Monday, March 25, 2013


Since I gave up walking on my treadmill last August, I was beginning to feel sluggish and a lack of appetite due to just not being able to exercise at a pace that would increase my
heart rate.  The photo below is of the ACTIVE CYCLE sold for a reasonable price at Amazon.  After just one month of doing 20 – 30 minutes 5-6 days per week I am losing inches, have a stronger core and my appetite is back!    It is small enough to fit on the corner of  a table or desk.  I get the same feeling as I did when using a treadmill only I can go faster since balance is not an issue unless I would cho0se to stand while using my hands.  The shoulder and hip joints have a similar structure so working one, helps the other.  Another advantage is that it is considered medical equipment so you can check it like luggage at airports for no fee.  Just have your doctor write a letter and keep in shape!
41bjfKUweoL. SX180  STAY ACTIVE

Friday, March 15, 2013

Where Advocacy Falls Short

I have been posting articles from public sources highlighting the continued and URGENT need for disability rights advocacy.  Unfortunately,  a group effort is not always possible, especially for the  minority populations.
An African American woman was recently told by the Pennsylvania Disability Rights Network  that her case was being rejected because she was black!   It has been my experience that lack of appropriate licensing, broad based professional experience, and exposure to best practices among professional colleagues limit the acquiring of levels of expertise required to deliver appropriate services.   Too often advocacy is inappropriately seen as asking for  favors or “preferential treatment.”  This biased view has been recently articulated to me by several transit administrators who believe offering favors is an acceptable substitute for adhering to federal statutes.   I encourage those with disabilities  make a it clear that that consistent adherence to what the law provides is much more acceptable than  ”favors”.  I have learned that they are actually covert manipulations  and a price of ignoring fair treatment is expected.  KNOW YOUR RIGHTS and respectfully request compliance with the law.  This is especially important for those of us with socially stigmatized disabilities.   Many have not had the experience of growing up feeling comfortable in public.  I hope you will be encouraged by my example.  I will answer any questions in response to this post
I conclude this post by recommending that a journal be kept of specific violations or acts of discrimination.  Just write down or tell some one date, time and what happened.  It makes a difference should you decide to file a formal complaint.  I hope to live in a country where this is not necessary,  however, we're not there yet!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


This significant press release from the US Department of Health and Human Services is a significant step regarding the civil rights of people with disabilities.

News Release

March 5, 2013
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS reaches civil rights settlement with national senior care provider

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has entered into a settlement agreement with Genesis HealthCare (Genesis), one of the nation’s largest providers of senior care.  OCR Director Leon Rodriguez today announced that Genesis is working with OCR to implement the agreement’s requirements at all Genesis facilities nationwide.  Genesis operates more than 400 skilled nursing centers and assisted/senior living communities across 29 states.
This settlement follows a complaint that Genesis failed to provide a qualified interpreter to a resident at its skilled nursing facility in Randallstown, Maryland. Throughout his stay at the facility, center staff relied on written notes and gestures to communicate with the resident, even while conducting a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation with him.  Moreover, by not being provided a qualified interpreter, evaluations of his care and discussions on the effects of his numerous medications and the risks caused by not following recommended treatments and prescription protocols had harmful effects on the patient’s overall health status.
“This patient’s care was unnecessarily and significantly compromised by the stark absence of interpreter services,” said Rodriguez.  “My office continues its enforcement activities and work with providers, particularly large health care systems like Genesis, to make certain that compliance with nondiscrimination laws is a system wide obligation.”
OCR conducted its investigation under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which requires that facilities take appropriate steps to ensure effective communications with individuals. OCR concluded that in order for the patient and staff to be able to communicate effectively with each other regarding treatment, a qualified sign language interpreter would have been necessary.
Under the terms of the agreement, all Genesis facilities must comply with the terms and conditions of the settlement.  The agreement also requires Genesis to form an auxiliary aids and services hotline; create an advisory committee to provide guidance and direction on how to best communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing community; designate a monitor to conduct a self-assessment and obtain feedback from deaf and hard of hearing individuals and advocates and conduct outreach to promote awareness of hearing impairments and services that are available for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.  In addition Genesis would be required to pay monetary penalties for noncompliance with any terms of the agreement.
The HHS Settlement Agreement can be found on the OCR website at:
For information about laws prohibiting discrimination, visit the OCR website at: