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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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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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China — Wang Kun Overcoming Obstacles for Art

Wang Kun is a renowned oil painter born in western China’s Jilin province in 1970, he contracted polio at a young age resulting in mobilty issues due to weakness in his legs. In recent years, his work has been exhibited internationally and he’s won numerous awards. For the artist, time is like a paint brush and life itself places ...
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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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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 ...
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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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New Column by a Biker With MS

Most men’s midlife crises involve something fast and shiny-or there’s another woman. My midlife crisis involved being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Along with the meds I was prescribed, I decided that my therapy would include a million mile motorcycle journey. I chose to embark upon this long-distance crusade 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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Sending 2012 Out With a Bang

During the crazy Christmas and New Year’s rush, I still found time to head out to California to do a photo shoot for Alpinestars. They flew us in to Zaca Station in Los Olivos, CA, about an hour northwest of Santa Barbara. When Chris from Alpinestars picked me up from the airport, he was trying to drive, make eye ...
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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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China — Puppeteer With a Purpose

Wn hour-and-a-half from downtown Beijing, is a residential building in the Tai-Hing district, Ming Li lives with his performance troupe, known as Ming Li’s Shadow Puppet Group. He stands about 4’7, and speaks with a soft voice. On this day, as he greets me, he is concerned about keeping his dream alive: he owes one of the performers more ...