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June 2014 Buzz Articles
Why Are They Smiling?
Isn't it obvious? They are living life, doing things they love, celebrating their ability and having a blast in the process. And as you peruse these photos and see the elation evident in their expressions, you may just find that their smiles are contagious.
Product Spotlight: WaterGait WaterLeg
If you thought that living life as an amputee meant you had to give up the water, think again! Though you may be loathe to get your expensive, primary prosthesis wet, you have a new, viable—yet affordable—option in the WaterGait WaterLeg.
Dancer, Motivational Speaker, Reality Show Star…Now Push Girls Chelsie Hill is an Author, Too
You knew her as the "little sister" on the award-winning docu-series Push Girls. You've watched her hip-hop prowess on the dance floor. You may have even heard her inspirational words. Now the uber-talented Chelsie Hill has written her first novel to rave reviews, telling a story of young women whose experience echoes her own.
Adaptive Tools Unlock Creativity and Unleash the Artist
It's tough to beat the look in a child's eyes when they create something amazing. It's even more thrilling when a child with disabilities is able to turn his or her ideas into reality with only the help of adaptive art tools. At Abilities Expo, Zot Artz provides these opportunities on a grand scale, inviting all attendees to help create a giant floor mural.
What Does Your Dog Do?
Is the perfect service dog out there for you? Explore whether or not a living tool could increase your ability to interact successfully with the world around you, and learn the necessary steps to bring these clever canines into your life.
People Making A Difference: Who is Stevie Hopkins?
Even if you haven't heard of Stevie Hopkins, you've probably seen his handiwork in all the merchandise sporting the "wheelchair heart" symbol. Now take a peek at the man behind 3E Love and its crusade to change society's perception of disability.
Abilities365.com Features Sunrise Medical
A world leader and household name in mobility products, Abilities365.com sponsor Sunrise Medical brings us the popular Quickie, Zippie, Breezy and other manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, motorized scooters and both standard and customized seating and positioning systems. What is it that makes them so good?
May 2014 Buzz Articles
Doing Home Modifications the Right Way: A Functional Perspective
We are fortunate to live in a time where there are a growing number of products and resources for people who are living with disabilities or aging and would like to remain safe and independent in their homes.
Product Spotlight: LifeGuard Lift
Summertime and all the imagery it evokes is right around the corner. Though kids and adults alike are picturing hot, sunny days and cool dips in the pool, it may not be with the same excitement. It's tough to get psyched about a swim when accessing the pool is a challenge.
Paralympian Advocates for Wheelchair Users and Amputees via SaveMyMedicalSupplies.org
As a recent amputee, Thomas Morris discovered a whole new world when he attended his first Abilities Expo three years ago.
The Power of Dance
The biggest problem facing people with disabilities is being discriminated against due to their inability to function as a "normal" person does.
Abilities365.com Features VMI
Circumstances may affect your ability to easily access the world, but not your desire. VMI gets it and, as one of the largest manufacturers of wheelchair van conversions, they are constantly striving to get the community of people with disabilities out on the open road.
Aspiring Mental Health Professionals Receive Active Training in Cultural Sensitivity
I was lucky enough to know at a very young age what I wanted to study when I went to college and what I wanted to do with my life in service of people living with disabilities.
HandiStrong.com Premiers Online in May 2014
Where can you find powerful stories about people who have redefined what it means to be a person with a disability, a senior, caregiver or service provider?
April 2014 Buzz Articles
You Have the Right to Remain ADORABLE!
Morgan Steward is fascinated with police officers. According to his mother, Tangi, he has always wanted to be one.
Product Spotlight: JACO Robotic Arm
Doesn't it seem like science fact has officially crossed over into the realm of science fiction? What were wild imaginings 20, 10 and even 5 years ago have become reality with jaw-dropping frequency.
Care for the Caregiver—Managing Caregiver Stress Syndrome
Caregivers come in all shapes, sizes, ages, life stages and experiences, and cultural backgrounds. They provide care for family members, partners or friends with a variety of conditions including advanced age, disability, dementia and chronic or terminal illness.
Never Underestimate a Momtreprenuer
Isabella Yosuico never planned to be a Momtrepreneur—she was already busy as a freelance writer and communications consultant. But when her son Isaac was born with Down syndrome, everything changed.
Push Girl Announces New Education Initiative
I'm so excited to tell you about my new education initiative—the Tiphany Adams Ability Awareness Project!
Learning the fundamentals: RESNA's Intro Course for Assistive Technology Professionals
RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America, is offering its popular, two-day course, "Fundamentals in Assistive Technology" in conjunction with Abilities Expo on May 1-2 at the New Jersey Convention Center in Edison, NJ.
Abilities365.com Features Mobility Lifter
Picture this. Your stubbornly independent grandma has finally agreed to come and live with you! You are thrilled. The only problem is that the bedrooms are all on the second floor of your home and, ever since Grandma broke her hip, it's been a bit tougher for her to get around.
March 2014 Buzz Articles
My Journey as an Actress with a Disability
One of the earliest memories I have of wanting to become an actor starts at around age five. I, like so many other kids in the 90's, was obsessed with the popular television show Saved By The Bell. One of the highlights of my childhood was when I saw one of the lead characters, Zac Morris, dating a girl in a wheelchair. Growing up in front of the television, I was exposed to every type of TV show out there, but this was the first time I ever saw someone who was like me represented on screen. Not only was this character in a wheelchair, but she was athletic, pretty, social and she was dating the most popular guy in school! Her disability was discussed, but the most important thing was that she was just like everyone else.
Product Spotlight: Get Into Gear with ZeKenetic
Zeke Massie is a car guy. Has been since the tender age of 7 when his lead-footed Grandma used to careen though the back streets of upstate New York.
Pease Brothers Go the Extra Mile for the Community
The 44th running of the Peachtree Road Race (10K, 6.2 miles) this past July 4 in Atlanta, Georgia will go down in history. The men's field came down to the wire with two seconds separating the top three finishers, but that wasn't why. The top three women also finished neck and neck, but that wasn't why. The race itself was bursting at the seams with 60,000 runner, but that wasn't why either.
The recent campaign launched to eradicate the word "bossy" from our vernacular has sparked a firestorm of commentary from all corners of the peanut gallery.
Abilities365.com Features D's Locks
When you think of a manual wheelchair, you may think of the seating comfort, the maneuverability, the overall fit...maybe even how you will look on the go. When D's Locks looks at your chair, they focus on you and your chair sitting still and, most importantly, staying still when you need to.
Opening the Gate: Stories and Activities about Athletes with Disabilities
On sale this winter, just in time for the Paralympics, is an exciting new book for middle-graders by Ingrid Floyd called Opening the Gate: Stories & Activities about Athletes with Disabilities. Targeted for able-bodied youngsters and those with disabilities alike, it inspires them to pursue their dreams in sports, as well as helps volunteers, teachers, coaches and administrators who are working with children with disabilities to understand what they might be feeling.
The Path to Less Pain: People with SCI Needed for Research Study
If you are in pain as a result of a spinal cord injury, you may be eligible to participate in a groundbreaking new study that could alleviate your discomfort.
February 2014 Buzz Articles
Partially Blind Skier with MS Set for 2014 Paralympic Games
Danelle Umstead of Park City Utah will be a key U.S. skier to watch for at the Paralympics in March in Sochi, Russia. The sight impaired Umstead left her mark at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, when she and her fully sighted guide/husband Rob Umstead won two bronze medals in skiing; downhill and super combined. Now she and her husband are aiming for Paralympic gold.
Product Spotlight: Onit Ability Boards
With a design reminiscent of the outrigger canoes of ancient Southeast Asian maritime cultures, a new-to-market product has merged old and new technology to provide people with disabilities access to the open water.
Never Giving Up
Donna Russo has danced since the age of ten. She began with ballet and tap and later added jazz and modern to her repertoire. She was diagnosed with Turners Syndrome at an early age, which has affected her growth. She is small in stature and stands only 4 feet, 3 inches tall. Although she auditioned for ballet companies and shows of all kinds, she was always considered too short.
A Unique Life Fully Lived
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I am excited to start 2014, as the author of my new book, A Unique Life Fully Lived.
Abilities365.com Features Convaid
Convaid is all about helping you go places. All the design details are mission-specific—these lightweight, compact folding wheelchairs and strollers are custom-built to open up your possibilities.
Neurofeedback: The Happiness "Pill" for ADD, Autism, Depression and More
Neurofeedback has been known as a non-invasive treatment with successful results for problems related to ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum and addictions. It helps the brain to regulate itself in a way that the person treated is able to overcome whatever the deficit she/he has.
Fighting Against Gravity for the Law
Former Abilities Expo Chicago ambassador Linda Mastandrea always liked the idea of becoming a judge someday. But she hated the idea of doing what must be done to run a successful campaign to be elected to a seat on the bench. But when a vacancy occurred last summer in the 9th sub circuit of Cook County, Illinois, where Mastandrea lives, she decided to throw her hat in the ring.
January 2014 Buzz Articles
Blindness and Cerebral Palsy Can't Keep Teenaged Filmmaker from her Hollywood Dream
Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Harrington has a vision.
Born with anophthalmia—without eyes—her vision does not depend on her ability to see. It is not hindered by her cerebral palsy or her eye prosthetics. Instead, this vision is what drives her to fulfill her Hollywood dreams and what caught the attention of award-winning independent filmmaker Tim Greene.
Elizabeth's current film project, directed by Greene, is a documentary entitled Hollywood Here We Come which chronicles her journey to Hollywood to make a short film and walk the infamous red carpet.
Product Spotlight: Eco M
Small footprint, BIG impact.
The M is for Mobility, and EcoCentre's latest venture, the Eco M, is primed to revolutionize the accessible vehicle industry when it hits the market sometime in the second quarter of this year. EcoCentre was established in 2012 as the nation's first automobile dealership network dedicated to economical, environmentally friendly fleet and consumer vehicles.
Now, with the advent of the Eco M, their goal of providing high-quality, affordable electric vehicles to everyone really does mean everyone.
One of the first sports to be included in the Paralympic program, Wheelchair Fencing made its debut in England in 1953 in the Stoke Mandeville Games, a competition especially for war veterans. The first countries to develop the sport were precisely those with a tradition in world fencing: England, France and Italy.
When it was introduced in the 1960 Paralympic Games in Rome, the program proposed included only saber events. Based on the regulations of the International Fencing Federation (FIE, in French), two more weapons were introduced—foil and epée—in the Tokyo Games four years later.
The Life and Times of Chris Rohan
What do you do when your whole life changes in an instant? How do you cope? What about your sense of self when everything is changing? Where can you turn? Ask Chris Rohan. She knows, because it has happened to her again and again. Just look; she has the stubborn grin to prove it.
"I had always wanted to be a nurse. And I was, for a while. And an aerobics instructor. And I worked at the desk there. I always liked the people, wherever I worked. I always wanted to learn more about them."
Abilities365.com Features Molina Healthcare
Molina Healthcare is not your average managed care organization. When emergency room physician C. David Molina noticed the volume of low-income, uninsured people coming to the ER for general healthcare services, he opened a clinic in Long Beach, California with the idea that every patient deserves to be treated like family. Today, though Molina serves more than 1.8 million people in multiple US states, their mission to promote health and wellness for all of their patients—including seniors and those with disabilities—hasn't changed. In fact, their Bridge2Access services were created to ensure that these important members of the Molina family don't fall through the cracks.
A Mother's Journey Affirms There is No Limit to a Mother's Love
What started off as an ordinary day in the life of Lisa Brodeur in November of 1997 took a turn for the devastating when a drunk driver claimed the life of her husband and paralyzed her 10-year-old son, Kyle.
When that split second of impact inexorably changed the Brodeur family's life, it set in motion a roller coaster of events that pushed Lisa physically, psychologically and emotionally farther than she ever thought she could go. Her new memoir, A Mother's Journey: Through Faith, Hope and Courage, chronicles the heart-wrenching aftermath of the accident including Kyle's surgeries and fight for his life, her young daughter's trauma and her own determined efforts to hold the family together.
Making a Difference: Annie Hopkins' Story and Vision for the World
Annie Marie Hopkins took the world by storm during her short stay on earth. She made her presence felt when she was here, and her legacy and vision—embodied in her company 3E Love—continue to touch many lives throughout the world. What Annie may have lacked in physical ability, she more than made up with her entrepreneurial spirit and love for life!
December 2013 Buzz Articles
Angela Madsen vs. the Pacific Ocean
I am often asked, "Aren't you afraid" and "Do you have fears about whether you will be able to make such a journey?" YOU BET! I have fears and doubts every time I set out to row an ocean. The prospect of rowing for months by myself the more than 2,300 miles from Santa Cruz, California to Hawaii was certainly no different.
Product Spotlight: ABR Canada Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation
To date, most of the accepted treatment methodology has been to address the functional training of an individual with, for example, cerebral palsy. ABR takes a different tack. This rehabilitation program first targets the musculoskeletal system, arguing that this must be normalized before optimal function can hope to be achieved.
ADA Legacy Project Sets the Stage for the ADA's 25th Birthday
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will turn twenty-five in 2015. As with any anniversary, this will cause many of us to reflect on our history, consider the present and think ahead to the future. That is what the ADA Legacy Project is all about.
A Broken System Makes It Hard to Get the Right Wheelchair
I attend every Abilities Expo because it is the number one expo for people with disabilities and people who love people with disabilities.
AXIS Dance Company is seeking highly motivated, open-minded, athletic movers with disabilities interested in joining our team as company dancer and/or dance apprentice.
November 2013 Buzz Articles
Thanksgiving was one of Lorrin's favorite holidays. She loved the smells coming from the kitchen in the days preparing for a celebration of what we are grateful for. You might think that parents who have unique children do not feel grateful, but I believe parents who live A Unique Life Experience are possibly more grateful for the little things. I have learned that the little things become the big things.
Product Spotlight: Crosswind Concepts Activity Tray & Freedom Chair
Enda Palmer had had it. At the age of 92, her Essential Tremors seriously inhibited her ability to perform everyday tasks like eating and reading the paper. Unimpressed with what was out there, she decided to invent and patent her own solution: The Activity Tray.
The Great Outdoors is for You, Too!
Days in a park, on a trail, in nature are no different for a person with disabilities than for those without. A warm afternoon in the shade of a broad leafed sycamore tree may prove so relaxing that you want to come out more often and experience different times of day, the draw of changing seasons, and all the subtle charms of nature.
New ACA Provision Big Step toward Keeping People with Disabilities Out of Nursing Homes
It's a good bet that most people with disabilities who need assistance from others to live their lives each day would very much prefer to receive that assistance in their homes rather than in a nursing home. A little-known but significant provision of the Affordable Care Act is designed to make it much easier for that to happen.
Taking Control of Your Travel Experience
Traveling always has the potential of being a frustrating, stressful situation as it encompasses many variables and unknowns. Add to this mix traveling with a disability and it can appear to be somewhat daunting. I am here to tell you that this need not be the case and to let you know that there are many ways to maximize the joy of your travel experience while minimizing the angst.
People Making a Difference: Andrew Skinner and Triumph Foundation
Christmas, 2004 was supposed to be the pinnacle celebration to an exceptional year for Andrew Skinner. That year, he had met Kirsten, the girl of his dreams, graduated with his BS in Business, and landed a well-paying job. Life was good. But... Instead of celebrating around the sparkling lights of an eight-foot, Fraser Fir decked out in holiday delights, Andrew lie flat on his back unable to move from the neck down.
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