March 2004 Table of Contents


Relationships: How to Manage Conflict

Resolving differences should be a priority. Here's how to do it.

Special Section: Manual Wheelchairs Today

Four articles help you find and choose the best chair for your needs, give you a peek into the world of wheelchair R&D, and take a look at an organization whose goal is to "seed" small wheelchair shops around the world.

Absolute Trust

COVER STORY: Service-dog training helps dispel distrust and fear behind bars.

VA Quality of Care: Getting the Job Done

Solid six-step plans will incorporate new research findings into everyday care for patients.

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Also in this issue:

Reasons & Remarks

In this month's column, PN Editor Cliff Crase addresses two major beefs shared by wheelchair-users: He tells how a sting operation in Illinois nabbed 73 phony handicap-parking placard users, and relates how airlines are having to ante-up on the fines for failure to provide onboard stowage for personal wheelchairs.

PVA President's Message

PN/Paraplegia News is published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America. This month, PVA President Joseph Fox Sr. tells readers why we need the Americans With Disabilities Act—and what PVA is doing to assure its enforcement.

Access Through Architecture

The 2003 draft is finalized! After years of debating, voting, re-debating, and revoting, the 2003 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities standard is complete (except for some minor editorial changes). First published in 1961, ANSI A117.1 is the most widely adopted accessibility standard, setting the technical design criteria in many building codes across the country. In this NEW column, read about ANSI, the draft, and the role the Paralyzed Veterans of America played in its completion.

Caregiver Connection

Columnist Suzanne Mintz summarizes eight principles identified by the National Family Caregivers Association and several other caregiver advocates that they hope will be used as the foundation for promoting public policy changes at the state and national levels. The priniciples are based on the belief that the efforts of family caregivers help not only their loved ones but also society as a whole.

Diagnosis: MS

In 2003, great strides were made in the development and testing of novel therapies for MS. Nearly 160 clinical trials are underway around the world. This month's column highlights a few of the past year's significant advances.

Travel Tips

If you've been leery of traveling with your service dog, you'll love the new cruises put together by Travel Depot, Inc. With a veterinarian and two professional handlers onboard, you can cruise with confidence! In this month's column, Carol Randall also fills readers in on a small-group tour to Ireland scheduled for July, a New Orleans guide to restaurants and nightlife that denotes wheelchair-accessible facilities, an (accessible) place to stay in the area that's quieter than the French Quarter, and a great getaway in Vermont.

Veteran Advisor

NEW COLUMN! This month: How do you calculate combined ratings for VA compensation?

Computer Corner

From the 1950s—with their remote-control typewriter keyboard—to today's Home Page Reader—an award-winning talking Web browser—IBM has been helping people with disabilities use typewriters and computers. Read about "Big Blue's" contributions to accessibility in this month's issue, along with news of Origin Instruments Corporation's HeadMouse Extreme, which reportedly provides complete head-controlled computer access.

Living Well

For people with SCI, exposure to temperature extremes could be fatal! Read about what can happen—and how to prevent or control it.

Mobility & More

Take a sneak peek at the 2004 Mercury Monterey mobility minivan—and heed a warning about possible fraud involving Medicare and power-wheelchair claims.

News Beat

Learn how to apply for a Mobility International USA exchange program with Japan, and get the details on an Abilities Expo planned for Detroit.

On the Hill

NEW DEPARTMENT! This month: The Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration will supply sources of information for qualified job applicants with disabilities and resources for accommodations and assistive technologies—as well as information on tax incentives for hiring people with disabilities. There's also an update on recently signed key veterans laws.

On the Job

Author Richard Holicky shares the story of C5–6 quad Brian Johnston's busy life that reflects his motto: "Get out there!" There's also information about the job assistance available from the National Organization on Disability (

Sports & Recreation

Reports on the christening of a 24-foot pontoon boat customized for outdoors enthusiasts in wheelchairs, preparations underway for the 2004 Paralympics, an Alabama hunting trip, a new standing wheelchair for hunters with disabilities, a 14-day Colorado River trip that included a participant in a wheelchair, the passing of popular wheelchair-basketball player Freddy Jones, and an ice-fishing weekend in Maine.

And Finally...

Helen O'Brien, a former U.S. Army nurse, shares her view about war heroes: "The dead certainly deserve our gratitude, but the sacrifices of the wounded and their families should be recognized even more; they are truly heroes."

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