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Anam Cara By Chris Slavin When Earle, a handsome male yellow Labrador retriever from NEADS: World Class Service Dogs, and I were matched almost seven years ago, I knew I was getting a dog that was going to increase my independence in a world that is not always easy to negotiate with a physical disability.…

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EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT NSM ACCESS SALES REP, NEW YORK As a volunteer firefighterand NSM Access Consultant,Victoria VanValkenburghdoesn’t expect her two jobs tointersect. But this past spring,VanValkenburgh found herselfusing her training as a firefighterto save the life of an NSM client. Last April, VanValkenburgh was on her way to a customer’s home for a stairlift evaluation. “I…

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How disability advocates are changing the narrative on social media By Gabe Trujillo Vacation selfies, tortilla challenges and pink sauce. No, it’s not the beginning of a bad joke, it’s a list of just a few of the many things you can find on social media. But beyond all of the viral trends and media,…

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“I was 4 years old the first time I got on a sled, and I hated it,” McCoy recalls. “My pusher had bent downto tie her skates or left to help someone else, and I just started crying because I wasn’t moving.” McCoy, who has spina bifida, soon learned to love the sport. He and…

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Ben Waites on stage at America's Got Talent

Personal stories that inform, inspire and empower 5 Things to Know About Ben Waites 1. Making music is his calling. Ben, who holds an interdisciplinary degree in music, communications and theater arts, regards his love for music as a calling. “At 10 years old, I had a salvation experience with God,” Waites says. “I felt…

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Both Apple and Microsoft recently announced accessibility tech updates designed to better meet the needs of the disability community These include: Door Detection, a navigation feature on iPhone and iPad for users who are blind or low vision. The tool helps users navigate the last few feet to their destination, providing detailed information about the…

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MEET FOUR EMPLOYEES THAT EMBODY HONOR, EXCELLENCE, ACCOUNTABILITY, RESPECT, TEAMWORK AND SERVICE. ETHAN KRUEGER REHAB EQUIPMENT SPECIALISTBURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA Ethan Krueger loves the excitement of adaptivedownhill mountain bike racing. The competition, thecamaraderie of riders, the joy of taking on tough trailsat high speeds—he loves it all. Krueger, who sustained a spinal cord injury on…

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The new normal. We’ve all heard that phrase over and over again during thepandemic, but for me, my new normalbegan in 2018. For more than 25 years I helped peopleand served my community as a lawenforcement officer in PembrokePines, Florida. My wife, Tania, and Ihave been married for 21 years, andwe are the parents of…

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I’m convinced that when each of us can lead our best lives, it’s better for all of us. I’ve always been an active person. Before my accident, I was always in the water—water skiing, swimming, kayaking. In 2015, I was training in Wisconsin for a national barefoot water skiing competition when I fell and injuredmy…

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FOR WESLEY HAMILTON, THERE’S JOY IN EMPOWERING OTHERS. “We want to help people create their own perspective on life so they can live the life they want to live,” says Hamilton, the founder of Disabled But Not Really (DBNR). “We help them do that through a focus on nutrition, fitness and mental health.” DBNR is…

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