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

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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

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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

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A CTFOB model (Image
obtained from