Travel and Tourism: The Next Step in Equality for Individuals with Special Health Needs

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE & DENTISTRY BY H. BARRY WALDMAN DDS, MPH, PHD, STEVEN P. PERLMAN DDS, MSCD, DHL (HON) AND MATTHEW COOKE, DDS, MD, MPH INTRODUCTION Individuals with special needs are no longer “invisible”. Step by step, they have moved out of institutions and back rooms of residences and are assimilating into everyday life. Now, they are moving into a world that many crave and enjoy – travel and tourism. Consider some of […]


Managing Expectations With A Home Remodeling Project

BY DEBORAH PIERCE, AIA, CAPS A road map for putting your remodeling project on a solid foundation. Renovation’s no “walk in the park,” as anyone who’s remodeled an older house will attest. And when we live with disabilities, little inconvenience can loom large. Yet renovate we must, to have a home that’s wheelchair accessible, or where our children can gain a degree of independence. The homes we live in today were built in a different […]


Vanquishing The Vexation Of Housing For Loved Ones With Psychiatric Disabilities

BY TOM PYLE, MBA, MS, CPRP A great vexation of families navigating mental illness is housing. Once a loved one’s psychiatric situations is sufficiently reliable, a family’s thoughts inexorably turn to the quest for a suitable abode for the loved one. Because loved ones with mental illness tend to be both disabled and poor, their housing need is acute, but their financial capacity abject. A Quagmire of Questions Many loved ones with psychiatric disabilities continue […]


Safety For A Child With A Severe Movement Disorder

BY LUKE ROSEN No matter how relentless we are about making our home accessible, Susannah’s movement disorder is responsible for teaching her where to go when she feels the danger of her changing coordination. I’m thankful to her disease for that — for doing my job in some strange way. For somehow teaching her to be safe. Keeping our kids safe is every parent’s number one job. Even as an adult I associate protection and […]


Tech-Savvy Students From Across America Showcase Breakthrough Assistive Technology for Employees with Disabilities

BY CHARISSA GARCIA While the country’s unemployment rate continues to hover at a healthy 4.8 percent, one far less glowing statistic is often overlooked by the national media. Despite businesses across America proudly championing the “inclusion” buzzword – nearly 80 percent of people with disabilities remain left out of today’s workforce. And for millions of families across America who have bright hopes for the future of their children with disabilities, this statistic is daunting. Fortunately, […]


A Father’s Story About Movement

BY BRYAN A. BOWER “I moved nearer to a children’s hospital in another city for expert treatment for my son. One ray of hope for my mental health: I still had my magic pencil to carry me through those times of uncertainty. In my life before MS, I was a prolific artist working in many mediums.” I feel like I am waking up from a long, long dream, like Rip Van Winkle. Or awakening at […]


Empowered Mobility Through a Virtual Presence THE ROBOT AS YOUR CHILD’S AVATAR

BY CHARLES M. SCHWAB, ARCHITECT Telepresence robots – used today by children’s hospitals, various healthcare providers and individuals alike – can provide virtual mobility by allowing your child to go somewhere and move with freedom when he or she may not be able to physically be there, 100% in person. Telemedicine models for healthcare have been growing in recent years. These programs allow specialists to perform consultations between hospitals and remote areas or populations. Telemedicine […]


Maintaining Range to Maintain Mobility

THE FITNESS PRIORITY BY KRISTIN MCNEALUS, PT, DPT If you have not received skilled instruction on how to perform range of motion, it may be beneficial to learn how to gently perform stretches firmly to safely prevent and improve any limitations, but also while not causing injury. Given this month’s theme of “mobility,” I considered many ways to approach this article. As a physical therapist, I concluded that range of motion has the greatest impact […]



  Jack’s father decided it was time to try a custom contoured back. The lightweight back support incorporates body alignment, pressure distribution, and directional forces for comfortable postural control. For an individual who relies entirely on a wheelchair for mobility, anything that increases comfort and support is a welcome addition to the wheelchair seating configuration. Not only does the new Ottobock Ortho Shape wheelchair back provide Jack Dunn with needed postural support, it also gives […]


Leveling The Playing Field

BY KELLY LONG Imagine for a moment that it is a warm summer day and your children are begging to go on a picnic. Where do you take them? Many parents would head to their local park so that the children can play on the playground after lunch. But what if one of your children was in a wheelchair or has special needs? Would you still be able to go to that playground? If you […]