When Talking Hurts
When Talking Hurts

Categories: My Story

Photo of Sue MeismerBy Guest Blogger Sue Meismer, Instructional Designer and Virtual Administrator

Looking at me, you would never know. Sometimes, I still see my reflection in the mirror and forget that the person looking back may look like my old self ̶ except she’s not. This “new” me constantly yanks me back with painful reminders and crushing fatigue whenever I try to work or live like the old me. Still, I have that incessant drive to advance my chosen career fields of Training and Organizational Development and Human Resources. Except that drive no longer has an outlet.

Old me had a successful nearly 20-year run in major companies and consulting, holding multiple career certifications and a graduate degree from a-top flight program. She was highly employable and earning a comfortable living.

Fast-forward 10 years to “new” me. This me strives to maintain an even keel at all times. If I don’t, I know I will pay my price in the currency of pain. Talk to relatives at a holiday gathering, and pay in pain, nausea, dizziness, and hissing in my ears like the seven-year locust season. Have a deadline or an argument? Instant shot of all-over pain that lasts even when the stress subsides. The one pain trigger I can’t choose or predict: Barometric pressure.

I was in good health until New Years’ Eve day, 2004. That afternoon, a few blocks from home, a silver flash of car changed my life. A distracted driver ran a red light. Our lives intersected at my driver’s door, from which the paramedics extracted me with the Jaws of Life. My own jaw, would become my primary disabling source of pain, with my back and head vying for second place.

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Share Your American Dream for the Chance to Win $1,000, a Tablet and a Mentor!
Share Your American Dream for the Chance to Win $1,000, a Tablet and a Mentor!

Categories: Community Life

A photo of a video camera with the words, "Lights, Camera, Action!"

By Guest Blogger Dominic Manecke, Communications Specialist, National Disability Institute

National Disability Institute is proud to announce the launch of its fourth annual My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest!

Like all Americans, people with disabilities strive for and are working tirelessly toward realizing their American dreams. That is why we want to hear from individuals with disabilities across America about their dreams and the steps they are taking to achieve them. Whether it’s landing a dream job, owning a home, going to college, starting and running a business or taking steps toward financial independence, we encourage people with disabilities to share their goals and show that all Americans want the same thing – a piece of the American dream.

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Choosing the Right Wheelchair Van for Your Family
Choosing the Right Wheelchair Van for Your Family

Categories: Transportation

Side view of van with wheelchair rampBy Guest Blogger Elise Schwartz, staff writer, Rollx Vans

There are many things to consider when searching for a new vehicle. Some of these considerations include size, features, price and which vehicle type will best suit your needs. So, when it comes to choosing a new vehicle for your family, the choice can be a difficult one.

This is especially true if you or your child need a vehicle that is wheelchair accessible.

Purchasing an accessible vehicle can be a breeze when you are working with the right dealer. But, there is much more to the process when it comes to choosing a wheelchair van that works for your family.

Accessibility Options
Vehicles can be adapted in many different ways, but the options are almost always dependent on how the wheelchair user plans to use it on a day-to-day basis. A few questions to consider when initially thinking about what you need are:
● What’s the ideal location for the wheelchair user to sit in the vehicle?
● Will the wheelchair user be driving?
● Does the wheelchair user want to transfer out of their seat?
● Is the wheelchair positioned at an extended height or width?

After those questions are answered, you can begin to look into the various accessibility conversions available to fit your vehicle needs. A few of the most common features include hand controls, transfer seats and ramp or lift style.

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