It has been two and a half years since I first started writing for Disability at About.com. Today is my last day writing for you, my readers. It has been a great pleasure meeting you, whether it was in person, on Twitter or through FaceBook. I've shared your many triumphs, as well as sorrows, and I thank you for inviting me into your homes via the Internet.
My departure doesn't mean the end of my writing, however. I published a novel last year, Murder in Middleton, and I have several more mysteries in the works. If you'd like to keep up with me, please drop by CharlotteGerber.com.
I wish you all the very best, and it will be only a matter of time before another wonderful writer takes over as your new Disability Guide.
In case you missed them, the following are the new articles that appeared on About Disability this month:
- Job Opportunities for Disabled American Veterans
- Wheelchair Lacrosse USA
- Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation
- Wisconsin Disability Resource List
- 5 Tips for Coaching Your Child Athlete with a Disability
- Arizona Disability Resource List
- Wheel and Ambulatory Sports USA
- Oklahoma Disability Resource List
- No More Wheelchairs
- Driving Your Wheelchair Van - Should You Transfer?
Mobility is always an issue when you have a physical disability and you enjoy the outdoors. There are so many things to consider, depending upon the terrain. Sandy beaches can cause stability problems, trails on a mountain can be intimidating, and some areas are simply inaccessible no matter what equipment you use. Personally, I use Nordic Ski Poles, which gives me the stability to walk on uneven ground and makes it much easier for me to walk up hills.
I recently came across Mountain Trike on FaceBook and was intrigued by the wheelchair design. This modified wheelchair can hit the trails, as well as the beach. Check them out on FB here: Mountain Trike.
There are also many other types of sports equipment and specialty chairs for the avid outdoorsman or woman. Check out the following articles for more information on adaptive equipment and sports:
When you think of prom night, do you remember anyone with disabilities attending the dance and festivities? Many individuals who are developmentally disabled and physically disabled do not attend their prom. For one group of individuals, however, their dream to attend prom came true on June 14, thanks to organizer Afrah M. Nyatome of National Institute for People with Disabilities. They were able to enjoy their special night out, which is a rite of passage for many young adults.
According to Ms. Nyatome in her interview on NorthJersey.com, "When we presented this idea to our clients, there was a spark of excitement and tears of joy. They never thought that this could ever happen for them. Now, they will get the chance that they always wanted," explained Nyatome. "Nobody does prom for people with disabilities. This never happens."
Read more about their event here: Prom for the Developmentally Disabled Held in Westwood
Summer is here and most schools are already out. What are your children doing this summer? Will they be sitting in front of the television during the day or will they be outdoors enjoying the sunshine? There are numerous sports organizations and clubs that children can join. Some of the sports include wheelchair basketball, swimming, archery and table tennis, just to name a few. There are opportunities for children of all ages and ability levels, and many sports don't require expensive equipment or membership fees to participate.
To learn more about sports opportunities and clubs in your area, as well as a few tips to keep your child interested and motivated in their chosen sports, read the following:
The Lupus Foundation of America's National Lupus Advocacy Summit will be held on June 24 and 25. The Advocacy Summit provides lupus activists from across the nation the opportunity to meet with their members of Congress in Washington, DC and to educate policy makers about lupus and public policies impacting people with lupus.
Due to overwhelming interest this year, registration for the event is now closed. However, to learn more about the event and other ways to advocate for individuals with lupus, contact Sara Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Lupus Foundation website.
The recent spate of tornadoes in Oklahoma has reminded many in the United States that being prepared for a disaster is very important. Unfortunately, many people wait until a disaster is fast approaching before springing into action. If you only have a few minutes to get to somewhere safe, how will you accomplish this, especially if you are in a wheelchair and have to rely on someone to assist you? What about your pets? How about your important papers? These are just a few considerations people should make when planning ahead for a disaster.
The following articles have tips and advice for getting your disaster plan in order before the next natural or man-made disaster hits. Making a disaster kit, for example, is one of the easiest things you can do for yourself or someone else. It doesn't take much time, and it can make a huge difference during an evacuation.
Disaster planning tips on Disability at About.com:
Individuals can begin nominating inspiring fathers living with paralysis with the submission form on ChristopherReeve.org/BestDad from June 3 until 11:59 p.m. ET on June 17 and can vote on the 10 finalists June 20 to June 30. The 4th Annual Best Dad on Wheels winner will be announced on or around July 3.
The 2012 Best Dad on Wheels winner was Steven Laux, 36, of Maple Grove, Minn. When he's not working full-time as a marketing manager, Laux is either volunteering or playing with his three daughters from his wheelchair.
In case you missed these new articles, the following were posted on Disability at About.com this month:
- Thomas Alva Edison - Deaf and Hearing Impairment
- How to Find the Right Wheelchair Accessible Device - by guest author Chris Miller
- Green Beret Foundation
- Alabama Disability Resource List
- Alaska Disability Resource List
- Texas Disability Resource List
- Music as Therapy - An Interview with Kasey Stewart
- American Society for Deaf Children - profile of an organization
Here in New York we're enjoying a sunny day with warmer weather than we've had in the past week. Due to the nice weather, a large turn out came to our local high school for the Memorial Day festivities, which included some patriotic music from the high school band. After the program was over, many of us headed to the cemetery nearby to pay our respects to the men and women who have died serving their country, as well as to the many who were veterans of previous wars.
I noted that some of the graves hadn't been tended to for a while, though the cemetery was neatly mowed. After watching many of the older visitors I realized that they may not be able to tend to the graves due to disability and aging.
Many of the names on the gravestones are familiar to me, though I may not know the individuals personally. I'm aware of the problems their families may have keeping the weeds away from the headstones (kneeling is often difficult), or keeping the moss from growing on the stones (scrubbing stones with arthritic hands hurts). My husband and children helped to clear some of the weeds away and we're going to come back to try and clean the gravestones.
If you know of any family that cannot care for a grave due to a disability, or you simply see a neglected grave of one of our veterans, perhaps take a minute to help clear the weeds away. It is a small, meaningful gesture and it can mean a lot to someone who cannot care for a loved one's grave in the way they wish they could.
Military resources on Disability at About.com: