Avril Lavigne Issue

Austin Basis Articles in the Avril Lavigne Issue; Ashley Fiolek — Thrill of the Race!; Humor — Sleepy Time; Geri Jewell — The Heart of Boxing; China’s — Hou Bin; Long haul paul — Nuts to MS; Chris Hendricks — Music to my Ears; Tippi Hedren — Birds, Tigers, Lions, Oh My!; Blake Leeper — Fast and Furious and Fun; Danny Woodburn — A Happyish Guy; Avril Lavigne — Fly High with Special Olympics; Special Olympics — Karl from South Africa; Special Olympics — Mati from Israel; ADA — 25 Years of Progress; ABILITY's Crossword Puzzle; Events and Conferences...
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The Heart of Boxing

Boxes. All kinds of boxes. No matter what else we may have going on, they seem to always serve an important function in our lives, or we’re always looking for a place to stash them away. Some people have even lived in boxes, while a great many of us end up buried in them. And who hasn’t used boxes ...
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ADA — 25 Years of Progress

Over the last 25 years, the Americans with Disabilities Act has had a transformative effect on disability-related employment policies and practices in the United States. Title 1 of the law granted employees with disabilities civil rights protections that go beyond the right to be employed without fear of discrimination; it also gave them the footing to negotiate with employers ...
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SPECIAL OLYMPICS — Mati from Israel

My son, Mati Oren, will be attending his fourth Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this summer. At age 32, he’s been active in Special Olympics (SO) in Israel since he was 12. Born with several medical problems, he’d endured eight surgeries by the age of 4. This left him with cognitive and developmental delays. He became the ...
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SPECIAL OLYMPICS — Karl from South Africa

A child with Down syndrome, my son, Karl, was sickly. On a number of occasions our family was told that it was unlikely he would survive. He underwent numerous operations, including open-heart surgery. Then, at age 6, his health turned around, and he has not looked back since. Now 27, Karl has a full-time job that he loves at a retirement home. He lives with his ...
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DANNY WOODBURN — A Happyish Guy

Woodburn being frisked before the interview, found several disturbing objects, but no weapons Behind the scenes of Hot Flash with Lia Martirosyan playing the fed-up home owner He was always the joker: First to make his mother laugh, and then comedy club audiences. Roles in college plays led to the New York stage, and then to a roll of the dice in Los ...
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BLAKE LEEPER — Fast and Furious and Fun

Blake Leeper stood at the starting block in London and listened as the public address announcer began introductions for the 400 meter T44 final at the 2012 Paralympic Games. Before the announcer even began to speak, the crowd of 85,000 exploded with an escalating roar. But it wasn’t for him. “In Lane 4, from South Africa, Oscar Pistorius.” It was a reality check for Leeper, who ...
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TIPPI HEDREN — Birds, Tigers, Lions, Oh My!

Best known for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie and The Birds, Tippi Hedren was well down the runway as a model, when she caught the legendary filmmaker’s attention in a TV commercial one day. That set her on a path to appear in over 80 films and TV shows. Mother of Melanie Griffith (Something Wild, Working Girl) and grandmother of Dakota Johnson ...
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CHRIS HENDRICKS — Music to my Ears

Sedona World Wisdom Days, held over Martin Luther King weekend last January, were magical. With the stunning red rocks and sacred landscape as a backdrop, attendees gathered to listen to the insights of such inspirational speakers as legendary TV producer Norman Lear, singer-songwriter Indie.Arie, and ABILITY’s own columnist, actress Geri Jewell. Jewell and frequent ABILITY contributor, David Zimmerman, made the trek to mystical Sedona, AZ, where they connected ...
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Nuts to MS

For the past few years, I have braved the harsh March winter here in the northeast and made the migration south to Daytona Beach, FL, for bike week. Well, mostly I go in order to attend the Iron Butt Association’s (IBA) annual gathering in Jacksonville to break bread and tell lies to hundreds of other motorcyclists who share my love of long distance riding. When I ...
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Sleepy Time

I only sleep 3 or 4 hours a day, but at night I get eight hours. Every day I wake up at 6 A.M., and then I roll over to get a few more hours of sleep. Some people get up bright and early in the morning; others get up bright and early in the afternoon. But, no matter how you slice and dice ...
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AVRIL LAVIGNE — Fly High with Special Olympics

Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Avril Lavigne has sold more 35 million records worldwide. Her songs “Complicated” and “Girlfriend” rank among Billboard’s Hot 100 singles of the decade. Raised two hours east of Toronto, Canada, she signed a music deal at 17, and recently launched the Avril Lavigne Foundation R.O.C.K.S. to promote Respect, Opportunity, Choices, Knowledge, and Strength in young people with serious illnesses or disabilities. ABILITY’s Lia Martirosyan caught up with ...
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Hou Bin

Born in 1975 in the city of Jiamusi in the province of Heilongjiang, China, Hou Bin lost his left leg in a devastating train accident when he was just nine years old. Today, at 40, he is a motivational speaker, a three-time Paralympic champion in the high jump, a former ambassador for Beijing’s bid for the Winter Olympics, and the last one to carry the Olympic ...
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Thrill of the Race!

I decided I would race again. I started riding and training to get ready. The Big 6 was the last in a series, and it was a race that I’d never competed in before. I didn’t expect to win, but I didn’t want to look too bad out there, either. First, Ryan, Kate, Ashley, and I left SoCal for ...