A service dog
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Clay Luthy, an Air Force veteran with a disability, and his ten-year-old golden retriever service dog Charlotte were hired a few months ago by Lowe's in Abilene, Texas. This is an example of making an accommodation for a qualified employee. Luthy and Charlotte's story recently went viral after a shopper posted a photo of them on Facebook. Luthy, who has had several knee surgeries, is currently training a service dog named Lola to take Charlotte's place. For more details on this story, go to https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/12/08/a-disabled-air-force-veteran-needed-a-job-so-lowes-hired-him-and-his-service-dog/?postshare=2511481575848255&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.2fe0c92db5c2.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Mary Lundy, a physical therapy professor at the University of North Florida, started the Adaptive Toy Project with an engineering professor a couple of years ago. Students in these two majors work together to convert toys into those with which children with disabilities can play; the toys are given to the children for free. There is a need for programs like this because adaptive toys are not widely available and are more expensive. The Adaptive Toy Project is funded by a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health. For more information, go to http://www.cbsnews.com/news/adaptive-toy-project-lab-adapts-toys-for-disabled-children/. Happy Holidays!
A boy playing with an adaptive toy
Monday, December 19, 2016
I just rode 1,200 miles with my parents in a minivan from Palm Bay, Florida, to Buffalo, New York. A 30-year-old man named Kevan Chandler, who has spinal muscular atrophy (refer to my recent Getty Owl Foundation post for more information) and normally uses a power wheelchair, has traveled far thanks to his friends, who carried him on a specially designed backpack. This past summer, Kevan and a group of his friends went from Atlanta, Georgia, to France, England, and Ireland. Their goal is to make it possible for other wheelchair users to travel with a similar backpack or other apparatus. While establishing We Carry Kevan as a nonprofit, Kevan is writing a book and producing a film about his experiences to be released in the spring of 2017. To read more about Kevan's adventures, go to http://wecarrykevan.com/blog.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Johnny "Joey" Jones is a retired staff sergeant of the Marine Corps originally from Dalton, Georgia. He lost his legs after stepping on an IED in Afghanistan in 2010. Jones was in recovery for two years at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he started a peer visit program. He was then selected for a year-long fellowship on Capitol Hill with the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs; he also earned a bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University. As an advocate, Jones has appeared on several news programs and has spoken about veterans' issues to many organizations. The spokesperson and chief operating officer of the Boot Campaign and the Pushups for Charity campaign, Jones is about to launch his official website and his weekly podcast Blown Away and is currently writing his memoir. To learn more about Jones, go to http://johnnyjoeyjones.com/.
Johnny "Joey" Jones
Monday, December 5, 2016
Founded five years ago, Getty Owl Foundation serves children with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disorder that causes severe, progressive muscle weakness. SMA, the #1 genetic killer of young children, has been classified into five types depending on severity. Most children with this disorder don't live past age two. The winnings of a contestant on a recent episode of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? were donated to Getty Owl Foundation. For more information about the foundation, go to http://gettyowl.org/.