Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Claire's Story : Muscular Dystrophy

Via YouTube:

Claire has a form of Muscular Dystrophy, and has been using a wheelchair for the last ten years. With her condition deteriorating, her movement has become more limited. Recently she found herself unable to lift her arm to reach the key in the lock of her front door. While this should have been a relatively simple matter, it took 12 months before the relevant agency organised for an accessible door to be fitted. In the meantime she was forced to use a side gate without a padlock to get into her own home. While she waited for the new door, someone broke into her house while she was home.

Every Australian Counts is the campaign for the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS will revolutionise the way people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in this country.


Saturday, June 25, 2011


Notice how my blogging just seemed to stop mid-week?

My mom broke her ankle on Thursday and is in the hospital. Luckily it's a clean break.

My mother has an extraordinarily high pain threshold. While she was in the ER, the doctor asked her how her pain was on a scale of 1 to 10 and she said "I guess a 6." He said "It's broken," and she repeated it was a 6. He offered her pain meds and she said a Tylenol would do.

Apparently she gave in and had two Tylenol on Thursday night at the insistence of the nurses.

She told me she really only needed one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A virtual cane for the visually impaired introduced


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Friday, June 17, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer camp for kids on vents

Read all about vent camp


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Monday, June 13, 2011

Fun with Wheelchairs - Drifting

What is there to say? A driveway, a tarp, water, a wheelchair user with imagination....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And this is love

A senior couple in front of me on line at the bakery. The woman orders donuts, saying "Those are your favorites, dear" to her husband. He stares vacantly ahead.

The donuts arrive. She holds his up for him to take a bite. His face changes, brightens with recognition. He says "Thats my favorite!" She beams at him and, smiling, they go to a table where they sit chewing on their donuts, holding hands.

They look like they are sixteen.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Riley to the rescue

We had a power outage last night from about 7pm until dawn.

Thing is, my recliner was in an upright position at the time and I haven't been able to sleep laying down due to my congestion, so it was a long night. When the FIOS low battery alarm went off shortly after midnight, Riley tossed and turned then woke up and stood in front of me as if to say "Well?"

"can't fix it, dude, it's in the basement. "

"really? Just tell me what to do. "

I must have imagined it.

I think.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Short, not so sweet

Have been dealing with a sinus infection and my voice recognition thinks I'm Boris Karloff which makes it difficult to write much.

This morning I scanned the headlines on disability news from the last few days and saw the article about how a cab driver put a service dog in the trunk.

Just when I think I've heard everything...

He had his license revoked and was fined.

Story here.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

The Tao of Flash

When we were kids, we desperately wanted a pet. My parents let us have a fish and a scrappy outside cat, but it wasn't until I was in my preteens that we had our first pet.

Flash was an all black male cat, a stray who wandered into our garage, with the help of a bowl of tuna. My brothers and I figured that if we could get a cat or dog into the garage , my father would see how great it was to have a pet.

It worked, with some encouragement on our part At first we thought Flash was pregnant, but after my father discovered him sleeping in the garage and took him to a vet, we found out he was just an elderly obese cat. So my brothers named him Flash which we called out as he ambled slowly across the floor.

My father actually liked Flash because he was predictable. If you brought Flash a bowl of food, he ate and ambled back to his blanket. If you went to the garage to get a tool, Flash greeted you to see if you had food, then went back to his blanket. He was a lot more predictable than four noisy kids.

Even to this day, I remember finding my dad crying, kneeling down and petting Flash in the garage when he thought no one was looking. I was shocked. Here was my dad, the guy who supposedly hated pets, who wanted nothing to do with them, petting our stray cat. I never told anyone until now that my dad visited Flash in the garage every night and even talked to him. Eventually Flash was allowed into the house. One night my dad just grumbled. "You kids might as well let that cat inside. "

But there you have it. It's part of the magic of pets. They win over the hearts of those you'd think least likely. I call it the Tao of Flash. There's a bit of it in every pet I've lived with.

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kady now

My new kitty Kady has stopped waking up and looking around, frightened at strange surroundings. Now she knows where she is and sighs

I wonder how many times this young cat has had to move. My vet says she was hit by a car and broke her leg, pelvic area and jaw, but the injuries healed possibly in the wild. Sometimes Kady drags her leg. As she eats, food flies out of one side of her mouth sometimes. She tosses her head to swallow.

I marvel at her trust as she looks at me, eyes wide, with more recognition each morning.

She asked me to feed her last night for the first time. Yes, I said, I'm the Cat Mommy around here. She blinked at me and followed my wheelchair. And yes she is afraid of wheels.

She has good reason to be. But we will teach each other how to be with that.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

If you think that took a long time....

Just back from going over to Dunkin Donuts for an ice tea. The cashier was rude because she was annoyed by how long it took me to get my change due to my lack of dexterity. At one point she pushed the coins into my face as I struggled to get the dollar bills. This did not bother me since I lost respect for her when she acted out like that.

Then she told me I should have given her a penny and there wouldn't have been change. I laughed and told her if she thought getting my change took too long , waiting for me to give her a penny would really be an issue for her.

By the way, their straws and condiments weren't at an accessible height. This sort of behavior always gets my ADA radar going.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Donnie Wittler's story

Accessibility Advocate Donnie Wittler tells his story: He fell out of a tree at the age of 26 on 9/11/98, severing his spinal cord between the 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae, and resulting in incomplete quadriplegia. He uses a wheelchair for mobility and has limited finger dexterity.

Donnie exposes a little known fact about many so-called "accessible" restrooms: they have major barriers for someone like him with limited finger dexterity.