Monday, April 17, 2017

The Brevard Zoo's Exceptional Nature Space to Open April 28

The Brevard Zoo is preparing to host its fundraiser Safari Under the Stars, which will feature celebrity guests. Jennifer Arnold and her husband Bill Klein from TLC's The Little Couple will participate in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the zoo's Exceptional Nature Space at a VIP event on April 28. The new exhibit will allow children with disabilities to have a positive zoo experience. Arnold and Klein will also be at the gala on April 29. The funds raised will support the Brevard Zoo's missions of animal wellness, education, and conservation. For more information, go to http://www.clickorlando.com/news/bindi-irwin-reality-tv-stars-coming-to-the-brevard-zoo.

  
Arnold and Klein with their children

Monday, April 10, 2017

Windows 10 Update Helps People with Disabilities

Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Creators Update version 1073. As a result, Windows 10's Narrator tool will have the following options: braille displays from more than 35 manufacturers, new capabilities for text-to-speech, and automatic lowering of apps' audio volume while the Narrator speaks. Made possible by Microsoft's AI-powered Computer Vision Cognitive Service, the accessibility features of the Office 365 suite allow users to create documents and presentations to be read and used by people with disabilities. For more information, go to https://www.slashgear.com/windows-10-creators-update-to-include-new-accessibility-features-for-braille-narration-03466255/.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Julia: The Sesame Street Character with Autism

Julia, the first Sesame Street character with autism, will make her debut on the show on Monday, April 10. She was introduced to America on 60 Minutes last month. Longtime Sesame Street character Elmo explained why Julia behaved in unusual ways when she met Big Bird. Stacey Gordon, who plays Julia, has a son with autism. For more information, go to https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/03/20/meet-julia-a-muppet-with-autism-and-the-newest-character-on-sesame-street/?utm_term=.32ec133c1759.

  
Julia, the newest Sesame Street character

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Fundraiser for the M.O.R.G.A.N. Project

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey and his wife Susan are hosting a fundraiser with the theme "Once Upon a Time... An Evening of Classics" at the American Muscle Car Museum in Melbourne from 6:30 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. on Friday, April 7. The proceeds will go toward the M.O.R.G.A.N. Project's Quality-of-Life service program for children with special needs. The organization also runs Morgan's Place, a therapeutic play center and the only multi-sensory environment in North America. Tickets for the fundraiser must be purchased at EventBrite.com by Saturday, April 1. For more information about the M.O.R.G.A.N. Project, go to http://themorganproject.org/.

  
The American Muscle Car Museum

Monday, March 20, 2017

Movin' On Up with Upsee

The Upsee is a mobility device with which a child goes through the motions of walking while attached to an adult's legs. This helps children with neuromuscular disorders practice weight-bearing. Sold by Firefly, the $499 Upsee kit includes a child harness (four sizes from which to choose), an adult waist belt, child and adult sandals, and a therapy booklet. Firefly will give a full refund to dissatisfied parents if the kit is returned in its original condition within 42 days. For more information and photos of kids using the Upsee, go to https://www.fireflyfriends.com/us/upsee.

  
A girl using the Upsee

Monday, March 13, 2017

Travis Roy: Changed in 11 Seconds

Travis Roy became paralyzed from the neck down by cracking his fourth and fifth cervical vertebra after crashing into the side of the Boston University rink 11 seconds into his first college hockey game on October 20, 1995. Less a year later, Roy returned to Boston University from which he graduated with a public relations degree in 2000. With help from E.M. Swift of Sports Illustrated, Roy wrote his autobiography Eleven Seconds in 1997. He also established the Travis Roy Foundation, which focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and provides grants to survivors in need. Today, Roy is a motivational speaker; he was the opening ceremony speaker at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Chicago earlier this month. For more information on Roy, go to http://www.travisroy.com/.

Image result for hockey

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Time in Durham, North Carolina

Last week, I spent a few days with my dad's side of the family in Durham, North Carolina. On the way to and from Durham, my parents and I stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Hardeeville, South Carolina. I was impressed with our room because it appeared to be designed for a wheelchair user. The thermostat, outlets, microwave, and refrigerator were all at a height I could reach. As common with accessible hotel rooms, there was a grab bar by the toilet in the bathroom and ample room for me to maneuver in my power chair.

While in Durham, my parents and I stayed in an accessible room at SpringHill Suites by Marriott. The tables in the breakfast area contained middle posts, making it difficult for me to sit underneath them with my wheelchair. This was also the case at the Holiday Inn Express. Our first night in Durham, my family and I had dinner in nearby Cary at Tribeca Tavern, which I had to enter through the back door because the front entrance wasn't accessible. I also had to go through the back door to get to the elevator in my uncle's apartment building. My family and I visited the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which was very interesting. The entrance ramp and elevator enabled me to see all three floors of the museum.

The ADA compliance in the establishments I visited made my North Carolina trip more enjoyable. Traveling is possible with a wheelchair.