Monday, April 22, 2019

Raising Awareness for CP | Every Kid Health Week

Every Kid Health Week (April 22 – 26) is not just a week of awareness for children’s’ health, but an international movement of kids with special needs and their parents. The annual week is inspired by a vision of physical education and social opportunities for both children and adults

What is Cerebral Palsy?
Around the world, 17 million people have cerebral palsy. The most common childhood physical disability, CP affects movement and its effects can vary widely from person to person. Some people may have weakness in one hand while others may struggle with an overall lack of controlled, voluntary movement. And while 50 percent of children with CP also have intellectual disabilities, many people with CP have no cognitive impairment and work as doctors, lawyers and other professionals.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage, usually before, during or immediately after birth, while a child's brain is still growing and developing.

One of the best-known causes of CP is birth trauma or injuries during birth. There are a number of factors that can lead to brain injuries before birth or during labor and delivery, including medical malpractice and doctor errors as well as accidents or domestic abuse.

Types of Cerebral Palsy
Different people have different types of CP, and each one has different symptoms and characteristics. These common types of CP include:

  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy: Also known as athletoid or dystonic CP, it is the second most common type of CP. It involves slow, writhing movements or repetitive twisting motions as well as an awkward posture.

  • Ataxic cerebral palsy: The least common form of CP, it involves tremors, shaking and poor balance.

  • Mixed cerebral palsy: This involves a combination of symptoms that reflect a combination of more than one type of CP.

Challenges for People with Cerebral Palsy
When people have cerebral palsy, their ability to control their muscles is limited. Some muscles may contract too forcefully and others too little. People's limbs may be forced into awkward positions, sometimes causing pain. Others may have involuntary muscle contractions that make their limbs shake or tremble. Some people may have difficulty carrying out everyday actions that require motor skills and muscle coordination, including walking, tying shoes or writing.

In almost all cases, CP itself is not life-threatening and people with CP live long, adult lives thanks to modern medical treatments. However, while therapies can help to mitigate the effects of the condition on the body, no cure has yet been developed.

Treatments for Cerebral Palsy
There are several types of treatments that can help people with CP to live fuller, more comfortable lives. Medications can be used to control seizures or spastic movements as well as to reduce pain. Some children with CP may have surgery to improve their orthopedic functions and repair dislocated joints. In addition, physical, occupational and other forms of therapy can help provide physical, social and mental benefits to children and adults with CP.

Again, millions of people with CP live in communities around the world. Their lives can only be improved by greater inclusion, awareness and advocacy. During Every Kid Healthy Week, people can share information to spread knowledge, support and celebration for kids with CP everywhere.

The web is full of great information about developmental disability, including cerebral palsy (CP). Some great information for CP and surrounding topics is available at Check out their blog and connect with their authors at Also, check out what’s going on for Every Kid Health Week at


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 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

Monday, November 21, 2016


    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