Easter Seals Helps Children with Disabilities – You can too!

With 3 days to go till we do our rappel down One London Place to raise money for Easter Seals, we are falling a little behind on our required goal to participate.

Take a look at the Drop Zone website for more information about all the different drops that have happened and yet to happen!

You can take a look at some photos of previous Drop Zones!  Some amazing photos!

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That’s ME on the right last year coming down the building 🙂

Please support Easter Seals and help kids with physical disabilities succeed!

Everyday people are getting out of their comfort zones for Easter Seals kids!

The 3rd Annual Easter Seals Drop Zone London will take place Thursday, September 12, 2013 challenging participants to raise a minimum of $1,500 in pledges in order to rappel down the 26-storey building at One London Place, 255 Queens Ave. Everyday people will become “Superheroes” for a day by raising much needed funds for kids with physical disabilities, and challenging themselves in an exciting event that is both safe and fun!

Please support Easter Seals and help kids with physical disabilities succeed!

Having always appreciated and been grateful for Easter Seals and their support for the many things my son Patrick has and uses.

We have built a team this year and want to return the favour so to speak and do our best to raise the minimum $1500/pp (and more if possible) and do our part in raising money for this amazing organization!

This will be my 2nd time doing this, and a first for Mark & Dave on our team, but being able to support something that does so much for so many other children/families, it will be our honour to participate!

Please help us reach the minimum donation goal of $1500/pp to be able to participate in this wonderful event and opportunity to give back!

Thank you so much for helping us be able to participate and give back to something so great!

Here is the link to pledge online.  Ask/Share with your friends, family, bosses & co-workers!  We need your help!!

Thank you so much!!

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One week to Drop!

Training is tomorrow!! We become super heroes NEXT Thursday and rappel down 26 stories to raise money for Easter Seals!

They have been such a great help for Patrick over the years and we need this program to be able to stay around to help ALL families with children with disabilities!!

This means a lot to me!

Please don’t hesitate!! You can donate up till next Thurs!  PLEASE help me reach my goal so I can participate next week!  Any amount will help!  Donate online by clicking the link below or writing a cheque made out to Easter Seals Ontario.  Cash and email money transfer is acceptable as well.  Email me for details.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

Thank you so much!

Come on out to One London Place next Thursday and watch all the Super Heroes do their part for Easter Seals!!

Hugs my friends!

What is Accessibility to you?

Wikipedia defines accessibility as the following:

“Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the “ability to access” and benefit from some system or entity. Accessibility is often used to focus on people with disabilities or special needs and their right of access to entities, often through use of assistive technology.”

The dictionary has an interesting definition of accessibility:

1. Easily approached or entered.

2. Easily obtained: accessible money.

3. Easy to talk to or get along with: an accessible manager.

4. Easily swayed or influenced: accessible to flattery.

 

Both have offered a very broad, general definition.  What does accessibility mean for you?

For many people who live with disabilities, accessibility can mean the difference between being able to get out of the house to attend to the daily chores/outings/events and things typical for many people, or NOT being able to get out or get to many places to do what many take for granted, go to work, go shopping, visiting, etc…

Accessibility means different things for different people.  We all need to have accessibility to some extent.  You may be thinking, “I don’t have a disability!”.   Disability or not, we all use things everyday that help make things ‘accessible’ to us.  Think about it.  Can you think of 3 things you use every day that help you do things and get places?

How many times have you used the automatic door openers to enter buildings?  That’s accessibility!  How many times have you chosen to take the ramp instead of a few stairs?  That’s accessibility!  Have you ever used a ‘jar gripper’ to help you open jars and other lids difficult to open?  That’s accessibility! Do the taps in your kitchen or washroom have ‘lever-like’ knobs instead of the usual ’round’ ones?  Believe it or not, that’s also accessibility!

More and more I think about how things are looking and how they will be, accessibility-wise, with regards to my son.  Where can I take him that will be accessible?  What if he wants to go places with his friends more as he continues to get older, and it’s not accessible?  My thoughts already go to even just the simplest things like going to family dinners.  Not everyone has an accessible place.  At 14yrs old, he is too big to be carrying on my own.  Even to do a 2 person lift, how many doorways are wide enough to accommodate?

1 in 7 people in ON have a disability and that number will increase as our population ages. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act was passed in 2005.  Its goal is to make Ontario accessible for people with disabilities by 2025.  Through province-wide accessibility standards, they will improve accessibility by identifying, breaking down and preventing barriers to accessibility.

In the near future, I’m going to take a look at accessible housing to begin with.  How many homes are actually accessible?  What does the market consider accessible? (Yes, it will be different for each person’s needs, but in general, their definition)  Are the accessible houses affordable for those who actually need them?

I’m also going to look at transportation.  It’s availability; it’s cost and is what’s in place working? Is it enough?

If you know someone in either of these areas that would be interested in meeting with me, discussing this and even possibly giving me a ‘guided tour’ to see what’s out there, please contact me, I’d be pleased to meet you.

I will be writing about the information I find for articles and for my blog.

Things are progressing

Evening Everyone,

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, I apologize for that, it’s been quite busy, par for the course here, but still busy. 🙂

Let me see where I left off……..Oh yes…

4 of the 8 courses required for my Community Advocacy Certificate are done.  I wrote all 4 exams over the weekend, it took me about 20hrs to complete them all.  2 more courses start today, and the other 2 will begin April 1st.  These ones will be 5 weeks long.  We won’t have our marks for a couple weeks.  I’m curious and anxious to know how I did.  I feel like I’ve done well.

I have learned a lot, acquired much information and many resources that will certainly be an asset in helping others and being an even more effective Advocate!  I am enjoying it!

My first Accessibility Advisory Committee meeting for the City of London was last week.  It went well.  I was pleased and quite happy to hear about many of things that are happening regarding accessibility in our City.  I am now on a couple of sub-committees and looking forward to those as well.  Everyone was really nice and it was great having so many people in one spot that all shared a common passion and all working toward the same goal…to make our City more accessible!

I’ve been told and heard from others that London is ahead of the game when it comes to accessibility, ideas and having things implemented.  Something to be proud about indeed!

Last Thursday was also the day I toured another respite house.  This one was through the Salvation Army.  They have 2.  The house I toured could accommodate up to 8 children.  The house was nice, spacious, the whole place was accessible.  They have quite the area of land in behind where they have access to a pool, some walkways, tennis courts, fire pit and more, it was great to see.  I’m thinking Patrick will enjoy this house more than the others.  He is already asking to go and he hasn’t even seen it yet!  When the weather gets nicer, I’ll book Para-transit and we’ll go for a visit so he can see it.  I received my letter with the dates we were approved for, for respite.  One weekend in June, one weekend in July and a week in August, Patrick will also spend a week at his Dad’s (likely July) and he’ll attend Drama Camp in August as well.  It will be a busy summer for him…and for me! J

Las week was also the IPRC meeting at the high school and picking Patrick’s courses for September.  It went well.  We chose 7 courses for the year.  He will have languages, math, drama, vocal music, religion, science, and possibly visual art.  We’ll see how that goes.  If one of the courses doesn’t work for him, we’ll look at others at that time.

As some of you know, I request/ask for 2 meetings a year, what I call Team Meetings, one in the fall and one in the spring.  It’s a time where everyone involved with Patrick gets together and goes over what’s been going on, who’s doing what, goals, comments etc…  I have asked for our last one for this school year to be set for March.  I am waiting for a date on that.  Teachers, EA’s, therapists, Principal or vice, even agencies from the community that we have services with attend, as well as a representative from the school board when possible.  It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get caught up on Patrick and get a sense/idea of where we are at and where we are going and collaborating on what things will benefit Patrick.  With this year being the transitioning year for Patrick, I’m looking forward especially to this last meeting.

Thursday is Grad Photo Day!  I went out last night with my Mom and bought him a dress shirt and a tie for pictures, as they requested.  WOW, was he excited when I got it out for him to try on!! 🙂 Of course I had to take a couple pictures, and he is a camera ham!  He loved it, and I posted a few on Facebook.  BOY! Does he look grown- up!  14 in June already!!  Years ago he didn’t like button up shirts.  He could put his fingers between the buttons and feel his skin and that wasn’t working for him!!  He doesn’t have a problem now it seems, maybe I can start buying button shirts for him now?  I’d have more selection to choose from too!! Lol

It’s amazing how much he has changed and grown the past couple years.  Even with everything he went through last fall, he’s not 100% yet, and I still worry we’re not out of the woods yet some days, but he’s doing well!

Next week is another follow-up with the Ophthalmologist.  I’m happy the Cornea Specialist doesn’t think surgery is necessary right now to remove the remaining damage, as long as it stays below his line of vision.  During the March Break, we will have a follow-up with Genetics.  14 yrs ago there was no blood test for Patrick’s syndrome, now there is.  It had to be sent away down to the states for the testing and to get the results; well they are in and apparently too complicated to tell me over the phone, so they’ve asked us to come and speak to them.  I’m curious about that appointment and what they will tell us.

My mind has drawn a temporary blank at the moment, I must be tired.  I think I will sign off for now and maybe go to bed early, tomorrow is another busy day.

Have a great evening my friends!! 🙂