• Most Topular Stories

  • Monoma: Training & Rehabilitation Through Games & Music

    Disabled World
    3 Mar 2015 | 8:14 am
    Filisia now accepts pre-orders for its assistive technology device Monoma® (filisia-interfaces.com/pre-order), a creative and interactive product for people with additional needs, which is used for cognitive, occupational, music therapy and special education needs training.
  • Mental health soon after war-zone concussions predicts disability

    Disability News -- ScienceDaily
    4 Mar 2015 | 10:08 am
    Evaluating military personnel with blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries, researchers have found that early symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as anxiety, emotional numbness, flashbacks and irritability, are the strongest predictors of later disability. The results were surprising because mental health more closely correlated with disability than assessments typically made after concussions, such as tests of memory, thinking, balance, coordination and severity of headaches and dizziness, according to the study.
  • Speechless

    Rollercoaster Parenting
    25 Feb 2015 | 6:15 pm
    I received a letter today which left me (momentarily) speechless - and then livid!Here it is.In June 2014, our service provider put in a request for a new manual wheelchair for BooBoo with EnableNSW. This is kinda important, as a manual wheelchair is her main means of getting around. In the past we have bought her chairs ourselves because, well, dealing with EnableNSW is not my favourite pastime. And we've had the means, so I don't want to take funding away for those who need it more.As things stand with hubby's business, we cant currently fund another wheelchair. We have spent lots of money…
  • My Morning Ride - And Back

    Rolling Around In My Head
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:52 am
     An Open Letter to Wheel-Trans,For those readers who aren't from the fair, but dangerously cold, city of Toronto, you may not know the name of our accessible transit system. It's called 'WheelTrans' and acts as part of the larger transit system here in the city. Where I live, on weekends, I typically use the subway system. For workdays, I need to use Wheel-Trans, as I did today. I was worried about my early morning trip, I arrive at work typically between 6:30 and 7:15, because the news was reporting power outages up in that area. I made a quick call, was assured that the building had…
  • APH Quick Tip: Braille Readers Theater

    Fred's Head from APH, a Blindness Blog
    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:17 pm
    This is the fourth year of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind’s Readers Theater! Come attend a showing of this year’s dramatic production! Upcoming performances: - Friday, March 13, 7:00 PM - Saturday, March 14, 1:00 PM Each performance will include four short plays: - “The Dogalog” by Rick Roderick - “Milday Hero” by Barbara Henning - “A Fire’s Definition” by Madelyn Lloyd - “The Message That Wasn’t There” by Dave Trevino Space is limited, reservations are required. To make reservations call 502-899-2213 or email kcarpenter@aph.org. Best for ages…
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    Disabled World

  • Monoma: Training & Rehabilitation Through Games & Music

    3 Mar 2015 | 8:14 am
    Filisia now accepts pre-orders for its assistive technology device Monoma® (filisia-interfaces.com/pre-order), a creative and interactive product for people with additional needs, which is used for cognitive, occupational, music therapy and special education needs training.
  • Rejection Harder for People with Depression

    3 Mar 2015 | 6:35 am
    Rejected by a person you like? Just "shake it off" and move on, as music star Taylor Swift says - But while that might work for many people, it may not be so easy for those with untreated depression, a new brain study finds.
  • Failure of Australian Medicare Principle of Universality

    3 Mar 2015 | 6:15 am
    Introduced in 1975, Australia's national health insurance scheme Medicarex (originally Medibank) was envisioned to deliver the most equitable and efficient means of providing health insurance coverage for all Australians.
  • CHOPS Syndrome: New Early Development Genetic Syndrome

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:57 am
    Analyzing a puzzling multisystem disorder in three children, genetic experts have identified a new syndrome, shedding light on key biological processes during human development. The research also provides important information to help caregivers manage the disorder, and may offer clues to eventually treating it.
  • Your Health Information Privacy Online at Serious Risk

    1 Mar 2015 | 10:17 am
    An analysis of over 80,000 such web pages shows that nine out of ten visits result in personal health information being leaked to third parties, including online advertisers and data brokers.
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    Disability News -- ScienceDaily

  • Mental health soon after war-zone concussions predicts disability

    4 Mar 2015 | 10:08 am
    Evaluating military personnel with blast-related mild traumatic brain injuries, researchers have found that early symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as anxiety, emotional numbness, flashbacks and irritability, are the strongest predictors of later disability. The results were surprising because mental health more closely correlated with disability than assessments typically made after concussions, such as tests of memory, thinking, balance, coordination and severity of headaches and dizziness, according to the study.
  • Researchers propose novel new treatment of stroke, other neurological diseases

    2 Mar 2015 | 9:33 am
    Medicine should reconsider how it treats stroke and other neurological disorders, focusing on the intrinsic abilities of the brain and nervous system to heal themselves rather than the 'modest' benefits of clot-busting drugs and other neuroprotective treatments, experts suggest.
  • People with disabilities experience unrecognized health disparities, new research shows

    26 Feb 2015 | 11:49 am
    People with disabilities have unmet medical needs and poorer overall health throughout their lives, and as a result should be recognized as a health disparity group so more attention can be directed to improving their quality of life, a team of policy researchers has found.
  • Unusual disease that causes acute confusion may be underdiagnosed

    25 Feb 2015 | 11:23 am
    An unusual disease called Susac syndrome, which can cause acute confusion and problems with hearing and eyesight, is rare but probably under reported, physicians report.
  • Bionic reconstruction lets patients use a robotic prosthetic hand controlled by the mind

    24 Feb 2015 | 4:26 pm
    Three Austrian men have become the first in the world to undergo a new technique called "bionic reconstruction", enabling them to use a robotic prosthetic hand controlled by their mind, according to new research. All three men suffered for many years with brachial plexus injuries and poor hand function as a result of motor vehicle and climbing accidents.
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    Rollercoaster Parenting

  • Speechless

    25 Feb 2015 | 6:15 pm
    I received a letter today which left me (momentarily) speechless - and then livid!Here it is.In June 2014, our service provider put in a request for a new manual wheelchair for BooBoo with EnableNSW. This is kinda important, as a manual wheelchair is her main means of getting around. In the past we have bought her chairs ourselves because, well, dealing with EnableNSW is not my favourite pastime. And we've had the means, so I don't want to take funding away for those who need it more.As things stand with hubby's business, we cant currently fund another wheelchair. We have spent lots of money…
  • Virgin

    7 Feb 2015 | 4:52 pm
    As you might expect, I was not satisfied with Virgin's response to my letter.I voiced this, and it got picked up by some media. If you want to check it out, the links are here.Daily MailTodayMammaMiaBut really, this is not about media. This is about getting aisle wheelchairs on flights so that this never ever happens to someone else. And I will not give up until that has been achieved.And thus I have made an official complaint to the Human Rights Commission under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992).This has so far been upheld and the process to resolve this has started. Until this is…
  • Winning

    3 Feb 2015 | 6:31 pm
    Sometimes, winning is not coming first.Sometimes, winning is not giving up even when you have no chance.http://youtu.be/S7Nowc3puyIVery proud of our daughter.
  • Reply

    28 Jan 2015 | 8:15 pm
  • Holidays

    28 Jan 2015 | 1:58 am
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    Rolling Around In My Head

  • My Morning Ride - And Back

    4 Mar 2015 | 4:52 am
     An Open Letter to Wheel-Trans,For those readers who aren't from the fair, but dangerously cold, city of Toronto, you may not know the name of our accessible transit system. It's called 'WheelTrans' and acts as part of the larger transit system here in the city. Where I live, on weekends, I typically use the subway system. For workdays, I need to use Wheel-Trans, as I did today. I was worried about my early morning trip, I arrive at work typically between 6:30 and 7:15, because the news was reporting power outages up in that area. I made a quick call, was assured that the building had…
  • Stories

    3 Mar 2015 | 5:32 am
     Ruby was standing, with me, and looking at a tablet, high on the wall, we were both intrigued by the beautiful carvings on the triangular pieces. Ruby declared that the people who did the drawings were very, very good at drawing. I agreed. Then I asked Ruby if she could see the story that the artist was telling. Sometimes stories are told with pictures, not words. She looked at it for a moment long and said, with some awe in her voice, "There is a story there." I asked her to tell me the story. She told the story of a hunt, the hounds were chasing the deer and the birds flew off in…
  • Newsletter Released

    2 Mar 2015 | 8:05 am
    The most recent issue of Support, Service and Success: The Direct Support Workers Newsletter has just been released. "Like Ability: 10 Basic Skills That Promote Relationships" aims at giving support workers and family an idea of the kinds of skills that people need to learn in order to form healthy, reciprocal relationships. If you'd like to subscribe, or get this single issue, contact me at dhingsburger@vitacls.orgToday's post follows.
  • A Spectacular Potato

    2 Mar 2015 | 5:01 am
    This morning Joe and I were sitting watching a YouTube video about how to cook a potato in a particular and allegedly spectacular way. When it was over we both noticed at the same time that my bus was due to have arrived a couple minutes before. I wasn't anywhere near ready. My socks, slippers, socks combination takes time, my double shirt and arm warmers take more time. The jacket always is a bit of a struggle to get comfortable behind me in the wheelchair. This all takes 10 to 15 minutes. We had 4. And that included getting down to the lobby. So, it would be only jacket and socks.We flew…
  • The Work Of Angels? Maybe Not!

    1 Mar 2015 | 3:47 am
    My hand, holding a flesh coloured piece of plastic material.I had to stay home and finish up some work while Joe and Mike drove up to pick up the girls who were to spend the weekend with us. Luckily, I was just finishing when I heard the key in the lock and turned to see Joe come through the door. I didn't see anyone else and as I was about to ask where everyone was, I was 'hug attacked' from behind by two little stealthy girls who had sneaked up behind my wheelchair. They love startling me like this and, though I should be, I'm never used to it and my 'startle response' always provides ample…
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    Fred's Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

  • APH Quick Tip: Braille Readers Theater

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    4 Mar 2015 | 2:17 pm
    This is the fourth year of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind’s Readers Theater! Come attend a showing of this year’s dramatic production! Upcoming performances: - Friday, March 13, 7:00 PM - Saturday, March 14, 1:00 PM Each performance will include four short plays: - “The Dogalog” by Rick Roderick - “Milday Hero” by Barbara Henning - “A Fire’s Definition” by Madelyn Lloyd - “The Message That Wasn’t There” by Dave Trevino Space is limited, reservations are required. To make reservations call 502-899-2213 or email kcarpenter@aph.org. Best for ages…
  • Resource Handbooks Available for Alabama & Hawaii Residents who are Blind

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    3 Mar 2015 | 1:35 pm
    By Christine Chaikin, CEO, Insightful Publications I have created two screen reader-friendly Resource Handbooks containing resources pertaining to the blind and visually impaired, for use by consumers and professionals.  Alabama Resource Handbook Hawaii Resource Handbook This handbook is for the residents of those states and includes the many organizations for the blind and visually impaired covering areas such as employment, housing, transportation, and more. The handbook includes contact information on the local, regional, and national level. For more information on pricing and formats…
  • Blindness Field Legend Took Part in Selma Marches

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:21 am
    By Micheal Hudson, Director, Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind Although our museum and archives collections center on the history of education and rehabilitation for people who are blind and visually impaired, they also document the impact of outside forces on those very subjects. As our nation prepares to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama marches, it seems appropriate to share this unique connection between the blindness field and the national Civil Rights Movement.  Last spring, APH entered into a partnership with the Carroll Center…
  • Quick Tip: Child in a Strange Country

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:41 am
    "Child in a Strange Country," which shows Helen Keller’s educational journey in an interactive display, is the main traveling exhibit of the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind. Watch this short Quick Tip to learn more!
  • The SoundScriber: an Early Tool for Blind Professionals

    Marissa Slaughter Stalvey
    19 Feb 2015 | 11:20 am
    Our object this week is an interesting little electric office dictating machine called a SoundScriber.Approximately an8 x 10 x 12” rectangle of veneered plywood, it has an open slot in the top with a turntable and tone arm much like a vintage phonograph.In fact it has two tone arms, one to record and one to play back.  Introduced in 1945, the machine could record 15 minutes of sound on each side of its 6” flexible disks.  It was fairly simple to operate, and some of the first volunteer-dictated talking books were made on the SoundScriber. It was popular for about twenty years,…
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  • Open source, 3D Printed, thought controlled prosthetic hand

    9 Feb 2015 | 11:28 am
    3D Printed, thought controlled prosthetic hand for less than $1000. – Opensourced     via Meet Easton LaChappelle, The Teen Building A Cheaper, Better Prosthetic Arm. Related posts: 3D-printed, individually designed prosthetic legs Lego Prosthetic Leg – [video] Open-Source Hardware for Prosthetics
  • Special Stylus solutions by shapedad on Etsy

    22 Jan 2015 | 1:40 am
    Shapedad is an outlet on Etsy that provides custom solutions for stylus’ for touch screens in many formats. Shapedad says: “It all started when the wife of a quad (quadriplegic) patient ordered a regular Stylus Socks stylus from our Etsy shop.” Some examples below:                     Special needs solutions by shapedad on Etsy Related posts: One problem with Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens Hitachi stylus compatible, capacitive touch panel Dagi Transparent Stylus for Capacitive Touch Screens
  • Measure with Measure-It! Adhesive Tape

    14 Jan 2015 | 9:11 pm
    Ever tried holding a conventional, metal tape measure horizontal by yourself? This is a low-tack tape that will allow you to do all of your home decorating, renovation, and craft projects. The low-tack backing makes it easy to re-position or re-use. via source: http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20141224/measure-home-projects-accurately-measureit-adhesive-tape/ Related posts: Kind Reminder – for people with Alzheimer's Magnetic Voice Recorder Powered Nail Clipper
  • Eye phone: How a app could help restore sight to millions

    1 Jan 2015 | 9:11 pm
    Around 39 million people in the world are affected by blindness — 80% of which could be avoided if people had timely access to diagnosis and proper treatment. Ted blog reports on Peek — an app and adapter that turn a smartphone into a comprehensive, easy-to-use, accurate eye-exam tool. Peek makes eye tests affordable and easy to administer, bypassing the need for expensive, fragile equipment. via source: http://blog.ted.com/2014/12/19/how-a-ted-fellows-new-app-could-help-restore-sight-to-millions/ Related posts: Lifekludger Links Weekly #7 Technology is not the problem –…
  • 7 iPad Apps to Help Students With Dyslexia – Mashable

    29 Dec 2014 | 9:31 pm
    Dyslexia is a language-based disorder that makes reading, recognizing words, spelling and decoding especially difficult…. Mashable round up a list of seven apps that students, parents and teachers may find useful covering a range of abilities and ages. via source: http://mashable.com/2014/07/28/apps-for-dyslexia/ Related posts: Occupational Therapy Apps for iPad BreathBird : Breath activated scanning input comes to iPad
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    My Disability Blog

  • The attack on Social Security Disability and, yes, Social Security as well.

    Disability Blogger
    11 Feb 2015 | 1:31 pm
    I will continue to post articles on this situation as it develops over time. Gradually, a few more people are becoming aware of what the newly elected Congress is trying to do. However, I would say that many still don't realize what is happening. So let me recap: People who receive SSD, Social Security Disability benefits, do so because they have worked X amount of years and have paid into the
  • Republicans attack SSD on basis of out of control claim growth...but claims are going down.

    Disability Blogger
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:42 am
    Certain members of Congress are setting the stage to attack the Social Security Disability program, based partly on the premise that claims are continuing to rise. However, this graphic provided by attorney Charles Hall shows that really isn't the case. The number of claims filed has been decreasing since 2011. Why is this happening? It's impossible to know. However, its a well-known fact that
  • 21 Jan 2015 | 10:35 am

    Disability Blogger
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:35 am
    There are days when everyone thinks they have it rough. And perhaps they really do. But, then, you read a story like this and you feel thankful what you do have. From the article: "Martin Pistorius spent more than a decade unable to move or communicate, fearing he would be alone, trapped, forever." Trapped In His Body For 12 Years, A Man Breaks Free Return to My Disability
  • Better ways of tracking glucose levels for type II diabetics

    Disability Blogger
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:28 am
    If you have type II diabetes, this tattoo seen in the article linked below--and the technology that it signals might possibly be around the corner--is a potential game changer. Perhaps in the near future, type II diabetics will have no further need of test strips, lancets, and tiny pinprick holes in their fingers. Diabetes Monitoring Tattoo Developed to Provide Relief from Needle Pricks
  • Social Security Disability Beneficiaries facing potential 20 percent cuts in monthly benefits

    Disability Blogger
    20 Oct 2014 | 11:23 am
    The Social Security Disability Trust fund is expected to run short of its ability to meet its obligations in 2016. If Congress doesn't address the problem, individuals who currently receive Social Security Disability benefits may face a 20 percent cut in their monthly benefits. So far, there's hardly a peep out of Congress about this rapidly approaching issue. And, increasingly, it looks like
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    DISABILITY NEWS - Google News

  • Christie will remove quotas from disability housing plan but defends 'Return ... - NJ.com

    Google Inc.
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:27 pm
    NJ.comChristie will remove quotas from disability housing plan but defends 'Return NJ.comFAIR LAWN — Gov. Chris Christie said today he would remove strict limits on where people with developmental disabilities live and work that are contained in a proposal drafted by his administration to promote community integration, but he won't back and more »
  • Prospective adopters urged to think of the child, not the disability - The Guardian

    Google Inc.
    4 Mar 2015 | 6:50 am
    The GuardianProspective adopters urged to think of the child, not the disabilityThe GuardianThere are hundreds of children with disabilities or special needs on the books of Britain's 180 adoption agencies. All are clamouring for adoption. Yet, according to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), all too often these and more »
  • How New ABLE Accounts Will Help Americans With Disabilities - U.S. News & World Report

    Google Inc.
    3 Mar 2015 | 9:09 am
    U.S. News & World ReportHow New ABLE Accounts Will Help Americans With DisabilitiesU.S. News & World ReportAmericans with disabilities and their families often face a myriad of financial challenges, but they will soon have a new financial vehicle allowing them to save for expenses and enjoy tax-free growth similar to 529 college savings accounts. Congress and more »
  • Local disability advocate to receive award - The News Herald

    Google Inc.
    4 Mar 2015 | 3:19 pm
    The News HeraldLocal disability advocate to receive awardThe News Herald“I thought no one would care that I have a disability once I have a degree,” she said. “But then I got to the real world.” Baker wanted to be a radio DJ, but she was barred from the position — not because of a lack of talent, but because all but one
  • Disability Awareness Month - KGWN

    Google Inc.
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:38 pm
    Disability Awareness MonthKGWNCHEYENNE (KGWN) - Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is helping to raise awareness of Disability Awareness Month. Magic City Enterprises serves people with special needs and hopes Tuesday's Disability Awareness Proclamation by Governor Mead helps ...and more »
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    Low Visionary

  • Euthanasia: A disability perspective

    8 Feb 2015 | 3:17 pm
    Recent events in Canada have revived the issue of assisted suicide, or euthanasia, in New Zealand. Disabled people in Canada and Australia have expressed dismay about a situation they see as a threat to the lives of disabled people. The Alberta Association for Community living chief executive Bruce Uditsky said “The Court’s decision is the most permissive approach to assisted suicide in the world. Rather than require people to have a terminal illness, people with disabilities simply have to express their life is not worth living.” And there’s the rub. We know that many…
  • Three disability Christmas wishes 2014

    21 Dec 2014 | 11:05 pm
    This time last year I wrote a Christmas blog with three wishes. Doing it again might mean I lack imagination. Last year’s wishes have certainly not been magically granted. But Christmas is the time of wishful thinking, so here is mine for another year. My first wish is that the great team of audio describers we trained earlier this year will have lots of work next year, for theatre, civic events such as parades, operas and other musical events, and in museums galleries, and even sports events where TV may not provide an adequate commentary or any coverage at all. My second wish is that that…
  • The promise of technology

    17 Dec 2014 | 4:52 pm
    I’m hopelessly late in my post for the International Day of Disabled People, on December 3, and somewhat late to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10, and very late to review the National Disability Forum (NDF) conference in late November. But the theme for the International Day of Disabled People is important, and worth writing about, even if it is after the event. Sustainable development, the promise of technology has wide and powerful application in the digital age. Late last month I was at the National Digital Forum Conference for the first time. I had been looking forward…
  • Colour contrast counts! A cautionary tale

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:56 pm
    Information accessibility challenges can pop up in unexpected places. Recently I was talking to someone involved with an amateur dramatic society. Billboards were designed for the latest production. The billboards, complete with fancy font for branding, were displayed in and around the small country town where my friend lives. On the computer screen they looked great. But he discovered to his annoyance that when driving past them at the open road speed they were unreadable. Some retrofitting was needed. A steady handed volunteer was recruited to outline the lettering in black to increase…
  • Re-thinking disability advisory groups for community engagement

    1 Oct 2014 | 2:38 pm
    For some years now many disabled people have been involved in advisory groups. These are usually established to enable organisations such as local government, central government, health organisations or other national and local bodies to meet their obligations towards disabled people. These advisory groups are not limited to the disability community  - but my reflections on their workings are. As some advisory groups exist now there are problems resulting from a lack of commitment, or a tokenistic approach to “doing the right thing” rather than a real desire to include disabled…
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  • No Hands! 3 Users Who Control Computers With Their Nose

    Ricky Buchanan
    4 Mar 2015 | 1:23 am
    To those who have never been around disabled people, the idea of operating a computer or iPad with your nose may sound silly, but it’s a valid way to access a device and for some people it works better than anything else. Lyn Levett – Musician Lyn Levett has cerebral palsy and uses an iPad mounted on her wheelchair. This video shows Lyn using her iPad to communicate, play games, compose music, and text her friends. There should be a video here – if you can’t see it, try viewing the post on ATMac. Lyn has good head control but cannot use her hands or voice to control…
  • Weekend Roundup for 1 March 2015

    Ricky Buchanan
    1 Mar 2015 | 2:46 am
    Here’s the best Apple assistive technology and accessibility links for the week of March 1, 2015. Everything from around the web that’s relevant to disabled, aged, and chronically ill Apple users. Looking for somebody to help me with the graphics for ATMac, especially the title graphics. Know anybody who’s looking for a little bit of paid work? Get them to contact me. OS X 5 Safari extensions for a better browsing experience How to Create a Paperless Office With Evernote iOS Now in accessible keyboard Keeble: 3 new languages and enhanced accessibility options. Keeble…
  • Weekend Roundup for 22 February 2015

    Ricky Buchanan
    22 Feb 2015 | 1:10 am
    Here’s the best Apple assistive technology and accessibility links for the week of 22 February 2015. Everything from around the web that’s relevant to disabled, aged, and chronically ill Apple users. OS X Setting up VoiceOver to automatically speak incoming Messages on Mac OS X Some movies from the iTunes Store come with multiple languages and subtitles. Everything you need to know about ripping DVDs with subtitles Using Text Replacement so you can type less Cool AT Tools: Programs Simplify Text, Reads It Aloud To Keep Learners Current with Curriculum Content – Great for…
  • Do Button Simplifies Your Home Automation Interface

    Ricky Buchanan
    20 Feb 2015 | 4:48 am
    The guys who brought us that endlessly handy web service IFTTT have created a new trio of apps: Do Button, Do Note and Do Camera. They’re all quite handy but Do Button has immediate use for home automation users who need a simplified interface. Do Button empowers you to create your own personalized button with just a tap. Save time and control the world around you with Recipes that connect your button to Philips Hue, Google Drive, Nest Thermostat, and hundreds of Channels you use every day. I have a fairly simple home automation set up – I have a set of Phillips Hue globes split…
  • 4 Great iOS Math Apps

    Ricky Buchanan
    17 Feb 2015 | 3:50 am
    Most people find math to be hard, but what if you couldn’t write anything down as you were working out equations? Or what if you reversed digits and minus signs while you were doing it? Some disabilities make learning math harder than ever. Here are four iPad apps which even the playing field for disabled math students… Panther Math Paper (for iPad) Panther Math Paper Panther Math Paper lets users lay out and solve math equations themselves. For users with severe motor challenges it has many options to help prevent mis-hits and does a fairly good job of putting the cursor where…
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    Clear Helper

  • My Activities: Cognitive Web Accessibility

    John Rochford
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:03 am
    I have been busy with my cognitive web accessibility work, though I have not blogged about it much. Here are 3 examples. Ongoing I have a weekly teleconference with the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force. I have been an “Invited Expert” on the task force since it began in November, 2014. We published the first working draft of our Cognitive Accessibility User Research on January 15, 2015. We welcome feedback. Upcoming I will be speaking at the 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference of California State…
  • Online Security & Privacy for People with Cognitive Disabilities: Challenges & Solutions

    John Rochford
    1 Dec 2014 | 6:01 am
    Description of the Technologies Most user interfaces are designed to help users complete tasks. However, web security and privacy technologies intentionally introduce barriers to task completion. They require users to perceive more and to do more to complete tasks. Three examples of these technologies are passwords, CAPTCHA, and 2-Factor Authentication. Passwords are words or character strings used for authentication and/or for identity confirmation. CAPTCHA is a website widget, which prevents automated programs from submitting a web form intended for humans, by requiring humans to pass a…
  • Online Security & Privacy for People with Cognitive Disabilities, Part 1

    John Rochford
    3 Nov 2014 | 8:34 am
    I am trying to evaluate the barriers of online security and privacy to people with cognitive disabilities. This work will help inform the effort of the W3C’s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force to recommend standards on how to make online security and privacy more accessible. Problem I am struggling with how to go about this evaluation. It is a daunting task to come up with common barriers and solution recommendations across: the many end-user security and privacy techniques, e.g.: passwords; two-factor authentication; biometrics; and encryption the variety of…
  • CAPTCHA, Cognitive Disabilities, v1 (W3C Task Force)

    John Rochford
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:59 am
    As a member of the W3C‘s Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force, I agreed to review web-security technologies. I chose to begin with CAPTCHA. My first draft is below. The format I am using is the one I intend to use for future reviews. All the text is my own. I welcome your feedback, additions, and/or revisions. Definition CAPTCHA is typically a website widget that prevents automated programs from submitting a web form intended for humans by requiring humans to pass a test. Such tests present distorted text visually and/or aurally; and require the form-submitter to…
  • 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),…
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  • The Girl Be Tryin’

    4 Mar 2015 | 4:40 pm
    “SEEDS”, ceramic, ea. 1″ ____________________ “Manifesto. Do good work. Every problem can be solved. Stay noble. Less is always an option. Don’t be afraid to say no. * Don’t be afraid to say yes. (My addition to his list..) Be perfectly clear. (This eludes me, I tell you…) Never lie.” -Joseph Barone
  • Winter

    28 Feb 2015 | 2:55 pm
    untitled, 2000, m/m _______________ I woke to white. My astoundingly adept and count-on-able care taker called in sick for the second day. I had jettisoned myself over to the nearby mall for food yesterday which was good. Today feels like slightly ‘pilly’ cashmere. Six out of seven days I am blessed with the benign and welcome tiny knock on my door announcing Roseanne’s appearance To shop or clean or wash linens for me. These tasks have passed insidiously from my capable and eager hands to hers. I just let her have them…grateful and like today rather surprised I am not…
  • Beyond Comfort

    25 Feb 2015 | 10:12 am
    detail of painting on wool flannel ________________________ Waking this morning I looked at my basket of supplements neatly concealed by a white linen cover laid atop the too many bottles in a Shabby Chic kind of way. OMG. Can I actually open my mouth one more time and throw down my gullet all these supportive measures supposedly keeping me functional? Then there’s the insidious creeping of neurological dysfunction into my left side which has been my “good” side And this scares me. My butt has met my wheelchair seat too long now and has lost that lovely fleshy insulation I…
  • Antidote

    23 Feb 2015 | 9:53 am
    painted silk _________ I watched the Academy Awards last night. It is for me what they call a “hate watch” these days. I hate that I want to watch it but I do it anyway. FASHION! VACUITY! UNCIVILIZED BEHAVIOR! I think I watch it from the artist’s standpoint But really.. I am just your average voyeur. Judging mercilessly is condoned on this eve and who would say no to that opportunity? Certainly not moi. In the midst of witnessing rabid and open-mouthed gum chewing by nominees There were moments in which intelligence and heart pierced through the fog of our selfie-driven…
  • Making My Bed

    22 Feb 2015 | 1:51 pm
    painted wool flannel _______________ I took myself out for lunch the other day. Rolled to a fave place with my notebook in hand. Needed to be IN humanity but not OF it. Ordered a glass of wine mid-day. Never really do this but I needed to get fuzzy. The world felt too taut. My lunch arrived and I had a question on my mind: WHAT IS MISSING IN MY LIFE? In my artist days I’d sit in cafes and somehow, the atmosphere of being surrounded by people helped me float down into less of a “thinking” mode and interesting directions would make themselves available. On this day I made a…
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    Need Project Podcast

  • Special Needs Parenting with Dr. Lorna Bradley

    14 Feb 2015 | 8:51 pm
    Our guest is Dr. Lorna Bradley. Dr. Bradley is the author of the new book “Special Needs Parenting” from coping to thriving.
  • Encouraging Churches with Mike Dobes

    14 Jan 2015 | 8:03 pm
    Mike is the Supervisor of Church Relations for Joni and Friends International Disability Center. We discuss how to encourage our churches to support families with special needs members, and how Joni and Friends can help.
  • Mclean Bible Church Access ministries with Jackie Mills-Fernald

    14 Dec 2014 | 7:42 pm
    Our guest is Jackie Mills-Fernald. Jackie is the Director of Access Ministries at Mclean Bible Church in Virginia. We learn about the unique programs they have and some tips from their years of experience.
  • Educating our children about sex with Dr. Diane Foley

    14 Nov 2014 | 2:59 pm
    Our guest today is Dr. Diane Foley. Dr. Foley is President/CEO of Life Network, a life affirming ministry in Colorado Springs, CO, which provides physical, financial, and emotional support for women and men facing unexpected pregnancies, mentoring for young parents, recovery counseling for those who have been affected by abortion, as well as sexual risk avoidance education presented in local middle and high schools.We discuss the options and best ways to teach our children about sex.
  • Toppling the Idol of Ideal with Melanie Boudreau Part II

    14 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    As an ASCP certified medical technologist, Melanie expected an exciting career in the health field. Instead, she soon discovered that parenting was an even greater passion. The mother of one child who was neurotypical and two with neuropsychiatric disorders, Melanie used her education to interact with specialists and to research interventions for her children. As parents raising children with these and other brain chemistry differences, we need compassionate voices who can listen and help us with the practical issues: fighting despair, judgment, and educational challenges; deciding about…
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    Handicapped Equipment

  • Eliminating Smells From Catheters And Urinals

    24 Feb 2015 | 11:28 pm
    Catheters and urinals do not have to smell awful. That lingering scent in the room can be eliminated and it is not as difficult as you might think. Odor control can be a menace, but with a few simple tips and tricks the odors associated with catheters and urinals can be eradicated. A Natural Organic Product The […]
  • Stabilizing Painful Toes

    17 Oct 2014 | 11:45 pm
    If you suffer from pain in your toes, then you already know just how uncomfortable this can be. Whether you suffer from pain in one toe in particular or several toes, you should know that you don’t have to live with toe pain. Think about your own toe pain? Is it constant or does it […]
  • Wheelchair Belt Alarms Keeping Your Loved Ones Safe

    15 Sep 2014 | 9:58 pm
    As people age, their bones become more frail and balance slowly declines. Although you can be the most fit person in the community, old age takes its toll on overall health. If you, or a loved one, has a chronic disease or injury that requires wheelchair assistance, a belt alarm enhances the chair’s safety level. […]
  • 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 […]
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    Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News

  • 3 Great Good Samaritan Acts

    Chris Horton
    20 Feb 2015 | 1:39 pm
    As Winter brings cold weather and record breaking snowfall amounts, it seems to also bring out peoples’ humanitarian efforts.  People have turned their kindness up to 10 and especially to individuals in wheelchairs who find themselves in precarious positions. Here’s our favorite 3 acts of kindness that have rolled out within the last week. Waiting […] The post 3 Great Good Samaritan Acts appeared first on Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News.
  • The AMS Vans 2015 Winter News

    Brian Frey
    17 Feb 2015 | 1:43 pm
    To view full screen, click here. If the file begins to download, it means that your browser doesn’t have a PDF reader installed. But no worries! You can get one from here. [pdf]http://www.amsvans.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/WinterNews2015email.pdf[/pdf] The post The AMS Vans 2015 Winter News appeared first on Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News.
  • AMS Vans’ Houston Works with MDA for Community Service

    Susan Hawkins
    17 Feb 2015 | 8:48 am
    The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has a great year-round friend in AMS Vans Houston, our sister dealership in the Lone Star State. The post AMS Vans’ Houston Works with MDA for Community Service appeared first on Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News.
  • Catching Handicap Parking Law Breakers

    Chris Horton
    27 Jan 2015 | 10:03 am
    It’s a crime that has raged on for decades and very simply, there’s almost never a situation where the law breaker isn’t aware that they’re breaking the law. The crime? Parking in a handicap parking spot when you’re not legally allowed. Very simply, it’s a case of lazy able-bodied individuals that don’t want to walk […] The post Catching Handicap Parking Law Breakers appeared first on Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News.
  • 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 Europe appeared first on Wheelchair Accessibility Blog and Disability News.
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    Enabled Kids

  • 3 Health Benefits of Dandelion

    4 Mar 2015 | 8:10 am
    Most commonly thought of as only an annoying weed that overtakes your garden, dandelion is also rich in vitamins and nutrients that impart a variety of health benefits. It has been used for its medicinal properties throughout history and also as flavor additives to food dishes and teas! Let’s look at a few reasons why […]
  • 3 Health Benefits & Tips for Using Beeswax

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:56 am
    The natural wax produced by bees has very unique properties and, just like it’s counterpart (honey), it has a variety of health benefits and different uses. Here’s just a few:   Skin Care: Beeswax is a natural moisturizer that is great for hydrating and soothing dry skin. It is rich in vitamin A and is […]
  • Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:30 am
  • How to Teach Children about Oral Hygiene

    Dr. Monir Mina
    25 Feb 2015 | 7:17 am
    Why is oral hygiene important during childhood? Childhood is the first stage of life, which is also defined as the developing stage. Along with other regular hygiene practices, oral hygiene is equally important for kids. Good oral health during adolescence and adulthood is the result of basic oral hygiene during childhood. As they grow, children […]
  • Tea Tip: 3 Reasons to Drink Rose Hip Tea

    23 Feb 2015 | 7:25 am
    Immune Boosting: Rose hip tea is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, and many other antioxidants that help support our immune system. Vitamin C helps fight off and prevent cold and flu symptoms. It’s also necessary for many vital processes to function properly in the body such as the formation of collagen, which is important […]
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    Support for Special Needs

  • The Separation Box

    Robert Rummel-Hudson
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:00 am
    This past week was IEP Week, which makes it sound a lot more fun than it is. (It can sometimes feel a little like Shark Week, probably for the wrong reasons.) Our experiences as special needs parents are incredibly varied and diverse, but it feels like for those of us with kids in public schools, the IEP is a universal hurdle. Sometimes it’s a success story, but it’s hardly ever an easy one. Many of us believe that in a perfect world, every public school student would have an Individualized Education Program. That’s mostly because every student learns differently and would…
  • Transitioning to Adulthood with a Disability: Pre-transitioning

    Scott MacLellan
    27 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    Pre-transitioning describes the steps I or my parents took in my teens that helped prepare me for adulthood. There are many things you can do to become more self-sufficient, but I’ve chosen to focus on two areas that were essential to me gaining more independence. Some of these points will be expanded on in later articles. Medical Signing Authority: I was sixteen years old, at a doctors’ appointment, and was talking about an upcoming surgery. My father was with me, ready to sign the appropriate documents, when the doctor passed the papers to me. I was old enough that I now had authority…
  • Dirty Bird

    Robert Rummel-Hudson
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    It was only a matter of time. After months of asking whether certain words were appropriate for her to use (the answer was almost always “Just understand that if you use that word at school, you should be prepared to get in trouble”), Schuyler had a special request. She wanted to put dirty words on her iPad. We said yes. Well, of course we did. Schuyler is fifteen, so in a lot of ways, I’m a little surprised it took this long. When I was her age, I had a pretty… robust vocabulary, let’s say. But of course, very little about Schuyler follows a typical timeline.
  • Markers of Time

    Julia Roberts
    20 Feb 2015 | 5:12 am
    I’m a fairly organized, detailed person. In fact, I’m probably borderline (ha!) OCD. This is all extremely helpful when parenting a couple of kids with special needs. It also makes me want to record everything. That’s probably a good thing, right? I think I do it because I’m pretty sentimental. Plus, well, the kids have a life-threatening condition and so I feel like I have to. I have to. One of the things I’ve noticed is that I can recall with certainty the date of nearly all medical events for my kids. Is that strange? I can almost tell you where I was when I…
  • Simple Gifts

    Robert Rummel-Hudson
    20 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    Sometimes it’s the small moments that catch our breath. Over the weekend, Schuyler and I found ourselves wandering the mall aimlessly. We ended up at one of those little candy stores where you bag your own haul and they weigh it and charge you a stupid amount of money. If you want to enjoy the experience, you have to know and accept that going in; I won’t even share how much we paid for a bag of gummy worms, or how very little time it took us to eat them all. At the front of the store, Schuyler gravitated to these little big-eyed stuffed animals that she loves. She picked out the…
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    Friendship Circle -- Special Needs Blog - Email Feed

  • 15 Tips for a Sensory Friendly Purim

    Jennifer Lovy
    24 Feb 2015 | 4:04 am
    What child doesn’t look forward to Purim? It’s the only time when a kid can put on a costume, feast on an abundance of treats and make a lot of noise in synagogue without getting in trouble. What child doesn’t look forward to Purim? My child. And since you’re reading this, I’m guessing your child doesn’t either. The Noise Purim, the most festive and spirited Jewish holiday can be an utterly overwhelming experience for a child with autism or sensory issues. The shaking of graggers along with the shouts, boos and foot stomping heard each time Haman’s name is mentioned during…
  • The Dance of Conversation: Connecting You and Your Child with Special Needs

    18 Feb 2015 | 4:24 am
    A good conversation is the glue that holds relationships together.  By talking to each other we learn about each other, share our interests, develop new ideas, and empathize. Many kids with social challenges see conversation as a “rapid dance.”  It requires you to display joint attention, take multiple perspectives, read subtle non-verbal cues, demonstrate flexible thinking, listen actively, maintain joint attention shifts, and respond using verbal skills which include word selection, grammar, idioms, slang and vocal inflection. This is not an easy thing to do for a child with…
  • Pay It Forward: The Story Behind The Great Bike Giveaway

    Karen Wang
    17 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    The Friendship Circle's Great Bike Giveaway was born from a desire to “pay it forward.” Here's the story of a small gift that keeps on growing.
  • 5 Indoor Sensory Break Activities That Are Sure to Improve Attention

    Ilana Danneman
    16 Feb 2015 | 4:08 am
    Staying indoors this season? Living where it’s too cold to go outside? Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, a few great tricks can make the difference between a productive and non-productive day or happy versus tearful kids. Children need to learn how to move when recess or physical education class are not an option. So, get that putty off the wall and try these sensory seeking, indoor activities to get everyone back on track and singing your praises 1. A Makeshift Gym Make Space for Your Gym. You don’t need an actual gym to get a great workout. All you need is a chair and just the…
  • How Your Child With Special Needs Can Win an Adaptive Bike

    10 Feb 2015 | 6:29 am
    Do you remember the freedom you felt, the confidence you gained, the pride you had when you received your first bike? The Great Bike Giveaway will help give children with special needs the same feeling you had when that shiny new bike arrived at your home. For the fourth consecutive year Friendship Circle is holding the Great Bike Giveaway, a national contest giving away adaptive bikes to children with special needs. They are partnering with Freedom Concepts, Rifton, Buddy Bike, Ambucs, Triaid, Flaghouse, Mobo Cruisers Strae Sports, the Duet and Strider Bikes to give away adaptive bikes…
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    Advocacy in Action

  • Sounding the Alarm - an accurate portrayal of autism?

    1 Mar 2015 | 11:06 am
    The documentary, Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic looks at the lives of 12 families whose children have autism  The families discuss the challenges they face raising children with autism.  The documentary is available on Netflix.  At the start, we meet the Lawrence family whose 3-year-old son, Bradley, has autism.  The family is moving from their home in North Carolina to Indiana, which they state has better insurance coverage for autism. We also meet the Mojica family whose 14-year old son Adam is autistic.  They talk about their…
  • AUTISM: Preparing Your Child for Adulthood

    27 Feb 2015 | 1:00 pm
    As parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), we are so busy getting our children the supports they need now, we do not have time to think too far into the future. If your child is a teen or young adult with autism, now is the time to plan for his life after high/secondary school.Unlike children without ASD, our kids face unique challenges as they transition to adulthood. Things that other children pick up instinctively are foreign to our children.  The transition to adulthood is a topic frequently addressed by Dr Peter Gerhardt. Dr Gerhardt has over 30 years'…
  • Special Needs Parents: Are you creating the important paper trail?

    25 Feb 2015 | 3:10 am
    Liz West on FlickrParents of children with special needs end up with lots of paperwork.  We have medical reports, school reports, IEPs, therapy bills, insurance forms, etc. We know keeping these documents organized is important, so we can refer to them when needed.  However, some parents are not aware of the need to establish a paper trail.Why should special needs parents make a paper trail?A paper trail is important because it is a way for parents to:Make a record of any requests for information or documentsConfirm the main points made at any meetings about their…
  • Ten Tips for Creating an Inclusive Classroom

    19 Feb 2015 | 4:56 am
    Michael Coghlan on FlickrAn inclusive classroom is designed to maximize the potential of all students in the class no matter what their abilities.  In practical terms, it means a typical classroom includes students with and without special needs.  Some of the benefits of an inclusive classroom are:Students become aware of people’s differences and accept them.Students learn to work together and support each other.Students with special needs are less likely to feel isolated or socially excluded.Teachers use different teaching methods to facilitate the students' different learning…
  • Energy Drinks Linked to Serious Heart Problems

    18 Feb 2015 | 12:07 am
    Credit: Matteo Paciotti on FlickrEnergy drinks can cause dangerous heart problems and even death, according to research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress. French researchers said the cardiovascular problems associated with energy drinks include angina, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden death. This research, presented to the cardiologists’ meeting in Spain, is based on a review of adverse event reports submitted to the French agency for food safety, A.N.S.E.S.One researcher, Professor Milou-Daniel Drici, warned of the…
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    Holdin' Out for a Hero

  • Your Shoes are Killing Me

    1 Mar 2015 | 9:45 am
      One of the definitive moments of the feature film, “Sex and the City,” shows protagonist Carrie Bradshaw entering the large closet of her would-be new apartment. As the lights flicker on, she takes in the size of it (really, it’s ginormous) and imagines all of the designer shoes she will fill it with. I cringe whenever I watch that scene, as much as I love that film (can you say, “guilty pleasure”?). Because I would never find enough “sexy” shoes to fill that closet with, even if I could afford them all. Because the shoe industry has neglected to make shoes for women like…
  • My Actual Letter to the Mother who Aborted her Baby with Spina Bifida

    10 Feb 2015 | 2:16 pm
      A note to my readers:  Recently, I received an E-mail from a mom who contacted me for advice. She had a pregnancy affected by spina bifida, and at the recommendation of her doctor— she chose to abort. In addition, she wanted my advice on how NOT to have another baby with spina bifida. As you might have read in my previous post, I felt the entire gamut of negative emotions upon opening and reading that E-mail— anger, sadness, judgment towards her, and just an overall sense of melancholy that seemed to pervade my emotions for several days.  In a desperate attempt to sort out my…
  • To the Woman who Aborted Her Baby with Spina Bifida

    6 Feb 2015 | 9:57 pm
      Dear Woman, First off, let me say that I am not writing this on an impulse. In fact, I have given this a lot of thought and have decided to give this situation a “grace period” in which I could cool off, reflect, cry, pray, gain perspective from others in your situation, and allow myself enough time in which to answer you without anger or bitterness. Of course, this time has allowed me to be more merciful and fair to you. But please know that I needed this time as much as you did. It’s not easy to for me to process my emotions about an issue that is so personal to me. But, you…
  • It’s Never Too Early #RSVawareness #PreemieProtection

    14 Nov 2014 | 11:48 am
      This is part of a sponsored collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.    As many of you know, one of my greatest passions in life is raising public awareness of spina bifida and the challenges that affect people living with SB, as well as the accomplishments, talents, and abilities of these very people. Along the way, I have become aware of so many other worthy causes, in particular other serious conditions and illnesses that also deserve awareness and publicity. It is in sharing information about these causes that I find…
  • I Don’t Always Have Spina Bifida

    9 Jul 2014 | 10:51 am
      Photo courtesy Macbeth Photography: MacbethPhoto.com  My life consists of many awesome events…and many funny photos!      Yes, I know. That’s quite the inflammatory title. This is a topic I’ve been reflecting on for a long time. I’ve read many articles and posts on both sides of this argument. I’ve read posts from adults with spina bifida, and parents of children with spina bifida, who say that spina bifida doesn’t define them.  I’ve also seen the other side of the coin, from parents who say that, indeed, spina bifida defines their…
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    Learning Disability Carers Community

  • Model with Down’s syndrome makes history on New York catwalk

    17 Feb 2015 | 2:13 am
    Jamie Brewer is best known for her acting work – but this week she broke boundaries at New York Fashion Week An actress and model with Down’s syndrome has graced the runway at New York Fashion Week for the first time in history. Jamie Brewer, 30, wore a black A-line Carrie Hammer dress for the groundbreaking moment, in a nod to her her ‘dark and bewitching’ role in TV show American Horror Story. Ms Brewer was chosen for the show by designer Carrie Hammer as part of her “Role Models Not Runway Models” campaign. Hammer started the initiative in 2014 because she…
  • Get your Creativity Flowing!

    17 Feb 2015 | 1:56 am
    The Care Co-ordination Association (CCA) national art competition for service users and carers is now open. The competition is open to all mental health and learning disability service users and carers. The CCA is looking for four designs to use on the cover of its electronic quarterly journal ‘The Approach’ – one design for spring, summer, autumn or winter. All entries must be original designs, 2D, no bigger than A3 and suitable for reproducing. The closing date for the competition is 16 March 2015 and winners will be notified by 20 March. Winners will receive £30 of artist materials,…
  • Derbyshire could be new focal point of fight against cuts

    10 Feb 2015 | 12:32 am
    Disabled activists are hoping that a new campaigning coalition will make their county a focal point for highlighting the damage caused to disabled people by austerity-related cuts. Disability groups in Derbyshire decided to launch the coalition after hearing last year that Derbyshire county council was planning to make an extra £157 million in cuts in the five years from 2013-14 to 2017-18, reducing its spending by a third. Over this period, adult social care is facing cuts of up to £60 million to a budget currently set at £206 million a year, with cuts of £21.8 million due in 2015-16…
  • Cervical Screening for learning disabled women

    2 Feb 2015 | 3:39 am
    Learning Disability Carers Community are keen to promote all opportunities for people with learning disabilities to access health care. Cervical screening has a poor uptake by women with learning disabilities which this new resource aims to help improve. A new resource about cervical screening (smear tests) has been launched to try and address the poor uptake of screening for women with learning disabilities. ‘The Smear Test Film’ is a health education film resource for women eligible for cervical screening who have mild to moderate learning disabilities. It has been made by Public Health…
  • Domestic Violence easy read information

    2 Feb 2015 | 3:33 am
    The Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership have been working with VoiceAbility’s Speak Out Council to create an Easy Read version of their leaflet Opening Closed Doors. The booklet is aimed at adults with learning disabilities and includes advice on how friends and family can support someone that is experiencing domestic abuse and how they can help them to stay safe. The Speak Out Council is a participation and representation project run by VoiceAbility in Cambridgeshire and led by six Speak Out Leaders. The six leaders are members of the learning disability…
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    Sick Chick

  • Open Letter to Anti-Vaxxers From A Sick Person

    Sick Chick
    6 Feb 2015 | 7:50 am
    Dear Anti-Vaxxer, With the recent measles outbreak there has been a lot of heated discussion about the choice of some parents not to vaccinate their children. I have no intention of arguing the indisputable science behind the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. I will not discuss the serious and possibly deady implications of not vaccinating on your child’s health. Why is it my business how you raise your child? I have heard you staunchly defending your right to choose whether or not your children receive vaccines. Your children. Your choice. Your rights. Afterall, if we allow…
  • New Year’s Training Resolution

    Sick Chick
    1 Jan 2015 | 6:53 pm
    Well, December has come to an end and Santa has made his annual visit, which can only mean that it is time for New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I have decided that I will focus my resolution around new tasks and old stumbling blocks with my service dog, Dale. The idea that training ever ends is a myth. Training with any dog, especially service dogs, never ends. There are skills we can sharpen and new tasks we can add to our repetoire. Since I am hopefully getting a power chair this year, we will have some learning and adjusting as a team. New equipment always has a learning curve. To…
  • Power Chair in My Future

    Sick Chick
    30 Dec 2014 | 8:24 am
    I mentioned in my last blog that I had a wheelchair assessment by a seating specialist at OSU’s Assistive Technology Clinic. The PT that evaluated me was absolutely AMAZING. Although I have thought about power chairs before, I rolled in planning on a manual ultralight Quickie GPV (in sparkly black of course.) It was a definite surprise when a power chair was suggested. After discussing all my various options, it became more than obvious that a power chair would be the best choice for me. My MS causes fatigue and has weakened my arms, particularly on the left side, making pushing any…
  • New Year With New Docs

    Sick Chick
    28 Dec 2014 | 3:20 pm
    A lot has happened since I last updated my blog. My writing hiatus has been due to the fact the so much has been happening. I once again have medical care and I can honestly say that at this point I have the best medical care I have ever had in my life. When I lost my entire medical team due to changes in insurance networks, I found myself in the very scary place of having to search out new doctors all on my own. This is no easy task when many doctors look at your list of illnesses and medications, and say “Oh #€@% no! I’ve never even heard of that!” This didn’t…
  • Still Living a Nightmare

    Sick Chick
    22 Sep 2014 | 9:11 pm
    Once again I find myself writing an update, with still not much news. If you have read my blog about my insurance nightmare, the follow up, or my last update, you are aware of the struggle I have been facing in an attempt to simply see a doctor and to get my medication, particularly my Multiple Sclerosis treatment, Tysabri. I have been fighting this battle since mid summer, to no avail. Although I have managed to see a neurologist and have hopefully found a primary care physician, I have still not managed to get my IV infusion. Stopping Tysabri suddenly is extremely dangerous, especially…
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    Special Needs Essentials Blog

  • How To Play With Sand In The Winter (guest post)

    2 Mar 2015 | 9:59 am
    Today we are thrilled to share the experience of Katia Y. González, OTR/L with crafts! Katia is a recently graduated Occupational Therapist living in Puerto Rico. She started documenting the experiences and life lessons of her OT journey while taking her first courses as an OT student and continues now that she is a pediatric OT. “When I was a little girl, I used to spend a big part of my free time doing crafts. My grandmother and aunt loved them, so they will always include me and my little sister in their projects. For Christmas, my parents and other family members used to get us…
  • Who Knew Bubbles Could Be So Educational? (guest post)

    23 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Hi everyone! Today Cathy from Bountifulplate shares with us her very valuable review on bubble toys! Cathy is a homemaker/wife and a mother to a 10-year old son with Autism and ADHD, an 18-year old daughter who is a college freshman and a stepson who is 30. Originally from Maryland, she has lived in the Midwest for 13 years. We took Dominic to a family camp several years ago. It was a wonderful place, but with him not being potty trained at the time and having limited speech, there were really no activities for him to participate in. He and I spent a lot of time in and around our cabin. The…
  • 5 Tips To Promote A Child’s Handwriting Skills

    16 Feb 2015 | 9:51 am
    Handwriting… All kids can find this difficult to master but special needs kids have a greater chance to experience the tears of frustration at school or at home while trying to get their homework done. The reason for this varies: either the body is not well positioned, the child lacks attention or coordination, there is a medical condition, you name it. Thankfully, there are exciting ways to promote handwriting skills that will work with almost every child! 1. Grasp, grasp, grasp Handwriting starts with good positioning of the whole body and fingers on the writing tool. It may be too…
  • 3 Life Lessons Kids With Special Needs Teach Us

    9 Feb 2015 | 12:23 pm
    1. Express your feelings It is not so easy to express our feelings in this modern society where communication is digital and everything is thought to maximize efficiency. However, most children with special needs keep expressing their feelings with no reservation, and sometimes even without words. And that’s one of the many reasons they are so loveable. There is no shame in saying your fears, your frustrations, your gratitude, your love or all other feelings out loud. Just try to find the right words and follow their example! 2. Let it go Caring for a person with special needs can be…
  • Occupational Therapists Love Weighted Blankets!

    2 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    Susan Orloff, OTR/L FAOTA loves our weighted blankets. Read this: “Weighted blankets and toys are an essential tool in the “OT bag of Tricks” for therapy and for parents to use at home in a variety of situations: mealtime, quiet time, the blanket at bedtime… They are also excellent for classroom circle time and could be passed around so that the specific child needing the weighted input does not feel singled out. These weighted items are colorful, engaging and playful; everything a child needs to buy into using them regularly.” Susan N. Schriber Orloff, OTR/L, FAOTA is the author of…
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