Tucson Disability Report

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

So you think you've got it tough?

by Greg Miller (edited by Kent Walker)

In these difficult economic times, I hear stories every day about people losing their jobs. Professionals from all walks of life have had their lives put on hold. They grow increasingly anxious about what awaits them in the future. As much as I sympathize with their situations, I want to call attention to the fact that the disabled community has been largely ignored in terms of how they are being affected by this recession.

Imagine, just for a moment, being in a long line at a job fair. You are dressed basically the same as everyone else. And for the most part, you are as qualified as everyone else. Yet there are only five positions available for an applicant pool of hundreds. Now imagine that there is something that sets you apart from all other applicants: you have Tourette's syndrome.

As you wait in line for your turn to speak with an employer, the symptoms of Tourette's begin to take you over, and there is nothing you can do about it. Perhaps it's a facial tic, an obscene gesture, or an outburst of offensive language. Whatever it is, you instantly notice that everyone is staring at you. You are embarrassed beyond words.

The moment eventually passes, though not without a steady flow of whispers, chuckles, and finger-pointing. You try to compose yourself once again.

Now, it is your turn to speak with the employer. But as you take your seat, an uncontrollable urge takes over again. As the muscles in your face contort you simultaneously blurt out a stream of random obscenities. The interviewer recoils with confusion and disgust. In a single instant, your chances of getting a job have just evaporated.

This scenario played itself out, over and over again, in the lives of the subjects of a 2007 documentary called Tourette's on the Job (Cicada). This film takes a sober look at the cold realities that confront the victims of Tourette's every day. But it also chronicles the eventual success that came to these individuals after lifetimes of struggle and rejection.

While the overall message of this film can provide hope for the disabled, especially those who are capable of employment, it nevertheless reminds me how difficult times are for the disabled in this current recession. After all, Tourette's on the Job was made in 2007, just as the recession was getting underway. So the negative effects on the disabled community had not yet come to pass. What worries me, then, is the likelihood that so many opportunites to repeat the successes in this film have been lost.

Watch Tourettes on the Job [Part 1] in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Watch Tourettes on the Job [Part 2] in Entertainment | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Blind Faith in the Mozi Box?

Blind faith in the Mozi box
BY Greg Miller

Did you ever think about a difficult problem such as how to shop if you are legally blind or profoundly blind? A few research universities have been developing a system so that the blind and the visually impaired can shop on their own. It is called a Mozi box. The Mozi box is carried by a customer. It enables the customer to identify each product by its bar code and also the price of the product. Two California schools, Calit2 and UCSD, are co-developing the Mozi box with the University of Kentucky. This product has a working model but there trying bringing to market in the next five years. When I saw these videos it brought a ray of hope to me as a visually impaired person, especially when I heard the projected market price was thee hundred dollars. The featurea include visual identification of trademarks and bar codes. This will bring new Independence to the visually impaired

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dr. Ray Kurzweil


Dr. Ray Kurzweil presents a integrated view of how man and machine can operate as one. In this interview with CSPAN, he talks about a future where we can replace body parts as they fail in people. He even describes inserting computers in body parts to examine them internally. Dr. Kurzweil is also developing a pocket size reader for the visually impaired and blind to read menus, checks, books and other documents of personal inertest. He is even designing a cell phone capable of translating from one language to another. This inventor sees no limit to the development of computer related products for the disabled.

Friday, June 26, 2009



This afternoon’s post is about achieving flexibility at the workplace. Sandy Hanebrink, an Occupational Therapist with the Social Security Administration, advocates and educates on issues related to disability employment. In the video below, she provides valuable guidance to both employed and unemployed disabled workers.
In addition to talking about work flexibility, Hanebrink also provides information on how to obtain durable equipment, assistive technology, and Government funding. These three things combined enhance flexibility for those who have jobs and those seeking them.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Very Different Life of Quinn Bradlee
Written by Greg Miller and edited by Greg Moore

Today I want to talk about how parents deal with young adults with disabilities. The parents I have in mind are Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee. Sally was a correspondent for CBS News. She also wrote a column for the New York Daily News. Her husband, Ben Bradlee, is the former editor for the Washington Post and author of My Life, which is the title of his autobiography. Sally and Ben have a son name Quinn Bradlee, 27, who has a disability called Velocardiofacial Syndrome (VCFS).
Quinn has his own book titled A Different Life, which is the subject of the C-SPAN interview located here. It illustrates how the Bradlee family struggled to deal with Quinn’s disability. Sally states in the interview that each family member went to therapy, and that it was the common thread which brought them back together. She goes on to say their family could not possibly stay together without it. The interview sends a strong message to us all that we are interdependent and we can’t do it alone.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CSPAN interview with Peggy Mastroianni (10/11/2003)

This post in in response to a CSPAN interview with Peggy Mastroianni from 2003.

BY GREG MILLER (Typed by Greg Moore)

Today I thought I would bring to you a balanced view of the job market for the disabled community. Two programs come to mind. Number one is a program with Peggy Mastriani, who is chief counsel for the equal opportunity commission. The three most common problems are transportation, access to work sites, health coverage and access to housing near the work place. Positive program I saw online. Another program is the president committee on the employment of the disable on the employment. The three employees Jim Click JR, an auto dealer in Tucson AZ, Joyce Branford began a exertive employment company for the disable after recovering from a brain hemorrhage. Laurie Hershey received her degree in rehabilitative counseling after working with Jim, Click JR. The most imported point she brought out was the advisement in technology so she work on he own. Real life is field with difficulties and advances how we handled is are real challenge,

Employment for the Disabled


Attitude and acceptance are the largest obstacles for full employment of the disabled. Over the past couple of days I have been watching several videos dealing with the disabled and cooingly handicap. The common issues I have seen discussed by the panels are attitude facilities for independent living medical aides personal support. The most common attitude most frequently brought up was then ability as employers that brought home to me the fact the attitude the change. The employers’ attitudes must change first. Public law 504 was written to ensure access to full employment to the disable 94-122 is a law that guarantees full access to the education from age 5 to 22. The point we’re trying to stress here is when full employment is combined with opportunities the world of business and for a full life can flower.