Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Moving Day

DSS of GCCC logoDSS is getting a new home! A much needed change of space and scenery, you can now find our Learning Specialists housed in Student Union East rooms 63, 61, and 60. We will be keeping our location in the Success Center, Student Union West room 80,  for the evening hours.  A few of our Learning Specialists will remain in the Success Center location during the daytime hours to assist you during this time of transition.

With these new rooms we will have larger areas for studying, both in groups and privately, and tutoring. Room 61 will also house all of our adaptive equipment and technology and a Learning Specialist will be on hand for assistance.


We all walk in different shoes

Kenneth Cole Ad: Delmon Dunston

Kenneth Cole campaign ad "We all walk in different shoes" featuring Delmon Dunston. Image found in Google search.

Have you noticed the pervailing theme of the past several posts, this one included. Recently, strings of mainstream commercials and advertisment campaigns have featured remarkable individuals with varying disabilites. It’s part of a sudden boom linked to the dawning realization by businesses that people with disabilities are another target demongraphic with money. Hot on the heals of this media explosion comes everything from financial services to cell phone makers to mainstream companies tailoring products to attract this new targeted market.

In the recent past, organizations have sprung up all over the United States, Canada, and Britain with the mission to advocate for better media representation of disability and to quash otherwise ignorant and widely held misconceptions that had abounded. Now, businesses and media purveyors alike are seeing the disabled community for what it is, a populus of estimated $1 trillion in consolidated buying power, according to WeMedia, an internet portal specializing in real estate and emplpyment services for the disabled.

She drives as fast as she runs

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As the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathalon World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, athlete Sarah Reinertsen conquered new ground in the world of sports. But it wasn’t the first time we had met her. Reinertsen set world records in the 100 m, 200 m, and 400 m in her division and became the youngest member of the 1992 U.S. Paralympic Team to go to Barcelona. She also holds the world record in the half marathon and the marathon for above-knee amputee women. During her athletic career, Reinertsen has been featured on the covers of magazines, in the ads of leading manufacturers, such as the above commercial for the Lincoln MKZ, and has traveled as a motivational speaker for large corporate meetings, universities, schools, and athletic events through her company AlwaysTri, Inc.

Infinite information about Reinertsen can be found all over the internet. The video below is a short 3 minute documentary on Reinertsen released by the 2004 Ford Ironman World Championship. For more inforation you can visit AlwaysTri, Inc.

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Nike: Because using shoes isn’t always necessary

Nike featured a series of commercials showcasing the prowess of Paralympic athletes. The first commercial features Rohan Murphy, widely known for his ability on the wrestling mat at Penn State. The second commercial features Warhawk Matt Scott, basketball player for UW-Whitewater.

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Almost Famous, Penn State Nittany Lions Official Athletics Website.
Wheelchair basketball player promotes sport in TV commerical, Royal Purple UW- Whitewater Student Newspaper.

Bob’s House

PepsiCo and EnAble teamed up to produce the hilarious commercial below of a classic joke widely humored in the deaf community. This commercial aired during the 2010 Superbowl.

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A Mutual of Omaha Commercial…Disability Style

Just another Aha moment courtesy of Mutual of Omaha and the story of a handi-capable girl.

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Quote for the Day


image via KR Connect

Resilience “includes realistic optimism, hardiness, determination, and self-confidence.”

~Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, PH.D.

In the Mood for School

Goldie Hawn

Actress Goldie Hawn, from the feature article "Golden Opportunity" in the March/April 2010 issue of Neurology Now. Photo courtesy of Goldie Hawn and Judy Willis.

In the March/April 2010 issue of Neurology Now magazine, actress Goldie Hawn and neuroscientists Dr. Judy Willis speak on their MindUp! program that is revolutionizing the field of childhood education. In the article, Golden Opportunity,the two women weigh in with their unique experience in learning. Hawn expressed the difficulties she faced as a child dealing with her own dyslexia and reading comprehension problems, and later the problems she faced as a mother herself, struggling to keep her children interested in learning in a system that “seemed like drudgery.” At the other end of the spectrum is Dr. Willis, neuroscientist and middle-school teacher, who explains in uncomplicated detail the process by which the brain learns–more importantly, how detrimental a stressed brain can be in the process of learning.

Sound like a fun read…Actually, it is! Its a rather short article but its packed full of information that better helps a teacher understand just how your student is feeling, and helps the student understand just why they feel like a dear in headlights in all things learning. The idiom is also rather accurate…but, you’ll have to read the article to find out why (yes, this is our dastardly ploy to get you to read the article!).

But this article isn’t all just about the mechanics of the brain…ok, well mostly it is, but underneath all that science is MindUp!, the 15 lesson curriculum designed by the two women to “equip children with the social and emtoional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, and happier lives…[by teaching] children how their brains operate…[and] in doing so, give them a sense of control, that they can form and grow their brains the way they want to” (p 15-16).

Best part, the curriculum is easy to incorporate in any classroom by teacher and student alike. Wait, did we say that was the best part? Well, perhaps then a close second place is that the curriculum is FREE. A curriculum overview can be found on the Hawn Foundation’s website. The full curriculum will be published this fall by Scholastic.

Click here to read the feature article, “Golden Opportunity,” on the Neurology Now website. A PDF version of the article can also be found on the article page.

The Hawn Foundation website

Art is a Blind Man’s Profession

CBS Feature Story: John Bramblitt

From the CBS 11 Dallas Feature Story, "Through The Lens: Blind Denton Artist" aired May 17, 2010

“Since I first lifted a brush I have constantly questioned what perception truly is. If ’seeing is believing’ then what can I truly know?”

A rumination blogged by the artist in his January 28th post entitled “What is This?” Artist, author, and blind man, John Bramblitt went on to describe how being blind isn’t a matter in which he perceives himself, but rather an influence to his art. He goes on the speak of Picasso and his well known quote that “painting is a blind man’s profession,” and though this sentiment is certainly true in its most literal of senses, Bramblitt refers to this as a statement more about insight rather than eye sight.

We could go on forever about this remarkable artist, but that simply wouldn’t be doing him justice. Bramblitt has used his art and technology to make himself completely accessible to the world. It is highly encouraged that you visit Bramblitt’s website where you can see homemade videos of the artist at work, visit the online gallery featuring his works, and follow the link to his blog where he speaks candidly about his life and works.

CBS Feature Story (Video), Through The Lens: Blind Denton Artist”
John Brmablitt website
John Bramblitt blog

He Wears His Sunglasses to See

Making use of military funds and some brilliant minds at the University of Pittsburgh, one veteran is learning how to see through a special pair of glasses and electric impulses. Watch this ABC video for more.

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