Ed Begley Jr. Issue

ABILITY Magazine Cover Ed Begley Jr. issue

Elegy For A Disease — A Personal History of Polio

Circa 2006 One word shaped Anne Finger’s entire future at age three: polio. In 1954, she was diagnosed with the disease, just months before the Salk vaccine became widely available. Her latest book, Elegy for a Disease, is a memoir of her personal experiences interwoven with the life story of polio—its viral origins and ... Read more

Service Animals — Barking up the Right Tree

Circa 2006 My service dog’s liquid eyes say it all: I’m here. I love you. What can I do to help? Top that off with some serious entertainment value, and how much more could I ask of a friend? Mesa is two parts dignity, one part goof. She prances in step as she heels, ... Read more

Sound Technology — For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Circa 2006 Jane, a 20-year-old English major at an Ivy-League university, has been deaf since early childhood. She loves reading the classic plays of Shakespeare and Marlowe—but she also wants to be able to participate in seminar classes where she can learn the perspectives of her professors and hearing peers. At first, Jane’s college ... Read more

Book Excerpt — Widening the Circle

Circa 2006 Mara Sapon-Shevin, professor of education at Syracuse University, has a bold, even radical vision for full classroom inclusion, for creating school communities in which all students—regardless of race, family background, disability, special needs or other perceived differences—are welcomed as full and valued members from the very start. In her latest book, Widening ... Read more

Healing Our Soldiers — Hawaii’s MRPU

Circa 2006 There are too many stories for Major Edna Smith to narrow it down to just one. Selecting one single soldier’s rehabilitation testimony is like picking which child has left a greater impression on a mother. Each is unique. Each is heart-wrenching. And each is about strength. None of the soldiers Smith encounters ... Read more

Better Off Dead — Suicidality

Circa 2006 I work in a helping profession for a living. As the deputy director of a case management agency for the mentally ill, I connect with people on the fringes of society. My clients typically are poor. They may not be the most educated, the prettiest or the most pleasant. But I successfully ... Read more

The Secret Vote — Making Voting Accessible

Circa 2006 If anyone is under the mistaken impression that voting independently and in private isn’t important to voters who are blind, Diane Vlasoff, a former teacher and future law student living in Ojai, California, will set them straight. Vlasoff showed up at her voting precinct this past Election Day to find that the ... Read more

Healthy Environment — Steps We All Can Take

Circa 2006 Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, air quality has improved in many regions of our country. However, even after 30 years of progress, more than 158 million Americans continue to breathe dirty, unhealthy air, according to a study by the Center for American Progress and the Center for Progressive ... Read more

Ed Begley Jr. And Rachelle Carson — Interview

Circa 2006 You never know what background will shape an environmentalist. The great American essayist and eco-warrior Edward Abbey spent his formative years in the lush forests of western Pennsylvania; in contrast, primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall grew up in the urban setting of London, England. The route to ecological awareness can be either ... Read more

Dystonia — Deep Brain Stimulation and Medtronic

Circa 2006 Emily Blum’s hair grows more every day. What were once long tresses below her shoulders, the 32-year-old communications director has gladly surrendered for a new brain surgery and the freedom to enjoy a mile-and-a-half walk each day in her Chicago neighborhood. Not long ago, Blum was struggling to walk only a couple ... Read more

Learning Katrina’s Lessons — Disaster Preparedness

Circa 2006 As Hurricane Katrina brewed over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, Kim Cook, a 23-year-old New Orleans woman with cerebral palsy, had no idea that in just six days her life would be in danger. She almost certainly assumed, as many did, that the people, community-based organizations and government she relied upon ... Read more

Rights Or Wrongs — Legal Stories From DLRC

Circa 2006 What good is a right without a court? What if, more than 30 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, an AfricanAmerican tried to force a restaurant to allow him to sit at the whites only lunch counter, but found that his local court had a similar whites ... Read more

Connecticut Dept. Of Labor — Gift of Opportunity

Circa 2006 Joe Stromondo was born with dwarfism. But dwarfism doesn’t define who he is; it is simply the name of his disability. It doesn’t take more than a five-minute conversation with the 24-year-old Stromondo, who works full time as a career advisor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, to realize how bright and ... Read more

Recipes — Healthy Drinks

Circa 2006 DIETARY CHOICES PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN REDUCING CANCER RISK Thinking about cancer is something most of us would rather avoid, but today we know that paying more attention to our cancer risk is something that can yield real dividends. Researchers tell us the majority of cancers we face are preventable—not through ... Read more

Senator Harkin — Securing America’s Energy Future

Circa 2006 SECURING AMERICA’S ENERGY FUTURE Dear ABILITY Magazine Readers, America’s citizens basically understand we are facing an energy crisis that affects all of us. To me the signs are clear. We are confronting a major transition of our energy systems, one that we must face head on. On our current energy path we ... Read more