December 2004 Table of Contents


Gifts Galore

Thoughtful gifts for people with disabilities are bountiful. Here are a few suggestions for this year's holidays—or any time of year.

"Be Prepared" (More Than Mere Words)

A full house, inspiring keynote address, and pledges to work together highlight the first major national emergency-preparedness conference.

How AgrAbility Helps

Farming/ranching is a hazardous occupation—but you don't necessarily have to give up this way of life after illness or injury. Assistance is available!

Decade of Excellence

With the creation of the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, the science of wheelchairs was never the same again—and for the people who use them, a bright future began to dawn.

Great Performances

In sheer numbers of participating athletes, events, and medals won, the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games inspiredand excitedthe world.

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Reasons & Remarks

Editor Cliff Crase pays tribute to "Superman Superadvocate" Christopher Reeve, who died in October after developing a serious bloodstream infection from a pressure ulcer.

Caregiver Connection

Columnist Suzanne Mintz warns caregivers that in trying to do it all, you may reach a point of diminishing returns where the level of care—despite your best efforts—may be less than it could or should be. (Take a look at the recently relaunched, redesigned National Family Caregivers Association Web site at

Diagnosis MS

Many people with MS want to participate in clinical trials for new or experimental forms of therapy. The National MS Society offers information about general eligibility guidelines, finding out the risks versus the benefits, what you might expect if you do become part of a trial, and where to find out about clinical trials seeking participants.

Healing Options

Diabetes incidence has skyrocketed in recent decades, and people with SCI are especially prone to develop this disease. In this month's article (part one of a series), columnist S. Laurance Johnston, Ph.D., discusses various nutritional or botanical approaches that reduce blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Living Well

Columnist Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D., who is also Ms. Wheelchair Ohio 2004 and author of Take Back Your Life!, asserts that pain can, indeed, be a gift: When we look at our more painful experiences, we often realize these are lessons life has taught us.

Money Talks

Columnist and financial counselor Dan Jones tells readers when it comes to financial planning, it's all about setting goals—then offers some advice on how to do just that.

Travel Tips

Wondering what types of boarding assistance airlines must provide to passengers with mobility impairments? Find out in this month's Travel Tips column, where Carol Randall also updates readers on a inn that offers Victorian elegance with Floridian charm, a barrier-free Eagle River (Wisc.) vacation home, and a request for input from travelers who don't visit Branson, Mo., because of the lack of accessible transportation.

Mobility and More

Scientists at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL), VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, conducted a study to compare the durability, value, and reliability of various brands of power wheelchairs. This month's Mobility and More gives an overview of the study's findings, as well as showcasing a wheeler who is making a name for himself by building trucks to show.

On the Job

Rosemarie Benecke faced physical and attitudinal challenges while pursuing a teaching career.


News briefs on the Fifth Annual World Congress & Exposition; the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's efforts to seek healthcare-provider reforms; the grand opening of the Berkshire Veterans Transitional Living Facility and Studio Apartments in Pittsfield, Mass.; the U.S. Department of Justice's intention to revise regulations implementing the Americans With Disabilities Act; awards presented by VSA arts and Volkswagen of America to 15 young artists with disabilities; the passing away of former PVA officer Harold Stone; and the translation into the Bosnian language of Yes, You Can! A Guide to Self-Care for Persons With Spinal Cord Injury.


This month, Scot Severn shares his dream-come-true: a hunt that landed him his first buck.

Fish Tales

Hot fishing and cool prizes highlighted the Texas Roundup Bass Tournament.

Sports and Recreation

The Nebraska Barons successfully defended their championship title in the 2004 National Wheelchair Softball Tournament. This month's Sports and Recreation also features reports on the 2004 U.S. National Wheelchair 8-ball and 9-ball Championships, the North Central PVA Trapshoot, the 2004 Wheelchair Over-the-Line Tournament, and completion of a nine-year, $12.5-million resotration of the Yosemite Falls area. (If you like wheelchair sports and recreation, you'll love our sister publication, SPORTS N SPOKES!)

PVA President's Message

PVA National President Randy Pleva reminds readers that, in this season of giving, we should remember those who give their time for us. Spouses, caregivers, and partners need to know we appreciate not only what they do but also what they mean to us.

Veteran Advisor

A natural disaster can strike quickly and without warning. Are you ready? In this month's Veteran Advisor, columnist Laurie Cotter provides some tips for being prepared—and for effectively dealing with the aftermath.

And Finally...

Have you ever pulled into a handicap-parking space and within seconds someone whizzes by you like a bat out of hell, only to stop in the next handicap space, jump out, and laugh or sneer at you? You politely tell him or her it is for handicap-parking only and hear this reply: Out of here in a sec, dont get your nose bent out of shape! Back off; it isnt worth it? Oh, but it is. It is so worth it, explains this month's And Finally contributor Mike Bond.

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