Tag Archives: Physical Disabilities

“The LifeSaver”


Hello Everyone!

I can not believe Summer is almost over.  Where did the summer go? I guess that what happens when you keep yourself busy.

Well, the above is yet another video that I created for another video contest.  This contest was presented by ATIA – Assistive Technology Industry Association. www.ATIA.org   This organization is all about creating awareness of Assistive Devices for those that have physical disabilities.

Many people  are not aware that their are all kinds of awesome devices to make one’s life a little easier, no matter what kind of physical disability one has.

As most of you know, I was born deaf and now I wear cochlear implants.  I love using Assistive Listening Devices, they come in all shapes and forms.

In this video, I share my personal favorite Assistive Listening Device and how it helps me to compete at horse shows.

I hope you enjoy the video, even if you don’t have a physical disability.   I encourage you to watch it, because you will be learning some great information, that perhaps you could share with someone in your life!

Here’s a little more information about ATIA direct from their website.

About ATIA
The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) is a not-for-profit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of technology-based assistive devices and/or services. ATIA represents the interests of its members to business, government, education, and the many agencies that serve people with disabilities. Its mission is to serve as the collective voice of the Assistive Technology industry so that the best products and services are delivered to people with disabilities. For more information about ATIA’s educational opportunities and conferences, visit www.atia.org.
Since 1999, ATIA has held an annual conference that provides a forum for education and communication to professional practitioners serving those with disabilities. In conjunction with its conferences, ATIA holds a Leadership Forum and Workshop on Accessibility which provides corporations, government agencies, and higher educational institutions with the information needed to expand their accessibility efforts. In addition to the Chicago conference, ATIA Orlando will be held January 27-30, 2010.
Goals of ATIA
ATIA’s goals include:
  • Establish and manage an annual Assistive Technology (AT) conference. The conference provides a forum for education and communication to professional practitioners serving those with disabilities (teachers, occupational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, physicians, psychologists, etc.), with the overarching goal of providing enhanced benefits and opportunities to people with disabilities. The ATIA Conference has been held every year since 1999 and is now established as the largest, broad-based AT conference in North America.  In 2009, ATIA added a second AT conference to be held in the Midwest in the fall, (October 28-31), at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Illinois. The ATIA 2009 Orlando Conference had over 2,300 attendees, more than 300 educational sessions and 125 exhibitors.
  • To “speak with a common voice” for the AT industry, and work closely with Electronics & Information Technology (EIT) companies and government, on matters of common interest such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and comparable continuing issues.
  • Support publications of itself and in conjunction with non-profit partners.
What is Assistive Technology?
·         Assistive Technology (or AT) is any item, piece of equipment, product or system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.

As always, Have a sunny day!  Susanna

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Filed under Cochlear implants, Hearing loss, inspiration, Physical Handicaps, Uncategorized

“Front of the Class”

“Front of the Class”  When I think of “Front of the Class” I actually think back to when I was child growing up and I was mainstreamed in public schools on Long Island, NY and Spring, Texas.  The only “special” arrangement I had in school was my mom made sure I sat in the first row in class at school. 

I remember, I used to hate that first day in class, because I always prayed and hoped that, I would naturally end up in the first row of class  by alphabetable order or if luck had its way, I got to choose my seat.  However, I remember I hated it when I had to tell the teacher why I had to sit in front, especially in front of all my peers, on the first day of school! The first day was exciting enough! w/o adding to the excitement!  You see, I was like every other kid and I didn’t want to be thought of as “handicapped” or “different.”   Well, I survived many “first days” and “front of the class.”

However, the “Front of the Class” I am actually going to write about, really hit home to me this past Sunday.  Why?  I watched the Hallmark movie “Front of the Class” about Brad Cohen and his Toureg’s Syndrome.

You are probably wondering, “Why did it hit home?”  It really touched me for many reasons.  Yes, I don’t have Toureg’s but I do have a physical disability- profound deafness. 

My life and Brad’s life were similiar in just about every way, except for the obvious type of disability we have.  I also learned how to prevail with a “can do” attitude and lots of perserverance.

There were some real good examples in the movie, that really reverbated with me. 

The first part that hit home was when Brad went   to the Support group with his mom and he was surrounded with others who had Toureg’s.  He and his mom stayed awhile, but Brad and his mom were thinking, “he and I are not like these others.”  Yes, in reality we are, but we choose to handle our challenges with a “winning attitude” which made the difference! I knew exactly were he was coming from, those others accepted Toureg’s and did little to fight it! Brad was thinking, “I am not like them” and he went on to show the world, that Toureg’s was not going to win.    As soon, as I saw this scene, immediately a child hood memory, came racing to my mind!   The memory of my mom, taking me to speech therapy, at this “special hospital” about an hour away from home.  I used to hate going to speech therapy!  In reality, it wasn’t the speech therapy that bothered me, it was seeing the other children at this hospital ( a hospital for children with physical and emotional disabilities.”  You see I was like Brad, I was not like those other kids and I was determined not to be different.  I would come home so unhappy and I was a happy go lucky, outgoing kid.  So, thank god, mom stopped taking me there, because in the end, it did more bad then good!

The Second part that hit home, was the part when Brad was going on those gazillion of job interviews……that has happened to me too in my job search and when I first started showing horses….I failed so miserably at first, but I hung in there, and tried again, and tried again, and tried again, etc….until finally obtaining a job and having success showing horses.

The third most important point that I related to was whether you should disclose your disability or not……I have not ever done that in a job interview.  I will be brutually honest, great jobs are very competitive even when you are “perfect.”  I just never felt comfortable relaying my hearing loss, part of the reason was, I considered myself  just like everyone and I never wanted my hearing loss to be the reason why I did or did not obtain a position.    However, I usually told my boss after I had been on the job for a while and I had a chance to get to know my boss and my work enviroment.  I had to be totally comfortable to do this.  Look, I realize my way, may not be the best way, but it worked for me…….  I realize with ADA and all that, things may chance, but then again, they may not change depending on the person’s knowledge and how attune they are to people who are physical “challenged.”

Another part that I totally agreed on! was that physically “challenged” people are great workers! Brad was First Year Teacher of the Year!  We know what it is like to be “different”  and we always proving to the world that we can do an outstanding job in spite of our disability.

Finally, the “Can do  and Positive Attitude” combined with tons of perserverance.  I totally related to that too!!!  I also had to use those same qualities in my life to help me live a fulfilling, satisfying and rewarding life.

Thank you Brad Cohen for sharing your story and telling the world.  Brad is also a speaker and I am too, I am sharing my story too! to help inspire people too!  We do not need to let our physical disabilities take over our lives, instead we learn to live with our disabilities and do awesome things in spite of our disabilities.

If you missed the movie, I highly suggest your buy it or rent it when it comes out on DVD.

“Anything in life is possible, if you believe!!!!!!!!!!”

As Always,  Have a Sunny Day!!!! Susanna

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Filed under Physical Handicaps