Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stop Medicare from Cutting Rehab Therapy Services

Medicare may cut rehab therapy services in January for people with disabilities. People are being sent home from rehab with little to no support!

We all want health care costs to come down, but not on the backs of people with disabilities.

Many Americans with complex diagnoses like quadriplegia, paraplegia, Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, ALS, and multiple sclerosis, are sure to benefit greatly from ongoing therapy. 

Don’t let Congress mess this up.

Tell your Representatives and Senators now to stop Medicare from cutting rehab therapy services. Click here: http://capwiz.com/actioncenter/go/therapycaps
On January 1, 2014, Congress may “cap” or limit the amount of money that can be used for therapy – like it’s not low enough already.

So Congress has less than 30 days to fix critical therapy care for people with disabilities.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

BraunAbility's Annual Halloween on Wheels Costume Contest

BraunAbility is once again holding its annual "Halloween on Wheels Costume Contest". You have until 5PM EST tomorrow to submit pictures of your "wheelchair costume" for entry into the contest. All of the necessary information, as well as some great costumes, can be found at the link below. Good luck!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Full Inclusion for Students with Disabilities

There was a time when people with disabilities were not allowed to be educated alongside everyone else in the public schools of the United States. Luckily, our schools have progressed and while they are not perfect in their dealings with students with disabilities, many students with disabilities are educated with their peers. Filmmaker, Dan Habib created a documentary called 'Including Samuel' about full inclusion of people with disabilities in U.S. schools, including his journey to have his son Samuel fully included in learning in a standard school environment. To see a preview of the film, check out the link below:

To learn more about the documentary and to see when it may be playing in your area, check out the following link:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

'The Michael J. Fox Show' is Coming to NBC

While NBC is adding 'Ironside' to its lineup this year, a show about a crime-fighting cop with a spinal cord injury, the channel is also adding 'The Michael J. Fox Show'. In the show, Michael J. Fox and his stage family frequently address his Parkinson's Disease. On a positive note, the show displays that he can go back to work and is likely to address the day-to-day life of one living with Parkinson's to give viewers an impression of is affected by Parkinson's. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the disability community to this show. For more information, check out the trailer below...

Monday, September 30, 2013

'Ironside' Coming Soon to NBC

NBC has a new show called 'Ironside' coming out this fall. The show stars Blair Underwood as a police officer who sustained an SCI in the line of duty, only to come back and continue fighting crime. Some of you may recall that the same show existed several years ago. The new version is not supposed to be a true remake, but a similar concept. We're interested to see how the show does and the reactions of the disability community to the way in which Blair Underwood's character is portrayed. Check out the trailer below...

Friday, September 13, 2013

Guinness Wheelchair Basketball Commercial

Many of you have probably seen the new Guinness Wheelchair Basketball Commercial. It's always interesting to see how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media, but this unique commercial actually is more of a statement on the interaction of friends of a person with a spinal cord injury. Let us know your thoughts on this commercial in the comments section below...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sign the Petition to Add Wheelchair Access to Craigslist Housing Posts

People with disabilities understand the difficulty in finding accessible housing. Legislation and changing attitudes have improved the amount of accessible housing options available for people with disabilities. However, many searches for housing are performed on the internet nowadays which often means that people with disabilities do not know of the accessibility of a potential housing option without going to the personally check out the property. A petition on change.org hopes to improve that process by asking Craigslist to add a selection for wheelchair accessibility to its housing posts. This would allow those listing a property to let potential tenants or home buyers know a property is wheelchair accessible. Such a move by Craigslist would greatly streamline the process of finding housing for people with disabilities. To sign the petition, check out the following link:


Friday, August 16, 2013

Michael A. Winter, Disability Rights Advocate, Passed Away at Age 61

Michael A. Winter was one of the key forces behind the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Mr. Winter, and many other wheelchair users, crawled up the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. in order to show the need for accessible building for people with disabilities. He went on to serve in various roles within the Department of Transportation relating to civil rights and accessibility for people with disabilities. He passed away recently and was remembered for his work by the Washington Post. Check out the article at the link below:


Friday, August 9, 2013

Secretary Kerry on the Disabilities Treaty

Last year, disabilityinsight.com covered the horrendous failure of U.S. Congress to pass the United Nations' Disabilities Treaty. The treaty is designed to promote other countries throughout the world adopting policies similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Many Republicans voted against the treaty, causing it to fail to be approved, under the outlandish theory that it would allow the U.N. to control how American parents home-schooled their children with disabilities. This was despite the fact that many prominent Republicans supported the treaty.

Senate Democrats are trying to pass the treaty yet again. Today, Secretary Kerry released a video message explaining why the Disabilities Treaty should be supported. Check it out:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bethany Hamilton- Shark Attack Survivor Continues Surfing

Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm in a shark attack, but she continues to surf at a high level. Watch the video below to learn more about her story...

Monday, July 22, 2013

U.S. Department of Justice Sues Florida State Agencies on Behalf of Children with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Justice has sued the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida Department of Health and the Florida Department of Children & Families due to the increasing number of Florida children with disabilities being institutionalized in settings such as nursing homes for the elderly. Many parents are forced to place their children in nursing homes because Florida's state agencies often refuse to pay for in-home care for children with disabilities. Thus, families without means are left with no option from the state other than placing their children in nursing homes.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Team Hoyt Presented with Jimmy V Perseverance Award

Yesterday at ESPN's awards show, The ESPYs, Rick and Dick Hoyt were honored with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award. Rick Hoyt was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy at birth. In 1981, his father Dick Hoyt ran a marathon while pushing his son in a wheelchair. They have gone on to run thousands of races and are well-known as Team Hoyt. The Boston natives ran The Boston Marathon this year and fortunately avoided being injured in the blasts and have become a symbol of the spirit of Boston.

The Hoyts gave a moving speech, with Dick Hoyt saying: "Next time you see someone in a wheelchair, or who can't talk or walk or they may talk or walk a little bit different, they are people too, and they deserve to live, learn, work and play."

To see the Hoyts full acceptance speech, check out the following video:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

10 Correct Ways to Interact with People with Disabilities

The folks at The Mobility Resource have come up with a list of 10 correct ways to interact with people with disabilities. Even today, many people do not know how to appropriately interact with people with disabilities. Feel free to share this list with those in your life who could use the advice...


Monday, July 15, 2013

National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are currently ongoing in Tampa, Florida. The Games will last until July 18th. If you're in the Tampa Bay area, come check it out...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Germany to Create Memorial for Victims of the Nazi Euthanasia Program

During Nazi-era Germany, Hitler started a program called Euthanasia in 1939. Hitler designed the program to exterminate people that were "considered incurable" by granting them a "mercy killing" that was typically performed via starvation, lethal injection or gas chamber. The new memorial is going to be placed close to the offices in which the program was overseen during the Nazi-era. To read more about this story, check out the following link:


Monday, June 24, 2013

The ADA Legacy Project

The ADA Legacy Project is working to preserve the history of the civil rights movement for people with disabilities. In addition, The ADA Legacy Project is already working towards setting up celebrations around the country for the upcoming 25th anniversary of the ADA in 2015. If you would like to get involved in this great cause, check out the following link:


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Texting and Driving is Finally Illegal in Florida

Florida has started to join in with the overwhelming majority of states in banning texting and driving. While the Florida law has been criticized as weak, because it makes texting and driving a secondary offense and allows for certain exceptions to the law, it was about time the Sunshine State got in line with the rest of the country.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Why Me?

People who experience an accident causing a disability and people born with disabilities at sometime or another may wonder: "Why me?" The question of why may also come to the mind of a family member, coworker, or friend. Why someone has a disability while someone else does not is a puzzling, and more often than not, unanswerable question.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The "Look-Up Line"- Hockey's Warning Track?

In order to minimize the amount of concussions in hockey, Tom Smith, a former hockey player and coach in Massachusetts, has created the "look-up line". The "look-up line" is similar to the "warning track" in baseball. It is an orange line that warns hockey players to look-up because the wall is near. The hope is that the "look-up line" will be a success and added to hockey rinks around the world.

To read more about this idea, check out the following link: http://www.wickedlocal.com/swampscott/sports/x1424275856/Swampscott-resident-Smith-joins-Pingree-School-in-experimenting-with-Look-Up-Line-in-hockey#axzz2TqyumbkA

Friday, May 10, 2013

Eye Tests May be Used to Diagnose Traumatic Brain Injuries in the Future

Researchers are finding that eye tests may be used to test for various ailments such as Alzheimer's, MS, and even traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Many individuals with TBI's have unusual movement patterns in their eyes while many also have sensitivity to light. In the future, eye tests may be able to diagnose TBI's due to the similarities between the tissue in the brain and the eyes. This may end up being a more accurate diagnostic tool than the scans often used today.

To learn more about this story, check out the following link:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Veterans with Amputated Legs Reach Out to Victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings

Members of the U.S. Military who have lost legs in Afghanistan and Iraq have been visiting with individuals who are new amputees as a result of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. The video below helps show the importance of sharing insights on disability with the newly injured:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Organization Spotlight: Independence Regained

A Louisiana man named Scott Wells, who was paralyzed in a car accident 14 years ago, is setting out to raise funds for people recovering from spinal cord injuries. He will be handcycling throughout Northern Louisiana in order to raise funds to create a neurological rehab facility in Shreveport, which would be the first of its kind in Louisiana. 

He is securing the funds to create a neurological facility through his non-profit, Independence Regained. He hopes to raise $50,000.00 from this 180 mile bike ride. He's been training with physical trainer, Amanda Mahoney who will join him on the last leg of his trip.
To learn more about Independence Regained, check out the following link: http://www.independenceregained.org/
To learn more about this story, check out the following link: http://www.redriverradio.org/post/shreveport-nonprofit-aims-open-spinal-cord-injury-rehab-center

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Oscar Mike Foundation

The Oscar Mike Foundation is a 100% Veteran-owned charity that was established on Veteran's Day 2011 to help injured Veterans stay active and rehabilitate from their injuries. As a result, Veterans are on the move throughout the country, for example...


To learn more about The Oscar Mike Foundation, check out the following link:


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Double Amputee Uses Bionic Hands Controlled by an App on His Phone

Jason Koger lost his hands as a result of being electrocuted. However, he has become the first double amputee to have two bionic hands that can be controlled by an application on his phone. Check out the video below for more details on this incredible technology...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Positive Story from the Boston Marathon

Two years ago in Afghanistan, Army Capt. Jake E. Murphy lost both of his legs in combat. On Monday, he completed the Boston Marathon in 1:40 by hand-cycling. As a result, he was safely out of the area where the devastating events occurred. It has been reported that many individuals involved in the tragic events in Boston have lost limbs. Hopefully, Capt. Murphy, a double amputee himself, will be a source of inspiration to those who lost limbs on Monday and maybe they will join Capt. Murphy in recovering and completing the Boston Marathon.

To read more about Capt. Murphy's story, check out the following link: http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/injured_captain_soldiers_on

Monday, April 8, 2013

Event Spotlight: Trent Taylor 5K "Power Strut" on behalf of the Brain Injury Association of Florida

This Sunday, Phi Delta Theta's Florida State University chapter is putting on the Trent Taylor 5k "Power Strut" in honor of a Phi Delta Theta fraternity brother who passed away as a result of a traumatic brain injury. All proceeds of the event go to benefit the Brain Injury Association of Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to inform, educate, support and advocate on behalf of traumatic brain injury survivors, their families and caregivers. To learn more about the event and to donate, check out the following link:


Friday, April 5, 2013

South Florida Gym Caters to People with Disabilities

With thousands of people with disabilities living in South Florida, a gym has opened up to focus on the needs of people with disabilities. Could this become a growing trend? Find out more...


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Debate on Including Students with Disabilities in Mainstream Education Continues...

It wasn't that long ago that students with disabilities were taught separately from their able-bodied counterparts. While the trend has gradually changed towards greater inclusion for students with disabilities, the issue is still sensitive and difficult. This is especially true when speaking of those with great intellectual capacity and severe physical disabilities. In Florida, schools have had problems caring for students with severe disabilities, thus many students with high intellectual capacity and severe physical disabilities have spent time in classes well below levels that would be mentally stimulating. A recent article in the Tampa Bay Times highlights this continuing debate. Check it out:


What do you think? If we are to push for inclusion in mainstream education for students with disabilities, what minimum measures should schools be required to follow to ensure the safety of those students?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New York International Auto Show: Taxi of Tomorrow

The New York International Auto Show will be held from March 29 - April 7, 2013 in New York City. Wheelchair users will be particularly interested in the "Taxi of Tomorrow".

For more information on the show, check out the following link: http://www.autoshowny.com/

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Brain Injury Association of Florida: Perspectives on Brain Injury for the Caregiver

Brain Injury Association of Florida needs your feedback about our Perspectives on Caregiving video series.  If you watch the videos and complete the survey, you will be entered to win a drawing for one of five $50 VISA gift cards that will be given away on April 30, 2013! 

Here’s how:
1. Click on the link to the right and view the 10 videos. Caregiver Videos

2. Click on the survey link below and respond with your rankings and feedback.  Be sure to answer all 6 questions and be sure to submit your name and email address when prompted in order to be eligible to win.

The Top 5 videos will be featured at the 2013 Camp TBI to be held in Fruitland Park, Florida June 14-16, 2013.  For more information about Camp TBI, go to www.camptbi.org 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Miami Project Completes First Human Cell Transplant for a SCI

The doctors at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis have recently completed the first human cell transplant for a spinal cord injury. After years and years of work, the FDA gave The Miami Project the green light to start performing human trials recently. Subsequently, The Miami Project completed the first of many human cell transplants as the clinical trial continues. More subjects are needed. The criteria is very strict: They must have thoracic (upper and middle back) spinal cord damage; be between 18 and 50 years old; and have a specific level of paralysis. They also must have been injured no more than five days prior to enrollment. Upon enrollment, Schwann cells are grown from the nerve tissue in the subject's leg and transplanted back into their own body. To learn more about these clinical trials, check out the following link:


Thursday, February 28, 2013

In Memory of Ralph Braun, Founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation

Ralph William Braun, founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, passed away Friday, February 8th in Winamac, Indiana. He was 72 years old.
Ralph leaves behind a significant legacy in the mobility industry - an industry that he helped create based on his personal need for mobility products.
In 1947, Ralph was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at just six years of age. Ralph credits his parents with instilling in him the will to overcome the challenges his disability presented him - as well as any other obstacles life put in his path. When he could no longer rely on his own two legs and he'd outgrown piggyback rides from his dad, he began using a wheelchair. While he didn't welcome the mobility aid, the 13-year-old never let it slow him down. Ralph wanted an education, a career and a family, just like anyone else; he just had to work a little harder at it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rodney Rogers: Former NBA Player may Become Another Voice on Behalf of People with Disabilities

Rodney Rogers played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a well known player that was a significant contributor on some of the NBA's best teams during his career. In 2008 he sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) as a result of an accident from riding dirt bikes. Not only does Rodney's accident show that everyone has the possibility of sustaining a life-altering injury, but more importantly is what Rodney is doing with his life after his accident. After his accident, Rodney flat-lined three times. He believes that he was brought back to life in order to provide spinal cord injury awareness to others.

Check out a great video on Rodney Rogers at the link below...


Friday, February 15, 2013

Technology Continues to Advance...

There are several variations of this type of machine. This demonstrates incredible techonological advances while also making one wonder what technological advances may bring in the future.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stuff People Say to People with Disabilities...

Many of our readers and families will appreciate the following. This is a great video of what not to say to people with disabilities, but what is often unfortunately said by unsuspecting people...

Friday, February 1, 2013

Department of Education Orders Schools to Make Sports Available to Students with Disabilities

In a landmark decision, the Department of Education has ordered that students with disabilities be given access to sports in U.S. schools. Students with disabilities will not automatically be given a spot on a team that other students have to try out for. However, if they are able to compete, measures must be taken to allow them to participate. Several states, such as Maryland, have already implemented this policy. This is arguably a decision that will affect student-athletes with disabilities in the same manner that Title IX changed the landscape for female student athletes.

To read more about this, check out the following link:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Scuba Diving in a Wheelchair

The video found at the link below is that of Sue Austin eloquently telling a remarkable story about the freedom she experienced when she began using a power wheelchair as a result of an illness. In order to display the freedom she felt to the rest of society, Sue Austin determined to use wheelchairs to create art that would shatter preconceived notions of wheelchairs and wheelchair users. In so doing, she went deep sea diving in a wheelchair and she has the footage to prove it. Please check out the link below to watch this incredible video.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Hollis Boys Support their Sisters with Down Syndrome

Check out this great video of two young boys sticking up for their sisters with down syndrome and asking you to join the pledge to end the r-word at www.r-word.org. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Organization Spotlight: Mothers for TBI Hope

Mothers for TBI Hope is an organization that provides necessary items to families immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to a loved one. The organization provides tote bags including everything from pillows to snack bars to combs and books with resources and stories of positive outcomes. The tote bags are necessary as the family of a person with a new TBI usually ends up spending the next several weeks or months in the hospital visiting their loved one. If the incident causing the TBI did not happen in the same community that the family lives in, the family is often rotating between a hotel room and a hospital room.

The following video explains more about Mothers for TBI Hope:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Making Careers Happen: Online Conference 2013

Transition and Career Development for  Secondary Youth with Disabilities in the 21st Century
February 27-March 1, 2013, Individual webinars- $25, All three webinars- $50

Participants in this highly interactive web conference will learn about effective transition practices, and how school-agency collaborations can deliver these practices from leadership, consumer, financial, and practical perspectives.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Upcoming Free Webinar: New Disability Status Report

Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute (EDI) will host a free online webinar on Friday, January 18th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST to present the findings of the 2011 Disability Status Report. This free webinar will explore data from the recently released 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) related to disability and employment, education, poverty, household income and labor earnings.

WHO: Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute
WHAT: Free Online Webinar on Disability Statistics
WHEN: Friday, January 18th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT
WHY: Cornell University researchers will present the latest information and issues associated with disability statistics and the circumstances that people with disabilities face.
WHERE: To register for this free webinar, please go to: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/edi/register/index.cfm?event=4152

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, Inc. (FINR) has filed for Bankruptcy

The Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation, Inc. (FINR) filed for bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa recently. This comes on the heels of videos of abuse going public and other allegations of abuse of patients by staff as previously reported on disabilityinsight.com. In August, 50 patients were ordered to be removed from the facility by Florida officials. Subsequently, Regions Financial Corp. sued FINR, claiming it defaulted on over $30 million in real estate loans.