Whew! I made it through another semester of graduate school. Interestingly, one of my assignments for this semester required me to complete extensive research into a topic of my choosing. In the end my topic, as it often does, centered on adaptive sports. Since the health benefits of sports participation are well known, I was intrigued by non-health benefits that can be derived from playing sports.
Posts Tagged 'inclusive'
For years I have always heard that unemployment for people with disabilities has been at or around 70%. This number has always been the same in my 10 plus years of public speaking, 20 years in the workforce of serving people with disabilities and the 30 plus years that I have been a person with a disability. At times it seems as if this would never change. How can it? How would we know for sure? Something has got to change. What can be done to make a dent in this number?
To help frame the contents of this blog posting, I am using quotes from Ed Roberts. If you don’t know who Ed is, you really should. Stop reading this blog and Google him. He is regarded highly alongside other civil rights leaders for all he had done for people with disabilities.
In this month of July in which we celebrate the 25th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there have been many small events that are instrumental in reflecting the benefits of ADA. One of those events was the Academy Award nominated documentary film called “Murderball.” It was on July 8, 2005 that it was released nation-wide to mainstream audiences. The impact of this documentary is still being felt today.
In honor of National Diabetes Month, I would like to share a VERY personal story. My mother was an insulin diabetic for most of her life starting back in the 1950’s until her passing away over two decades ago. Since she was taking insulin several times daily, I’m sure that diabetes was on her mind every waking hour. Point being, I realized if there was any “good news” about my mother’s diabetes, it was that I learned that diabetes should be feared and avoided at all costs.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the concept of Inclusive Healthy Communities lately because I’ve been sitting in a hospital with my dad for the past month and have gotten to know the University of Michigan Hospital and central campus very well. The University of Michigan hospital has a program called “MHealthy.” http://www.hr.umich.edu/mhealthy/ which includes removing all sugar sweetened drinks from the hospital dining and vending, having multiple MHealthy options in the cafeteria (which is open 24/7) and keeping serving sizes reasonable. The program also includes programs for patients and those who work at the hospital for Physical Activity, Weight Management, Mental and Emotional Health, and Tobacco and Alcohol Management. The whole hospital campus is tobacco free and there are lots of places to get outside and places to walk within the hospital. The University of Michigan campus has also started using the modified “handicapped accessible” logo and has several examples of universal design.
Believe it or not, people with disabilities can now profit from active living, thanks to a brilliant new Web site. All you need is a camera, a friend with some photography skills, and a computer!
PhotoAbility.net is an online, “disability inclusive” stock image provider focused on lifestyle photos of people with disabilities. The goal of the site, launched by Deborah Davis, who sustained a spinal cord injury at the age of 18 and has since used a wheelchair, is to give advertisers the opportunity to help consumers adapt to differences and diminish their discomfort with those whom they see as different.
In my professional roles, I read volumes of academic research every day about many aspects of life of people with disabilities. As I comb through the 20 or 30 pages of various articles, I am searching for the concrete take-away points. I recently read a number of research articles on the topic of stigma and people with disabilities; the articles left me with the following take-away point: