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Eva Feldman, MD, PHD — ALS and Stem Cell Therapy

Eva Feldman, MD and PhD, works closely with her research team to seek cures for some of the world’s most devastating diseases, including Alzheimer’s, diabetic neuropathy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease. The latter causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and respiratory difficulties. As a neurology professor at the University of Michigan (U of ...
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Pet Power

From the day I came home from the hospital as a newborn in 1956, my family’s had pets. Back then it was a gold German Shepherd named Kim. In my first two years, she was as much a part of our household as my parents or two older brothers. Though Kim was technically not my sister, she was my ...
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Die Laughing

Recently I found out that I’m dying. The news really dampened my day. My doctor says that everyday I’m alive, I get closer to death; he predicts I may not make it past 90. Wow, dying. Now it’s all I can think about. Fortunately my spirits are high. As God is my witness, I’m gonna beat this thing. Death ...
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Kickin’ up Dirt

When I first started as a professional motocross racer about five years ago, women used to have to park outside the racing area. Later, when they started to include us in the sport, we were able to move in and park where the men parked. Initially, women didn’t get any TV coverage, but then highlights of our events were ...
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Trying to Make it Work

Dear ABILITY readers, Now into the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s important that we take stock of the progress we’ve made in fulfilling its promise. While we’ve come a long way in our efforts to integrate people with disabilities into mainstream society, we’ve yet to make adequate progress in the employment arena. In the ...
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DRLC — The Blame Game in Gun Control

Mass shootings in America have become commonplace. Between January 2011 and December 2012, 145 people were killed with assault weapons or large capacity ammunition magazines. Many of the perpetrators have been linked to mental health conditions, leading to proposed legislation on both gun control and mental illness. The FBI defines a mass shooting as four or more victims killed. ...
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Morgan’s Wonderland — An Accessible Fun-der-land

While splashing in a hotel pool in 2006, Gordon Hartman’s daughter, Morgan, approached some children. Unable to speak, she tapped a ball at them eager to play, but they backed away cautiously. The moment both saddened Hartman and made him determined to find a place where people like Morgan, who have cognitive or physical disabilities, can revel to their ...
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QJMC — Team Quincy Jones Spreading Music’s Roots

I grew up in New Orleans where the music and culture are so rich that they become part of your DNA. I tried to learn the guitar when I was about 12 or 13, but had a really tough time. Instead, I learned to express the emotions within the music as a tap dancer and ballerina for many, many ...
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Andy — Music + Charity = Millions of Fans

This really is a small world after all. When my dad was a teenager playing soccer, he could not have predicted that he would have a daughter interviewing his good friend and teammate Andy Madadian. Today he is best know as Andy, is now an international pop star who has created a fusion of sound that combines traditional Middle ...
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Accountability — Employing People with Disabilities

It is commonly accepted wisdom that ‘what gets measured gets done.’ Establishing metrics and holding managers accountable for hiring practices, particularly in relation to affirmative action and diversity goals, is also an effective way to promote demographic change within your organization’s workforce. This is especially true when considering disability as one of the diversity characteristics. With the anticipated final ...
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Sharjah’s — Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi

At the recent assistive technology conference in San Diego, ABILITY’s Chet Cooper and Lia Limón Martirosyan caught up with Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi and Amal Al-Khamis. They’d flown in from Sharjah, one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE). Chet Cooper: Does Sheikha mean “princess” Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi: In Saudi Arabia, which is a ...
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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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A Good Act to Follow

In Part I of our interview with veteran actress Geri Jewell, she talked about launching her acting career, getting her start in stand-up comedy, and coming out as a lesbian. She also discussed her two books, which were published decades apart: The first, ghost written on her behalf, and the current one, I’m Walking as Straight as I Can, ...
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Paper or Plastic

With the bans on single plasticbag use in some of California’s grocery stores, other states will also be following the trend, making it illegal, beginning January 2013, to pack your produce in plastic. Why such drastic measures on the use of plastic bags? It is all in the name of saving the environment, being eco-friendly and forcing us to ...
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Last Minute 2013 Resolutions

If the world had ended in 2012 as scheduled, we’d all be off the hook from making New Year’s resolutions. But as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the world kept on turning, and here we are in 2013. If you’re like me, you rang in the year with at least one resolution, possibly more. Now, we all know ...
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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 ...