June 2018 Edition
“I was slightly brain damaged at birth, and I want people like me to see that they shouldn’t let a disability get in the way. I want to raise awareness – I want to turn my disability into ability.” ―Susan Boyle
Summer Camps for Children with Special Needs
Pathways to Adulthood
The Texas Parent to Parent Pathways to Adulthood program supports families and helps them envision a good life for their children with disabilities. The support, information, and tools for carrying out this vision assists parents to provide a good life for their sons and daughters after graduation.
Pathways to Adulthood offers free, 5-hour workshops across Texas on all major transition topics: funding and long term supports, public school services, legal issues, medical transition and a creative approach to building opportunities for work, an independent home, and networks of support.
The workshops are led by parents of youth and adults with disabilities who share their experiences throughout the day. Parents can connect with other experienced parents who provide emotional support and advise on issues of guardianship, applying for SSI, managing school services, and other topics of interest.
For more information on these services call 866-896-6001 or email Cynda Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tips for Traveling with a Disability
Here are seven tips for making the most of your next adventure:
1. Choose the Right Destination
“People might be surprised to learn you can take an accessible trip to Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands or the Amazon rainforest,” said Timothy Holtz, the group travel coordinator for Flying Wheels Travel, an agency specializing in accessible trips. On his recent travels, Holtz saw the addition of ramps at temples in Japan, a wheelchair stair climber lift at the Acropolis in Athens and an elevator at the Roman Forum.
The world is a big place and many destinations are making huge strides to become barrier-free. In 2014 Germany launched a nationwide accessibility standard and certification program. The country is heavily promoting nearly 185 accessible things to do and places to visit in its online brochure, “Enjoy with Ease.”
Cities that are hundreds of years old will naturally be more difficult to navigate. But do not make the mistake of assuming a destination is inaccessible. Instead, consult with a travel agent, especially when considering a multi-country trip or cruise.
2. Do Your Research
Individuals who opt to orchestrate their own trips will need to ask specific questions. For example, inquire about the width of hotel elevator doors; some are not wide enough for a wheelchair. When booking a cruise, review the cruise line’s policies regarding accessibility; some require passengers with disabilities to travel with a companion.
Begin researching destinations by visiting official tourism offices online. Be aware the terminology varies from one place to another. When conducting Internet searches, try a variety of terms, such as “barrier-free,” “disabled,” “reduced mobility” and “special needs.”
3. Hire a Pro
Planning a trip abroad is a time-consuming task. Specialized travel agencies can book flights, cruises, accommodations, tours, shore excursions and transportation. Some will even arrange for a travel companion, rental of medical equipment and the purchase of travel insurance.
Before hiring an accessible travel agent, ask about his or her experience.
John Sage, the founder of two accessible travel companies — one focused on Europe (Sage Traveling) and one on the Caribbean (Accessible Caribbean Vacations) — spends days scouting destinations. Sage, who was injured in a snow skiing accident and uses a wheelchair, has visited 42 countries on four continents. Common obstacles he finds in foreign countries include a lack of ramps at curbs, steps at the entrance to buildings and narrow bathroom doors.
His thorough first-hand exploration informs clients on details like how many feet it is from their hotel to the nearest bus stop, routes that avoid cobblestones and how to access the elevator at the Eiffel Tower.
4. Prepare for Air Travel
One of the biggest hurdles for people with mobility disabilities is flying. Maneuvering large airports, carrying medical equipment, and navigating security can be exhausting. Passengers needing extra assistance should inform the airline when booking a reservation and upon arrival at the airport.
Most airlines board wheelchair users first, but these passengers will exit the plane last. Allow plenty of extra time to catch connecting flights — 90 minutes is usually sufficient. Wheelchairs and scooters are frequently damaged by baggage handlers. To help prevent this, carry any detachable parts, such as a seat cushion, onto the plane.
5. Book Hotels Wisely
Make room reservations early at hotels located in the city center and near major sights.
“You are competing with the rest of the people who have disabilities from around the world for a handful of rooms. The longer you wait, the worse the location and you will have to take a bus or taxi to see the attractions,” said Sage, whose Sage Traveling business typically reserves European hotels nine months in advance.
6. Plan How You’ll Get Around
Transporting mobility devices usually requires getting around in an accessible vehicle. In London where the black cabs come with small ramps built into the floorboards, it is fairly easy to hail an accessible taxi. Other destinations may have only a small number of accessible taxis and frequently must be booked 24 hours or even days in advance.
Typically, subways are not a good choice for wheelchair users, since elevators are nonexistent or inoperable. Many cities do have accessible city buses with ramps.
7. Be Flexible
Traveling has given Witt a new feeling of independence. Along the way, she is learned it is OK to ask others — even strangers — for assistance. “Having a disability makes you resourceful and you learn to adapt to your physical environment,” she said. Now, she knows traveling requires pacing herself. Sometimes, she opts to stay on the tour bus and view the sights from afar. “I am stressed before I go, but I feel really good when I get back — I have seen the world,” she said.
Heat Exhaustion vs. Heatstroke
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, over 600 people die from complications related to extreme heat each year in the United States - more than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, lightning or any other weather event combined.
Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, but it is important to identify the warning signs and to react swiftly and appropriately when they arise.
What’s the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?
Heat exhaustion is the precursor to heatstroke and is a direct result of the body overheating.
According to Mayo Clinic, heat exhaustion is identifiable by heavy sweating, rapid pulse, dizziness, fatigue, cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat, muscle cramps, nausea, and headache.
These symptoms may develop over time or come on suddenly, especially during or following periods of prolonged exercise. When heat exhaustion is not addressed, heatstroke can follow.
Heatstroke is the most severe heat-related illness. Without emergency treatment, it can lead to death. It results when your body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
At this temperature, your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles can also become damaged, leading to serious complications or death.
In the case of heatstroke, seeking medical attention is an absolute must.
In addition to high body temperatures, the symptoms of heatstroke include altered mental state or behavior, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing and racing heart rate.
If heat exhaustion is suspected, you are advised to remove the sufferer from heat and cool them down, if possible. This can be done by getting out of the sun and removing or loosening tight clothes, misting the body with water or placing ice packs in the armpits and groin.
Rehydration is the key. Consume plenty of water and avoid beverages that contain alcohol, caffeine or high amounts of sugar.
If you or someone else is experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion:
moderately high core temperature (the temperature of the body's internal organs, best measured with a rectal thermometer) of up to 104°F
cool, pale, clammy skin
nausea or vomiting
fatigue and weakness
dizziness or lightheadedness
possible fainting, but can be revived
A person suffering from heat exhaustion will usually sweat profusely. This is the body’s way to attempt to get rid of excess heat. The person will display normal behavior and cognition.
Symptoms of heat stroke:
confusion, strange behavior
extremely high core temperature, above 104°F
hot, red, dry skin
rapid, shallow breathing
possible loss of consciousness
How can you prevent heat-related illness?
Though it is important to know how to identify heat exhaustion and heatstroke, both are preventable illnesses.
Being able to recognize your own symptoms and either go to a cool location/rest or ask for help is imperative.
Additionally, understand that the body does acclimatize to heat, but it will take days to do so. If it has been weeks or months since you have been in the heat, your body may not handle it very well.
Proactively hydrating will help keep the body at a safe temperature. A rule of thumb is to drink more than you think you should. When you begin to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
If you begin to feel sick, you need to act. Get out of the sun and find somewhere that has cool air blowing to help lower your body temperature.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Learn to recognize the symptoms listed above and take the appropriate action. The heat stroke victim needs to go to the emergency room as soon as possible, but the first step is to get the core temperature under control.
Elijah’s Retreat nurtures attachment for families facing autism through outdoor adventure and the interaction with therapeutic animals.
Elijah’s Retreat strives to create a beautiful, peaceful setting for families to disconnect from schedules and simply see the world through their child’s eyes as they explore nature and animals with new excitement. We provide comfortable cabins and numerous opportunities for families to relax, reconnect and create lasting memories.
257 CR 3110
Jacksonville, Texas 75766
Texas Talking Book Program
Are you a person with a visual, physical, or reading disability? Crockett Resource Center for Independent Living (CRCIL) is now a demonstration site for the Texas Talking Book Program (TBP). The Texas TBP is a free library service for people who cannot read standard print because of disabilities, whether permanent or temporary.
Although young, school age readers participate, most readers of the Texas TBP are over 65 years old, which includes patrons who are 100 years or older. It is estimated that 1.4% of the total population is eligible and with 24 million Texans, there are approximately 300,000 additional Texans eligible for this service.
Books are available in large print, Braille, recordings, and downloads. TBP provides players to use with recordings. Examples of people who utilize the TBP include:
A person with macular degeneration reads magazines on cassettes
A person who cannot hold a book reads short stories on digital cartridges
A person who is blind reads Braille books for pleasure
A student downloads novels for English class to their computer, transfers them to a flash drive, and reads them on the TBP digital player
All equipment and services are free. Many books and magazines are available in Spanish. Special preferences are given to Veterans. To find out more about Texas TBP or to apply for services, contact PRCIL locally at 903-729-7505.