: €10 – this includes tea, coffee and a light lunchSymposium on the Five National OutcomesThis symposium anticipates the forthcoming National Youth Strategy and provides practitioners with a space to learn about and reflect on the challenges and opportunities that youth work has in contributing to the five national outcomes for children and young people under the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures Policy Framework. Contributors on the day will provide their…
  • National Council for Special Education Conference (NCSE) 2014

    31 Aug 2014 | 2:19 am
    NCSE Annual Research Conference 20149am – 4pm Wednesday 19th NovemberHogan Mezzanine Suite, Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin This year’s conference will include inputs on autism provision and interventions, educational outcomes among Irish children with special educational needs and findings from longitudinal research in Ireland. The event will feature international and national guest speakers, presentations on NCSE commissioned research and responses from key stakeholders.Please put this important date in your diary and feel free to pass this notice on to others who may be…
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    Sick Chick

  • Nightmare Update

    Sick Chick
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:55 am
    I am long overdue on a blog post. I was planning to write an update when I made some sort of progress on my medical saga. To read more about the situation, you can go here, and here for the sequel. However, almost a month later, precious little progress has been made. I have managed to see a new neurologist at Cleveland Clinic, but this is still the only member of my medical team so far. Which means I am still without a Primary Care Physician, Rheumatologist, Cardiologist, Neuro-opthamologist, and gastroenterologist. I had one appointment with this neuro, and return at the end of October.
  • Speech for Mike Brown Memorial Vigil

    Sick Chick
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:53 pm
    Although my blog has not had a political focus in the past, today I would like to share with you a speech I prepared for a candlight vigil held to commemorate the funeral of Mike Brown: “Hello everyone. I want to start by thanking you all for coming out tonight. We are here, first and foremost, to honor Mike Brown, who was finally laid to rest today after his brutal murder at the hands of a police officer. We are also here to show our support for his grieving family. Mike Brown’s death sparked the people of Ferguson to take to their streets and demand justice. The violent response…
  • Service Dogs vs Emotional Support Animals: The Difference

    Sick Chick
    4 Aug 2014 | 8:07 pm
    These days many people have some confusion when it comes to understanding the difference between Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals. Although they are similar, they are not the same and this important distinction needs to be made. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals can only be dogs, or in some cases, miniature horses. Service dogs are trained to perform tasks that mitigate a disability, such as picking up dropped items for a person in a wheelchair or alerting a deaf person to sounds, such as a doorbell. To understand more about the jobs service…
  • Is that a Saddle? Service Dog Equipment

    Sick Chick
    3 Aug 2014 | 9:21 pm
    Today I thought I would take a break from the insurance/doctor/pharmacy drama and focus on a less stressful subject. So in this post I’m going to discuss the gear I use with Dale – Service Dog Extraordinaire. Dale resting in his harness in front of the piano before our recital. All of Dale’s gear came from the program that trained him, Canine Partners for Life (CPL). His equipment is vital to his job, as well as to his health while he is working. Dale’s harness from the back, you can see his no petting signs here. The first thing everyone notices is his harness, which is…
  • The Tysabri Rebound Effect: What happens after?

    Sick Chick
    2 Aug 2014 | 7:04 pm
    A subject that has been of interest to me lately is the Tysabri Rebound Effect. This refers to the increase in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease activity after stopping treatment with IV Tysabri infusions. Although I did study this rebound effect before starting on this therapy, it has recently become a much more prominent feature on my list of things to worry about. The reason for this increased concern is that after several months of infusions, changes in insurance, doctors, and pharmacies  have resulted in, at the very least, the postponement of my next scheduled infusion (set for the day…
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