Guest-Post: Why Visitability is Necessary


The following is a guest post authored by Melissa theSeed. Find her at http://theseed9811.blogspot.com/ or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/9811

I vividly remember a point in time where I wished desperately that the whole world was in a wheelchair, so that everyone could know what my daughter had to go through just to go to someone’s home. Now, it looks like the city of Austin, Texas is creating that world. Well, kind of.

Recently, news broke that the city council is deciding on a measure that could make all newly built homes wheelchair accessible. The first two drafts have already been approved, and it looks like the third and final draft may push through without a problem. If approved, levered door handles, light switches placed at lower heights and wide doorways will be required on the first floors of new single-family homes and duplexes. Not widely talked about – yet – the idea behind the legislation is known as “visitability.” This is a concept in home design that seeks to allow resident or visiting wheelchair users to access a home without issue. There are cities in the U.S. that already have these rules in place: San Antonio, Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Tucson, Ariz. According to the website www.visitability.org, a home is visitable when it meets three basic requirements:
   
     * At least one zero-step entrance
     * Doors with a minimum of 32-inch clearance
     * At least one bathroom on the main floor that is wheelchair accessible

Becoming Disabled

Some of you may be wondering why this is necessary. If you’re reading this and you’re not disabled then you probably don’t view this as important enough to warrant regulation. But remember, just because you weren’t born with a disability doesn’t mean you will never become disabled. Here are three examples you may have never thought about:

1. Old Age

Think about your (or your friends’) grandparents. Do they use walkers or hearing aids? Do they have trouble standing, reaching, bathing, or cooking? Did they always have those problems? Most likely, these disabilities are of the acquired type. An acquired disability is a condition that was not present at birth, but rather, occurs at some point during an individual's life. Oftentimes, the word “disabled” is not used when referring to senior citizens, especially if they’ve lived independently their entire lives. But that’s exactly what they have become (and what the large majority of us will become should we be blessed enough to live into our 60’s and beyond). A home built with visitability in mind will increase the chances that a person can live on in their own home rather than being moved into a nursing facility. And by “a person” I mean YOU!

2. Illness

There are also people who remain healthy into their 30’s and 40’s and then become ill or develop medical conditions which limit their ability to be as independent as they have always been. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) typically begin to appear in adults around this age and are debilitating diseases which cause severe physical disabilities. Don’t think this will happen to you? MS tends to appear between the ages of 20 and 40 in otherwise normally developing people and fifteen new cases of ALS are diagnosed daily in the US.

Arthritis is another culprit. According to the CDC, nearly two-thirds of people with arthritis are younger than 65. It’s the most common cause of disability and limits or prevents over 21 million Americans from being able to climb stairs, walk extended distances, or work. It’s more common in women than men but affects all racial and ethnic groups. One study shows that the risk of developing osteoarthritis in your knee that causes pain is 45% and estimates show that 57% of people who have had a knee injury or are obese will develop osteoarthritis. That’s about half of you reading this! 

And of course, there are countless other conditions that can strike at any time and cause disability in an adult who has otherwise lived a healthy and independent life.

3. Accidents

What about those that are in accidents and become paralyzed or receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Have you seen the showPush GirlsEvery one of those women was in an accident that paralyzed them. Any of these situations can happen to each and every one of you. Sounds bleak, I know, but imagine what your life would be like if you couldn’t enjoy the little things you do now, like going to your sister’s house for dinner or to your friend’s for girls night as you always have because your wheelchair can’t go up the one step leading into their home, or your wheelchair can’t get through the doorway into the living room. Now imagine if every new home built allowed you to come and go as you please, without even a thought.

Disabled America

According to the US census, 1 in 5 citizens has at least one disability and the number is set to grow as baby boomers age. Just over 1 in 4 American citizens in their 20’s will become disabled before they retire. But the “that can’t happen to me” mentality keeps most of us from worrying about our futures. 64% of wage earners believe they have a 2% or less chance of being disabled for 3 months or more during their working career. The actual odds for a worker entering the workforce today are about 25%! 

Maybe it’s time you start thinking about what could happen to you or your spouse now and planning ahead. Don’t you think having a home already set up to visitability standards would make your life easier in the long run? I hope to see this concept become the standard in my lifetime for all our sakes.

Whose Financial Burden Will You become

The following is guest post from Amanda Dean of Silver Living

I think many of us fear the notion of being elderly, infirm, and helpless. We are afraid to imagine that we could be alone or reliant on others for care, with no hope for better days before we pass. It is a future that no one wants to consider might befall them. Unfortunately, this means that many Americans are not preparing for the possibility of needing long term care in their senior years. Yet many will. So with no savings or plan in place, the fear could easily become a reality. This is the crux of a financial crisis looming over the country. Previously I discussed the problem America faces with an aging population and the lack of financial readiness (both personal and nation-wide) to support the coming need. So what options are there to face this problem and create some stability for America’s future retirees (which most of us will be at some point)?

 

Private long term care insurance (LTCI) is a possibility for many who want to make sure they will have some security as they age. But the market is struggling right now, partly because not enough people are buying in. It is a case where healthy people think they will never need it (or erroneously expect Medicare to cover it) and unhealthy people are using all of the assets in the system. Coupled with low returns on investments, the pool of money to pay out claims is dwindling. Many private companies are pulling out of the market or raising premiums to cover costs and so it is becoming increasingly difficult for the middle class to get and afford coverage. Even those that buy in early could be faced with large rate hikes in the future (some already have), making coverage less affordable for the elderly who need it and less attractive for younger buyers who finance it.

 

The Senior Care Action Network (SCAN) committee members agree that the current setup is not viable in the long run. As they stand, federal programs are not prepared for the upcoming need, private insurance is not widespread enough, and the aging population does not have the personal savings and resources to cover likely expenses. What they could not agree on is a solution. Several suggestions were discussed, but no consensus reached. Possibilities included enhancing private insurance to be more affordable and appealing, requiring companies to offer insurance and make employees purchase it, improving the incentives previously offered through tax credits, linking it to health insurance, or mandating LTCI purchase for a large portion of the population.

 

Congress has made efforts to address this problem before, but thus far a viable solution has not emerged. The CLASS Act was passed with the recent Affordable Care Act to offer Americans an option for affordable LTCI. However, the act was repealed in January after it was determined that making the program voluntary meant there was no way to guarantee its sustainability. If there wasn’t enough buy-in, there would not be a sufficient pool of money to pay out future claims, which is the same problem private companies are facing. Congress has now established a committee to study the looming crisis and make recommendations for potential solutions.

 

This, of course, begs the question for many: is it really the government’s concern in the first place? The answer is the subject of much heated debate. There are those who feel the government already spends too much on entitlement programs and it should be up to each individual to save for his own future. Others see that Americans are woefully unprepared for their potential care needs and feel it is government’s responsibility to step in. Whichever view you take, it is painfully clear that many people are not ready for the possibility of needing long term care at some point in their retirement. While not everyone will need it, the numbers tell us that a large percentage of those who will are not prepared, and their care will fall to someone else. If they are fortunate, there will be family members with adequate resources to step in. If they are not so fortunate…whose problem will that become?

 

Amanda Dean
Amanda Dean is an expert in senior care with almost two decades of experience. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Human Development, Amanda was selected for the highly coveted role at NYU Langone Medical Center as a Geriatric Case Manager. She then founded and ran the largest independent local senior care advisory in NY for 12. Amanda joined Silver Living, the only expert research source on senior care, as the Senior Editor in 2012.

Choosing the Best Handicapped Car for Your Needs

While handicapped vans are more popular among those with mobility issues, they are not the only way for the handicapped to travel. Depending on the severity of an individual’s mobility issues, a handicapped car can be a sensible mode of transportation as well.

As is the case with buying a van, there are many different factors you’ll want to look into when searching for the best handicapped car to suit your lifestyle.

Controls: Modified controls within a handicapped car should be large and easy to use. Some models even have touch screen to make things much easier. Additionally, any controls for the locks and windows should be automatic.

Entry: Most cars won’t offer the same ease-of-access that vans do. Still, handicapped cars typically come with some form of keyless entry or a modification to the door that makes getting in and out of the car much easier.

Space: How much space is in the car? Do you have enough height and room to move around? Do you need any modifications that will accommodate your wheelchair?

Seats: If possible, you may want to look into getting a handicapped car that has a bench seat rather than two separate seats. These seats tend to make more room and are much more comfortable for those with disabilities. They should also come with power controls that allow the driver to adjust the seat for their maximum comfort.

Cruise Control: Handicapped cars are much more convenient when they come with cruise control. This makes the process of driving much easier on the handicapped individual.

Safety Features: You’ll want standard safety features on your handicapped car, just as you would with a normal car. Make sure your handicapped car comes equipped with airbags and anti-lock brakes.

Transmission: Most important of all, a handicapped car should always be an automatic. Manual transmissions only add more difficulty for the driver and can cause frustration and accidents.

This may seem like a lot to look for, but if you visit a car lot with a plan already set in place, you’ll be sure to find the appropriate handicapped car for you.

Courtesy of The Mobility Resource

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Roll About Scooter

When you're suffering from a broken ankle or foot, you might not exactly be in the most positive mood. After all, you're lugging around a massive cast – so how can you possibly expect to be excited about using a roll about scooter?

There are precisely ten reasons why you should be pumped about using a roll about scooter (also referred to as a knee walker) – and here they are:

1. Roll about scooters make it so much easier to get around. Unlike crutches (which make you look like you have a massive wingspan) and wheelchairs (which limit the use of your hands), roll about scooters free up your hands and make it easier to get around with your good leg.

2. It's easier to take all weight off of your injured foot or ankle. A knee walker allows you to rest your knee on a comfortable pad, which supports your body's weight.

3. A roll about scooter minimizes the chances that you'll re-injury your foot or ankle. Just try getting that kind of promise from those awkward and weirdly balanced crutches.

4. A roll about scooter makes it easier to grab things from higher shelves and counters. Crutches make it hard for you to use your hands, while wheelchairs force you to live like you're all of three foot for the next six months.

5. Roll about scooters allow you to move around in your house and office without worrying about carpets, rugs and objects on the floor. Because knee walkers are so stable, you don't have to worry about slipping and falling due to improper rug placement.

6. Knee walkers make it easier to get in and out of the shower, as you're already in a standing position.

7. Roll about scooters are more comfortable to use than crutches (after all, who wants to use something that causes armpit blisters?).

8. Knee walkers are more financially-savvy than ever before, as you have the option of simply renting a roll about scooter rather than buying and owning one.

9. It's easier to isolate your injured foot or ankle with a roll about scooter.

10. It just looks cooler – end of story!

Use these top ten reasons to use a roll about scooter to get pumped about your newfound mobility device!

When you're suffering from a broken ankle or foot, you might not exactly be in the most positive mood. After all, you're lugging around a massive cast – so how can you possibly expect to be excited about using a roll about scooter?

 

This article was provided by Knee Walker Centeral, they offer Roll About Scooter Rentals.

The Cost of a Wheelchair Van Conversion

How much does it cost to convert a van? This blog post will break down the price of a wheelchair van conversion, so you know what to expect.

Wheelchair van conversion modifications are extremely common. Not only are these conversions common but they are also relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things. A number of different types of vans can be converted to accommodate wheelchairs and scooters of varying shapes and sizes. If you have a full-size van, mini van or conversion van, adaptations can be made to your vehicle.

Type of Modifications

The first thing to consider is the type of modification you are looking for. Do you want to modify the rear, side or driver’s seat? Rear modifications will make it easier to load a wheelchair into the back of a van. Side modifications provide access from the side of a vehicle. If you currently use a wheelchair and would like to drive, driver’s side modifications can be easily made as well.

Typically, side modifications cost more than rear modifications, since changes to the side of the van are more labor intensive. Wheelchair van conversion prices range from $10,000 to more than $20,000 depending on what you want to do, the type of technology you are seeking and the type of vehicle you currently have. The best way to price changes to your van is to shop around and compare prices. Like anything else, price comparisons are the way to go.

Time and Company Selection

A simple Google search will bring up many companies that specialize in a wheelchair van conversion. Make sure to choose a company that comes with a good reputation, has been in business for a while and offers reliable equipment. Ask to see some samples of modifications available, ask for referrals, and choose the modification that makes the most sense to you.

Wheelchair van conversions may seem expensive at the start, but these conversions will last for many years to come. In addition, simple conversions to your current vehicle will make your life a lot simpler. Enjoy complete freedom and ease with the right conversions for your van.

1800wheelchair offers a full directory of dealers who will do tis type of conversion. Check it out here - Wheelchair Van Directory.

Wheelchair Ramps for a Handicap Van

Maximizing mobility helps preserve a person in a wheelchair's quality of life. The process begins with an easily operated wheelchair, ramps and appropriate transportation. Wheelchair ramps make a minivan or full-size van an effective handicap van.
You can also have modifications made to a standard van. Generally, the van's floor is lowered by about 1 foot. This provides headroom for a person seated in a wheelchair. After removing some rear seats,, one of several different types of a wheelchair ramp is installed in the van.

Benefits of Outfitting a Handicap Van with a Wheelchair Ramp

You can't always help a loved one in and out of their wheelchair and into and out of a vehicle. The person's weight or condition may make this difficult or dangerous. In these instances, a wheelchair ramp can make all the difference.
A handicap van outfitted with a wheelchair ramp is practical. It speeds up entry and exiting considerably. Everyone involved appreciates the increased ease and efficiency. It's especially appreciated during hot, cold, rainy or otherwise inclement weather.

Types of Wheelchair Ramps for a Handicap Van


There are four basic types of wheelchair ramps for a handicap van, including; rear-entry, side-entry, fold-out side entry and in-floor side entry. All are helpful. But personal preferences and needs dictate which is best for you. When deciding, consider the configuration of your garage or whether you frequently parallel park on the street, among other logistics.

Rear-entry wheelchair ramp vans come out at the rear hatch door. They are great for narrow garages. They facilitate straight entry and exiting without turning and maneuvering. Side-entry ramps extend out from the rear passenger door. They are safer than rear-entry because they don't extend into the traffic lane in parking lots. Fold-out ramps also provide safe side-entry. They are a good option for people in wheelchairs who enter and exit the handicap van on their own. In-floor ramps can provide a safe side entry, too. They operate automatically. They stow in the floor to maximize space. These are ideal when the ramp is not often used or when you preferred it concealed.

Tips for Traveling with your Wheelchair

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair; we offer grab bars, raised toilet seat, bathroom wheelchair, & trapeze bars.

Traveling by wheelchair can strike a nerve if you do not plan ahead, conduct research, or consider possible setbacks and delays because of handicap restrictions. For instance, not every hotel or motel has wheelchair accessibility, which may pose problems if traveling alone. Be sure to inquire about wheelchair accessibility while scheduling hotel reservations in order to stave off potential headaches. Those with mobile challenges rely on wheelchair assistance wherever they travel, which includes airline services, boating or cruise accommodations, and other transportation mediums, such as taxis, buses, shuttles, and amusement park rides. Consider inquiring with these services about possible airlift assistance, elevators, and ramps. Additionally, inquire with these services about medicinal and special equipment restrictions, such as designated areas for defibrillators and oxygen tanks. Finding out this information ahead of time can really save you time and money.

If you're traveling alone in a wheelchair, then make sure you have a maintenance or repair service verify that wheelchair is in good working conditions before departure. The extra effort will eliminate setbacks and delays over broken or repairable parts that will need servicing at the destination upon arrival. Hiring a maintenance or repair service team will save you time and minimize stress while on your trip. Exercise precaution by placing your name and address onto each of the detachable parts before leaving home. Only display your name when traveling overseas. Additionally, bring a travel size repair kit containing all of the necessary tools and materials needed to change a pneumatic tire. Pneumatic tire repair kits can be found at any major retail chain stores in the bicycle department. Remember that not all international repair shops are identical to the service you're used to receiving at home, so make every effort to eliminate potential problems by acting now.

Cruise operations usually incorporate ferry services to transport passengers to shore from a ship anchored out at sea. These ferry services are not always equipped with lifts or ramps to help the handicap lower their wheelchairs onto the carrier. Ask personnel for assistance in locating any wheelchair accommodations in order to board the ferry and deport for the shore. Depending on the weather, sea, tidal conditions, or technical difficulties, certain restrictions may be in place that limit certain passengers from leaving the cruise tender. Generally, the crew will guide you to a gangway or use a creepy crawler, a mechanical device designed to “walk” your wheelchair down a flight of stairs, to help the mobile challenged find their way to the shore. Handicap persons will need to transfer to a lightweight, manual wheelchair if originally in an electric wheelchair or scooter in order to allow the crew to successfully move the equipment onto shore. Be sure to alert the crew of any medicinal or special equipment that also needs to be moved alongside your wheelchair or scooter.

Most people believe that airliners accommodate to wheelchair travelers; however, some airline services have neglected taking the extra effort to assure that these services are implemented to minimize potential injuries for those confined to a mobile device. In fact, any airline can pose potential problems for wheelchair travelers, depending on the time and day that the flight departed for its destination. Additionally, the quality of wheelchair assistance relies heavily on the airline staff and airport crew that unloads your equipment and luggage. Confirm your airline flights with your carrier within 24-48 hours of your departure. Flight times, numbers, and seating arrangements can change on a whim. Notify the airline service team about your disability, the kind of wheelchair you have, and other equipment that will need to be transported upon arrival. Request for a “gate check” in order to load your wheelchair directly to the plane's fuselage. Be sure to remove all leg supports and seat cushions before relinquishing your wheelchair to the airline staff. Carry these items with you onto the airliner. Use special bags to store delicate items in between transitions.

Follow this comprehensive list of resources for tips on traveling with your wheelchair:

  1. Traveling With Your Wheelchair or Scooter

  2. Flying Tips for Wheelchair Users

  3. How to Travel By Air with a Wheelchair

  4. Air Travel Tips for Wheelchair or Scooter Users

  5. The Disabled Wheelchair Traveller - Holiday Tips

  6. Traveling with Your Wheelchair

  7. A Travel Tip Guide for Wheelchair Owners

  8. Traveling with a Disability or Medical Condition[PDF]

  9. Tips for Disabled Travelers[PDF]

  10. TSA: Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

  11. Flying With Disability

  12. 5 Tips for Traveling with a Disability

  13. Community Living: Traveling with Wheelchairs

  14. Passengers with Disabilities

  15. Traveling With A Service Dog

 

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Understanding Autism

Autism is a disorder that affects one in every one-hundred children born today. Children who lack social, communicative and behavioral skills are likely to be placed on the Autism Spectrum. This scale defines various forms of autism from Asperger’s Syndrome to the “standard” autism that is explored in the following passages. Regardless of the disorder’s severity in a particular case, autism is a serious disability and should be treated as early as possible. Consult the following paragraphs to discover more about the symptoms of autism, the hypothesized causes of the disorder as well as some information about treatment. There are also links to some other helpful websites for your convenience.  

Symptoms of Autism

There are different levels of autism, and each person diagnosed experiences different symptoms. Some cannot develop fluency with verbal language. Many autistic people have heightened senses. They may hold their hands over their ears as if pained by normal noises. They also have obsessive-compulsive tendencies and will find ritual activities – such as waving a ribbon – soothing. They may also be incredibly passive or extremely hyperactive. Parents of young children with autism will notice a delay in their child’s ability to pursue social relationships, effectively communicate and develop specified interests. For example, games that many babies like to play with their parents such as peek-a-boo will not result in the expected smiles and giggling. They also may regress to using single words after developing use of complete sentences. Although these symptoms are noticeable as early as eighteen months into a child’s life, a successful diagnosis generally cannot be performed until they are around two years. The earlier autism is diagnosed, the sooner a child can begin treatment.

Causes of Autism

Even in today’s technological world, autism baffles scientists. It is unknown why some children develop the behavioral disorder and many causes have been explored including vaccines, genetics, and bacteria. It has been proven that about 10% of autistic people developed the disorder as a result of German measles, Tuberous sclerosis, Fragile X syndrome, brain inflammation, or phenylketonuria. They have also determined it affects about 1% of children and that males are four times as likely to be autistic than females.

Treatments for Autism

There is no cure for autism. However, most children can make progress. As autism affects social, behavioral and communicative skills, it actually doesn’t hinder the IQ in any way. There are nonverbal IQ tests that can help therapists determine the best ways of helping a particular autistic child advance. Unfortunately, the most effective programs would cost more than most taxpayers would be able or willing to invest. Progress should also occur as time passes and though maturity has brought about significant change in a few documented cases, a person with autism will never just snap out of it. Other approaches being tried include music therapy and pet therapy, amongst other programs.

Understanding

Although they sometimes do not share the same classrooms as other students or live independently, people with autism are not unintelligent. To reiterate, autism does not affect the IQ. In fact, many people with autism earn college degrees. They just need to approach learning differently and at times receive a bit of guidance. Many autistic people tend to excel in problem solving and recognizing patterns. Their math skills are often far beyond the children in their age range and their records on sequential computer games such as Minesweeper can be impressive. Most children with autism will excel in fields such as music or art as well.

 

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K9 Companions for the Disabled: Learn About Service and Therapy Dogs

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair; we offer patient lifts, mobility scooters & lift chairs.

Traditionally, dogs are pets that are appreciated for their companionship and affection. They are fully dependent on their human owners. Owners might be lonelier if the dogs weren't around, but it wouldn't affect their daily tasks. However, not all dogs are pets. Such is the case with assistance dogs, that is, those animals that undergo extensive training to be able to perform specific tasks. There are several types, but the two major categories are service dogs and therapy dogs. 

The relationship between a disabled human being and their service dog is symbiosis. The dog helps the human perform tasks they would otherwise be unable to do and in exchange receives food, shelter, hygiene and love. Service dogs are not pets and are therefore legally permitted into grocery stores and housing that may otherwise not allow animals. However, the law does not apply if the dog is violent or serves as a serious health risk. It is not necessary for a service dog to wear a vest or tag, but many owners choose to dress their dog anyway so others can identify it. Regardless of identification, many people, especially children, do not know proper behavior when a service dog is in the vicinity. Some will try to pet it or speak to it, effectively distracting it from doing the work for which it is intended. This behavior should be discouraged by the owner through the use of verbal explanation or etiquette cards. Service dogs are generally German Shepherds, Labradors or Golden Retrievers.

Therapy dogs are different from service dogs in that they haven’t been trained to assist humans with a variety of activities. Instead, these dogs are stress relievers trained to be “bombproof” against the tugging and hugging of small children in hospitals. They’re also sometimes sent into nursing homes for the benefit of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike service dogs, most breeds can be a therapy dog with the right training.

The following links lead to assistance dog resources. Included is information about service dogs, their training and what they can be trained to do. There are answers to frequently asked questions about assistance animals. Also provided are specifics about the laws permitting their use as well as proper etiquette both for the owner and the onlooker. The last few links lead to information on how a qualifying individual can apply for an assistance animal.

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How To Exercise if You Are Wheelchair User

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair; we offer transport chairs, power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, & walkers.

The prospect of full-time wheelchair use can be very difficult to adapt to. Important to both psychical and mental health is an active life which includes excise. Exercise helps to ensure that the body is fit and the muscle tone is retained. A lack of exercise can lead to an increase in blood clots and also higher chances of contracting illness. Sitting in the same position can cause body sores which are painful and difficult to alleviate. Note: always check with your physician before starting any exercise regime.

How to Get Motivated

In the early stages, it’s a huge challenge to get motivated to exercise. Try to think of the positive aspects and the benefits to be enjoyed by exercising. A friend or spouse can encourage you and be with you until you start to develop a true interest. Set aside a few hours in a day for exercising and try to keep the routine around the same time. You can also set targets and try to achieve them. Getting together with friends always helps motivation. Group sports like wheelchair basketball and football offer an excellent chance for some competitive fun. 

The Benefits of Exercises

Exercise is especially important for wheelchair users, here are some of the benefits of exercise.

  • It helps to tone your muscles and improve your overall health.
  • Exercising ensures that your weight is in check.
  • It helps to maintain a certain fitness level.
  • It increases your flexibility, mobility, body awareness, and muscle strength.
  • Exercising generate endorphins which is an anti-depressant.
  • As your mental health improves, you will feel good about yourself and gain confidence.
  • It reduces stress levels.
  • It helps to improve blood circulation, spine stability, and posture.

Resistance Training

Resistance training can be done with the help of a resistance band tied to a door handle or similar firm object. Exercises such as arm and leg extensions, lat pull downs or rows can be done with the help of this band. In the row exercise, you hold the band, bend your elbows, and pull away or towards yourself in a smooth way. Then, return to the original position, and start again. These bands are available in different strengths so it’s great to choose one which is best suited for you.

Strength Training

Before you begin doing any strength training exercises, you should warm up with stretches for five minutes. After the exercises, there should also be five minutes of cooling down. Pushups are one form of strength training. Apply the brakes on your wheelchair and place your hands on the armrest. Holding the armrest, lift your body a few inches off the seat and slowly sit back again. Repeat this five times and increase the number of sets gradually. Take breaks in between and be careful not to overexert. You can also do overhead stretches which involves sitting straight and extending both hands above the head while inhaling. Interlock your fingers and turn your palms towards ceiling. Then, exhale and push your hands slightly backwards. Hold the position for few seconds and return to original position. Repeat the set five times. Use free weights or dumbbells for bicep curls and lateral raises.

How to Get into Wheelchair Sports and What is Available

Sports like basketball, volleyball, rugby, skiing, football, table tennis, tennis, track and field, and even golf are available for the wheelchair users. For some of these sports, the rules and arena may be changed to cater to the needs of wheelchair sportsmen and sportswomen. Wheelchair sports are good for the heart and lungs. For people who play a full game of wheel chair basketball or engage in any other type of wheelchair sports, they will find that energy is burned very quickly. There’s also a great feeling of satisfaction to know that they are still able to play the sports they love. It’s not so hard to find wheelchair sports groups in the area. Try the Internet or the local district office to get more information. Throughout the year, there are competitions for all sorts of wheelchair sports.

 In addition to regular exercises, there are aerobic exercises, and Pilates, which is known as sitting aerobics. Aerobic exercises help improve posture and reduce pain in the spine. These exercises focus on upper body movements and improve overall fitness.

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Legal Resources for the Elderly

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair - The Wheelchair & Walker Store.

The aging population may find that as they grow older, there are many age specific legal issues that can arise. Elder law is an area of legal practice that places emphasis on legal topics that affect the elderly. This field of practice covers a wide range of issues facing the elderly and it is often recommended that senior citizens seek counseling and advice from lawyers certified in elder law.

Because many elderly people are unable to handle their daily tasks by themselves, they may require assistance from other people from time to time. Their dependence on other people may lead to certain problems, some of which can only be solved legally. One of the most common problems that elderly people face is elder abuse. Presently, there are close to six million elder abuse cases in the United States every year, and these cases can come in the form of physical abuse, exploitation, neglect, and others.

Elderly people may also seek out the help of a lawyer when making end of life arrangements. These can come in the form or planning wills, estates, funerals, power of attorneys and more. It is especially important that advanced health care decisions be made as well as funding for health care needs by obtaining medical insurance, medical compensation, income assistance and other income related support. The elder population also faces other hardships in the form of consumer issues. Unfortunately many senior citizens are taken advantage of and fall victim to fraud, identity theft and other crimes. Fortunately, there are laws in the country that provide adequate protection for elderly people, and it is important that elderly people know their legal rights. Look to the following resource guide for insight on important elder issues.

Advanced Health Care Decisions

Powers of Attorney

Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Funerals

  • The Funeral Rule: A set of rules established by the Federal Trade Commission to protect consumers of funeral goods.
  • Funeral Fraud: Those who understand their consumer rights can prevent funeral fraud.

Guardianships

Medical and Health Insurance

  • Medicare: Extensive information on Medicare.
  • Medicaid Rules: Learn more about Medicaid for elderly people in this website.
  • Understanding HIPAA: Find out why elderly people need to understand their rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Medicaid in Nursing Homes

Long Term Care Financing

  • The CLASS Act: An overview of the Community Living Assistance Services and Support program, or CLASS act.

Social Security

Income Assistance

Consumer Issues

Elder Abuse

  • Elder Abuse Laws: Federal and state laws that provide protection for victims of elder abuse.
  • Elder Abuse Reporting: This document reveals how laws regarding elder abuse vary from one state to another.
  • Elder Abuse Article: A journal article that offers an interesting insight into elder abuse laws.

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Wheelchair Resources - Disability and Discrimination

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Individuals that are coping with a disability face a multitude of challenges in their everyday lives. Depending upon the severity and type of disability, the challenges can range from accessibility issues to workplace adaptability problems. However, one of the most troubling problems is that of discrimination of the disabled. 

Over the course of time, disabled individuals have faced direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination in the form of employers not wanting to hire disabled individuals. The other form of discrimination is more subtle, but just as bad, is indirect discrimination where because of accessibility issues or similar environmental constraints, disabled workers are unable to do the same job as the non-disabled.

To combat the problem of discrimination among disabled individuals, the government has provided legal assistance int he form of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as other similar legislations. These legal actions have helped allow disabled workers have the same rights as the non-disabled. To learn more about the problems facing disabled workers, here are some helpful websites:

Workplace

The workplace has been a big source of difficulties for disabled individuals. The same workplace environment may not be a problem for non-disabled individuals as they are for vision impaired, hearing impaired or workers with mobility issues. To make the workplace usable for the disabled, employers have had to make the equipment and facility be able to accommodate disabled workers.

Accommodations

There are many ways that buildings, offices and other public and non-public facilities have been changed to accommodate the needs of handicapped individuals. These accommodations have ranged from having doors that allow access by wheelchair, machines such as ATMs that have letters in Braille for the vision impaired, and sound enhancements for the hearing impaired. These accommodations have been made to allow disabled individuals to enjoy all services available.

Accessibility

The problem of accessibility has been a big problem for handicapped individuals. For example, wheelchair bound individuals going into a bank were not able to reach the teller counters. Problems such as this led for the push to make buildings and offices more accessible to all people. Therefore, creations such as a drop down counter to allow people with wheelchairs the opportunity to conduct banking business, have made it easier to access services.

Legal Protection

To ensure that all people are treated the same, the government has enacted legislation that provides protection for disabled individuals and that discrimination does not occur. The laws currently in place range from workplace laws to health laws to housing rules and regulations. While the problems of the disabled and handicapped have not disappeared, they have been reduced over the past few decades, and will only make it easier for future generation of disabled individuals.

Resources

While this gude is helpful in providing information on disabled and discrimination issues, there are many more helpful sites available. Here are a few helpful general information sites to visit:

Discrimination among disabled individuals has become less of a problem in recent years. With the implementation of the Americans with Disability Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Fair Housing Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and many other vital laws and regulations, the disabled have had more rights and opportunities than ever before. While the situation for disabled individuals has improved, it is not perfect, and gains will continued to be made to attain the ultimate goal of removing discrimination of disabled.

What's the Best Thing to Do About Bullies?

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Bullying affects everyone involved and no one comes out the winner. Even the bully is a victim. Anyone can be a bully and may not even realize it. Bullying can be physical or mental and can occur over the Internet, when the bully and the victim are not even in the same place. By creating an environment that promotes respect and acceptance, bullying can stop.

Bullying Information for Kids

Bullying just isn't cool. But you aren't powerless. There are lots of things you can do to get help for yourself, a friend, or a brother or sister. The first step is getting information. These websites are designed just for kids like you. Have fun and click around, just make sure that you get your parents permission first.

Stop Bullying Now This website is designed to teach kids about bullying in hopes of putting an end to it. It has sections on defining what bullying is, what you can do, and there are also fun games and webisodes.

What Can Youth Do About Bullying? This article provides information on what you can do if you are being bullied, if you see someone being bullied, and if the bullying isn't happening at school.

The Bully Roundup This game from BAM will challenge your bully smarts. There are even prizes.

How to Stop a Bully This website from Girl's Health has various articles about what to do about being bullied, preventing being bullied, what you can do if you see another person being bullied, and preventing it in your school.

Cyber Bullying Information for Kids

Bullying can occur over the Internet on computers, cell phones, and even Facebook. This is called cyber bullying. Sometimes people who are usually quiet or nice in person, feel more comfortable saying mean things on the Internet. Just like anyone can be a bully, anyone can be a cyber bully. Have you ever heard of a person creating a fake Facebook or Myspace profile about someone in order to make fun of them. This is only one example of cyber bullying. If you think you are a victim of cyber bullying or that you might be a cyber bully, talk to an adult that you trust.

WWW Internet Safety This article from the Washington State Office of the District Attorney provides information for parents on what to do if their child is being cyber bullied and tips for the person being bullied.

Stop Cyber Bullying This interactive website provides information about cyber bullying for children 7-17, parents and caregivers, and law enforcement.

Wired Safety – Youth This website is designed for Kids, Tweens, and Teens all about Internet safety and cyberbullying.

Are You a Bully?

Sometimes people do not think they are a bully because they do not fit the stereotypical bully profile. Anyone can be a bully, including you. Bullying can be both physical and mental. Bullies can be boys and girls. Bullies can be any age. If you make another person feel bad about themselves, you make be displaying bully behaviors. If you are lashing out at someone because you are mad or upset, you need to get help. There are lots of resources that are available for you. Check out these websites and also talk to an adult that you trust. Once a bully is not always a bully. You can make amends and become friends.

Do You Bully? This article from Stop Bullying Now is a great resource to help you if you think that you are bullying. There is even a quiz to decide if your actions could be considered as bullying.

Are You a Bully? Take this quiz from Girl's Health and learn if your actions are the actions of a bully.

How Being a Bully Can Hurt You This article from Girl's Health points out how being a bully now can disrupt your life in the future. There is even a section from a former bully speaking out.

Are You a Cyber Bully This quiz from Stop Cyber Bullying will help you determine if you are a cyber saint, a cyber risky, a cyber sinner, or a cyber bully.

Bullying Information for Adults

If a child were to approach you about a bully, would you know what to do or say. Sometimes adults provide guidance that can make the situation worse or teach children things that may negatively affect the way they handle situations in the future. By gaining the appropriate information ahead of time, adults can create an environment that discourages youth violence. Adults can also promote positive behaviors that can teach children to be proactive. You can make the difference; start with the right information. Note: The following websites are designed for adults and may not be appropriate for children.

The ABC's of Bullying This online course provides an introduction to addressing, blocking, and curbing school aggression.

Children Who Bully Could your child be a bully? This article from Stop Bullying Now provides an insight to common bullying behaviors and common myths associated with bullying.

OJJDP: Bullying This article provides strategies for dealing with and preventing bullying. It also highlights three programs that are dedicated to bully prevention.

Bullying Among Children and Youth This article from the OJJDP provides an insight for adults on what bullying is, a model for intervention, the consequences of bullying, and bullying in the United States.

Cyberbullying Research Center This website provides current research and findings about the “nature, extent, causes, and consequences of cyber bullying among adolescents.”

Wired Safety This website provides information on how to be safe on all aspects of the Internet world, including online gaming, Facebook, and identity theft. Use this information for yourself and to help guide your children.

Is Your Child a Bully? This article from Parent Map will discuss how to handle the situation if it is your child who is the bully.

When Your Child is the Bully This article from Family Corner highlights five issues to address if you believe your child is displaying bully behaviors.

How Bullying Affects Your Child This article from My Optum Health discusses the negative effects of being a bully. It also discusses the “passive bully.”

Bullying Prevention Programs

Every bullying situation is different and the solution may require different approaches. These programs are provided to give information to caregivers, educators, and administrators about preventing and dealing with bullies. Note: Not all of the programs listed below are free.

No Bullying Allowed This article from the State of Delaware Office of the Attorney General provides a multi-tierd program to “bully proof” your school.

Bully Proofing Your School This program provides training for teachers and administrators on creating a school environment free from bullying. This site contains program information and contact information.

BullySafe USA This website provides various resources for adults on youth violence prevention including a training, publications, and presentations.

Don't Laugh at Me: Program Information This article will explain the curriculum behind the DLAM program (Includes Contact Information)

Don't Laugh at Me: Free Packet Sign up here for a free packet about the DLAM program.

Peaceful Schools Program – Menninger Clinic This program focuses on the three social roles of the bullying situation: the Bully, the Victim, and the Bystander. (Includes Contact Information)

The Safe Culture Project This program will teach you how to change the culture from a bullying environment to a one that includes dignity, safety, and respect. (Includes Contact Information)

The Steps to Respect Program This program focuses on the responsibility of all members in the bullying environment to decrease its occurrence.

Wheelchair Resources - The Disabled Travel Guide

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For travelers around the world, they face a number of challenges. Decisions such as what mode of transportation to choose, how long to stay, where to stay and what to do when traveling are just a few of the common questions that travelers need to face. These are questions which can have an impact on the quality of the business or pleasure travel.

However, disabled people not only have these challenges to face, but a number of other concerns. Disabled people who are blind, deaf and are wheelchair bound face additional challenges. Issues such as accessibility, being able to understand words that are spoken or written can make travel doubly difficult.

To help the disabled be able to enjoy the travel experience, we have assembled a collection of resources. These web sites can be helpful for travelers with disabilities. Please feel free to visit these sites and we hope you enjoy your travel experience.

Blind Travel Resources

Deaf Travel Resources

Wheelchair Travel Resources

  • Vacationing – helpful information on travel arrangements for people in wheelchairs.
  • Disabled Travel – useful resource aimed at the disabled traveler.
  • Disability Travel – disability travel and recreation resources are discussed.
  • Travel Resources – information on travel for individuals with disabilities.
  • Wheelchair Travel Tips – tips and information on traveling with an individual using a wheelchair.
  • Wheelchair Air Travel – helpful website providing information to air travelers with wheelchairs.
  • TravelinWheels - database of destinations includes detailed, objective accessibility information.

Travel Accessibility Resources

Handicapped Travel Resources

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Wisdom From A Wheelchair: An FDR Resource Guide

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Despite his numerous health issues, including being paralyzed from the waist down, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) is considered, by a large majority, one of the greatest Presidents in American history. Believing that his health issues would make him appear weak to outsiders and worry the American public, FDR rarely allowed himself to be photographed in his wheelchair, and went to great lengths to hid his other ailments. Even in his poorest condition, President Roosevelt changed the social policies of America, and helped conceive of the single largest peace keeping organization in the world – the United Nations. The following links will provide biographical information, lesson plans, study guides and information on FDR's legacy, as well as suggested readings.

Brief Biographies

  • Biography of FDR This article provides a quality biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, including the early years of his life.

  • Brief Biography This website provides a brief biography of FDR, including what he was known for and where he was born.

  • White House Biography This short biography from the White House details the life of America's 32nd president.

  • Innagural Addresses This website has a biography of FDR, as well as links to his four inaugural addresses.

  • Biography and Video This site provides a biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt as well as videos about and of him.

  • Famous President This website provides brief facts about this famous president, as well as a short biography.

  • Columbia's Biography This biography of FDR comes from the school he attended: Columbia University.

Lesson Plans

  • Four Freedoms Lesson This website provides resources, lesson plans and activities for studying the four freedoms.

  • FDR's Disabilities This lesson plan focuses on President Roosevelt’s disabilities, teaching students about how he hid the disabilities and overcame them.

  • FDR And the Supreme Court These four lessons teach children about how FDR dealt with his constituents and the judicial system.

  • The New Deal This lesson plan focuses on the New Deal, helping elementary aged students understand it.

  • The Great Depression and FDR This website offers a comprehensive lesson plan for high school teachers focusing on the Great Depression and how FDR handled it.

  • Great Depression This lesson plan focuses on how the American people dealt with the great depression and how they responded to FDR.

  • The Supreme Court This lesson plan focuses on why FDR wanted to change the Supreme Court to help keep the New Deal.

FDR Study Guides

  • Four Freedoms Study Guide This study guide focuses on FDR's four freedoms: freedom of speech, religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

  • FDR Study Guide This website provides study questions and essay ideas for student's focusing on President Roosevelt.

  • The Great Depression This study guide focuses on the cause of the Great Depression and how FDR handled it.

  • FDR and the War This study guide provides 56 study questions about the War and President Roosevelt.

  • Great Depression and New Deal Study Guide A study guide for two of the major parts of FDR's presidency, with 59 study questions.

  • Crash of 1929 This study guide focuses on the period right before and after the Great Depression.

Legacy

FDR is most commonly remembered for his implementation of the New Deal, a set of social programs intended to aid the America public during the Great Depression. His idea for a peace keeping organization gave way to the inception of the United Nations, although this did not happen until after his sudden death. He was such a strong supporter of the Boy Scouts, that he actually became the President of the New York Boy Scouts, attending several functions during his presidency. Historians and analysts consider Roosevelt one of the best and most influential presidents in American History, in league with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

His Disabilities

In 1921, well before his presidency, FDR contracted what was then believed to be polio, becoming paralyzed from the waist down. In later years, this diagnosis was heavily debated, with many believing he actually had Guillain Barre syndrome. Since he became paralyzed, FDR underwent countless different therapies, refusing to settle for being paralyzed, even teaching himself to walk for short distances. He is also believed to have had hypertension, anemia, and possibly melanoma. He was placed on digitalis for what some believe to be congenital heart failure.

  • Disability and Deception This article describes the many ailments of the 32nd president and how he hid them from the American people.

  • The Death of FDR This article explains when and how FDR died, including speculation into his health issues.

  • The Dying President This article details how those working with FDR dealt with his ailing health.

  • Health Issues This website provides a list of all of the known health issues that President Roosevelt faced.

Recommended Reading

  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt This book, written by Edmund Morris, details how FDR became the 32nd president of the United States.

  • Roosevelts Writings This website provides a list of the writings of FDR.

  • By and About This website details all of the books written by and about President Roosevelt.

  • Good Books These three books focusing on President Roosevelt are recommended by America's Library.

  • Theodore Roosevelt Collection This website provides a list of books, photographs and exhibits all about President Roosevelt.

  • The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt This book, written by Lewis L. Gould, details the presidency of FDR.

  • The Wilderness Warrior This book, written by Douglas Brinkley, provide details on the private life of FDR, including his love of hunting.

  • Books and Articles This website provides a comprehensive list of a majority of the books and articles written about Theodore Roosevelt.

  • Articles and Editorials This website provides a detailed list of all of the articles and editorials written by FDR.

  • Why We Should Study FDR This TIME Magazine article explains why Americans should study the life and works of President Roosevelt.

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Autism: On The Spectrum

Autism In Our Culture

Autism is defined as a neural developmental disorder that is most often characterized by communication difficulties and impaired interaction with others. Symptoms may include, avoiding eye contact and a lack of perceivable empathy. Many people with autism display repetitive behaviors, such as rocking and hand flapping. Some behaviors may be self abusive like head banging and biting. The amount of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders or ASD is unclear. It is estimated that, in America, approximately one out of 110 children have ASD of one severity or another. Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed by a ratio of four to five, according to current data. Racial and socioeconomic factors seem to have no bearing on the rate of occurrence of ASD in children and adults. Most cases of autism manifest observable symptoms very early and are diagnosed with ASD before the age of three.

The Spectrum

Autism Spectrum Disorders, or ASD, refer to the modern way of diagnosing those with autistic related developmental disabilities. Like many other developmental disorders, symptoms of autistic people range greatly in severity. Diagnosing individuals using the spectrum based model, can help ensure that they are getting the best treatment for their specific symptoms. Lower and higher functioning autistic individuals may require a very separate set of treatments than those who range somewhere in between. Asperger's Syndrome is typically the most recognizable syndrome associated with high functioning autism. Currently there is a diagnostic distinction between high functioning autistic people and those with Asperger's. Whether or not the distinction is necessary is the subject of some debate. The diagnostic description of Asperger's is functionally the same as that for the highest functioning persons with autism, and while a large culture has arisen among those who have adopted Asperger's as a significant portion of their identity, it may eventually be eliminated as a separate medical diagnosis.

Treatment and Education

There is not one specific, or organized, treatment plan for those with ASD. Individual care and attention to the particular needs of the individual is a necessity. Early intervention is ideal. Special and strong focus on teaching the child the basic skills of talking, walking, and interaction with others before the age of three, can help the child's development later in life. Continuing to expand on these skills through personalized programs, staged interactions, and education is also very important. A variety of therapies may be combined and integrated into the individual's life ranging from dietary plans, medication, to behavior and communication therapy. Depending on the person, care can range from daily one on one attention to occasional supervision during education and work. There is no known cure for autism. As research continues, a better understanding of these conditions can be gained. Knowledge, understanding, experimentation, and personalization are key in providing the individual proper care in the here and now.

Research and Causes

There is no known specific cause for autism. The syndrome's symptoms revolve around the brain, specifically the neural developments. Research on the brains of those with ASD vs. non-autistic individuals; show that the shape and structure of the brains differ. Further research is necessary to understand and develop on the causes of the differences. Heredity is suspected to be a significant factor, and research continues to study those causal links. Experimentation and case studies on autistic individuals can be used to understand the strengths and limitations of these syndromes. This knowledge will directly help individuals, and their families, to recognize and explore new methods, promoting functionality of all individuals with ASD.

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A Comprehensive Stroke Resource Guide

Stroke is a physiological disorder that arises as a result of insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain. Blood circulation in the arteries of the brain gets impaired due to the narrowing or hardening of the arteries causing the supply of oxygen to the brain to be cut off. In serious conditions, the arteries may rupture causing internal hemorrhages within the brain. Stroke, also known as Cerebro Vascular Accident (CVA), is one of the leading causes of deaths in the U.S. In 2006, it’s estimated that about 6,400,000 U.S. citizens suffered a stroke, which suggests that on the average, somebody suffers a stroke every 40 seconds.

 

Risk Factors

 There are several factors that contribute to stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High blood cholesterol level leading to atherosclerosis
  • Disturbances in heart beat

Smoking, drinking, obesity, and aging are other important causative factors leading to stroke.

Detection/ Warning Signs

Insufficient oxygen supply to the brain impairs its normal functioning. Warning signs that someone may be experiencing a stroke include:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Weakness or numbness in one or more limbs, often encompassing one side of the body
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred or deformed speech
  • Loss of balance and coordination

Because strokes can occur to anyone, and the results can be so severe, it is important to be able to recognize these symptoms when they occur, and seek immediate help. In serious cases, seconds can make a difference.

Types of Strokes

Strokes are categorized under two major headings:

  1. Ischemic Stroke or Cerebral Infarction: In this case, the stroke is caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain. The blood circulation in the blood vessels gets blocked, resulting in impaired oxygen supply to the brain. These blockages are mainly caused due to blood clots arising from atherosclerosis. The blood clots flow through the blood stream and cause blockages in the small arteries of the brain. The source of Ischemic strokes lies mainly in the carotid artery that arises from aorta placed just above the heart. About 85% of the strokes are Ischemic in nature.

    TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) is similar to a stroke, but is of short duration and causes little inturruption in the brain's supply of oxygen. TIAs rarely result in any lasting disability or serious consequences, though they may be a sign of a more serious problem. Most TIAs are diagnosed after the fact based on a description of the symptoms, which can include confusion, temporary numbness or weakness, and problems with balance or coordination.
  2. Hemorrhagic Stroke: In this type of stroke, a rupture occurs in a blood vessel in the brain, causing moderate to severe internal bleeding. It occurs most frequently as a result of the weakening of the arterial wall at a particular point, a condition known as aneurysm, but may also occur as the result of head trauma. This is known as hemorrhagic stroke, which is observed in about 15% of the cases. The brain is very sensitive to the presence of free-floating blood, and the reactions that occur as a result of the internal bleeding can be equally, if not more dangerous than the interruption in blood flow.

    Bleeding within the brain can be further categorized under Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and Intracerebral Hemorrhage. In Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, the blood vessels in the brain rupture and blood fills all the fluid filled spaces in the skull and the brain. This stroke can affect people of any age. In Intracerebral Hemorrhage, the artery in the brain ruptures due to high blood pressure and fills the surrounding tissues in the brain.

Diagnosis of Stroke

The traditional symptoms of stroke are well known to the staff and physicians of emergency rooms around the world, and will often result in immediate efforts to either confirm or rule out a stoke diagnosis. A thorough examination of the reflexes and responses of the patient guides the investigation. Imaging technologies such as CT-scan, ECG, and MRI are carried on upon consultation with the neurologist to diagnose stroke. The doctor gathers all information about the past medical history and medications in case of the diabetic and hypertensive patients.

Treatment of Stroke

The treatment of ischemic stroke is carried out by administering medication as soon as possible to dissolve the blockage responsible for the stroke. A Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) is injected into the bloodstream through the arm within a few hours of the stroke. Other blood thinners (heparin, aspirin) and anticoagulants are also administered for quick recovery. The dose of the medication depends upon the condition of the patient, and should be administered with caution to avert hemorrhages. In some severe cases, surgical intervention is carried out to remove larger blockages.

Clipping and coiling treatments are carried out in patients with aneurysms. In the “clipping” procedure, a clip is placed at the base of the aneurysm to prevent the blood from entering. It is considered to be a permanent solution, but requires direct access to the brain through the skull. The coiling procedure is a newer development, wherein a small catheter is introduced through the femoral artery in the thigh and with the aid of sophisticated imaging technology, passed upward to the site of the aneurysm in the brain. A small platinum wire is introduced into the aneurysm, which forms a coil around which blood clots, filling the aneurysm, preventing further bleeding.

Survivors

After the patient recovers from the stroke, special care and attention is given to reduce the occurrence of long-term disability, and bring the patient back to a normal state as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the stroke and its outcome, this can involve regular physiotherapy, speech therapy, and other nursing care with the help of professionals. In many cases, age causes hindrance to restoring the mobility of the stroke patient but through utmost care and family support, the situation can be improved. In 2006, there were approximately 138,000 people who died as a result of suffering from a stroke, but this number reflects a significant reduction as a result of modern diagnostic and treatment practices.

The long-term prognosis for stroke survivors can vary widely depending on the severity of the stroke, and the health of the patient. Patients who achieve a full recovery may often take up to a year to do so. Some patients achieve a full physical recovery, but may continue to suffer from psychological impacts which can be either the result of damage to specific portions of the brain, or the manifestation of post-traumatic stress.

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Down Syndrome Resources Online

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Down syndrome (also known as Down’s syndrome in the United Kingdom and often referred to as “DS” among families of those with Down syndrome) is the most prevalent genetic cause of learning or intellectual disabilities. One in every 800 babies is diagnosed with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is an abnormality of chromosome 21 that results in extra genetic material, and can be caused by three distinct genetic variations. Over 90 percent of Down syndrome cases are caused by Trisomy 21, in which children have three copies of chromosome 21 in all of their cells (instead of the normal two). Children with Mosaic Down syndrome, a rare form of Down syndrome, have three copies of chromosome 21 in some of their cells but the usual two copies in other cells. In children with Translocation Down syndrome, part of chromosome 21 attaches to another chromosome.

Children with Down syndrome can have other health conditions. Half of children with Down syndrome have congenital heart defects, some of which require surgery. People with Down syndrome have a higher chance of developing leukemia in childhood and are more susceptible to pneumonia and other infectious diseases. Later in life, people with Down syndrome are at increased risk of sleep apnea, dementia, and obesity.

Children with Down syndrome can benefit from early intervention programs to help them increase their quality of life and realize their full potential. Early intervention programs are specialized programs for children with Down syndrome that helps to stimulate them in infancy and as young children with motor, sensory, and cognitive activities. Special therapists help children develop their motor skills, self-help skills, social skills, and language skills.

Parents and families of children with Down syndrome can benefit from the help and support of other families impacted by the condition Online support groups allow parents to talk directly with others to share advice, stories, and help. The websites of national and international organizations offer parents information about Down syndrome as well as information on how to educate children with Down syndrome both at home and at school. Many of these organizations also offer advice on transitioning young adults with Down syndrome to living independently. Some national and international organizations offer in-person support and social groups and activities and may match parents to other families in their area.


Organizations

Education

Inclusion

  • Making Inclusion Work: An article on best practices for the inclusive education of children with Down syndrome.
  • Inclusive Education: Articles and resources for the inclusive education of children with Down syndrome.
  • Council of Exceptional Children: This organization advocates for children with special needs.
  • Goodwill Industries: Goodwill Industries works with people with disabilities to help them find and keep jobs and increase their independence.
  • People First: An organization of people with learning difficulties that advocate for the rights of people with learning disabilities. This website lists affiliates of the group in the UK, Canada, Australia, and the United States.
  • TASH: An organization that advocates for the inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Education: Educational resources and inclusion for people with disabilities.
  • Transition Tips: Site includes general resources for families of people with Down syndrome; at the bottom of the page there are downloadable transition tips for young adults with Down syndrome who are moving into their own homes and going to work.
  • Inclusion Solutions: Resources for parents and educators on inclusion.
  • School inclusion: Inclusion information for children from preschool to high school.

Healthcare

Personal Stories

  • Postnatal Stories: Personal stories of parents of children with Down syndrome.
  • Stories and Poems: Stories and poems by people affected by Down syndrome.
  • Prenatal Stories: The stories of parents who received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
  • Down Syndrome Online Support: An online support group for parents of children with Down syndrome.
  • Bulletin Boards: Parent to Parent bulletin boards for parents of children with Down syndrome. Includes bulletin boards on education and medical issues.
  • Disability Experiences: Parents and caregivers share their experiences of caring for and loving children with disabilities.
  • Parents Support: Support groups from Parents Helping Parents for parents of children with disabilities; includes a support group dedicated to parents of children with Down syndrome.
  • Breastfeeding and Down syndrome: Breastfeeding information for mothers of newborns with Down syndrome; includes personal stories.
  • Upside Down: Stories from parents of children with Down syndrome.
  • Birth Stories: The National Association for Down Syndrome provides facts, resources, and programs for people with Down syndrome and their families. The site also includes a section on personal stories.
  • Support for Special Needs: Forums and resources for parents and siblings of children with disabilities.
  • One Mom’s Story: This site includes one mother’s story about parenting a daughter with Down syndrome, as well as questions and answers for parents of children affected by Down syndrome.
  • Down Syndrome Listserv: A listserv of people affected by Down syndrome. 

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Disability Etiquette: Beyond Wheelchairs

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People who live with disabilities often face fear, discomfort, and hostility at a rate that far exceeds that encountered by those who do have no disability. The vast majority of such treatment is rooted in a basic lack of understanding about the challenges that come with having a disability, and the experience of sharing the world with people who do not. People often seek to fill in gaps in their knowledge, and when information is lacking, confusion and even fear may result.

Anyone wishing to overcome this experience in themselves will be best served by first recognizing that a disability is a limited phenomenon. A physical disability may have a large impact on how an individual interacts with the physical word. A sensory disability may alter the gathering of information. These are conditions however, in no way prevent the individuals who live with them from having unique personalities, talents, knowledge, humor, and lives. People who live with disabilities have more in common than not with those who have no disability. We all share the same existence, and the same basic needs.

In order to establish a foundation, he top three considerations, as repeated in the vast majority of lists of disability etiquette concerns are:

  • Ask if a person needs assistance before attempting to assist them. All people, whether or not they live with a disability, take pride in what they are able to do. Making any assumption about a person's abilities in any given situation can rob them of this feeling.
  • Speak directly to a person with a disability, even if he or she has an interpreter. While a person with a hearing impairment may have to look at an interpreter for communication, it is discouraging to everyone to be looked around or over when communicating with someone.
  • Ask permission before touching and assistive device or service animal. These items and creatures are the tools that the user needs to live their life. They are very important, and very personal.

Never Say Never

The more a discussion of etiquette directly relates to lifestyles and personal abilities, the more likely it is that the word "never" is used to illustrate what not to do. While this is often a useful guideline, it can be cumbersome in some situations. In some cases, people who are less experienced in respectful and positive communication may stumble over wording, and significantly impair communication efforts. In other cases, people who are living with a disability may have feelings about language that is not in keeping with the established guidelines for etiquette. Whatever the reason, the commonly recognized best practices of disability-related etiquette may not always be the preferred practices, and it is always most important for the most effective and respectful communication, to first respect the wishes of the individual.

Mobility impairment

People with mobility impairments are often the most immediately identifiable people who are living with disabilities. As such, the stigma that our culture attaches to these people out of fear and ignorance, often impacts people with mobility impairments most frequently, and most harshly.

Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities

Developmental and cognitive disabilities are an extremely broad, but very interconnected category. Both types of disability frequently occur together as a result of a single causal factor, though they just as frequently occur individually. While an experienced and compassionate person may be able to recognize that a person has a developmental disability, there is often no way of knowing whether the person also suffers from a cognitive disability without interacting with that person. Likewise, cognitive disabilities may occur in people who do not appear externally to have any disability whatsoever. It may take observation of behavior and interaction to determine how to communicate most appropriately with someone. Further, a basic recognition that a person's behavior differs from the range that is considered mainstream may not absolutely indicate a cognitive disability, but could be a result of a mental illness (see below) or simply a personality quirk that does not constitute a disability. Lastly, a person with a cognitive disability may not be recognizable in casual interaction. Conditions such as dyslexia, and attention deficit are classified as cognitive disabilities, and can reasonably require both accommodation and sensitivity, but neither will necessarily be immediately apparent. It is in this broad category that the most care must be taken in making assumptions about what a person is or is not capable of doing on their own or with assistance.

Blindness

Make no assumptions about what someone who is blind can and cannot do. Modern assistive technology has made things that were formerly inaccessible to the blind commonplace. A primary example is computer usage, which has become a nearly ubiquitous skill for sighted people, and is rapidly becoming standardized as audio screen readers and web standards converge.

  • Being a sighted guide A reference on the established protocol for assisting someone as a sighted guide
  • Blind Etiquette 101 Some words of advice from a person who lives with a vision impairment
  • Resources for Access and Etiquette A set of resources specifically geared toward interacting with people who use guide dogs
  • Etiquette A rundown of etiquette considerations for people interacting with those who are blind in social and professional situations

Deafness

Deafness is an extremely common disability, and one which does not present the same mobility issues faced by many other people with disabilities. This, combined with modern support for signing (which was once discouraged as a form of communication) has resulted in vibrant deaf communities springing up around the world. Still, interacting with a person who is deaf can be challenging, as deafness presents a communication barrier not experienced by most people who live with disabilities.

Mental Illness

People living with mental illness may or may not have a disability. The specific criteria for determining the nature or severity of a psychiatric condition that constitutes a disability constantly shifts, but generally rests on a consideration of the level of impairment of daily activities suffered by the person in question. The biggest barrier faced by people living with mental illness is the lack of understanding which is nearly universal to almost all psychiatric disorders. Stigma, and the accompanying ignorance, remains the primary barrier to overcome.

Additional Resources

  • Disability Etiquette A broad guide provided by the City of Sacramento, California
  • Focus on Ability Tips for employers interviewing applicants who have disabilities
  • Developing Sites A guide to web development for users who have cognitive or learning disabilities (most accessible design is focused on visual disabilities)
  • Discribing People With Disabilities A resource on people first language, for use when talking about people who have disabilities

Mistakes Will Be Made

Everyone will at some point make a mistake in conversation. This is one occasion that requires absolutely no special consideration for people who live with disabilities. As when interacting with anyone else, when a mistake is made, simply apologize. People who live with disabilities learn early and unequivocally that others are frequently uncomfortable interacting with them. Most people who have lived with a disability since birth (and many who have not) have experienced bullying and harassment as a result of individual ignorance. A conversational error will not be the harshest experience suffered by any person living with a disability. An apology is an acknowledgement of an error, and of a person's intention to be sensitive. Communicating an awareness of etiquette and concern for an individual's feelings may even set one apart from the crowd, and be the first step toward making a new friend.

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People First Language: I Am Not My Wheelchair

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair; we offer transport chairs, power wheelchairs, mobility scooters, & walkers.

Consider the sentence:

"Christopher Reeve was a wheelchair-bound actor."

To those familiar with his career before he suffered the accident which lead to his paralysis, this would be a gross misrepresentation of a popular and beloved figure. Why then, is it acceptable to characterize others in similar ways - even if they have lived with a disability from birth?

People who live with disabilities face social challenges daily, and they may feel uncomfortable when ordinary people refer to them as “disabled people”. Some basic consideration of the language that we use to talk with and about people with disabilities can make a substantial difference in the atmosphere within a workplace, classroom, social situation, or even in casual encounters. The characterization of people with disabilities as people first and foremost can be the difference between recognition and dismissal of a person who has ability, interests, and ambition. For instance:

  • "Ray Charles was a blind musician" minimizes his accomplishments, and frames them as occurring in spite of his disability. "Ray Charles was a world-renowned musician who was blind" is a recognition of his individuality and talent, above the disability which he lived with.
  • "Helen Keller was deaf and blind" defines her solely in terms of her disability, and entirely ignores her career as a human rights activist and writer. "Helen Keller was the author of 12 books, and was the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree" identifies her as a person who was intelligent and motivated, regardless of her sensory disabilities.
  • "Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a disabled politician" seems an almost absurd description of a man who became one of the most respected Presidents of the United States. His accomplishments are so well known and regarded that they eclipse the fact that he spent much of his life in a wheelchair as a result of a battle with polio. Does this then suggest that there is a threshold beyond which a person with a disability must achieve to be afforded an identity beyond their physical, sensory, or cognitive impairment?

People first language is defined as a linguistic prescriptivism that seeks to eliminate dehumanization of people with disabilities. It helps those who don't live with a disability recognize people with disabilities as individuals with personalities and identities that are distinct from their disability. The most basic and effective use of the language is to identify people with disabilities by their names.

Because people first language is intended to increase the communicated level of respect in interaction between people who have disabilities and people who do not, it is recommended that it be a consideration in all such interaction. However, the extent of its use should be determined situationally. If including people first language in a single sentence is cumbersome, and causes a speaker to stumble over words, it may not be ideal or critical that the most explicit and clear people first language be used. Some feel that extreme adherence to people first language constitutes excessive political correctness, and takes the focus away from effective communication. In all cases, it is important to consider the context of the communication, and the wishes of the people involved. Likewise, if a party to a communication feels that any of the language used is inappropriate or not useful, they should make this known, for the sake of fostering an environment of mutual respect and positive interaction.

Many educational institutions that serve young children encourage people first language in order to establish an environment of respect and inclusion early in a child's social development - both for the sake of children who live with disabilities, and for those who do not.

Here are links to more information about people first language:

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Not Just for Wheelchairs: A Resource Guide to Universal Design

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Universal design is a concept which has been growing in popularity since the late 1990s. It is a design philosophy which encourages the design of spaces and product features that are accessible to people of every age and ability. The principals of this design philosophy are a reaction against traditional "handicapped accessible" spaces and adaptive technology, which often limited the functional range of spaces and devices, and was almost universally aesthetically unpleasant. Universal design is a ground-up philosophy which uses basic elements to create a world that can be shared by people of all abilities.

 

Some examples of universal design in spaces include:

  • Doors that are opened by levers rather than with knobs, which assist people who have problems with grip, while also easing operation for anyone carrying heavy or large objects. Such levers are commonly available in a wide variety of attractive styles.
  • Entryways that are flat (without stairs) and wide, which make it possible for persons with mobility impairments to access a space without needing a ramp, while providing dramatically easier entry to parents of young children in strollers, and ease the transfer of furniture and appliances.
  • Linear building layouts that offer clear lines of sight can assist people who have communication difficulty, while also facilitating improved lighting, which is beneficial to everyone, especially those with vision difficulty.

Examples of universal design in products include:

  • "Rocker" type lightswitches, which offer simplified operation to everyone, and allow basic access to people with fine motor difficulties, or who use reaching tools.
  • The Cuisinart brand food processor is among the most famous devices incorporating universal design principals, and features large controls with large, clear labels that reduce complexity in the kitchen, while facilitating operation by people with fine motor difficulties.

The philosophy behind universal design is so basic that it is nearly effortless to incorporate the principals into new home construction. So easy, that in some areas, certain elements of universal design are being encouraged through tax incentives, or mandated by law. Homes built with universal design principals need not me modified as highly if and when their occupant's range of physical abilities change, and when modification does become necessary, they are better equipped to handle such work. For instance, many universally designed homes feature walls built with wider beams, which allow solid mounting of grab-bars, and other wall-mounted devices without the need for extra reinforcement. This reduces costs that frequently fall to public programs including Medicare and Medicaid.

As a practice, universal design has its roots in 1947, when an 11 year old named Marc Harrison suffered a traumatic brain injury that required extensive therapy to help him re-learn basic functions. This event inspired Harrison, and as someone who had experienced a term of reduced physical ability, he received an MFA in industrial design, and began working to merge aesthetic and functional design considerations in a way that hadn't been previously considered. Harrison is the person directly responsible for the design of the Cuisinart food processor, and up until his passing in 1998, continued to work on a project known as the Universal Kitchen, meant to improve the functionality of the kitchen space to reduce the amounts of bending, reaching, and twisting that is required by traditional designs. Harrison is considered to be the principal figure in the birth of modern universal design.

Please explore the following resources for more information on universal design in theory and practice:

  • Senior Dwelling An audio discussion from NPR on building and choosing homes that are fit to grow old in. Site also includes a written companion story.
  • Marc Harrison A bio and dossier for Marc Harrison, a man considered to be the pioneer of universal design.
  • The Center For Universal Design Providing a list of news items, publications, and programs which target universal design themes.
  • Universal Designers and Consultants A website for a team of architects who specialize in universal design, with some examples of their spaces.
  • Universal Design Resources A list of resources for those interested in purchasing or building a universally designed home, including links to sources for plans, books, and more.
  • Universal Design Showers This article looks at how to create a shower that is accessible and usable to a broad range of people.
  • Kitchen Design This five-minute video examines the kitchen in a home built to model principals of universal design.
  • Universal Design Kitchen This PDF document provides advice on kitchen design.
  • Universal Design Kitchen Cabinet This article advises on universal design for kitchen cabinets.
  • Universal Design Kitchen Tips This GE pictorial illustrates how space can accommodate adjustable appliances in a universally-designed kitchen.
  • All-Generation Home Guide (PDF document) This four-page guide to homes that fit all generations can be printed and carried while shopping for appliances or housing.
  • What Is Universal Design? This 2-page PBS primer gives a crash course in making homes more accommodating.
  • Universal Design Living Laboratory Seeks to Break Barriers This article from an architecture industry publication discusses a home built by an architect who uses a wheelchair. Other architects and home shoppers are invited to tour the home to learn about proper universal design.
  • The Northwest Universal Design Council This site contains a large collection of information for home builders and buyers, including a checklist, and highlights on trouble spots to watch out for in virtually every room in a home.
  • Aging in Place, Gracefully, With Universal Design This article includes sections addressing resale values, cutting costs, and paying for universally designed homes.
  • Housing Solutions for All Ages and Abilities This website outlines the universal design program of Ohio State University, and includes a number of video case studies illustrating the spaces that the program has worked with.
  • Bringing Égalité Home This New York Times article tells the story of one man's adventure in rebuilding a 20-year old home to incorporate universal design principals
  • The Concept of Universal Design This article illustrates the distinction between universal design, and accessible design.
  • Universal Design Resource List A list of resources for practical help with universal design, compiled by the Office for AccessAbility at the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Aging in Place and Universal Design Resources This PDF document from the California Department of Housing and Community Development is a list of national-level resources for people looking for assistance with remaining in their homes as they age.
  • Designed for Life Montgomery This website showcases model homes built in Montgomery County, Maryland.
  • WELLcome Home This site from Ball State University provides several exhaustive studies of universal design considerations in the home. A must for designers and builders.
  • Living Laboratory This site chronicles one woman’s efforts to build a home to accommodate her disability as well as her family’s needs.
  • Institute for Human Centered Design This Boston-based Non-Governmental Organization seeks to advance the concept of universal design globally.
  • Building a Custom Universal Design Home This article from ABILITY Magazine explores how to build a dream home that is universally designed.
  • Home Repair and Universal Deisgn An article from AARP that offers tips on universal design considerations in home repair.
  • Universal and Green Article from Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine looking at merging green technology with universal design.
  • Homebuying Guide: Guide from New Horizons Unlimited, which includes tips on design, remodeling, and working with contractors.

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State Accessibility Laws

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By law, people with disabilities are ensured equal opportunities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination based on disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, telecommunications, commercial facilities, and state and local government. Along with the Americans with Disabilities Act, each state has their own laws regarding disability rights. The following resources will help you learn about the disability rights laws in your state.

Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program

Alaska Disability Law Center

Arizona Center For Disability Law

Arkansas Disability Rights Center

California Disability Laws and Regulations

Colorado Disability Advocacy

Connecticut Disability Laws and Benefits

Delaware Disabilities Law Program

District of Columbia Disability Law Center

Florida Disability Law Resources

Georgia Disability and Mental Health

Hawaii Disability Rights Center

Idaho Disability Laws

Illinois Disability Rights

Indiana Disability Laws

Iowa Disability Law Resources

Kansas Disability Rights Center

Kentucky Office of Disabilities

Louisiana Disability Laws

Maine Disability Law Resources

Maryland Disability Law Center

Massachusetts Disability Law Center

Michigan Disability Law Resources

Minnesota Disability Law Center

Mississippi Disability Rights

Missouri Disability Information

Montana Disability Rights

Nebraska Disability Rights Advocacy

Nevada Disability Law Center

New Hampshire Disabilities Rights Center

New Jersey Disability Laws

New Mexico Disability Rights

New York Disability & Health Laws

North Carolina Disability Rights

North Dakota Disability Services

Ohio American Disabilities Act

Oklahoma Disability Law Center

Oregon Disability Rights

Pennsylvania Disability Rights Network

Rhode Island Disability Law Center

South Carolina Disability Law Resources

South Dakota Disability Determination Services

Tennessee Disability Law Center

Texas Disability Law Resources

Utah Disability Law Center

Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights

Virginia Disability Rights Services

Washington Disability Rights Laws

West Virginia Disability Laws

Wisonconsin Disability Law

Wyoming Disability Laws

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Molecular Biology Resources Online

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Molecular biology is a branch of science which studies biological systems at a molecular level. The purview of molecular biology often overlaps with fields such as biochemistry and genetics, since molecular biology closely studies cell systems and their complex interactions. Protein biosynthesis, DNA, and RNA patterns are also explored by molecular biologists.

History of Molecular Biology

The name molecular biology was coined in 1938 by Warren Weaver of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Natural Sciences department. Though studies in molecular biology started as early as the 1930’s, it was not until the 1950’s that major strides were taken in the field. The Rockefeller institute helped popularize molecular biology by funding several molecular biology research projects. The advances in X-ray crystallography contributed greatly to the filed of molecular biology as well. In the 1960’s, biologists finally succeeded in isolating, characterizing, and even manipulating molecular cell components such as DNA.

The Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

In 1958, Francis Crick articulated the central dogma of molecular biology. Subsequently, he re-stated the central dogma in 1970. The central dogma explains the sequential information transfer in terms of detailed residue transfer. It also states that information cannot be re-transferred from protein to nucleic acid or protein. To better understand the framework of sequential information transfers comprising of biopolymers, the central dogma is often used. The central dogma also categorizes the biopolymers into three groups, namely the DNA, RNA, and the proteins. Furthermore, the central dogma further sub-divides the groups into three classes: the 3 general transfers, the three special transfers, and the three unknown transfers.

Molecular Biology Techniques

There are a number of important molecular biology techniques which help scientists to isolate or manipulate the molecular cell components.

  • Expression Cloning - This method is considered a basic technique for studying protein functions. In this technique, the protein’s DNA coding is cloned into an expression vector called a plasmid. This plasmid may or may not contain promoter elements for producing protein of interest.
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction - This technique is used for DNA copying since it’s very versatile. In PCR, a DNA sequence can be easily copied thousands of times or can even be altered.
  • Gel Electrophoresis - This technique is based on the premise that electric fields can separate proteins, DNA, and RNA molecules. The agarose gel electrophoresis is the technique wherein agarose gel is used to separate RNA and DNA.
  • Southern Blotting - Southern Blotting is the technique for finding out a particular DNA sequence which is present in a DNA sample. After the DNA samples are separated by gel electrophoresis, they are passed on to a membrane by blotting.
  • Northern Blotting - The northern blotting technique helps in the better understanding of a specific RNA molecule’s expression patterns.
  • Western Blotting - In western blotting, small amounts of protein are injected into animal specimens such as a mouse, creating the antibodies of the proteins. When produced by using animals as agents, they are called polyclonal antibodies and when produced in a cell culture, they’re known as monoclonal antibodies.
  • Eastern Blotting - A protein’s post-translational modification can be identified by the eastern blotting technique. A few specific substrates are used for probing the modifications of the blotted proteins.

Additional Information and Techniques

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Caregiver Day of Action - July 28, 2010

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The experience of helping loved ones in need can be both rewarding and trying. Over the last ten years 1800wheelchair.com has helped tens of thousands of care givers with mobility related issues. We often hear the same questions and struggles. Using Meetup.com’s Everywhere platform we hope to bring people together to discuss what they’ve learned, share stories and maybe inspire each other.

The first meetups will all take place on the same day - July 28th, 2010.  You can sign up for the caregiver Meetup here. These events are for you, by you, so meet wherever you like. If you find these meetings helpful, feel free to organize more. Meetup.com can help with that.

After July 28th, we'll open it up, allowing you to create events for any date and time you prefer.

 

 

 

FAQs

Can anyone be involved? I don't live in the U.S. Can I still participate?

Yes, the 1800wheelchair cargivers meetup is all about connecting with other local cargivers in your community to share and learn, no matter where in the world you live.

Do I have to be a 1800wheelchair customer to join?

No, this event is open to everyone to attend.  

Do I have to have an Meetup account to join in these meetings?

No, you can RSVP with your Facebook sign-in, if you don't have a Meetup account. If you don't have a Facebook account or a Meetup account, you'll need one or the other to RSVP and/or step up as an organizer for a cargivers meetup. It's free and easy to sign up.

Can we change the time of the event?

Yes. The event organizer can change the time and set the location of the event.

Can I add a new Meetup to the map, even if my town already has one?

Yes, pick a convenient location.  The idea here is to foster face to face connections.  And, if the current Meetup is too far away, feel free to schedule another.

Does using the Meetup Everywhere tool cost money?

Nope. The Meetup Everywhere site is free and creating a Meetup.com account is free. You might want to pitch in for refreshments and drinks.

What do we do at the cargiver meeups?

That is up to you to decide. We hope you'll all share stories, propose new ideas and ask questions. It's an open forum.  

What's the difference between Meetup Everywhere and Meetup Groups?

Meetup Everywhere is not a Meetup Group. A Meetup Group is a local community group. Meetup Everywhere is a simple way to spark Meetups all over the world.

This sounds great. How can I help get the word out?

Help us spread the word. Email, Facebook, tweet, call ... anything.  Just invite your friends to this link: http://www.meetup.com/caregiver/

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The Game of Quad Rugby

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Quad rugby is a sport that was developed for individuals and athletes who have upper body disabilities. The event typically takes place on a basketball court in which the players are in wheelchairs. Originally known as “murder ball”, quad rugby has transformed into a popular Paralympic sport practiced in over twenty countries. Established in 1993, the sport of quad rugby is governed by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federations.

Wheelchair, or quad, rugby was developed in 1976 in the country of Canada by five Canadian wheelchair athletes. Jerry Terwin, Randy Dueck, Chris Sargent, Duncan Campbell and Paul LeJeune created quad rugby to be a sport for quadriplegics. The sport required its players to dribble and shoot baskets. Each team is made up of four players and allowed unlimited substitutes. Quad rugby is played with a volleyball which is carried, batted or passed with the object of the game being to get the ball across the 20 meter goal. Chair contact with other players with or without the ball is encouraged and the player with the ball must dribble or pass the ball in intervals of ten seconds.

  • Quad Rugby History: The history of quad rugby (wheelchair rugby), field dimensions and rules of the game.
  • How to Play Quad Rugby: Rules and regulations of quad rugby the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation.
  • USA Paralympics: Official United States of America Paralympic website with performance plans, selection procedures and team rosters.
  • Adaptive Sports Program: Wheelchair rugby as an adaptive sports program as a rehabilitation option with videos of a quad rugby game.

In 2005, a documentary film called ‘Murderball’ was directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro. The Oscar nominated film focuses on the rivalry between Canadian and U.S rugby teams. The low budget film is about quadriplegics who play the sport of quad (wheelchair) rugby which lead up to the 2004 Paralympics games. The film was nominated in the 78th Academy Awards for ‘Best Documentary Feature’. The major international quad rugby competitions are held in Zone Championships, or each odd numbered year. In even numbered years, the World Championships are held, opposite the Paralympics Games and the Summer Paralympics Games.

Quad rugby is a competitive, fast-paced sport for individuals with quadriplegia. There are over 50 hard-hitting quad rugby teams in the United States alone and over 20 international teams, making this wheelchair sport one of the most popular Paralympic events.

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An Overview of Stephen Hawking

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair - The Power Wheelchair Store.

When life throws you a lemon, you don’t sulk, complain or feel sorry for yourself. Instead, you just make lemonadeYou make the most of the situation that is handed to you, just as Stephen Hawking has done in his lifetime of accomplishments, achievements and deeds while being severely disabled. Mr. Hawking is an extraordinary human being who defeated all odds and stood his ground in maintaining his sense of humor and integrity, despite his physical limitations. Society puts him in the same category as Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton for his knowledge and experience in Physics, Mathematics and Cosmology. He is a man defined not only by his disability, but by his accomplishments and his contributions to science.

  • The Early Years

Stephen Hawking is a Physics professor at Cambridge University, located in Cambridge, England. His expertise and passion dwells in that of Cosmology, the study of the universe. He was born during World War II, and given the name of Stephen William Hawking on January 8, 1942 in Oxford England. Although it was his father’s dream for his son to become a doctor like himself, Stephen chose not to follow in his father’s footsteps for his love was in Mathematics, Physics, Science and Astronomy. As a boy growing up, he was enrolled at St. Albans at the age of eleven. Though today, he is noted for his work as a researcher, which details a lot of reading and analyzing, as a child Stephen’s reading was at a low level. He found it to be more satisfying trying to figure out how things work, than it was reading text books. Figuring things out on his own opened doors that put him on his career path.

  • The Incurable Disease

Stephen admits that as a child his first challenge was that of being physically uncoordinated. This physical problem led him to shy away from activities dealing with sports. However, the minor set back did not keep him from entering competitions in rowing and coxing at the age of seventeen. It was at the age of twenty-one that he began noticing some more changes in his coordination, more accidents would occur, like falling for no apparent reason. After many tests and hospital visits, he was diagnosed with an incurable disease that would eventually leave him permanently disabled. Today he lives his life confined to a wheelchair and speaking through a voice synthesizer, because the disease has claimed his voice and destroyed the muscles in his body, which leaves him paralyzed. The incurable disease that has taken over his body is Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS as it is sometimes called.

  • His Published Works

The defining man not only loves doing research, giving lectures and interviews. He has a passion for writing as well. He is an author whose contributions include book publications and essays. His first book published is entitled: A Brief History of Time which was followed by two more published works: Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays. Another book was published in 2001 entitled The Universe in a Nutshell. All of which, shows his enthusiasm and interest in Cosmology. Mr. Hawking has proven that he is unstoppable, even in a wheelchair.

  • Conclusion

 Hawking is a man of integrity, strength and determination. He is also humble, because regardless of his accomplishments while living with his disability, he still claims that he is no genius. Though in a wheelchair, Hawking is married and has a family. Besides his accomplishments in research, he has won recognition for being on TV Programs such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and being entertained at the White House. With all the things that this man has accomplished, it goes to show that a disability may slow you down and interrupt your life, but it doesn’t have to mean that your life is over. You can still do great things and prove your worth.

Below are lists of links that will lead to interesting reading on the life and accomplishments of Stephen William Hawking, the man who didn’t let being disabled stop him from living.

Hawkins at the University of Cambridge

The Man and His Contributions

About Professor Stephen Hawking

Cosmology at Cambridge

Talking with Hawking about Lou Gehrig's Disease

A Glimpse into His Personal Life

Facing the Medical Emergency

An Interview with Stephen Hawking

An Essay on Hawking

 Witnessing a Stephen Hawking Lecture                                 

Beating the Odds

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What Type of Wheelchair Vehicle is Best For Me?

Deciding which type of accessible vehicle to drive or use for transportation is difficult. Almost any type of vehicle can be modified to accommodate accessible transportation, but one stands out as the best wheelchair vehicle for families, businesses, or public transportation.

WHEELCHAIR MINIVANS Wheelchair minivans come out on top as the best wheelchair vehicle all around. They offer affordable pricing, lots of interior space, great gas mileage, quick access, and top safety ratings. Buyers can choose from side and rear entry wheelchair vans with a power or manual ramp for easy access in and out of the vehicle. Minivans have a low center of gravity and drive like a car making them very gas efficient and easy to drive. Some minivans such as the wheelchair vans offered by AMS Vans also negate the need for an expensive kneeling system by extending the ramp 4 inches. This saves the customer thousands of dollars versus other national brands.

FULL SIZED VANS Most full size conversion vans use a lift rather than a ramp. Lift systems are significantly more expensive than ramps in addition to the vehicle itself being more expensive than a minivan. Full size vans are built on a truck chassis making driving and maneuverability extremely challenging. Full size vans have either captain’s chair seating or bench seating that forces the buyer to choose less passenger seating or benches that a caregiver would have to crawl over to get to a passenger. Full size vans have very low gas mileage and a high center of gravity making it less stable than a minivan. Most full size vans carry the additional expense of needing the back doors widened to accommodate a lift or ramp and possibly the roof raised. Using a ramp is possible with full sized vans, however a kneeling system is required adding thousands to your accessible conversion.

SUVS SUVs are stylish, popular, and often coming standard with four wheel drive for off road driving. While this feature is nice in the occasional snow storm, the low gas mileage, expensive maintenance, higher insurance rates, and unstable high center of gravity doesn’t really make it worth the trade. Making an SUV accessible is extremely costly by adding transfer seats, kneeling systems and expensive unreliable hitch mounted lifts. While SUVs are as big or bigger than a minivan, most of the cargo space is taken up by bench seating for passengers. Once you transfer a user out of the chair and onto the seat and store the wheelchair in the relatively small space in the back for cargo, your storage space is cut in half.

CARS While cars are typically good on gas, easy to drive, and stylish, using one as accessible transportation can be difficult. Since they are so low to the ground, transferring out of the wheelchair and into the car can put not only the wheelchair user at risk, but the person assisting at risk for injury. Using a car requires the use of a foldable wheelchair, a portable wheelchair that does not necessarily offer the same customized comfort amenities as the user’s wheelchair he/she uses all the time. Once a portable wheelchair is placed in the trunk, it becomes basically useless with all the space taken up from the chair.

MOTORCYCLES Motorcycles are fun, environmentally friendly vehicles that can be customized to a wheelchair user. Wheelchair users can purchase add on packages to either drive from their chair, slide from their chair onto a common motorcycle seat that is stored inside a lift attached to the back of the bike, or ride in their chair shotgun via a side car. While an exhilarating hobby, most area climates are not conducive to year round motorcycle use since you and your chair are exposed to the elements. Motorcycle accidents are among the most horrific on the road since they are not surrounded by a metal frame, and they are less visible to other drivers. Using a motorcycle for your primary accessible transportation only allows the wheelchair user and possibly one other rider to use it at the same time so the versatility of the vehicle is rather limited.

PICK UP TRUCKS Pick up trucks have the same unstable high center of gravity and low gas mileage as SUVs. An expensive transfer chair or robotic system is required to transfer in and out of the cab of the truck. Even with the purchase of high dollar king or extended cab trucks, the wheelchair has to be transported in the bed of the truck which is exposed to the elements critically reducing the life of your chair.

Finding the best wheelchair vehicle for yourself, your family, or your business can be a daunting task, but you are on the right path towards making the right decision and enjoying the mobility freedom you deserve.

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Helpful Resources for the Aging

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Aging is a part of life that nobody can avoid. Whether it's yourself or a family member, it is important to remember there are resources available to help target almost any obstacle or question. An aging person should be treated with dignity and respect. Below is a useful resource guide targeted to help anyone with questions.

Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia

Alzheimer's Disease Research Center- Information and different ways to rate cognitive and functional performance related to Alzheimer Disease.

Memory and Aging Center - A list of dementia resources available including websites, books, articles, and videos.

Alzheimer's Association - Learn about Alzheimer's Disease and recent news on it.

National Insititute of Aging - Information on Alzheimer's Disease including symptoms, general information, coping, and treatment of the disease.

Alzheimer's , Dementia, and Driving - Information, resources, and support on Alzheimer's Disease.

Assistive Technology and Aging

Assistive Technology Information Links - Resources and information about assistive technology.

Sage Advice - Information and help with assistive technology.

CODI - Information on assistive technology resources for people with disabilities.

Online Resources - A resource for assistive technology and disability information.

Intellectual Disabilities, Aging &Dementia – Information and help for people with disabilities, including research and training.

Caregiver Resources

The Family Caregiver Handbook – Information and help to find caregiver support and resources based out of Massachusetts.

Caregiver Resources- A collection of various links for caregivers on topics from resource materials to finances.

Patient/ Caregiver Resources- Guidance and a list of websites on how to find the proper help after receiving a diagnoses.

Other Resources- Various websites with caregiver information.

Resources for Caregivers of Elders- Educational resources for caring for the elderly.

Consumer Protection & the Elderly

Resources for Topics on Aging- Information on fraud and abuse targeted towards the elderly.

Elder Consumer Protection Program- A progressive and educational program for professionals on general and legal topics for the elderly.

Internet Resources for Gerontology – Information on The Elderly Abuse and Exploitation Project.

Family and Consumer Sciences- The evaluation of public and private consumer protection agencies and resources for the elderly.

Molly Bish Center- Information on a center focusing on the protection of the elderly.

Disability and Aging

Maine Aging Resources – A wide variety of resources and links for adults, seniors, and children with disabilities.

Aging Resources Available at the Center for Disabilty Resources Library- Resources available for elderly with disabilities.

Aging and Disability – Resources available promoting aging and disability resources.

Disability Programs – Information for people who are on disability through social security.

Disability Research Institite – A page of various resources of online information for elderly people with disabilities.

Elder Law

Elder Law- A resource page of links of elder law information and research guides.

Aging with Dignity- A medical directive in 20 languages giving the patient 5 wishes the elderly patient wants to have made.

Older People Work Longer for Less- A resource available that helps older people claim their rights and challenge discrimination.

International Federation on Ageing – Information on an international non-governmental organization who believes in positive change for older people throughout the world.

Global Aging- Helpful web links and resources about elder laws.

Exercise and Fitness

The Age Antidote - Information on the effects exercise has on the brain.

Welcome to Resources for Exercise Science Indivividuals- Informational resources on health and fitness for the elderly.

Physical Exercise Protects Your Brain as it Ages- Statistics – Information on how physical exercise helps an aging brain.

Wellness Activities for Older Americans- Research on diet and exercise for the elderly and aging.

Regular Exercise Helps Protect Muscles in Elderly From Soreness, Injury- An article wrote on the evidence of why exercise is important and beneficial to the elderly.

Nursing Homes

Listing U.S. nursing homes and their quality ratings.

Resource Page for Nursing Home Social Workers- Information about nursing homes and social work services.

Family Resource Center- A list of skilled nursing home resources.

Nursing Homes- Resources on nursing homes and different units available.

Before Moving into a Nursing Home- An article about what you should consider before moving into s nursing home.

Resource Center on Aging – A center providing information and education on the elderly and nursing home resources.

Mental Health and Aging

Mental Health and Aging- A resource for mental illness and the aging web links.

Center for Mental Health and Aging- A center for education, testing, and disseminating information on the aging and mental health.

Mental Health & Aging Project- A program offering education, training, and consults for clinicians.

Center for Mental Health and Aging- A center dedicated on improving lives of older people living in the community.

Mental Health & Aging – A project devoted to educating and strengthening networks for older adults with mental problems.

National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project- A study geared towards finding ways to improve health as people age.

Transportation and Mobility

The Mobility Needs of Older Americans: Implications for Transportation Reauthorization- An article about the importance of transportation for the elderly.

Safe Mobility for Older Persons- Information on effects elderly driving has on society and the negative consequences for older people.

About the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety- Information on the travel needs and basic mobility for the elderly person.

Healthy Aging Column- Transportation for the Aging Population – Information on the increased number of traffic accidents caused by the elderly.

Pedestrian Mobility Aids for the Elderly- Information on the elderly and how important it is to have mobility.

Workforce & Aging

Aging & Work- Information on the aging in the workforce.

Economics of the Aging Revolution- Information and web links in defense for the elderly at work.

Workers Affected by Chronic Conditions: How can workplace policies and programs help?- An article on workplace policies and chronic conditions and the effects on elderly people.

AGS Foundation for Health in Aging – Resources for the elderly in the workplace.

Programs- A program from the School of Labor & Industrial Relations dealing with laws against discrimination of the elderly in the workplace.

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Information Page

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Multiple sclerosis, commonly known as MS, is a disease that affects the nerves of the central nervous system. An insulation to the nerves known as myelin improves the impulses that maintain the health of the nerves. When an individual has multiple sclerosis, inflammation in the nervous system (spinal cord and brain) causes the myelin to degenerate. These nerves then become damaged, which can affect a person's vision, walking, speech, memory and writing. The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown but researchers have narrowed the reasoning down to genetics and disorders of the immune system. Common symptoms of MS include tingling, loss of balance, blurred or double vision, numbness, weakness in limbs, slurred speech, cognitive problems, lack of coordination, and sudden paralysis. While there is no one test to diagnosis multiple sclerosis, a series of criteria is used to diagnosis the disease.

 

Criteria used to diagnosis multiple sclerosis: 

  • Onset of MS typically occurs between 20 to 50 years of age
  • Symptoms and signs are present
  • Two or more lesions are found during an MRI scan
  • Evidence of brain or spinal disease is found during an examination
  • Two or more episodes of impaired function that lasts at least 24 hours
  • No other explanation is found for the patients symptoms
  • Multiple Sclerosis Foundation: Official foundation for individuals living with multiple sclerosis, programs and activities, publications and more.

Living with and Managing MS

Multiple sclerosis is a life long disease that can affect many aspects of daily life and present challenges to those who have it. Symptoms of MS typically come and go and therefore cause a certain ‘lack of control’ to sufferers of the disease. A treatment plan that includes medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes can help control MS. Every case of MS is dramatically different and can affect individuals in various ways. While some cases remain benign and patients only suffer small infrequent attacks, others can progress rapidly and cause intense degenerative symptoms that become worse with each attack.

  • Disease Progression: Living with multiple sclerosis and how to stay healthy as the disease progresses.
  • Learning about MS: Find information about multiple sclerosis, how it affects aspects of your health, and conventional treatments.

Treatment

Both drug therapy and rehabilitation techniques have been extremely effective in managing multiple sclerosis. Avonex, Copazone, Betaseron, Extavia, Novatrone, Tysabri, and Rebif are some of the most common agents used in medications to reduce disease progression. Physical, occupational, cognitive, and vocational rehabilitation can be used throughout all stages of MS to help control symptoms. Lifestyle changes including change in diet and exercise, relaxation techniques, naturopathy, and herbal healing have all been used in place of conventional treatments.

  • Bee Sting Therapy: Learn how bee sting therapy, or apitherapy, can be used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.
  • The Best Bet Treatment: How a mixture of therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes can act as an effective MS treatment plan.
  • Treatment and Diagnosis: MS treatment options for children and adolescents involving medications and rehabilitation methods.

Cognitive Functioning

More than half of patients with multiple sclerosis experience cognitive problems that include defects of the memory, attention, and abstraction. Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression, are also frequently found in those with MS. Factors that exacerbate the cognition processes include sleep problems, heat, fatigue, stress, depression, and external distractions. A strict MS treatment plan as well as avoidance of these factors can be excellent coping strategies.

  • Cognitive Thinking with MS: How motor and sensory skills, vision, coordination, speech as well as other factors can be affected by MS.
  • Multiple Sclerosis Study: Cognitive function study of multiple sclerosis to investigate impairment of intellectual patterns.

Multiple Sclerosis Research

New treatment options and important information is presented through multiple sclerosis research organizations, medical centers, and individuals researchers. Current research projects by various medical universities develop programs to study secondary conditions of multiple sclerosis, compare levels of pain, and conduct self-management trails and training. Clinical trails for MS patients are constantly being conducted by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation to find new medical therapies for treatment plans. Government-funded clinical research is also being presented at various National Institutes of Health.

  • Studies & Participation: Multiple sclerosis genetic studies and participations featuring new statistical methods for patients.

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The Pharmacology Resource Page

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The study of science changes everyday with the growing prevalence of technology and continuous progress being made in a variety of different fields in science. Scientists have discovered new ways to approach, and information relating to, medicine and the human body. Pharmacology is studied by scientists who help to determine how drugs and different types of medication may heal and aid the body in resisting diseases and infections. Pharmacology is broken down into many divisions pertaining to a variety of subtopics, including a drug's affect on living cells to the chemicals that may be dangerous to our bodies. The information and links provided will ensure a better understanding of pharmacology and the way it has developed and grown in it's significance in recent years.

All About Pharmacology

Pharmacology is the scientific study of drugs, including what different types of drugs do, how they work, and specific types of drugs that are used for different ailments. The study of pharmacology also relates to how the human body adapts and reacts to different drugs. Pharmacology and Pharmacy, while they may uphold some of the same principles, are still very different studies. Pharmacy is the scientific study of preparing and dispensing medications for human consumption. Pharmacy reports the chemical interactions between a given medication and the human body. Both studies share similarities in reporting the study of physiological reactions of the body to a medication. Another aspect within the study of pharmacology is how drugs are metabolized within the body.

  • Pharmacology: Explore and learn more about pharmacology.

  • Study of Drugs: More information relating to pharmacology and a PDF file to Nobel Prize Awards given to scientists in physiology and medicine.

  • Timeline: Learn about the history of pharmacology from 1790 to the 2000s.

  • Definition: Learn more about what pharmacology is.

Pharmacology Origins

Oswald Schmiedeberg is credited as the founder of today's modern pharmacology. Schmiedeberg showed that the vagus nerve and heart were both effected by muscularity. His studies launched the pharmaceutical beliefs in Germany up until World War II. Prior to this mankind used natural elements, including animal parts and plants to treat injuries and wounds. In thebirth and creation of pharmacology, Germany's Friedrich Wohler changed the theory of that time that stated living compounds were only established in organic cells. Wohler became known for his works and established the first compound of pharmacology.

  • History: Obtain a brief history of pharmacology and early scientists.

  • Origins: PDF file of the origins and history of pharmacology in the 16 th century.

  • EBPS: The history of the European Behavioral Pharmacology.

  • Friedrich Wohler: A brief biography of the German chemist.

  • Oswald Schmiedeberg: A brief biography of German pharmacologist.

  • Discoveries: An article giving great detail about very important early studies of pharmacology and the people who performed early studies.

  • Drug History: Learn more about how drugs were developed.

Divisions of Pharmacology

There are several distinct divisions in the field of pharmacology, each with a specific focus. Clinical pharmacology addresses the scientific clinical use of drugs. Neuropharmacology is the study of how drugs affect the nervous system. A third division is characterized as the study of pharmacogenetics, which means the testing of genes and how they interact with drugs, while pharmacogenomics relate to combining gene information to a drug's damage organism. Pharmacoepidemiology studies drug substances and the way they affect numerous groups of people. Toxicology also falls into the greater field of pharmacology and addresses chemicals and how they affect living organisms in the body. Theoretical pharmacology is a study of theory or an idea relating to the study of drugs.Posology deals with the amount of drugs capable for the body. Pharmacognosy studies the properties of drugs in the natural stages such as the medicinal benefits of plants and other types of organisms. The last division is behavioral pharmacology which studies the way drugs affect the way a person acts or behaves. As one can see, there are many different branches of pharmacology, each is very specialized and is creditedwith a variety of different contributions to the scientific community.

Pharmacology Research

The study of science is constantly changing and progressing at an unprecedented rate of growth. The accelerated rate at which the field of sciences progresses poses unique challenges to the scientific community as we continue to develop “before their time” methods of research and explore the unknowns of the science community. Scientists continue to perform numerous tests and experiments on newly developed drugs to analyze their effects on the human body and their viability as quality medical resources. A variety of different reviews and analysis have been created within the medical community to critique experiments on the effects of experimental drugs to protect the global community and to ensure that harmful drugs are unknowingly prescribed by physicians.

  • Drugs: Online drug source updated daily about recent drug information and news for over 24,000 prescription drugs.

  • Review: a PDF review of the pharmacology of lysergic acid diethylamide.

  • Pathological Conditions: PDF file of pharmacological research of antioxidants in pathological conditions.

  • Pharmacology: PDF review of the myths and claims about cocoa being healthy for the human body.

  • Research: PDF analysis of pharmacological research.

  • Principles: PDF file of the study of the basic principles of pharmacology. 377 pages of detailed material.

Medicine Development, Drug Legislation and Safety

Medicine first began with the practice of using plants and animals to heal wounds, injuries and sores, from the earliest development of the New Stone Age Period. But over time, it has morphed into the form of pills, pure liquid and other substances. An example of the profound pharmacological developments that have taken place in recorded history is the first study that proved that blood maintained a continuous flow, which came from the Chinese emperor Huang-Ti. It wasn't until 750 BCE whenSusruta , a Hindu surgeon first practiced eye surgery. Long before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved such procedures and their accompanying drugs, they were being used medicinally, a testament of the commitment to experimentation and development that has been evident in medical community. All drugs are not legal for use due to safety rules and regulations, and ways it could affect the human body. The Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987 ensures the safety of prescription drugs, while the 1988 Anti-drug Abuse Act prohibit abusive drug use that may harm the body. Regulations of safety issues are done from inspections and properly using labels approved by the FDA.

  • FDA: Links that provide information to learn more about the process of drug safety and drug approvals.

  • Drugs: A complete full list of the FDA approved drugs in alphabetical order and links to provide more information on each drug.

  • Recall Drugs: A list of approved and recalled drugs from 1980 to 2007.

  • History: A timeline of the history of medicine from 2600 BC to 2006.

  • Drug Marking Act: Detailed information about the Drug Marketing Act of 1987.

  • Anti-Drug Abuse Act: Detailed information about the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.

  • FDA: More information about the FDA and what it is.

  • Herbal Remedies: Information on some of the Chinese scientists who discovered and experimented with herbal medicine.

Glossaries and Drug Lists

One of the challenges that the medical community has consistently encountered is that each human body reacts differently to each drug introduced into the system. If a patient reacts unusually or out of the scope of the anticipated reaction, it would be very important to document the drug reactions and seek treatment immediately. Further testing may be necessary to determine the cause of the abnormal reaction and to detect any possible allergy. If you recognize symptoms you're having that relate to some diseases or illnesses after taking drugs, then it's best to document the drug reaction and seek medical attention. To prevent patients from experiencing unanticipated side effects to medication, numerous organizations and publishers have released drug indexes and guide books to help both medical professionals and consumers better prescribe and understand the complexities behind each manufactured drug. Understanding the chemistry, the intended use, and the effects of experimental drugs is critical to achieving a positive outcome and correctly providing medical attention to patients.

  • Glossary: A list of links of all the glossary terms and symbols used in pharmacology.

  • Pharmacology: A list of terms listed on one page in alphabetical order.

  • Symbols: A list of commonly used terms and abbreviations along with their meanings.

  • Drug Lists: A list of drugs in alphabetical order along with their uses, side effects, and components.

  • Review: Clinical pharmacology and medical reviews of 88 terms in PDF form.

  • Abbreviations: A full list of pharmacological abbreviations.



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ADA Resources in the Workplace

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Disabled citizens have faced hardships in trying to live everyday lives. From having difficulties accessing buildings to difficulties using transportation to having difficulties in being incorporated into regular life, the disabled have had to overcome long odds.

Over the course of history, disabled people have had to face adversity in their everyday lives. Because of these difficulties, the U.S. Government adopted the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by President Bush. The ADA is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under particular circumstances, discrimination based on a disability. It affords related protections against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, and other characteristics illegal. Disability is defined by the ADA as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity." The determination of whether any specific condition is considered a disability is made on a case by case basis. Certain specific conditions are barred as disabilities, such as current substance abuse and visual impairment which is correctable by prescription lenses."

The ADA has subsequently had additional amendments to the Act in September 2008, which went into effect on January 1, 2009. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 gave workers some broader protections than what was in the original Act.

The ADA was a very broad piece of legislation that covered various aspects for the lives of disabled people. In addition to provisions for disabled workers, the ADA also gave guidance on public entities and transportation, public accommodations and commercial facilities, telecommunications and other provisions. The ADA not only gave guidance for implementation, but also provided for anti-discrimination provisions.

While the ADA’s requirements to level the playing field for all workers was difficult for employers to implement, it has provided for ways to give all workers the opportunity to earn a living. In regards to workers, the ADA states that a covered entity shall not discriminate against a qualified individual with a disability. This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees, workers' compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 and subsequent amendments have given disabled workers the chance to work in a safe and non-discriminatory environment. To learn more about workers and the ADA, we have gathered a collection of resources:

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Resources for Parents of Children with Special Needs

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Legal Links

US Educational Links Therapeutic Links Disability Links

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Cerebral Palsy Information

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Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of conditions caused by medical abnormalities in the development of a fetus or the early life of a child. These lead to damage or delayed development in the brain. The disorder is permanent and, though it does not worsen with age, the level of functionality of a person with cerebral palsy varies widely: in some cases, effects may be very minor, while in others, movement is impaired to the extent that a wheelchair is required. Common complications associated with CP vary by the type of CP disorder but can include vision problems, seizures, learning disabilities, and issues speaking, writing, and performing other tasks related to motor control.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is generally caused by developmental issues during pregnancy which lead to abnormal conditions in the brain. During the birth process, lack of oxygen caused by premature delivery or delivery-room errors can cause brain damage that facilitates cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can also be caused by recognizable brain injuries sustained by the developing child up to an early age after birth. Medical research continues to uncover the many risk factors that may be associated with CP cases. Effective maternal care, ensuring a healthy diet and environment for the mother, is vital for ensuring that preventable cases of CP do not occur.

Developmental Disabilities: Cerebral Palsy: Referenced fact-sheet on cerebral palsy compiled by the Centers for Disease Control.

Cerebral Palsy at Medline Plus: Information from the online medical encyclopedia of the National Institutes of Health.

What Are The Causes of Cerebral Palsy?: A compendium of information on a huge number of topics related to CP, with a particular focus on the health and future of children with the disorder, from the nonprofit organization 4MyChild.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy: Information about the types and causes of CP as provided by Lawyers, Inc., a national medical malpractice law firm.

Origins, Etiology, Forms, Associated Conditions: Detailed, cited information about the causes and types of cerebral palsy.

Types of CP Associated With Muscle Tone

Cerebral palsy comes in several types, which may be associated with muscle tone or specific body parts. Those associated with muscle tone include: spastic CP, where abnormally high muscle tone causes problems with movement, usually in the legs and hips; ataxia, which is marked by involuntary muscle movements; athetoid, which prevents sufferers from maintaining a fixed muscle position (for example, grasping and holding); and mixed, where symptoms of both spastic and athetoid CP occur.

Cerebral Palsy: Hope Through Research: Detailed information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, including facts on the causes, risk factors, warning signs, and types of CP.

Definitions and Accommodations for Cerebral Palsy: Information on the types of CP and how to accommodate and interact with severe sufferers. From Kentucky’s Office for the Americans With Disabilities Act.

United Cerebral Palsy Association: Nonprofit organization that offers a nationwide network of affiliates aimed at expanding the rights, freedoms, and opportunities of those with cerebral palsy.

Health Encyclopedia: Cerebral Palsy: Facts on the types, causes, prevalence, and accommodations related to cerebral palsy. Provided by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

Cost of Cerebral Palsy: Information on the human and economic impact of cerebral palsy, presented in the form of an academic report composed by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Types of CP Associated With Body Parts

Certain types of cerebral palsy are associated with specific body parts rather than with the general condition of the muscular system. These types include: quadriplegia, in which all four limbs suffer severe motor dysfunction and a general inability to work together; hemiplegia, in which the limbs on one side of the body are severely affected, with the impact more pronounced in the digits; and diplegia, which causes problems with muscle development, balance, and coordination in both legs.

Cerebral Palsy Syndromes: Detailed “manual” of information about the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral palsy, including rarer forms of the disorder.

National Organization for Rare Disorders: Information and a large compendium of quality Internet resources for sufferers of cerebral palsy and other movement disorders.

PubMed Calculated Links: Publicly-accessible database of published scholarly research on cerebral palsy, from a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Hemi-Kids: Support group for parents with children suffering from hemiplegia and hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association: Another, similar nonprofit organization focusing on support for youth hemiplegia.

Living with Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can create severe problems that persist throughout the sufferer’s day-to-day life. Many cases of CP involve at least some involuntary movement that can disrupt normal activities. Others involve a persistent lack of muscle control that makes walking, standing, or manipulating objects difficult or impossible. Those with CP may have problems talking, eating, or breathing. They may also have learning impairments, seizures, or other major neurological problems. Those with the most serious cases of CP require intensive, lifelong medical attention, and cannot effectively care for themselves independently due to cognitive disruptions or reliance on medical equipment.

KidsHealth: Cerebral Palsy: Information on coping with cerebral palsy aimed at children.

Cerebral Palsy Family Network: Information on living with CP and networking with other sufferers and their families. Aimed at parents and planning long-term care for children with severe CP.

Living With Cerebral Palsy at NOAH: Verified Internet resources about dealing with CP complications at various stages of life. From New York Online Access to Health, a nonprofit information service.

Whispers of Hope: Living With CP: Even more electronic resources for networking and overcoming life challenges related to cerebral palsy.

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: CP: Information focused on potential accommodations for various forms of CP in a classroom environment.

Equipment

There is a vast and growing body of products aimed at restoring independence and fullness of life to sufferers of CP. Wheelchairs are available that can accommodate the needs of a wide variety of CP patients; walkers, canes, and other assistive devices are also available. For those with impaired fine motor control, small objects such as pencils and silverware have been designed in accessible forms. Patients who are unable to speak may use communication devices that interpret the movements of the throat or the input of a small keyboard in order to create recognizable vocalizations – much in the same way as noted physicist Stephen Hawking. For all of the daily challenges associated with CP, in whatever form, some assistive measure exists or is being researched.

Cerebral Palsy Association of British Columbia: Detailed Frequently Asked Questions sheet including information on assistive technology.

Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy: Information packet that covers a variety of topics related to all aspects of living with CP.

New Horizons Un-Limited: Resource page focusing entirely on adaptive equipment for various issues often associated with CP.

Cerebral Palsy Accessories and Equipment: Impartial, nonprofit review website for all categories of assistive equipment related to the lives of CP sufferers.

Therapy

Those with cerebral palsy can benefit from several kinds of therapy. Physical therapy focuses on helping patients attain greater muscle control, coordination, and balance through basic physical tasks. Using physical therapy, it may be possible to enhance a CP patient’s ability to walk or balance. Speech therapy is used to overcome problems with enunciation, including secondary issues such as lisping. Occupational therapy focuses on the improvement of cognitive function through a variety of simple tasks, and recreational therapy contributes to the development of social and independent living skills in recreational environments.

Center for Cerebral Palsy Spasticity: Information on treatment and the latest research from an advanced medical center at the Children’s Hospital of St. Louis.

Cerebral Palsy Guide for Care: Excerpt from an extremely detailed medical analysis (much of which is available on the same site) focusing on diagnosis and care for those with CP. Somewhat technical but extremely thorough.

Cerebral Palsy Treatment Overview: One portion of an extremely comprehensive guide from the University of California, San Diego, offering information on cerebral palsy from diagnosis to late-life treatment. This section focuses on treatment options for lifelong mitigation of some symptoms, with particular depth of information on physical therapy.

American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine: Large amount of information from the frontiers of the latest CP research.

Bobath Center Cerebral Palsy Treatment: Charity in the United Kingdom offering resources related to occupational therapy, specifically for cerebral palsy.

Research Resources: Collection of resources on the use of music therapy in treating complications related to CP.

Conclusion

Cerebral palsy is the focus of a large amount of medical research every year. Though much of this research deals with younger patients, more and more attention is being paid to CP sufferers as they age and seek fuller opportunities and more integration with the rest of society. Living with CP is a daily challenge, but paths to a richer and more fulfilling life are being found. There is not, and may never be a “cure” for CP, but greater understanding by clinicians and the daily success stories of those who overcome their limitations are making.

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A Guide to College for Students with Disabilities

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Over the past half century, the help available to students with special needs has made tremendous strides. Today, the government has taken steps to assure that all students, regardless of disabilities, will be able to receive the education that they deserve.

 

Children with special needs are now able to receive accommodations to assist them in getting a proper education. The accommodations can range from simple items such as receiving extra time to complete a test to ensuring that the student has adequate access to the classroom. All of these are due to the 1973 Federal Rehabilitation Act which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 made it illegal for people to be discriminated against, just because of a disability. The Act also mandated that buildings be accessible to those with physical handicaps as well as other commonly used facilities. The Act had four major sections covering areas such as employment, civil rights and technology for people with disabilities.

Young people with disabilities now have opportunities to attend post-secondary education institutions. They are allowed to be students studying a wide range of subjects, without limitation or discrimination. Colleges and universities, like elementary and secondary schools, need to legally follow the mandates of Section 504.

We have compiled a collection of resources for students with disabilities for your reference:

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A Guide To The Paralympics Games

With the world gearing up for the 2014 Olympics, we'd like to take a moment to remind you that Sochi will also play host to this year's Paralympics. If you're not familiar with the paralympics, or you just need a refresher, read through our rundown on the history of the games.

The Paralympic Games are games played in the style of the Olympic Games, but are for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities. The prefix “Para” stems from the word “parallel,” and alludes to the fact that the competition takes place alongside the Olympic Games. 

Sir Ludwig Guttmann founded the games in 1948. He wanted to start a sport that involved veterans from World War II. Within a few years, veterans from other nations joined in the competition. By 1960, a formal games strategy was formed, and the once informal competition garnered the official name of the Paralympic Games. They Games are held every two years, with both winter and summer Games being staged, and are held in the same host city and venues as the Olympic Games.

There are currently 26 different sports on the Paralympic Games program – 21 summer and 5 winter. Winter sports include alpine and cross country skiing, biathlon, wheelchair curling and sled hockey, while summer sports feature many familiar to Olympic Games fans, including track & field, swimming, cycling, Three sports are specific to the Paralympic Games - wheelchair rugby, boccia and goalball, a sport for athletes who are blind or visually impaired. Two new sports, paratriathlon and canoe, will make their Paralympic Games debut in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

Athletes are categorized by their disabilities and these categories are then classified based on the sport being played. The athlete categories include amputee, cerebral palsy/traumatic brain injury/stroke, wheelchair-users, blind/visual impairment, and les autres. Les autres is a French phrase which means “the others,” and this category includes all athletes that don't fit into the other five categories. Some well-known Paralympic athletes include, April Holmes, Erin Popovich, Rudy Garcia-Tolson, Matt Scott, Chris Waddell, Sarah Will, and Jessica Long. Then there is Ragnhild Myklebust of Norway, who holds the record for the most medals ever won at the Paralympic Winter Games. Over the course of her illustrious career, she won 22 medals, 17 of which were gold.

Over the years, the Paralympic Games have seen their fair share of controversy. In 2000, some non-disabled athletes from Spain entered the Games and played on the basketball team for athletes with intellectual disabilities. This prompted the International Paralympic Committeeto suspend all intellectually disabled athletes from Paralympic competition until further evaluation. The committee claimed it would re-evaluate this after the Beijing Games, but no final decision has been made. Doping has also become an issue. During the Sydney Games in 2000, 14 athletes tested positive for doping, and 10 of those were participating in the powerlifting competition. Despite its controversies, the Paralympic Games are a great way for those with physical and visual disabilities to shine and prove their athletic greatness.

For more information about the Paralympic movement, please refer to the following websites:

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The Physical Therapy Resource

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Physical therapy is a discipline that focuses on helping people develop strength and regain function of the limbs and muscles of their bodies. A patient’s need for physical therapy evolves from factors such as an injury, debilitating illness, or advancing age. Physical therapists work with patients in many settings as a form of rehabilitation. Also known as physiotherapy, physical therapy is employed in several environments, including hospitals, nursing homes, and private offices. The goal of physical therapy is to establish or maintain function for people who have lost some abilities, and thereby improve their quality of life.

Background and History

 

Education and Training

Types of Physical Therapy

Forums and Mailing Lists

Medical Sites and Medical Journals

Research

Additional Resources

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The Diabetic Resource

Diabetes is a serious medical condition that affects over 23 million people in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder where the body is unable to process and regulate blood sugar, which can lead to serious medical problems. There are many people who have already been diagnosed with this lifelong illness and many more with conditions that pre-dispose them to developing it. Research is being done on ways to fight this disease and find a cure.

What is Diabetes?


Diabetes is a situation where the body cannot process and use the sugar that is in the bloodstream. When a person eats a meal, their body breaks down the nutrients in the food to form glucose. Glucose is also called “blood sugar” and it is responsible for providing energy for the body to participate in activities and to grow. An organ in the body called the pancreas produces insulin, which is a substance that allows the glucose to enter the cells of the body to be used. With diabetes, these processes within the body cannot take place. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to eye problems, complications with the body’s circulatory system, and damage to internal organs. It can eventually cause death if not controlled. Diabetes is a serious medical condition that requires management with the help of a doctor.

Types of Diabetes


There are three types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to utilize the glucose that is in the body. Glucose levels then increase in the blood, causing a sluggish circulatory system. People with type 1 diabetes must take supplements of insulin for the rest of their lives. Type 1 diabetes occurs frequently in children and young adults, but can develop in people of all ages. For this reason, it is also referred to as juvenile diabetes.

The second type of diabetes is type 2, which is the most common. In this case, the pancreas makes insulin, but the body is unable to use it. Many people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as adults, and it is frequently associated with being overweight. Approximately 80% of patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are over their normal weight.

Gestational diabetes arises in women that are pregnant. During pregnancy a woman with gestational diabetes must control her blood sugars. This condition can make both the mother and baby ill. Gestational diabetes ends when the baby is born, but the woman has a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Treatments and Management


Diabetes is treated depending on which type a person has. A doctor can diagnose diabetes by testing a patient’s blood sugar through a lab test. A patient must have their blood drawn after a period of time when they have not eaten a meal. This shows what the body’s regular blood sugar is without being affected by added food. A diagnosis of diabetes is made by comparing several consecutive blood sugars and considering the patient’s lifestyle and situation.

Type 1 diabetes is managed with insulin supplements, sometimes several times a day. A patient must frequently check their blood sugar and take enough insulin to control it. They must also watch their diet and avoid foods with excess sugar, monitor their exercise regime, and manage other symptoms if they occur. Insulin for patients with type 1 diabetes is usually given by injection into the body. Many people wear a small pump, about the size of a cell phone, which directly injects insulin into the body when programmed.

Type 2 diabetes is managed in several ways. Some people need to take insulin supplements, and some can manage their glucose levels with oral medication. They must also watch their diet carefully and follow an exercise program. For an overweight person with type 2 diabetes, the goal is ultimately to lose excess weight, which many times affects how much medication they need to take, if at all.

Treatment for gestational diabetes involves checking glucose levels frequently for the duration of the pregnancy. A woman must also carefully monitor her diet, get frequent exercise, and maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.

Diabetes Symptoms


Symptoms of diabetes can be difficult to clarify. They frequently are associated with other signs of illness. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes are feeling thirsty, the need for frequent urination, being tired and lethargic, and feeling continually hungry but still losing weight. For a child being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it is especially difficult to pinpoint symptoms, particularly if they are at a young enough age where they cannot explain how they feel. Type 2 diabetes involves all of the symptoms of type 1, as well as vision problems, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and having a sore or infection that is slow to heal. Sometimes, people with type 2 diabetes are unaware that they have it, as they have no symptoms at all. During gestational diabetes, symptoms are not usually noticeable or are attributed to pregnancy symptoms. Gestational diabetes is usually found by a routine lab test during prenatal care.

Facts and Help for Diabetics


Nearly 8% of the population of the United States has some form of diabetes. It affects African-Americans and Hispanics more commonly than any other ethnic group. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in America and causes serious medical problems for the body’s organs. It can lead to stroke, loss of vision, or such poor circulation as to cause amputation of a limb. A doctor must carefully manage diabetes and there are many clinics across the country that assist with specific problems associated with this illness. A person with diabetes must also have supplies for checking their blood sugars and giving injections of insulin if necessary. These supplies are found at pharmacies or are ordered by prescription by a doctor.

Medical News on Diabetes


There is much research that is ongoing in the field of diabetes. New products are being issued for use in the market. Medical news on diabetes can be found at many health sites or in medical journals. This keeps people informed of changes that may be taking place in their healthcare regime. For example, a recent product that has been developed is a form of contact lenses used to monitor blood sugar levels. Patients can wear these lenses to notify them of when their blood glucose is rising, which is less invasive than drawing blood every day. Trends and statistics are also given as part of medical news. People with diabetes can maintain their health program by talking with their doctor and reading medical news reports about their condition.

Support and Additional Resources


There are various methods of support for those living with diabetes. Many people find help in a support group for family and those afflicted with the disease. There are recurring activities that raise money for more research toward a cure, such as televised sports events and fundraisers. Many people enjoy getting involved with these activities to sustain support for their health. There are also additional resources available online that offer information and guidance for managing this disease. Diabetes can be very serious when it is not managed, and it is a lifelong illness. For people who maintain contact with their doctor, monitor their health, and receive support, this disease can continue to be controlled.

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Disability Resources

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Statistics from the United States Census Bureau indicate that over 50 million Americans have some kind of disability. As this is a large part of the nation's population it is important that the rights of disabled individuals are protected. Discrimination against the disabled has been made illegal by acts of legislation and technologies have been developed to improve the lives of the disabled. There are several state, national, and international organizations that advocate on behalf of disabled individuals, whether physical or mental. Below is an informative resource guide to disabilities.

 

Resource Lists and Directories

National Disability Organizations

International Disability Organizations

Assistive Technology

Disability Legislation

Federal Agencies

Parenting Information and Support

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Job Resources for Individuals With Disabilities

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Job Seeking

Legal Assistance & Accessibility Guidelines

General Resources

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Help For Wheelchair Users: Domestic and International

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Wheelchairs change lives. Wheelchairs free the disabled around the globe, allowing independence and a better quality of life. Wheelchairs no longer signal "can't do" but "can do." And that's no handicap.

But there are hardships. Some buildings aren't wheelchair accessible, they have no ramps, no automatic doors. Unthinking consumers still park in handicapped parking spots. Lack of mobility makes it hard to maintain positive outlooks on retrospective days for the newly disabled. For those who have always been in a wheelchair, it doesn't always become a natural extension of self.

Depending on the level of paralysis, amputation, or illness like muscular dystrophy, the handicapped person can lift themselves in and out of their wheelchair on their own, bathe themselves, fix dinner for the family, drive a car, go shopping. 

The Americans With Disabilities Act provides a Bill of Rights for the disabled or "differently-abled" as some contend. Schools must accommodate special needs. Government buildings must be accessible. The Act protects Americans, but there is no such Act to protect over 100 million handicapped in over 150 countries worldwide. One startling statistic: 20 percent of Angola's population is disabled. Landmine casualties in countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Mozambique are extremely high and most of those maimed by landmines do not have wheelchairs.

Organizations such as the Wheelchair Foundation work with charities throughout the United States and the world to provide low-cost wheelchairs to those in need. For those in developing countries with rough terrain, the wheelchairs are built to withstand heavy, rough use and cost around $150 to make. The prices in some of those non-Western countries for basic commercially made wheelchairs are inflated to over $1700, making them inaccessible to all but the rich. It's challenging to get these people the wheelchairs they need due to governmental and customs red tape, and at times, corruption. The black market for wheelchairs isn't high, but fraud can be a problem.

U.S. and International Wheelchair Relief Organizations

International Wheelchair Foundation Provides wheelchairs for over 150 countries worldwide.

Assistive Technology Organization Links From Able-Data, the links provide information to sites that offer assistive technology devices and other durable medical equipment.

Department of Justice ADA Links

Disability Rights Law Federal mandates provide non-discrimination information about the basic rights of handicapped persons regarding employment, government, commercial, and public accommodations and access, transportation, and telecommunications.

ADA Technical Assistance Links to technical materials regarding disabilities. Extensive list of documents for the public.

Small Town ADA Regulations Smaller towns and cities often do not have the budgets to create ramps and other accommodations for the disabled. This is a list of the regulations that they are bound by at minimum.

City Government ADA Problems Budgetary and architectural problems, red tape and committee problems can provide impediments to accessibility.

Civil Rights FAQ-ADA Learn about your civil rights as a handicapped person in the United States.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Reeve Paralysis Act 2009 Introduced in 2007 to a bipartisan sponsorship, the CDRPA promotes collaborative research, rehabilitative care research, and improving quality of lives for those with mobility impairments. Signed by President Barack Obama March 20, 2009 as Title XIV of the Omnibus Public Lands Bill.

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