Monday, April 10, 2017

Fun Activities to Stay Fit

Guest writer Joe Flemming

The “cans” and “cannots” are a distinct reality for people with disabilities - where mobility issues or physical impairment inhibit even simple tasks and day to day functioning. Wheelchairs have no limitation on fun, however, and this list of activities that help you stay physically and mentally fit are just the ticket:


Chair Yoga: The restorative and healing benefits of yoga can still be attained when seated. Chair yoga involves the deep breathing, gentle movements and meditation of yoga, but with practicing the poses sitting down. Proven to help alleviate back pain, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress levels, chair yoga is a fun and challenging way to sync up your parasympathetic nervous system, calm your brain, and stay fit.


Biking: Handcycling transforms bicycling into an adaptive activity where someone with a strong upper body who might have a disability can pedal with their hands. In the same vein, tandem bicycles, where you are connected to another person who is cycling, and body powered trikes, where swaying from side to side moves your vehicle, are fun options as well. Find adaptive bicycles online for purchasing or contact your local recreation center to see if they have any available.


Coloring: You heard that right, coloring. Keeping the mind fit, despite disability, is key to staying sharp and preventing cognitive decline and memory loss. Coloring is one of those enjoyable activities that requires fine motor skills, focus, and creativity - all great exercise for the brain. Find free printable coloring sheets online or coloring books for purchase in a convenience or grocery store near you.


Bowling: If a wheelchair is the only thing limiting your movement, bowling is a great adaptable activity worth trying! Incorporating a little heart-pumping competition, concentration, and upper body exercise from lifting and rolling bowling balls, bowling can add up to hours of fun that helps you stay in shape. Contact a local bowling alley to see what adaptive resources they have for people with disabilities.


Chair Cardio & Aerobics: Working your non-limited muscles and limbs can actually be done quite successfully from your wheelchair. Find inspiration and instruction for a sweat-breaking chair cardio workout on Youtube, or hit up your local gym to see what aerobic machines, free weights, and instruments (like resistance pulleys) they have available for people with disabilities.


Practical Accessories for Staying Active
Need a little assistance staying active and getting around? These practical solutions can help:


  • Reach grabber tool: This nifty, often inexpensive assistive device acts simply as extension of your arm with a rubber or suction-cup claw on the end, great for picking up small items like your keys and phone as you head out the door to the gym. How do you find the best reacher grabber for you? Look online or at your local pharmacy for lightweight, collapsible, and durable ones that will be easy to take with you on the go.
  • Virtual assistant: Want to play some meditative music while you practice yoga? Or add a reminder for tomorrow’s bowling competition to your calendar? A virtual assistant, like Siri for iPhone, or the freestanding Amazon Echo with Alexa, can respond to simple voice commands and help you with tons of tasks.
  • Hydration backpack: If you plan on exercising more and staying active, hydration will be key to keeping you going and preventing you from overdoing it. Hydration backpacks are lightweight, durable ‘bladders’ filled with water that sit in a pack and have a hose with bite valve coming out of it. Without having to worry about toting around or refilling a water bottle, a hydration backpack could be your answer to staying hydrated while you exercise.

When looking to step (or roll) out of your comfort zone and approach fun, new activities that help you stay fit, remember what Vincent Van Gogh wrote, “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”




Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to Run A Business While Traveling For Six Months Every Year

We have been encouraging people with disabilities to travel for almost 15 years now, and many of our readers work from the road. We recently had this submission which was appropriate for us to share, from Startbloggingonline.com about how to run a business while traveling - something we still, after that long, are perfecting.

There are challenges that every business traveler has to deal with - how to stay ahead of the inbox, keep track of tasks, maintain a healthy relationship with family, keep things running smoothly back at headquarters, bookkeeping and receipt tracking, and not to mention all the details of the travel experience.  We often find we go into "yay we're traveling mode" and forget that business needs to go on as usual.

If you're new to traveling with a disability, pan through our archive for posts about how to do this easily - to manage your needs, to find access, to leverage your resources, to travel cheaper, etc.

But if you're a pro at traveling, and you want to start a blog about it, check out this infographic on running a business while traveling to show that it is possible to travel while running a business and hit the road Jack!



You can do more than being productive with your business by documenting how you do your business through a blog. Through this, you can share your success story with others and serve as an inspiration. Learn to blog from scratch with some guidance from our friends at Startbloggingonline.com

Monday, November 21, 2016

TRAVELING WITH A DISABILITY: SEE THE WORLD, PROVE WHAT’S POSSIBLE

    Recently, our Craig was interviewed by PRISCILLA LIGUORI, and this article and interview were
    posted to The Culturist this week:

    While worrying about accessibility can be daunting, there are many ways to make traveling possible
    and enjoyable for people with disabilities. Craig Kennedy co-founded an online travel resource for
    people with disabilities called Access Anything after he realized a lot of inaccurate information
    circulates within the disability community.

    “Giving people freedom and independence to do what they need and want to do is key,” said Kennedy,
    who lives in Colorado and travels the world while using a wheelchair.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The GADA Belt proves itself on climbing wall at No Barriers USA

This year we traveled down to Copper, CO for the annual No Barriers Summit and while visiting with our friends Mark and Wes at No Limits Tahoe's climbing wall, we joked around that perhaps we should strap the wheelchair in with the famous GADA Belt to test its staying power while Craig climbed the giant wall. Proving itself for the first true time in 10 years of this product (we've had many life-saving kind of testimonials, but none directly from Craig himself!).  Here are the images to prove it!

Learn more about the GADA belt at http://www.accessanything.net/gada-belt.html





Saturday, May 14, 2016

5 Steps Any Business Can Implement to Create a More Inclusive Workplace for Employees with Disabilities



Leading Disability Organization releases step-by-step guide to making businesses more inclusive amid nomination period for Ruderman Best in Business Award

Boston, MA — Did you know that over 70% of people with disabilities in the U.S. are unemployed? For a community that represents 20% of the entire American population, people with disabilities are far underrepresented in the workplace and is a reflection of one of the biggest problems we face in today’s society.

The Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, is currently accepting nominations for its annual Ruderman Best in Business Award, recognizing businesses that have demonstrated a history of employing people with disabilities, training and supporting them and developing innovative approaches to maximizing employee’s abilities.

But inclusion is something everyone can contribute to, and the Foundation has provided 5 simple steps that any business can implement to increase inclusion:

1.     Use Technology: People with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to do their jobs. Technology offers reasonably priced accommodations for a number of disabilities, such as speech-to-text software for a visually impaired employee or captioning screens for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

2.     Partner with a Job-Training Agency: Find the non-profit agencies in your community that are providing job coaching training for people with disabilities and partner with them to bring the supports that employees may need right to the job.

3.     Include Disability Awareness Through your Company: Inclusion happens when everyone in your company understands the value of hiring a diverse workforce. Include regular trainings focusing on disability awareness and inclusion.

4.     Accessible Environment: Make sure that your office or facility includes restrooms, hallways and storage space that are accessible for people of all heights and mobility.

5.     Online Accessibility: Inclusion extends to your online presence. You can make your web site more accessible with simple steps like using alt tags that that translate visual images and captioning on videos.

Last year marked the inaugural year of the award, which is in partnership with the Jewish Week Media Group, highlighting businesses selected through a national nomination and review process by judges from the business and disability communities, including Richard E. Marriott, Chairman of Host Hotels & Resorts and the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities and John Hockenberry, NPR journalist and four-time Emmy award winner. This year, 18 businesses from the United States and Canada will be awarded.

For more information about the Ruderman Best in Business Awards and to nominate a business, please visit http://www.thejewishweek.com/ruderman-best-in-business-2016. Nominations will be accepted through May 25, 2016.

About the Ruderman Family Foundation
The Ruderman Family Foundation is an internationally recognized organization, which advocates for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. The Foundation supports effective programs, innovative partnerships and a dynamic approach to philanthropy in advocating for and advancing the inclusion of people with disabilities throughout America.
The Ruderman Family Foundation believes that inclusion and understanding of all people is essential to a fair and flourishing community and imposes these values within its leadership and funding. For more information, please visit www.rudermanfoundation.org