Acceptance

Acceptance

Acceptance begins early

When a child with a disability reaches adulthood, feelings about acceptance by others may linger. If young people learn to accept themselves during their formative years, explore interests, form friendships, accomplish, interact, and socialize at age-appropriate stages, it can help empower a sense of belonging when they’ve grown.

Accessibility

Getting where you – and your child – need to go

For a child with a physical disability, a flight of three steps can seem like a mountain he or she cannot climb. But accessibility means more than being able to enter a building or ride a bus – it’s the means by which an individual can participate in activities, school, and eventually, work.

Accommodate or Modify

Accommodate or Modify

Know how the use of these two terms affects your child’s experience

Those two words may seem like synonyms to many parents. But for those with a child that has a disability, knowing the difference between the two terms empowers parents to help their child achieve success.

Adaptive Sports

Adaptive Sports in the Public School System

Assemble, adapt, and play

The push for inclusion in school sports couldn’t come at a better time. A 2010 study compiled by the US Government Accountability Office found that although the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, mandates full participation, 12 percent of students with disabilities in grades seven to 12 did not take traditional physical education classes. The American Association of Adapted Sports Program (AAASP) is changing the tide, one school system at a time.

Airline Travel

Airline Travel

Travel made accessible

Summer is a time of family travel near and far, to take in the crisp salt air of a seaside town and walk through the wonders of ancient ruins. Knowledge of airline travel requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and some pre-trip planning can help make your next family trip a fun adventure, without the hassle.

Auditory Barriers

Auditory Barriers

Loud and clear: Cochlear implants bring the sound-filled world to children

Children that have cerebral palsy may have associative conditions, of which deafness is one. But the invention of the cochlear implant in many cases can give people with hearing impairment an opportunity for auditory excellence.

Awareness

Awareness

Awareness leads to opportunity

For the parents of children with cerebral palsy, half of the battle of managing cerebral palsy is becoming aware of the programs, organizations and contacts that are available to provide families with vital supports. But awareness also means being aware of a child’s physical, emotional, social, educational and familial needs and goals.

Bully Abuse

Bully Abuse

Breaking the bullying cycle

Research indicates that children with special needs are more likely to be bullied by other children inside and outside of school settings. However, bullying incidents can be decreased by fostering healthy communication, speaking honestly with children, and impelling expectations on educators.

Bus Transit

Bus Transit

A comfortable seat on the bus

For people with disabilities, bus travel equates to independence – to destinations like the grocery store, work, or the doctor’s office. But often, bus trips don’t work out as expected. Here’s helpful tips for everyday and leisure bus transit.

Communication Barrier

Communication Barrier

Unlocking the doors to communication

Too often people think communication and speaking are the same thing. But for individuals that are nonverbal, there are other modes and tools that can allow them to express their thoughts succinctly – and often

Confidence

Confidence in Pageantry

Pageant founder helps make little girls feel beautiful

Abbey Curran, the first woman with a disability to compete in the Miss Iowa and the first woman with cerebral palsy to compete in the Miss USA competition, created a nationwide pageant for girls and young women with special needs in an effort for them to gain confidence through pageantry.

Employment

Employment

Finding meaningful, sustained employment

People with disabilities often face obstacles when pursuing gainful employment. By deploying techniques used by other job hunters and using workforce development resources, the path to a career should have fewer challenges.

Inclusion

Inclusion

Being a part of the group

In the past, conventional wisdom dictated that children with special needs should not only be educated separately from other students, but also attend recreational programs and activities exclusively with children with disability. Today, the tide has turned towards ensuring that if a child has a disability or impairment, life is an all-inclusive proposition.

Overcoming

Overcoming Adversity

Louisiana woman remains upbeat after two life-altering diagnoses

A life full of adversity has only made Joe’l Ash stronger. As a child, she underwent many surgeries and treatments to control symptoms of hemiplegia spastic cerebral palsy. If that wasn’t hard enough, she recently battled thyroid cancer. Still, the 27-year-old single mother of two boys remains upbeat, positive and strong. So strong, in fact, that she recently participated in a mud pit challenge.

People

People First Language

Taking a closer look at the words we use to describe others

As we’ve become more sensitive to the needs of persons with disabilities, one aspect of society that has remained stubbornly behind the curve are the words we use to describe another.

Quality

Quality of Life

Making life joyful and fulfilling

When expecting a child, parents envision the life their child will lead – a life of joy and fulfillment; a life with friends, play and fun. Upon receiving their child’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy parents question what quality of life their child will have. Studies confirm that children with cerebral palsy often report a quality of life on par with that reported by children without disability. Parents, however, perceive differently.

R-Word"

R-Word

Banning the R-Word

Today, the word “retard” is a term no parent wants to learn is associated with their child. Although parents of children with cerebral palsy may not immediately consider how the R-word could apply to their child, here’s why it matters, and why it needs to go.

Recognition

Recognition

A gesture of respect

A spirited teen with a big smile and a kind heart, Desaray Carroll’s positive attitude and openness lead her to a seat she never thought she’d occupy – the prom queen’s throne.

Reduced Government Funding

Reduced Government Funding

Independence, productivity lost without personal care assistants

Michigan man’s story illustrates the importance government-funded assistants can play in the lives of individuals with disability, and how difficult it can be to navigate government services.

Socialization

Socialization

Interacting with others

Socialization of a child is something that is typically a natural phenomenon, but for children with disabilities, making friends and forming relationships can be especially challenging. Here’s how to work past those obstacles.

Stereotypes

Stereotypes

With grit and humor, woman beats back stereotypes

Californian Rachel Chiapparine is whip smart, engaging and loaded with perspectives. And she hopes her example shatters perceptions about people with cerebral palsy, and how they can demonstrate independence. “Cerebral palsy is something that happens to you, not something that’s wrong with you,” she said.

Stretching Beyond Boundaries

Stretching Beyond Boundaries

From poster child to advocating for rights

For Karen Lynn Chlup, a career as a fitness trainer and motivator is the culmination of several years of busting through barriers, standing up for the rights of people with disabilities, and seizing the day. “I think many things in life have to do with your attitude,” said Karen, who has cerebral palsy, lift-sided hemiplegia and dyslexia. “My motto is that “You can do anything you put your mind towards doing” even with a disability.”

Railway Travel

Train Travel

A rail to fun and relaxation

For long-distance travelers with disabilities, railway transit provides a scenic view of the countryside, a more cost-efficient mode of transportation than air, a spacious and comfortable seating environment, and an opportunity for intriguing pit-stops. But there are considerations train travelers with disabilities must consider – especially when overnight travel is required.


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