December 2009 Table of Contents


For Fitness and Health

The 2nd National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic and the National Veterans TEE Tournament take participants from merely observing to actively participating—and enjoying!

Dress for Success

Obtaining adaptive clothing or making off-the-rack garments "work" is often a challenge. When you're seated, looking good or being in fashion is not just possible—it's a must!

Making Connections

Veterans without speech master the art of conversation and living.

Healing Touch & SCI

Is this therapy's approach at odds with conventional medicine's focus on fixing the pieces?

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Also in this issue:

Veterans Teach Vets

What began in 1978 with two San Diego disabled veterans in wheelchairs wanting to learn how to sail has grown into an internationally known, therapeutic, adaptive sailing program called Challenged America.

Staying Warm While Staying Chic

Staying warm in the winter isn’t easy for anyone. When you are in a wheelchair, it can be next to impossible!

One Man’s Plan

Ben Ritter was a successful businessman in New Jersey. Learn his tips for dressing for success.

Clothing-related resources

Shop til you drop and visit these clothing-related resources.

Communication Solutions

Help is available for veterans seeking augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) solutions when Lou Gehrig’s disease, TBI, or another acquired condition diminishes their ability to speak.

Success Stories

PVA is working to ensure medical needs of our members, veterans and people with disabilities are adequately considered.

Take Time to Reach Out

Veterans at vet facilities can use a word of encouragement and the knowledge their service to our country is appreciated.

Healthy Eating: A Balancing Act

Having a healthy holiday requires you to follow some sound advice on what and how much to eat.

Travel Tips

Box with wood shavings provides relief for "Froggie" and other service animals on long ocean cruises. Also: PVA Advocacy staff members attend TSA security screening procedures meeting.

Aging and Accessibility

Increased accessibility and modern technology enable aging population to compensate for physical and cognitive changes.

On the Job

New ODEP director assures PVA Advocacy staff that people with disabilities are considered in all Department of Labor (DOL) programs.

Caregiver Connection

If you describe yourself as a "family caregiver" you are among more than 50 million people in America providing care to a chronically ill or disabled loved one. You are part of a large and ever-growing group who share common issues, needs, and concerns.

Local Knowledge

PVA is an awesome organization for tapping into local knowledge.

Long-Term Services in Healthcare

As healthcare-reform legislation moves through the Senate, two provisions that affect long-term services for people with disabilities and seniors are included.

Homeless Veterans Legislation

PVA testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Subcommittee on Health. The hearing addressed eight introduced bills as well as several discussion drafts focusing primarily on homeless veterans’ issues.

Specially Adapted Housing Grant

Legislation would significantly increase the amount of VA’s assistance for specially adapted housing and automobile assistance grants and adapted equipment.

Last-Minute Tax Tips (Part 2)

Here’s a potpourri of rules and ideas that are important for year-end planning.

The “Freedom Isn’t Free” Lodge

Southeastern PVA invites eligible veterans and others with disabilities to stay overnight for free at their accessible lodge in South Carolina.

Service Connection

The four service connected disability classifications are explained. In all cases, you are required to have served under "other than dishonorable" conditions.

On Target

Encouraged by family and friends, Greg Drown gets back championship form on shooting range.

At the Top

On September 30, 2009, Paralympic champion and U.S. Adaptive Ski Team alum Chris Waddell (Park City, Utah) became reportedly the first paraplegic to reach the 19,340-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

Americana Gala Honors Leaders

PVA's Americana Gala honors leaders who help our nation's paralyzed veterans and their families.


Wayne Stillerman, who has had multiple sclerosis (MS) for more than 23 years, found it difficult to meet someone who looked beyond his disability “and accepted me for the person I am.”

Agent-Orange Benefits Extended

VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki established a service-connection for Vietnam veterans with three specific illnesses based on the latest evidence of an association with the herbicides referred to as “Agent Orange.”

Study on Crime

The first national study on crime against people with disabilities released.

Golf-Ball Scoop

Pick up grounded golf balls from a moving cart.

Wheel Enhancers

Personalize your chair’s wheels by selecting from hundreds of full-color designs—or create your own!

Bag Concealer

The Dignity Bag™ was invented for someone whose urinary catherer and bag attracted unwanted attention.

Whats and What Nots

You draw a name for the annual holiday office party gift exchange. Now the agony begins.

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