Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Premier of a New Movie

Last week my I described how by watching others, persons living with disability could LEARN a lot. This week a new movie, Music Within, premiered in theaters across the country with the potential to TEACH others, the non-disabled, a lot. Movies, like all compelling stories, reach the masses, and this one has the star power and distribution to make it big. Though I don't live close enough to a theater now playing it and therefore haven't seen Music Within yet, I definitely plan to! More information at the movie's Website,
"This is a must see film far every American. Opportunities are what you make of them and Richard Pimentel's life story reminds us that America owes a twice debt to its Veterans, Service Disabled Veterans, Guard and Reserve. First, for putting an the uniform of our country and serving to protect the interests of our nation; and then upon their return to civilian life to serve once again with a keen dedication and commitment gained through that service. This indomitable Veteran spirit is seen across the globe in towns and cities and Music Within serves to remind us that one person does indeed make a difference."
Walter G. Blackwell/President and CEO
The Veterans Corporation

Sunday, October 21, 2007

You can observe a lot by just watching.

The title of today's post is actually a quote from Yogi Berra. In the context of a sports competition it make a lot of sense to watch or observe others, especially the opposing team. We can all do well by observing others and when living with disability, seeing how others do things can provide us inspiration or ideas how we might overcome obstacles that slow our progress.

If you thought the video I posted recently about a though controlled wheelchair was interesting, check out these videos of people living with disability using assistive technology to move their mountains!
Inspiring videos of disabled people using assistive technology

A few examples of what these videos show:

* A guy with spinal muscular atrophy playing World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 2004 using only his thumb: One Thumb to Rule Them All
* A woman with ALS controlling her computer with a switch taped to her cheek: A pivotal role in the household
* A girl with athetoid cerebral palsy who can write and draw thanks to the computer: Me and my computer
* A woman with cerebral palsy who uses her computer to do graphic design work: We can because we think we can

Read the referenced article with video links.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Worthy of Emulation

There are some initiatives that when I read about them I get excited. Today I read that 21 organizations in England are working together to leverage their missions and make a united impact.

People living with disabilities will have greater access to information technology as part of yesterday’s funding announcement from the Big Lottery Fund’s BASIS programme....
The project offers people with disabilities living across England assistance in using IT to increase independence and maximise their potential. Through a cascade approach, knowledge, skills and materials will be provided to community partners, who train voluntary and community organisations (VCOs), and in turn provide improved facilities and services to individuals with disabling conditions.

It seems that all too often well intentioned organizations and individuals shy from working together; competition for precious dollars is fierce. I take to heart this example for finding others who share a vision and then work for a win-win dynamism.

Read the full article.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Dude...don't drink too many beers.

In a previous post, I wrote about the iBot, an advanced mobility device that took many years to go to market. Hear is a device that offers tremendous promise for persons living with severe disabilities, but as my title indicates, when sitting in this chair...let's keep things sober. ;)
A wheel chair being developed by Ambient will allow users to control its movement with just their thoughts -- a breakthrough device that could be a huge help for the paralyzed. Called the Audeo, the chair works by intercepting brain signals sent to your larynx and decoding them to match previously recorded words, such as "forward," "back," or "fire laser."

Read the full article.