New gesture control for your PC could benefit disabled users

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Scientists have made functional brain neurons from skin cells in mice

Scientists are making progress with brain cell therapy to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease. Basically they have grafted neurons that were reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice. This is still a ways off from implementation in humans, but who knows what the future will bring?

Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have grafted neurons reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice for the first time with long-term stability. Six months after implantation, the neurons had become fully functionally integrated into the brain. This successful, because lastingly stable, implantation of neurons raises hope for future therapies that will replace sick neurons with healthy ones in the brains of Parkinson’s disease patients, for example. The Luxembourg researchers published their results in the current issue of ‘Stem Cell Reports’.

Read the full press release here!

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Update from Vern

Hi my name is Vern Anderson. I am a single father that has a disability that I have had since birth. I work from my wheelchair and I don’t let it stop me from living a good life. I also don’t let my disability get in the way of researching for my newsletter. I have learned a lot from my reader’s feedback. I have a wonderful family that support me, by helping me take care of my two wonderful kids. When I was a little boy I was confined to a wheel chair because of a disability. This made me very mad at the world. After getting married and having two children I stopped being mad at the world. I realized I could be a great person and father. I know that I only have to put up with my disability. I had a hard time with my life because of my wheelchair and I know that I had a hard time with my feelings because of my kids. I know that I want to have a good life and know that I’m doing the right thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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New healthcare robot can lift patients

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This Robot Wheelchair can follow people on its own

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Robot arm for your wheelchair!

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New tech to control video games with your eyes

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Guarding the Future by Knowing our Past

By Herman Husband

Today, when people think about accommodations for people with disabilities, or equal physical access, often the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) comes to mind first. In 1990, George H.W. Bush sign into law officially the Americans with Disabilities Act, which addressed access in several broad areas including:

  • Title I. Employment
  • Title II. Public Services
  • Title III. Public Accommodations and Services Operated by Private Entities
  • Title V Miscellaneous Provisions

In 2008 the ADA Amendments Act was signed into law, and became effective January 1st, 2009. As with all laws on the books, later interpretation of the law (in the courts) public perception, and the law’s enforcement are crucial to the day-to-day impact on the civil rights of those with disabilities. As with all Liberties, Americans should take the time to learn their legal rights, the source of those rights, and their history.

It should be obvious, that increased public access didn’t materialize out of thin air in 1990, and that we still have a distance to travel in 2010.

The first school for the deaf in America opened in 1817, and later became known officially as Gallaudet University in 1894. In Europe however, “schools for the deaf” were being established as early as 1755. Before this development however, in 1616 “G. Bonifacio published a treatise discussing sign language, [titled] “Of The Art of Signs.” 1. This publication along with other studies, started to break down the misperception (that many people had at the time) that people who were deaf could not reason. Aristotle in 355 BC believed that those “born deaf become senseless and incapable of reason.” 1. Our modern understanding that all people regardless of disability can contribute to society, was not without major steps backward – even in America.

During the mid 19th century several movements developed, that sought to use “science” to genetically manipulate the human race and used sterilization and institutions to carry out their plan. By using any modern measurement-stick now, most folks can see their words and actions as abhorrent. But many famous and powerful people in American history (that for some sad reason, have not been exposed for the bigots they were) pushed for policies that led to mass sterilization laws in the United States and elsewhere, starting with Indiana. “The mid-west American state of Indiana was the first political entity in the world to pass [a] eugenically-based sterilization law in 1907. Within twenty-five years, more than one-third of the states in the union had also passed similar laws.” 2 In 1927 in the now infamous Buck vs. Bell case, heard before the US supreme court, they deemed (by a 8-1 margin) that it was legal for the state to sterilize Kerrie Buck, a 17 year-old girl. In his majority opinion, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes,” and concluded, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” 3

Individuals like Margaret Sanger, Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, and HG Wells were proponents of the Eugenics movement. George Bernard Shaw said that “there is now no reasonable excuse for refusing to face the fact that nothing but a eugenic religion can save our civilization from the fate that has overtaken all previous civilizations.” 4 H.G Wells in 1902 said: “This thing, this euthanasia of the weak and sensual, is possible. On principles that will animate the predominant classes of a new time, it will be permissible, and I have little or no doubt that in the future it will be planned and achieved.”

In sharing our past, I don’t suggest we are doomed to repeat our past mistakes. We have made great progress over the past few decades, but it is vital for all to be willing to look at some ugly truths of our shared history to learn from it, and guard against it.

Sources: 1.) http://www.disabilityhistory.org/timeline_ new.html 2.) http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p_ mla_apa_research_citation/1/7/8/2/6/ p178261_index.html 3.) Time Magazine v.153, n.1, 11 January 1999 article by Paul Gray. 4.) Eugenics and Other Evils, Chesterton p.59 5.) Final Chapter of The Faith of the New Republic, written by HG Wells in 1902.

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A Spotlight on G and J Enterprises

Wheelchair Accessible Van Conversions

Our goal is to provide our customers with only the highest quality of mobility solutions. We offer our customers a complete line of mobility products to expand their independence and freedom. We are also a proud member of NMEDA or the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.

Handicapped Minivan Sales

The Honda Odyssey is considered to be one of the most reliable vans on the market today. That long reputation for performance and quality has been combined with VMI’s wheelchair accessible conversion to create an exciting mobility van. This wheelchair accessible van is like no other handicapped minivan on the market today. Make an appointment to test drive this mobility vehicle at G and J Enterprises today!

Used Handicap Vans for Sale

We are happy to offer a wide selection of used handicap vans for sale to our customers throughout the Montana area. No matter whether you are looking for a used full size accessible van or a used mobility minivan, G and J Enterprises is able to access one of the largest selections of used accessible vehicles in the country. All of our used mobility vehicles come with a range of different features such as wheelchair tie d owns. You can even choose to upgrade most of the mobility vans we offer with extra features such as the EZ lock or hand controls. Get in contact with us today to find out more about these exciting benefits.

Ricon Wheelchair Lifts

As a preferred VMI dealer in the state of Montana , G and J Enterprises offers a complete line of Ricon wheelchair lifts and VMI scooter lifts. These are some of the most reliable platform lifts on the market today and will work with most accessible vehicles. Please contact one of our Certified Mobility Consultants today for more information regarding which lift product will best work for you.

Toll Free (800) 792-7149

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Message From Vern – June 2010

Hi, my name is Vern Anderson, and this month I am going to talk about my family and my disability. I was born in Billings, MT. in June 1967. At the time my dad was a paralegal and my mom was staying at home and raising a young family.

When I was two, we moved to Missoula, MT. My dad attended school to become a lawyer while working with a local attorney. Mom got a job at the Speech and Hearing Clinic. Dad decided he didn’t like his career choice, so decided to work toward becoming a teacher instead.

Later, we moved back to Billings so I could get the special schooling I needed. Dad realized his goal and became an elementary school teacher, and several years later, mom became a special education teacher. They both helped me with my learning, and the exercises I had to do everyday. Without my family I could not have become the person that I am today. They helped me overcome many of the trials in my life. Family has been the strength that has tied my life together and has given me the direction that I needed to work past some of my everyday challenges.

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