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 […]


Creative Housing Options For Independent Living

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. Families often wonder if and where their children with special needs will live on their own. Often the focus is on universal design to make housing physically accessible. But housing with supports will maximize independence for individuals with all kinds of disabilities. PHYSICAL ACCESS Universal design is a concept used to ensure that the home environment is accessible to all. In addition to people with disabilities, it is also helpful to […]


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 […]


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 […]


The Great Adventure

Twenty-four years ago my oldest son Geordi (Geo), was born with big blue eyes, dark curly hair and chubby little cheeks that made you want to smother them in kisses. He was also born “fussy” – not wanting to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time and not feeding well. As time went on, he was also late to sit, crawl, walk and talk. By the age of two, he was diagnosed as, […]



  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 […]


We Found A 100% Electric Wheelchair Van

BY DAVE FINNIGAN We love that it is the last vehicle he will ever need, that there are virtually no service or repair requirements on electric vehicles, and that there is no heavy power ramp or mechanical lift to haul around or repair. Our 46-year-old son, Davy, has been in a wheelchair all his life, so transporting him appropriately has always been an issue. We have now found a 100% electric vehicle that works for […]

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Funding Resources for Accessible Vehicles & Adaptive Equipment

Wheelchair accessible vehicles and adaptive equipment prices can run from $5,000 to $60,000+. Thankfully there are ways to help pare that down to an affordable figure. Disability grants and loans, government assistance and other help is available. You can even use multiple sources. State Agencies – Every state has a Vocational Rehabilitation Dept. Some provide funding for vehicle modifications. Phone numbers for state, federal and county agencies are in your local phone book or Google […]


United Fined for Violating Airline Disability, Tarmac Delay Rules

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined United Airlines $2.75 million for violating the Department’s rules protecting air travelers with disabilities and for violating the Department’s rule prohibiting long tarmac delays.  The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations. “It is our duty to ensure that travelers with disabilities have access to the services they need, and that when significant tarmac delays happen, travelers are not left on […]