Friday, July 24, 2015

Read a good book this summer


Have you read the book Out of My Mind yet ?  My best friend Ashley and I read this book together.  The book was so good it was hard to put down.  We both have Cerebral Palsy so the book was highly relatable.  When Melody states “When people look at me I guess they see a girl with short, dark, curly hair strapped into a pink wheelchair.” It makes me think of how people stare at me and how they make assumptions about me without even knowing me. 
Does this happen to you?  How does it make you feel?     
I thought this book teaches really good lessons of what to do when people treat us differently. I recommend the book to those who haven’t read it.
Theresa

 Image result for out of my mind by sharon draperImage result for out of my mind by sharon draperImage result for out of my mind by sharon draperImage result for out of my mind by sharon draperImage result for out of my mind by sharon draperImage result for out of my mind by sharon draper

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Theresa's back to tell you more about CP


HI, I'm Theresa and I'm back to tell you more about Cerebral Palsy.
 
It is estimated that some 500,000 children and adults in the United States manifest one or more of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Currently, about 8,000 babies and infants are diagnosed with the condition each year. In addition, some 1,200 - 1,500 preschool age children are recognized each year to have Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is one of the most common physical disabilities in the world. We should all know more about it and about the people who are living with it every day.   

               Cerebral Palsy is a physical disorder that can affect your voice, arms, legs, motor skills and eating.  The effects of having Cerebral Palsy can vary from person to person. Due to physical and other limitations people with Cerebral Palsy sometimes need accommodations.

            I have Cerebral Palsy. Some accommodations I had in school were extended time to walk or use my wheelchair in the hallway. I also got extended time to take tests and some of them were read to me. I have found that accommodations made my life easier and helped me to do what others can do.

            There are many ways people can get accommodations for Cerebral Palsy. Types of accommodations are:

 

Help in Performing Activities of Daily Living:

·        Provide an accessible restroom

·        Assign classrooms close to an accessible restroom

·        Allow the use of personal care attendants

·        Allow the use of a service animal

·        Schedule classes to allow extra time for activities of daily living (ADL)

 

Help in Accessing Classrooms:

·        Provide accessible parking, an accessible route of travel, and accessible entrances/exits

·        Install lightweight doors or automatic door openers

·        Maintain unobstructed hallways, aisles, and means of egress

·        Provide an accessible classroom desk or portable wheelchair desk

 

Help in Taking Notes:

·        Use a laptop computer with alternative computer input device/software

·        Use writing and grip aids

·        Provide a note taker

·        Provide a copy of the instructor’s notes or outline

·         

Help in Studying and Test Taking:

·        Use a computer software program for self-editing, word prediction, and grammar/spell check

·        Use an electronic organizer, post notes/reminders

·        Allow extra time to complete homework assignments

·        Provide a scribe

 

Help in Communicating with Others:

·        Use a communication aid with speech output

·        Add communication software/speech synthesizer to a laptop

·        Use a speech clarification device

:

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Hello Connect-Ability ,

            I’m working at NYSUT this summer .  My first job is to get ready for the August 10th workshop.   Have you read the book Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper yet?  I have and I thought it was really good.  I could totally relate to it.  I don’t have the same type of Cerebral Palsy (CP) as Melody, the main character has.  I have Spastic diplegia .  It’s historically known as Little's Disease, and is a form of cerebral palsy (CP) that is a chronic neuromuscular condition of hypertonia and spasticity — manifested as an especially high and constant "tightness" or "stiffness" — in the muscles of the lower extremities of the human body, usually those of the legs, hips and pelvis.

               Spastic diplegia accounts for about 22% of all diagnoses of cerebral palsy, and together with spastic quadriplegia and spastic triplegia make up the broad classification spastic cerebral palsy, which accounts for 70% of all cerebral palsy diagnoses.

               But to get back to the book we’re reading for our next writing workshop. It’s a story about a girl with CP. I could relate to Melody’s accommodations at school.  I used to get extended time for test taking as well. 

               But I also understood how she felt when people looked at her funny and they still look at me funny sometimes.  Truth be told, I don’t like that. Instead people should smile and be friendly because that’s what I do when I meet someone.  I am looking forward to interesting conversations and discussions about CP at our next workshop

 

                                                            Theresa


 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring is here?

Spring Flowers clip artHey Connect-Ability students,  Hope Spring has come to your neighborhoods. The winter was way too long. We are planning a summer time get together to focus on Sharon Draper's book, Out of My Mind. You all received a copy at our last get together in the fall. Our editor Isabel gave you a questions to think about as you read the book. The questions were connected to the Common Core Leaning Standards for English Language Arts. I'm looking forward to hearing what you thought of the book. Remember our Connect-Ability themes when you're reading and answering your question:


  • Inclusion of students with disabilities
  • Yes we Can attitude
  • Kids with disabilities are like kids without disabilities in most ways
  • Accommodations allow access
Tom and I will be back to you soon on the new dates for our next workshop. Send me any ideas that you have at cmchugh@nysutmail.org.

Catharine


Thursday, December 11, 2014

snowflakeHappy Holidays to all of the Connect-Ability students who have helped with the blog all year long. We'll be back together soon to take on our 2015 activities to spread the disabilities awareness message and promote inclusion of people with disabilities. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 1, 2014

High and Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center




Connect-Ability would like to thank High & Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center, Inc. for welcoming Connect-Ability members and teaching us about therapeutic riding. Located in Ghent, NY, this beautiful stable provides horseback riding lessons to meet each rider's unique needs. They emphasize the many benefits of horses to children and adults with disabilities through very fun activities. If you want to learn more about High & Mighty, please visit their website:
http://high-n-mighty.org/
           Thanks so much for having us visit! We'll be back!

Oxytocin? What is it?


Love your Dog
 
Interactions with animals can increase everyone's health. Studies have shown that levels of the hormone oxytocin are raised as a result of this. Oxytocin leads to feelings of relaxation and trust and can even allow the body to better adapt to highly emotional situations. Immune systems are also strengthened when people grow up with pets. Because animals such as dogs carry with them germs and dirt, people's bodies can learn to fight off these allergens at an earlier age. The chances of heart disease are also reduced from owning an animal, since animal-owners exercise while walking and playing with them. People with and without disabilities have many commonalities, such as this similar relationship with animals. Isabel K.

Therapeutic Riding

A day in the life of Thomas By Forest Daisy


I have a very important job. I am a Norwegian Fjord therapy Horse, which works at the High and Mighty Stables. My work is very important as I cater to all kinds of people with and without disabilities. I offer people a chance to do something they haven’t done before. Whether that is standing still and calm as they learn to groom me, or strapping into my harness and pulling my carriage for people with mobility problems to take them on a ride. What might seem small is not. As much as I enjoy being groomed, stroked, and loved, it is just as fulfilling to be the one giving the love. The people I help see my trust and I the trust in them. A lot can come from a simple stroke of my nose. The trust begins on the ground and grows to the high and mighty height from my back as I ride them through the obstacle courses, to all the mailboxes on the trails, or around the paddock. A day in the life of this 7 year old Norwegian Fjord they call Thomas is very important and fulfilling after all I help others find something in themselves that they themselves might have lost sight of. No matter what a person can help others, get help, and find a way to do what everyone else has the option to do. Like I said I have a very important job. Welcome to a day in the life of Thomas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hippo therapy is cool





Connect-Ability students visited the High and Mighty Therapeutic Riding and Driving Center in Ghent NY on November 7, 2014 as part of their two day fall writing workshop. We learned about the benefits of therapeutic riding for students with and without disabilities. The care and riding of horses can be a sport, an educational experience, a form of therapy, and a wonderful recreational activity. Three cheers to Laura Corsun and her staff and volunteers at High and Mighty who welcomed us, taught us and inspired us to write about hippo therapy and other kinds of animals that assist and support people with disability. Look for our blog postings and make your comments. We want to know what you think.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Americans With Disabilities Act

 I have never heard of the Americans with Disabilities Act until yesterday, and I am blind! Disability is defined by the ADA as "...a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity."  The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990.  The Americans with Disabilities Act was created to protect individuals with different disabilities.  The law prohibits employers from discriminating against people with disabilities.   People with a disability can apply for jobs and have equal opportunity for any employment. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications.  Researching the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, I have learned that the ADA protects individuals’ rights, freedom, and equal opportunity!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Camp Abilities Saratoga

Last week was my  best week all summer long!  It was the First Campabilities 2014 held at Skidmore College in Saratoga NY.  From  Sunday, August 3rd, through  Saturday, August 9th was Campabilities Saratoga 2014.  There were 21 students there altogether.  At the end of the week, we all became friends.  I became friends with  Louis who attended the program at the Northeastern Association of the Blind at Albany NY.  He was also blind.  By going to a one week camp, you can gain your independence in different sports activities, and socializing with many different friends.   By going away to camp, you have self confidence and independence because you can do things on your own.  The camp is used for people who are blind and visually impaired to help them gain independence,  build friendships, and learn different sports activities.  What have you learned from going to a sleep away camp?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Disabilities That Are Invisible

There are disabilities that we don’t see such as Learning Disabilities.  A learning disability is a struggle where people have trouble with reading, writing, and math.  Some of these learning disabilities are: dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalcula. Dyslexia refers to difficulty in reading. People with dyslexia have trouble with reading, writing, and spelling.  The words that the students and adults are reading get all jumbled.  Dysgraphia refers to difficulty in writing. Some examples of dysgraphia are bad handwriting, holding a pencil awkwardly, trouble organizing thoughts on paper.   Dyscalcula refers to a struggle in math. Dyscalcula can affect people differently at different stages of life.  The two main areas of weakness in math learning disabilities are visual – spatial, and language processing. Visual spatial is a person having trouble processing what the eye sees.  Language processing is defined as a person having trouble processing and making sense of what the ear hears.  People with physical disabilities and people with learning disabilities have more in common than what appears.  Do you know anyone with a learning disability? If so, what are their accommodations?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Causes of Down Syndrome

There are 3 causes of Down Syndrome.  These causes are: Trisomy 21, Mosaic Down Syndrome, and Translocation Down Syndrome.  About 95% of the time, Down Syndrome is caused by Trisomy 21.  The Child has 3 copies of chromosome 21 instead of the 2 copies in all cells.  In Mosaic Down Syndrome, children have some cells with an extra copy of chromosome 21.  This mosaic of normal and abnormal cells are caused by abnormal cell division after fertilization.  Translocation down syndrome cane occur when part of chromosome 21 becomes attached (translocated) onto another chromosome, before or at exception.  These children have the usual copy of chromosome 21, but they also have additional material from chromosome 21 attached to the translocated chromosome.  I have a friend who has Down Syndrome.  I learned that there are 3 types of Down syndrome.  What do you know about Down syndrome that you can share with me?  For more information, you can visit www.mayoclinic.org/down syndrome

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Anti-Bullying Week

Each year in the spring, some schools will hold a Bullying Prevention Day.  This a day to bring awareness to people with and without disabilities who are being bullied.  The students who participate in the prevention day awareness have to be silent.  By being silent during this day, the silence is “telling” other students to be aware of bullying.  Not everyone chooses to participate in this program.  It is an option if you want to sign up for the program.  You would get a sticker that represents anti-bullying. Some students choose to sign u p the week before the Anti-bullying.  At the end of the day, you are allowed to talk.  What does your school do for Anti-bullying?  Do you participate in this program? 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Different Types of Hearing Loss

                There  are 4 types of hearing loss: Conductive hearing loss, Sensorineural hearing loss, a mixed hearing loss, and central hearing loss.  Conductive hearing losses are caused by diseases or obstructions in the outer or middle ear.  Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by the damage to the delicate sensory hair cells of the inner ear.  A mixed hearing loss refers to a combination of sensorineural hearing loss or conductive hearing loss.  A central hearing loss results from damage or impairment to the nerves or the nuclei of the central nervous system.   Do you have a hearing loss?  What type of hearing loss do you have? What type of accommodations do you use?