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Seizure Dog — She Nose When

Most dogs bark, but Rosie, a melt-yourheart, dark-eyed Basenji, does something different: she yodels. Not for food or to alert her master of potential intruders, but to call attention to a burgeoning medical emergency. Rosie knows a unique trick: She knows how to sense an imminent seizure in her owner, Charlie, a former firefighter/paramedic. “It could be a change ...
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Derek Paravicini — He’s Got the Keys to the World

Over recent months, ABILITY Magazine has examined different facets of autism and the arts. That exploration continues via world-class pianist Derek Paravicini who has autism and is also blind. He recently traveled to the United States with his sister Libbet and his teacher Adam Ockelford, PhD, a professor of music at the University of Roehampton in London. While visiting ...
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Candida — The Hands She Was Dealt

Candida Sullivan lived with minor deformities affecting her hands, foot and arm for the first 26 years of her life, without a clue as to what caused them. Even to this day, she’ll be standing in a store and someone will approach her, eyes fixed on an indentation circling her arm. “People will say get the rubber band off ...
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Part II of the “Greek Geek” Adventure

Zotikus gathered a group a guys to go on his mission with him. He brought his best friend Maximus, a well-known playboy who despised Trojans, Atropos the juggler, Funicius the comedian and Efimia the mime—out-of-work entertainers looking for a little action. Kicking a clay pot down the street had gotten old. “I’m down for a little weekend getaway,” they ...
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The Deaf President Movement

Dear ABILITY readers, Twenty-five years ago, Gallaudet University, the premier institution of higher education for deaf Americans, passed over two qualified deaf candidates to appoint a hearing person as the school’s new president. The students at the Washington, DC based institution were driven to act. They marched, called on Congress, and protested not only the appointment of the new ...
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Advancing the Civil Rights Movement

A Movement for Employment Equality Dear ABILITY readers, On March 5, 2011, I had the opportunity to travel to Selma, AL to take part in the commemoration of a significant event of the civil rights movement. Forty-six years ago, a peaceful march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ended with its participants violently ...
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Spring Into Action

It’s that time of year again, the vernal equinox, when night and day are nearly the same length. In Latin, ver means “spring” and equinox means “equal night.” And while there’s a fall equinox, only in spring does the sun cross the equator moving northward, on the up, you might say. This time of year means different things to ...
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Next Exit, Joy

It’s so unfortunate that today’s society makes it difficult to take a breather. Our brains are multi-tasked to the max and simple things that give us joy are oftentimes overrun by our obsession with surviving. Our minds become a mangled maze of freeways and toll roads with no off ramps or rest areas. This must stop! We have to ...
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Riding the MS Trail

I never claimed to take the easier, shorter, or most traveled road. As a matter of fact, I usually take the path where everyone warns me, “You can’t get there from here!” Pursuing uncharted paths can be rewarding, but it can also whack you in the knees, throw you down and steal your breath away. I don’t know about ...
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What the Farkle?

FARKLE is an acronym for Fancy Accessory Really Kool and Likely Expensive. They are custom items motorcycle enthusiasts install on their bikes. The term is well known among those of us in the sport-touring and long-distance motorcycle communities. To use it in a sentence: A motorcyclist may be in the process of “farkling,” and their completed motorcycle is said ...
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From Pigging Out to Nutrition Classes

Right now, not much racing is happening, so I’ve been doing different things to keep myself busy. Over Easter, my family wanted to see me, so they bought me a plane ticket to come home to Florida for a few days. I had a great visit, spending time with family, going to church and enjoying a huge Easter dinner. ...
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Making the Move

My big move. I just started a new adventure. I moved from my home in St. Augustine, Florida, to California. I travel back and forth so much because most of the motocross industry is in Southern California and most of my friends are here, too, so I decided it was time to head west. Off and on, I’ve been ...
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Ashley’s Column — Spring in My Step

Spring is here, and even though my season has yet to start, I have been very busy! During this time of year, I am mostly dedicated to starting my new training sessions. But this year I’ve also been working on a Red Bull commercial that will debut in April. I can’t really say too much about it (it’s “top ...
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Kendall Hollinger — Allergies

Kendall Hollinger is a triple threat: ice skater, singer and spiritual warrior. At 16 she glides across the ice with a winning smile and plenty of tricks up her sleeves—all honed over the 11 years she’s made the rink her second home. Neither a broken bone, nor a rump-chilling fall fazes this California girl, a top skater in her ...
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China — A Family’s Story of Strength

In a family photograph, four people affectionately hold each other. The eldest man, Zhu Bangyue, needs the support of a cane as he stands behind three people with disabilities. To look better in the photo, he wears new clothes. He smiles wearily, while the other faces are expressionless. This picture only hints at the tragedy endured by the people ...
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HE Fahed Bin Al Shaikh — Autism in the UAE

As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) gear up for a big 2013 conference on disability, His Excellency Fahed Bin Al Shaikh of Dubai works to raise awareness about autism in his part of the world. He and ABILITY’s Chet Cooper recently spoke via Skype. Chet Cooper: How did you start working within the autism community? HE Fahed Bin Al ...
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Amy Brenneman — Chiming In

Amy Brenneman is best known for her TV roles on Private Practice, NYPD Blue and Judging Amy, which was based on her real life mother, who was a state superior court judge in Connecticut. As the wife and mom of two, daughter, Charlotte, and son, Bodhi, Brenneman is heavily involved in her children’s school, CHIME. She favors its unique ...
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CSUN — This is Your Future

Brand new to ABILITY Jobs, I was honored and excited—okay shaken—to be invited to my first California State University, Northridge (CSUN) Conference in San Diego. It was also my first major crowd scene since my sensorineural hearing loss about seven years ago. With a scant two days’ notice, I got pulled into the deep end of the assistive technology ...
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Charles Limb, MD — Jazzology & Your Brain

Charles Limb is a medical doctor whose lifelong love of music inspired his career choice. He plays dual roles as associate professor of otolaryngology—head & neck surgery—at John Hopkins and is also a faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory of Music. A talented saxophonist, he interweaves music and medicine through his innovative research into how creativity affects the brain. ...