Monday, October 16, 2017

Ohio Casino Hosts Poker Tournament for the Deaf

A month ago, Hollywood Casino Toledo hosted the Ohio Deaf Poker Championship, which consisted of two tournaments. After being asked to do so by regular players who are deaf, the casino held its first poker tournament for people with hearing impairments on March 11. Communicating through sign language, the players were appreciative of the opportunity to participate in a poker tournament tailored to them. There are very few poker tournaments held for deaf people in the United States. The Ohio Deaf Poker Championship is a friendly poker event that makes the deaf players comfortable. As a recreational poker player, I appreciate Hollywood Casino Toledo's efforts at inclusion. For more details, go to http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2017/09/16/Local-casino-s-deaf-poker-tournament-gives-players-feelings-of-community.html.

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Monday, October 9, 2017

New Medicare Cards

Due to the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is in the process of removing Social Security Numbers (SSN) from Medicare cards. The SSN-based Health Insurance Claim Number will be replaced with a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier. This change is being made in an effort to prevent medical identity theft of recipients. The new cards will be sent in April 2018. You may have recently seen a commercial about the new Medicare cards. For more information, go to https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/index.html.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

2017 Disability Equality Index Results

With October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month, this is a good time to review the results of the 2017 Disability Equality Index (DEI), which lists 68 of the best places to work for people with handicaps. Companies that scored 100% on a set of criteria include AMC Theatres, ManpowerGroup, and Walmart. I can see why they received such high scores, for I have friends with disabilities who work at AMC Theatres and Walmart. I went to ManpowerGroup when I was looking for a job four years ago. Other companies that scored high on the DEI are MetLife and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. My parents bought insurance from MetLife. Whenever we go on a cruise, it's with Royal Caribbean. This is the third year the DEI was conducted. To see other companies on the Best Places to Work list, go to https://disabilityequalityindex.org/top_companies.

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DEI Logo
(obtained from aapd.com)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Characteristics of a Handicapped Accessible Van

This is the season during which the previous year's vehicles are phased out and the current year's vehicles become available for sale. Wheelchair users shop for vans with certain features that accommodate their needs. The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design describe the characteristics of handicapped accessible vans. For example, the lift door opening height must be at least 56'', and there must be a 30" x 40" wide clear platform for the handicap lift. The wheelchair attachments must be able to withstand 2,500 pounds per square inch of pressure per leg, and the seat belt mechanisms must consist of 4-point tie-downs with lap and shoulder belt. Interior lighting should contain one foot candle of illumination. For more information about these standards, go to https://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm.

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A handicapped accessible van

Monday, September 18, 2017

Spotlight: Victoria Arlen

I hope all of my readers are doing well after Hurricane Irma. My parents' house in which I live lost power for six days, but thankfully, there was no damage. Life is coming back to normal.

Victoria Arlen is a model, actress, motivational speaker, and ESPN sportscaster. At age 11 in 2006, Arlen contracted two rare conditions, transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which left her in a vegetative state for almost four years. She competed as a swimmer at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, winning one gold medal and three silver medals. Arlen regained her ability to walk during the last two years. She created the Victoria's Victory Foundation, which awards scholarships to individuals to help them overcome obstacles and achieve their goals. Arlen is competing with professional dancer Val Chmerkovskiy on Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars premiering tonight. For more information about this inspirational young woman, go to https://www.victoriaarlen.com/.

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Victoria Arlen

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Changing the Face of Beauty

Changing the Face of Beauty (CTFOB) is a nonprofit that advocates for more inclusion of people with disabilities in media and advertising. Katie Driscoll, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, founded CTFOB five years ago. This organization attracted publicity in 2014 when Driscoll was asked by Tori Spelling's children's fashion line, Little Maven, to produce its holiday campaign. CTFOB was instrumental in getting Jamie Brewer, the first New York Fashion Week model with Down Syndrome, on the runway in 2015. Appearing on TV programs such as The Today Show, CTFOB currently has 21 partners that include models with disabilities in their advertising. Driscoll, who has a total of six children, was one of the 2017 Awesome Women Awards honorees featured in Good Housekeeping. To learn more about CTFOB, go to http://changingthefaceofbeauty.org/.

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A CTFOB model (Image
obtained from thislittlemiggy.com)

Monday, August 28, 2017

National Inclusion Project

Now that school is back in session in Florida, the word inclusion should be kept in mind. The National Inclusion Project is an organization that advocates for children with disabilities to be included in the activities of recreational programs. The nonprofit's purpose is achieved through its Let's ALL Play program with the belief that ALL children can participate, ALL children can make friends, and ALL children can succeed. Formerly the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, the National Inclusion Project was co-founded by Clay Aiken, runner-up of the second season of American Idol. Aiken (who has a bachelor's degree in special education) was the tutor of co-founder Diane Bubel's son Michael, who has autism. For more information about the National Inclusion Project, go to http://www.inclusionproject.org/.

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