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Sandra Lee Issue 2008 April/May


  • MAG




    E2008 S











    50 MILLIO







    99 V


    e 200

    8 Sa







  • EDITOR-IN-CHIEFChet Cooper

    MANAGING EDITORPamela K. Johnson


    HEALTH EDITORSGillian Friedman, MDLarry Goldstein, MDNatalia Ryndin, MD


    EDITORSDahvi FischerRenne GardnerSonnie GutierrezEve Hill, JDGlenn LockhartJosh PateDenise Riccobon, RNMaya Sabatello, PhD, JD Romney Snyder Jane Wollman Rusoff

    CONTRIBUTING WRITERSCourtney GaleLinda Boone HuntGale Kamen, PhDLaurance Johnston, PhDAndrea KardonskyDeborah Max Myles Mellor - Crossword PuzzlePaula Pearlman, JDRichard PimentelAllen RuckerKristen McCarthy ThomasBetsy Valnes

    HUMOR WRITERSGeorge Covington, JDJeff CharleboisGene Feldman, JD

    WEB EDITORJoy Cortes

    GRAPHIC ART/ILLUSTRATIONScott JohnsonPaul KimMelissa Murphy - Medical Illustration

    PHOTOGRAPHYSki UtahChris Apedaile


    The views expressed in this issue maynot be those of ABILITY Magazine

    Library of Congress Washington D.C. ISSN 1062-5321

    Copyright 2008 ABILITY Magazine


    MARKETING/PROMOTIONSJo-Anne BirdwellJacqueline MigellAndrew Spielberg



    [email protected]

    NON-PROFITSABILITY AwarenessHabitat for Humanity International

    PUBLISHERC.R. Cooper



    ity G






    es B




    ic W










    7 HEADLINES NYs New Gov, Dancing with Marlee, Errata CVS

    10 GREEN PAGES Living With Ed, Fair Trade Goodies

    13 BEST PRACTICES Companies Doing It Right

    14 STARBUCKS A New Perspective on Diversity

    18 PEPSICO Effervescent Corporate Culture

    22 SKIING UTAH Everyone Gets to the Mountaintop

    28 ACCESSIBLE ALASKA Cruising the Wilderness

    30 DRLC Removing Barriers to Education

    32 OUCH! The First in a Series on Managing Pain

    34 SENATOR HARKIN Voting Access for All

    36 BIG BRAIN Does Size Matter?

    40 SANDRA LEE How to Cook with Rheumatoid Arthritis

    48 ALLEN RUCKER Ahhh! A Trip to the Spa

    52 ROHAN MURPHY Paralympic Powerhouse

    58 WALTER REED Performing for the Troops

    60 CROSSWORD PUZZLE Guess Your Best

    62 GEORGE COVINGTON A Great Judge of Black Eye Peas



    ABILITY Magazine is published bimonthly by C.R. Cooper, 8941 Atlanta Ave. HB, CA 92646(ISSN 1062-5321) All Rights Reserved.

    Subscriptions: $29.70 per 1 year (6 issues). Periodicals postage rates at Irvine, CA and at additional mailing offices.POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ABILITY Magazine, Attention Subscriptions Manager,

    PO Box 10878, Costa Mesa, CA 92627; Volume 2008 Sandra Lee April/May

    Printed in U.S.A.





    Seen Bobs House? p.18

    All Access Aboard p.26

    How big is your brain? p.36

    Utah? Me tah! p.22

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    Alaska Adventure




    n the wake of Elliot Spitzers resignation, NewYork inaugurated its first black head of state,David Paterson. Hes the countrys first governorwho is legally blind and the third black governor

    of any state since the Reconstruction era. Born inBrooklyn in 1954, he is the son of Basil, a former StateSenator who later served as Deputy Mayor and NewYorks Secretary of State.

    An early childhood infection left David Paterson withlimited vision. He went on to graduate from ColumbiaUniversity and Hofstra Law School, has completed aNew York Marathon and is an adjunct professor atColumbia. He and wife, Michelle, have a son, Alex,13, and a daughter, Ashley, 19, from her previous mar-riage. Here is an excerpt from his recent inaugurationspeech:

    The last time I was in this chamber I was gaveling infor the State of the State, and Speaker Silverbrought me in here to practice so I didnt destroy any-thing in our first year. But in our second year, I said,Dont bother, I know how to do this.

    Apparently, I was about to bring the gavel down on aglass, like this one.

    The speaker at the last second grabbed the gavel awayfrom me and told me in his own inimitable way, I willnot allow you to turn the State of the State into a Jewishwedding.

    In so many ways, we woke this morning to a not-so-ordinary day. But in one way, we woke this morning toa New York dawn that is like every other one thatcame before it. For today, like we always do, we moveforward.

    Of course, I never expected to have the honor of servingas governor of New York State. This transition is an his-toric message to the world that we live among the samevalues that we profess, and that we are a government of


    laws and not individuals. Today we can be proud of ourdemocracy.

    There is work to be done. Theres trust that needs to berestored. There are issues that need to be addressed. Ifwe are going to build a viable future for New York, weare going to have to help single mothers who have twojobs. We are going to have to give children betterschools, and families who dont have health care someredress.

    I learned about government right here in this Legisla-ture. I studied the same issues and had the same expe-riences, hopes and frustrations as so many other NewYorkers. I am chagrined at the high cost of educationfor my family. And the prohibitive price of health care.

    I have talked to New Yorkers for decades about thecrumbling upstate economy, the crush of property taxesand the lack of affordable housing. These are issuesthat we will continue to focus on and address, but wecan do more.

    I have a vision for New York. Its a New York whereachievement is developed only from hard work, wheredoors are always open and where anyone can achieveno matter where they live.

    Let us, right here and now, grab the unusual opportu-nities that circumstance has handed us today, and putpersonal politics, party advantage and power strugglesaside in favor of service in the interests of the people.

    I have worked most of my life for New Yorkers andfought for New Yorkers. I believe that if we standtogether, our collective talent will bring us to a bet-ter period.

    We dont know the path yet. But thats because wehavent blazed the trail. And I think you all know thatI know a little bit about finding ones way throughthe dark.

    Let me tell you a little about myself.

    I was born in the borough of Brooklyn. I was educatedon Long Island. Harlem is my home. This is where Ilearned love for family and appreciation for community.

    I have confronted the prejudice of race and challengedthe issues of my own disability. I have served in govern-ment for over two decades. I stand willing and able tolead this state to a brighter future and a better tomor-row. Let me reintroduce myself. I am David Patersonand I am the governor of New York State.


    CALL HIM GOVERNOR:David Paterson Steps Up


    he Amputee Coalition of America (ACA) Sum-mer Youth Camp marks its ninth year with amove to Clarksville, OH. The new locationaccommodates even more children who have

    limb loss or limb difference than was possible in its pre-vious, Warm Springs, GA, home.

    The camp will be held July 20-24 with kids from 10 to16 enjoying horseback riding, swimming, dancing, fish-ing and more. Theyll also participate in team-buildingactivities, which will provide an opportunity to learnfrom peers and junior counselors who are alsoamputees. The Joy Outdoor Education Center ofClarksville serves as the host of this years event.

    There are an estimated 70,000 children living with limbloss in the US, according to ACA, a non-profit organi-zation that works for men and women who have experi-enced an amputation or are born with limb differences

    This will be the second summer that we have a JuniorCounselor Program, said Paddy Rossbach, ACA presi-dent and CEO. The six counselors are former campers;they are now 17 and 18 and have come back to volunteer.

    The camp fee is $500 per child. However, no one willbe excluded because of a familys inability to pay, Ross-bach said. Fee waiver forms are available.

    For an application go to:http://www.amputee-coalition.org/youth_camp_camper_2008.pdf

    For more information on ACA visit:http://www.amputee-coalition.org


    o launch her Dancing With the Stars career, con-testant Marlee Matlin had been training severalhours a day at this writing. Though none of thisyears batch of hopefuls had ever danced in the

    pro ranks, she had the additional challenge of beingdeaf. But shes said that has not been a problem.

    Though shes never heard a single music note, shesexpected to step, twirl, dip, smile, clap, spin and jumpin time with the rhythm. For that, she relies on profes-sional partner, Fabian Sanchez.

    Hes my music, she says.

    Some of the dances Sanchez modifies a bit so that heand Matlin are in more physical and/or visual contact.But he maintains that shes got a natural rhythm and ison time every single time.

    Sanchez, a dance instructor from Birmingham, AL, sug-gests that Matlin might be even easier to train thanmany who can hear because shes not trying to followthe rhythm on her own.

    Matlin is an Emmy-nominated TV vet who won theAcademy Award for best actress in 1986s Children of aLesser God. She is also a mother of four, including herinspiration, 12-year-old daughter, Sara, a hip-hop dancerand fan of the show.

    I just want to be the cool mom, Matlin says aboutcompeting.

    Her co-stars this season include radio host Adam Carol-la, magician Penn Jillette, pro football player Jason Tay-lor, tennis champ Monica Seles, Olympic skater KristiYamaguchi, R&B singer Mario and actors Steve Gutten-berg, Shannon Elizabeth, Christian de la Fuente, Priscil-la Presley and Marissa Jaret Winokur. (Each week,someone gets voted off the show, until they winnowdown to a winner.)

    Executive producer Conrad Green says assembling adiverse cast contributes to the shows success. His teamlooks for contestants of various ages, sizes, abilities andprofessional pursuits. Heather Mills, who uses a pros-thetic leg, lasted seven weeks last season.

    Its incumbent on everyone in television to try to openup television to people with disabilities,says Green.



    oodwill Industries International and LearningCurve Brands have joined forces to create a 12-room dollhouse that promotes caring and sharing,good manners, responsibility around the house

    and more. Coming this summer to a store near you, theCaring Corners Mrs. Goodbee Interactive Dollhousewill cost about $80.

    As part of the experience, children are encouraged to fillMrs. Goodbees Carton of Caring (the box that thedollhouse comes in) with gently-used clothing and toysthey no longer need and donate them to Goodwill, a net-work of 184 independent, community-based organiza-tions in the U.S., Canada and 14 other countries. Theclothing and toys will be sold in its stores, and the pro-ceeds will help fund the organizations job training pro-grams in the various communities it serves.

    Donating the things you no longer need is a form ofcharity in which anyone, regardless of age, can partici-pate, says George W. Kessinger, president and CEO ofGoodwill Industries International. Together, parents


    Do the Right Thing

    NEW ACA CAMP Bigger and Better

    THE MUSIC WITHINMatlins Got the Moves


    new free web-based service from Sprint Web-CapTel(r) allows a person who can speak but haschallenges hearing over the phone to read word-for-word captions of their calls on a web brows-

    er. This new service is expected to help an estimated 23million Americans with hearing loss, who may facechallenges hearing over the telephone.

    We are always looking for ways to offer unique andeasy user experiences for our customers. This new solu-tion from Sprint will offer the hard-of-hearing commu-nity the ability to enjoy the benefits of a natural phoneconversation by accessing real-time web-based cap-tions, says Mike Ligas, director of Sprint Relay.

    With the new service, users can make and receive callson their own telephone, cell phone, land-line or even anamplified phone. During the call, if they have difficultyhearing what is being said, they can log into a dedicatedwebsite and read written captions of everything theircaller says. Captions appear virtually at the same time asthe person speaks, allowing users to enjoy a natural tele-phone conversation.

    This new service is available almost anywhere with aphone and internet access on a computer. Even usingamplified phones, the WebCapTel(r) will capture theaudio of the person speaking to the user and will changespoken sounds into words that can be read. When dis-played on a web browser, the user can change the fontsize, color and even background. When a call is com-pleted, the user can save the captioned conversation forlater review, allowing the user to concentrate on beinginvolved in the conversation.

    WebCapTel puts people with hearing loss back in con-trol of their own telephone conversationsany time,anywhereby capitalizing on the convenience andprevalence of the Internet, states Robert Engelke, pres-ident of Ultratec, Inc., the company that developed Cap-Tel technology.

    It gives people with hearing loss the confidence to relyon their telephones again, leveling the playing field forprofessional opportunities, in social situations, and inmatters of personal safety.

    The service is free to Sprint customers anywhere in theUnited States and within the US territories. However,calls to or from international locations, such as Canadaor Mexico, are not applicable.

    To learn more visit:www.sprintcaptel.com


    ost Baby Boomers underestimate their risk ofacquiring a disability that would cause them tomiss work for an extended period of time,according to a new survey conducted by Harris

    Interactive on behalf of Americas Health InsurancePlans (AHIP). The study also found that Baby Boomersare unaware of the most common causes of disabilityand dont seem to be too concerned about them.

    This lack of awareness presents a significant threat totheir continued financial security, said Karen Ignagni,president and CEO of AHIP. When individuals under-estimate their risk of disability, they are less likely toprotect their income and are more vulnerable to thefinancial hardship that a disability can cause.

    More than a third of Baby Boomers think the chances ofbecoming disabled due to illness or injury is five per-cent or less, a slight majority think the chances are 10percent or less, and two-thirds think the chances are 20percent or less. In reality, a worker has a 30 percentchance of acquiring a disabling injury or illness causinghim or her to miss three or more months of work beforereaching retirement, according to the Social SecurityAdministration.

    The survey also found that nearly half (47 percent) ofBaby Boomers say they are not too concerned about theprospect of a disabling injury or illness.

    One of the reasons Boomers underestimate their risk isthe mistaken belief that injuries cause more disabilitiesthan illnesses. According to the survey, Boomers believethe most common causes of disability are back, muscle orjoint problems (26 percent), injuries on the job (18 per-cent) and injuries off the job (16 percent). However,research shows that the most common causes of disabilityare illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

    The survey found that most Baby Boomers accuratelybelieve they are more likely to acquire a disability thanpremature death and that most disabilities occur outsideof the workplace.

    For more on the survey findings go to:http://www.ahip.org/content/default.aspx?docid=22626


    and children can explore how their donations go towardputting people to work and building stronger communities.

    Children can feel good because their donations willhelp people earn a paycheck, which helps them supportthemselves and their families, says Kessinger.

    Goodwill, which has 2,100 retail stores nationwide, alsoprovides employment services, job placement opportu-nities and post-employment support.


    Correction: In our last issue, we misquoted CVSs EileenHoward Dunn. We wrote that her programs aim to help childrenlearn, play and feed, when she actually said that they aredesigned to help them learn, play and succeed. The erroroccurred in transcription.

    CAPTIONED CONVERSATIONSSprint Adds New Bells & Whistles

    BOOMERS VULNERABLEGroup Underestimates Risk

  • 10 ABILITY


    Sometimes I wonder how my husband puts up with some of my greenie antics (likepouring a hundred pounds of concrete into the middle of the backyard lawn so I canhave an outdoor clothesline), but when we sit back and watch Living With Ed, I feeltotally vindicated and give him a good punch in the arm, saying, See??? I could be

    doing all this stuff to the house!

    If you havent caught an episode of this HGTV show, youre missing out on someserious eco-cool, not to mention quite a few laughs). Hosted by long-time envi-ronmentalist/uber-greenie Ed Begley, Jr. and his wife of 13 years, Rachelle Car-son, Living With Ed is sort of The Odd Couple meets Green Acres meetsLifestyles of the Rich Yet Responsible. The show follows Begley and Carsonaround as he works to save the world and she, while also concerned aboutglobal warming and the like, craves a really, really long shower once in awhile.

    Their show, now in its second season, is full of great information and quickgreen tips. Even better, Living With Ed: Season 1 is now out on DVD. SoIum, youcan kick it with the Begleys anytime youd like!

    www.livingwithed.net www.hgtv.com


    Its more a matter of habit than anything. We clear the table, rinse thedishes and plop them into the dishwasher. Isnt that akin to hosing our-selves down before we get into the shower? Fact is, unless your dish-washer is ancient, rinsing dishes, glasses and utensils is unnecessary,not to mention wasteful. Simply scrape off any particles with a wetsponge and load away!

    Next best: If you must rinse your dishes (either because you had a par-ticularly messy meal or you run your washer infrequently), you can fill

    the sink with water once and give your dishes a quick dip, rather thanrunning the faucet.

    Also, you know that sprayer do-hickey that tends to sit idly by while yourinse your dishes with water from the faucet? Give it a go! Like a shower-

    head, kitchen sprayers break the water stream into tiny droplets. According tothe Environmental Protection Agency, spray taps use 50 percent to 90 percentless water to rinse than when you use the faucet.

    The other thing to consider is that the hours following dinner tend to behigh-demand energy usage times. You can cut energy costs by running the

    dishwasher later in the evening, perhaps before you turn in at night.Also, half-full dish loads are a huge waste of water and energy, as yourdishwasher uses the same amount no matter how much is in it. So be sureto load it up before you hit start and dont forget to put the dry settingto energy-saver. Every penny counts!


    Spring has sprung, and the summer months are edging closer. If yourelucky enough to have an air conditioner (I, unfortunately, am not), you need

  • ABILITY 11

    to remember thatjust like your furnaceit needssome yearly TLC.

    Be sure to check out your units air filters once a monthand clean or replace filters, as necessary. Keeping filtersclean can cut energy consumption by 5 percent to 15percent. Also, make sure that the drain channels andcoils on outdoor units are not clogged.

    To keep cooling costs down, run the forced-air systemsfannot the air conditionerto maintain a comfortabletemperature. Simply flip the thermostat to fan only torecycle air throughout the house.

    Also, while I can only guess (pout) how tempting itmust be to crank the A/C when its 90-plus degrees out-side, keep the thermostat at 78 degrees when yourehome. When no one will be there, set the thermostat at85 degrees. That way, you reduce the need for air condi-tioning, save energy and have extra cash on hand foryour Labor Day barbecue.

    Lastly, if you have ceiling or other fans, turn them on.The blowing air can make you feel five degrees cooler.Fans also use a lot less electricity than air conditioners!

    AHHHH... LAMOUR...

    Want to show your true love that your intentions arepure and make up for whatever you have or haventdone lately? While youre at it, why not be a littleyou knowresponsible while kissing your sweetiesderriere?


    Organic chocolate is produced without most syntheticpesticides and fertilizers or genetic modification. Grow-ers also emphasize the use of renewable resources andconserving soil and water to enhance environmentalquality. Search for organic chocolate online or look foroptions at natural and gourmet grocery stores.

    Fair Trade chocolate is produced by farmers and work-ers in developing nations who receive a fair price fortheir product. Trade is done directly between farmer-owned cooperatives and buyers. Crops are grown usingsoil and water conservation measures that restrict theuse of harmful pesticides.

    Rainforest Alliance chocolate is grown using integratedpest-management systems that limit the use of pesti-cides and fertilizers. Crops are grown using water-, soil-and wildlife-habitat conservation measures. Farm labor-ers are paid salaries and benefits equal to or greater thanthe legal minimum wage of their countries.


    Organic flowers are grown without most synthetic pesti-cides and fertilizers or genetic modification. Growersalso emphasize the use of renewable resources and con-serving soil and water to enhance environmental quality.

    Veriflora flowers are grown using water-, soil-, andhabitat-conservation measures. The use of pesticidesand fertilizers is also restricted. Farm laborers are com-pensated and protected according to international,national or local standards.

    As with the chocolates, Fair Trade flowers are producedby farmers and workers in developing nations whoreceive a fair price for their product, and trade is direct.Soil and water conservation measures restrict the use ofpesticides.

    Biodynamic flowers are grown without the use of syn-thetic pesticides, fertilizers, genetic engineering or ani-mal by-products. Additionally, flowers may not begrown in areas subject to strong electromagnetic fields.

    If you live in a temperate area, buying local flowers,which may or may not be certified, is another option. Tofind out if theres a seller near you, check Local Harvest,a searchable database of local agricultural products.

    by Kristen McCarthy Thomas

    To learn more about these labels, visit the eco labelswww.greenerchoices.org

    For Chocolate:www.tranfairusa.org


    For Flowers:www.OrganicBouquet.com

    www.harmsvineyardsandlavenderfields.com www.DiamondOrganics.com


    Kristen McCarthy Thomas is a public relations specialist with an integrat-ed marketing communications company in Southern California. Sheleads the companys Environmental and Sustainability Task Forces, andhelps the companys 70-plus associates green up.

    Kristen writes the www.just2hands.blogspot.com, which well occasional-ly excerpt here. She is writing a book on how parents can reduce theirfamilys environmental footprint through inexpensive (if not money-sav-ing), easy-to-understand steps, as well as how to pass the torch of envi-ronmentalism to the next generation, not only by action, but example.

  • 12 ABILITY

    Asense of humor opens doors and welcomes peo-ple into your life. It breaks down barriers andcan even lead to a date. When I see someone Imattracted to, I go up to her, bang my wheelchair into hershin and then run over her feet. I roll away quickly, butthe back of my chair reads, HOW AM I DRIVING?CALL (626) 446-77... If she calls, I know she has asense of humor.

    Laughter puts people at ease, especially those who maybe uncomfortable interacting with a person who has adisability. (And weve all met those types!) When Imake fun of myself, others realize that I am comfortablein my own skin, and theyre more likely to loosen up. Imight lead off with something like: Every time I go outwith my friends, they put my wheelchair in the frontseat and me in the trunk. Whats up with that? Then Imight follow up with, A lot of people ask me if sex isstill the same as it was before my injury. I say, Hell no,prices have skyrocketed!

    I have been a professional sit down comedian formore than 20 years, and part of my routine deals withdisability-related issues. When people come up to meafter a show and want to tell me a joke rather than askwhat happened to me, I know theyve looked past mydisability and focused on my humor.

    Humor also helps get me through the day, which ismore challenging for those of us who are disabled.Some unforeseen headache often arises: I fall out ofmy wheelchair; I get a flat tire; my seat cushion getspunctured Its not pretty, but then again neither isTori Spelling, and somehow weve managed to put upwith her all these years

    Humor is important in a relationship, too. Its funny tolook at the other persons face when youre makingloveor in the mirror if youre doing it solo. Humor isthe backbone of a relationship, and if you dont have abackbone then youre going to run into trouble. Goahead have some fun. If your wife gets mad at you, cuther hair while shes sleeping. That stuff cracks me up.Really, its good, clean fun for the whole family.

    Sometimes I make fun of something Ive read in thenews. For instance, a quadriplegic was recently thrownout of his wheelchair by a Florida cop. This is anexcerpt from my humor blog about it:

    Cops and Drops

    I guess by now weve all seen the video of the copdumping the quad out of the wheelchair. This broughtback fond memories of my first marriage.

    Yes dear, Ill wash your car. Just please, dont do thatwheelbarrow thing to me again.

    Anyway, what was that police officer clown thinking?This particular clown was a woman, FYI. Thats right, apolicewoman. So this witch-in-blue tosses this fellow onthe ground. What for? It wasnt like he banged her inthe shin and asked her for a date.

    The video was, to say the least, disturbing. I thought Iwas watching an old Andy Griffith episode whereDeputy Fife pulls up his pants and says in his highpitched voice, Ange, you cant trust these gimps inwheelchairs; theyre mighty sneaky. What we got here isa faker! Next thing you know, old Barney dumps himon the floor, next to Otis, while Goober stands wide-eyed at the door singing out, Goooolly!

    That policewoman was an animal. Where did this pigget the idea to act like a jackass? I havent read theAmericans With Disabilities Act from cover to coverthough Im sure its a page-turnerbut Ive got acrazy suspicion that chucking people out of theirwheelchairs is a no-no. Maybe theres some newwacky law that says you can only read someone theirrights if theyre floundering on the floor with threebroken ribs. Come on, you cant treat human beingslike thatonly family.

    Im curious to hear her defense. Did she recently switchto decaf? Did she need an extra set of wheels. I canhear her now: Well a call came in for a 402 inprogress, and we were out of squad cars, so I figured Icould borrow the wheelchair and make a siren soundwith my mouth while I pursued the robber. I figured thegimp could chill on the filthy station floor til I got backin a couple of hours.

    Hey Dirty Rotten Copper, weve got murderers, rapistsand drug dealers ruining our neighborhoods. Chaseafter them! You should beat down the Crips instead ofthe cripples. Starsky and Hutch would both be ashamedof you.

    Thats all for now folks. Please dont forget to tip yourwaitress on the way out.

    by Jeff CharleboisHam on a Roll

  • ABILITY 13

  • 14 ABILITY

    COOL BEANSDiversity Brews at Starbucks

    On the retail side, Starbucks is known for making atasty cup of joe, teaching us a sprinkling of Ital-ian and retailing everything from mugs to musicto books. On the far side of the counter, they get kudosfor working in harmony with the worlds coffee growers,as well as for being an employee-friendly corporation.(How bout that health insurance for part-timers!)

    Recently we caught up with the Seattle-based compa-nys Laura Swapp and Marthalee Galeota. Swapp is theglobal director of Diversity and Inclusion, while Galeotais the program manager of Accessibility. We spoke withthem about Starbucks expansive concept of diversity.

    Chet Cooper: Lets talk about what you might considerbest practices for Starbucks.

    Marthalee Galeota: For us, the key thing is not to look atdisability or accessibility as a stand-alone, but to look atit more broadly throughout the entire company. If wedesign a product, a program, a DVD or a service, thenwe use universal design (barrier-free) approaches andthink through the different aspects of disability early inthe game. That way we can bump up the companysability to engage a broader scope of people, whether itscustomers or employees. Weve also set the stage forsomeone who might be aging or in an accident or other-wise become disabled-temporarily or permanently-tohave a place that is comfortable and accessible.

    Laura Swapp: One of our guiding principles is toembrace diversity as an essential component in the waywe do business. We define diversity as encompassing allthe things that would touch equal opportunity, inclusionor accessibility. And so we build accessibility into theplatform of our larger diversity efforts.

    Cooper: So youre tapping a model similar to whatsbeing used in the housing market, where they talk aboutpeople being able to age in place. But youre using uni-versal design in an even broader context for bothemployees and customers, right?

    Galeota: Yes. Its a more holistic approach. Id also addthat for many people who are deaf or identify with thedeaf community, were exploring a deaf-friendly workenvironment, and how we might promote that. So whenwe have multicultural marketing or a multicultural ini-tiative, we want to make sure that we also include deafpeople within it.

    Cooper: Thats interesting. I was recently invited on a tripon the largest cruise ship in the world. The voyage waschartered, and nearly everyone on the ship was deaf.

    Galeota: I had friends who went on that cruise. Theyloved it. You know, when youre in a place where every-

    thing is totally accessible, and in your own language, itmakes a big difference.

    Cooper: Thats true. Royal Caribbean even taught theirstaff some sign language. There were a lot of challengesbecause there were many languages on that ship. As youknow, theres American Sign Language, Universal SignLanguage and several others. It was fascinating towatch and try to communicate, across the different lan-guage groups.

    Down the line, do you think of having your partnerstake sign language classes internally, so they canrespond and communicate to partners or customerswho sign?

    Galeota: At a lot of our stores where there are deafbaristas or deaf store managers, some partners do getintrigued and take classes on their own. Sometimes alocal group will teach sign language. In Canada, weconnected with the Canadian Helen Keller Center, andthey actually provided classes for our people.

    On occasion customers have come in, and when theyrealized that their barista was deaf, theyve gone home,gone online and learned how to sign the name of theirdrink. Then theyve come back and signed it to theirbarista. So definitely, the culture and language is onethat we support and encourage people to understand ona deeper level. I do some of the interpreting here at Star-bucks and coordinate our interpreters.

    Cooper: Im not sure if you are aware of this, but withCanadian Sign Language, they have to add an Eh? tothe end of everything.


    Galeota: We also have a service-animal policy andclasses on accessibility and disability here at our build-ing, including accommodating members of the deafcommunity. Weve made sure that our video and Inter-net news broadcasts both have closed captioning. Wedid a pilot in one of the stores using Braille and largeprint menus, so were looking at a variety of things wecan do.

    The other thing that we have here in this building is a net-work of partners who have identified themselves as hav-ing a disability or who want to be an ally for accessibility.Theyve gotten together and identified themselves as theStarbucks Access Alliance to help guide the companyaround issues relating to disability and accessibility.

    Cooper: Starbucks appears to be doing more than manyother companies that weve spoken with. How are youso effective?

    Swapp: Marthalee has brought us a lot of expertise andserved as the architect of our plan. I think were also a

  • ABILITY 15

    bit different, because, aswe mentioned earlier,we consider accessibilitya part of diversity.

    Cooper: Right. Foryears theres been apush by advocates toremind companies thatdisability should beincluded in diversity.

    Sometimes they think only in terms of certain accommo-dations when a person is hired, but not much beyondthat. So was that actually a part of the charter of thecompany when it was founded?

    Swapp: No, diversity became one of the guiding princi-ples after the company had been in existence for a while.But we now see it as a critical component to our work.

    Chet Cooper: Are you involved with the Business Lead-ership Networks (BLNs) in your area?

    Marthalee Galeota: Yes, were new board members withthe U.S. BLN.

    Cooper: Do you know what your role will be?

    Laura Swapp: Were still figuring that out. Were pri-oritizing the national relationship and figuring outwhat were doing locally. Our strategic partnership ini-tiative defines what organizations we engage with, andhow we bring them into partnership with the Starbucksfamily at multiple touch points. So this is one of therelationships within that program.

    We will continue to look at how we partner with variouscommunities: African-American, Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Transgender, Latino, disability There are other orga-nizations that weve worked with or will work with todetermine how we move forward in this phase.Marthalee will identify what the multiple touch pointswill be, and how we will roll those out. Obviously,headquarters is just one small piece of our world, andits really more about how we engage our field opera-tions in these partnerships.

    Cooper: Given what youve learned, what is Starbucksdoing that you would like to see other companies do,and how can one expand these concepts from the localto the global?

    Swapp: Again, a holistic approach is very important. Sowere always focused on the policies, standards andguidelines inside our company that support a disability-friendly environment.

    Were inquiring about education and awareness oppor-tunities. For us that could be offering specific coursessuch as disability etiquette, deaf-friendly culture or inte-gration into other core areas that we believe wouldenhance awareness. Marthalee reviews all the marketingthat leaves the building from an accessibility standpoint.So, what we would say to other companies is to recog-nize that increasing accessibility and diversity requirepulling multiple triggers.

    Cooper: You just had a shift in leadership at the top.How does that affect your division?

    Swapp: We feel really optimistic about the support fordiversity work with this leadership team.

    Cooper: Is there anything else that you wanted to talkabout or address?

    Galeota: Just this year, (chairman and CEO) HowardShultz participated in Great Hires, a video that show-cases the benefit of employing individuals with signifi-cant disabilities. The project was produced by the KingCounty developmental disabilities group, King 5 TVand the Washington (State) Initiative for SupportiveEmployment. The video highlighted three differentcompanies, including Starbucks, which are reaching outto people with disabilities in employment. Its been seennationwide, in Europe and in Australia. Its even onYouTube, and encapsulates our commitment.

    In our stores, in particular, we strive to make everythingaccessible to all of our customers. Usually they order abeverage, wait while it is being made and then pick itup. But each of our stores has a sign at the register thatoffers customers assistance if they would like us to carrytheir order to their table. Customers using wheelchairshave let us know how much they appreciate this. Oneletter of thanks came all the way from a customer inEngland, who wrote: I am very restricted in mobilitydue to severe arthritis. The service received was excel-lent without a doubt.

    Closer to home, one of our baristas was searching foran avenue to reach out to the community. Since Star-bucks is an avid promoter and supporter of literacy, thebarista came up with the idea of holding a monthlyChildrens Story Hour and partnering with the NationalBraille Press by using their selections from the Chil-drens Braille Book of the Month Club. The barista is

    Universal Design by Tony Gale

  • 16 ABILITY

    legally blind and wanted to take our support of literacyto a different level. Children and parents gather eachmonth to enjoy the stories that the barista reads to themin Braille.

    Cooper: Can you talk a little bit about how youapproach accessibility for both consumer and partnerwhen you build out a new retail store.

    Galeota: In the US, we follow Americans With Disabili-ty Act guidelines. The aisles in the stores are sometimesan issue because things get moved and baskets of coffeebeans are here and there, which makes it a little bit diffi-cult for people to come through who might be usingwheelchairs or canes. So in training baristas, we high-light accessibility so that people realize they need tokeep aisles clear.

    Theres also a table thats a bit oversized for peoplewho use wheelchairs. It used to be a bit taller with adecal on it that said: For our disabled customers. But itstuck out like a sore thumb, so now its the same heightas the rest of the furniture and blends in. The verbiageon it now reads, For customers with disabilities-usingpeople-first language.

    Cooper: Anything else?

    Galeota: Also, the hand-off plane-where customersbeverages and foods are placed-has been lowered innew stores. When it was higher, people of short statureor people in wheelchairs would have difficultly gettingtheir drinks. Our drive-throughs are still a place whereyou order by talking into a little machine, and thebarista inside hears you. But for people who are deaf,we put language on the drive-through menu board thatwelcomes them to go right up to the first window andorder from there. They can write out what they want orcommunicate however they choose.

    One of our corporate architects is very involved with the

    Leed model. Hes on the board with the national groupand is working to get more of a universal design, ratherthan just the (less stringent) ADA features that you haveto follow. The Leed model is about building in a waythat is environmentally friendly.

    Cooper: Then youre also looking at the products usedand the energy demands?

    Galeota: Right. Its all of that: the energy, the lighting,how you take advantage of the sun or the way the storeis oriented on the land that you have-all of that. Thathas already been built into the Leed model. What has-nt been there is the more holistic, universal accessibil-ity features.

    Cooper: In our Green Pages section, we write abouthow a healthier planet leads to healthier people,because a lot of whats going on in the environment con-tributes to disabilities. Regarding recycling, have youlooked at a program where people bring their cups backin and you recycle them?

    Swapp: Thats something thats handled on a market-by-market basis. A lot of municipalities dont have the abil-ity to recycle on a commercial level. But we do back-of-the-house recycling in a majority of our stores, wherespace and facilities permit.

    Galeota: Any other questions?

    Cooper: Yes. Can I get a nonfat soy....


    For more information about the company go to:www.starbucks.com

    To watch the Great Hires video, visit:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPXiIYz4uw0

    Laura Swapp

    Marthalee Galeota

    Partner Network with Deb Dagit

  • ABILITY 17

  • 18 ABILITY

  • ABILITY 19

    During the recent Super Bowl, millions of viewerscaught a Pepsi commercial, one that some sayrepresents an historic first. The unusual ad fea-tured a silent, 60-second joke: Two guys drive to theirfriend Bobs house to watch the big game. Once theyget to his street, neither remembers his address. So theysit in the car arguing in sign language until one of themgets a clever idea and lays on the horn. One by one, thehouses light up-except for Bobs.

    Clay Broussard, who plays Bob, also developed thecommercial and has worked for PepsiCo in Dallas for27 years. Though he is not deaf, the two actors who playhis friends, Brian Dowling and Darren Therriault, are.Theyre also Broussards coworkers and members ofPepsiCos EnAble, an employee network for associateswith different abilities and for caregivers. The three-year-old organization was founded to influence and pro-vide guidance to the company, which also owns FritoLay, Gatorade, Tropicana and Quaker, so that peoplewith different abilities were included at all levels. Nowmore than 300 PepsiCo associates strong, EnAble haschapters in New York, California, Ohio, Washington,Arizona, Florida and Texas.

    Chet Cooper: How did you get involved with EnAble?

    Clay Broussard: I have some familiarity with deaf cul-ture, so EnAble interested me; I joined to see what Icould contribute. We have a real culture of diversityand inclusion among our various employee networks at Pepsi.

    Cooper: How did you get familiar with the deaf culture?

    Broussard: My wife and I attended a church whereeverything was entirely in sign language for seven oreight years. There was no voicing of anything at all. Sothat was a real immersion.

    Cooper: How did you choose that particular church?

    Broussard: In the congregation that we were part of atthe time, there were a couple of deaf people and therewas some interpreting. The deaf people became ourfriends and taught some of us sign language. As thatgroup grew, there was enough people to form a newcongregation where sermons could be held completelyin sign language, and where the topics would beaddressed directly in the native language rather thaninterpreted. Sign language interpreting is not a directway of communicating with deaf people.

    Cooper: In the new congregation, what was the percent-age of people who were deaf, and what was the percent-age of people, such as yourself and your wife?

    Broussard: We talked about keeping track, but con-sciously decided not to because we figured were notcounting how many black people or white people are

    here, so why would we count the number of deaf vs.hearing? Im one of Jehovahs Witnesses, and we sup-port all kinds of languages. So it was an outgrowth ofour work in that community in terms of education, and Iwould say theres probably now a hundred or so congre-gations across the U.S. that are conducted entirely insign language.

    Cooper: You say now. Do you think you were one ofthe first?

    Broussard: I think we were among the first 40.

    Cooper: So did that experience draw you into what wasgoing on within your work?

    Broussard: What happened was a local chapter ofEnAble formed here in Dallas, and I thought: Thissounds pretty cool. As I have some experience with thisaspect of diversity, why dont I see what I can con-tribute? I joined and started listening to the goals andmissions that EnAble had locally. You may not haveheard this, but EnAble wants PepsiCo to be the brand ofchoice and the employer of choice among people withdifferent abilities. And so we talked about objectives,such as accommodation and acceptability, which fosterthe conditions for being an employer of choice.

    Becoming the brand of choice is more esoteric for peo-ple. How do you get to that? You can do it through tra-ditional means, such as participating in Multiple Sclero-sis walks and activities such as that, but I thought: Howcan we bring it into marketing and advertising and real-ly demonstrate to the outside world what our culture isall about at PepsiCo? Because Im familiar with the deafculture, I thought: Lets borrow a joke from it and tell itthe PepsiCo way, featuring our products and our peopleand do it in a language that the rest of the world can getand find humorous.

    Cooper: Did you run into any bottlenecks within thecompany? (Sorry)

    Broussard: (laughs) As a soft drink company, we try toavoid bottlenecks. Fortunately, everybody from the top tothe bottom of this organization who heard about the con-cept was intrigued by it. For some, it was a little esoteric,so we had to make a demo version. But once we got thedemo finished, people could see it, and they got excited.

    Cooper: It became tangible. So how did you make thedemo?

    Broussard: First I hired an artist to do a storyboard ofthe ad concept. We then took the storyboard and floatedit past deaf employees inside PepsiCo to say, What doyou think of this? Is it right? Does it match the culture?How would it be received by both the deaf communityand the hearing community? This group remained onthe project throughout as consultants.

  • 20 ABILITY

    Once we had their input, I went to marketing and said,Heres an idea that the employee network EnAble isexploring. Tell me what your advice and counsel wouldbe. And they gave us some great advice about focus-groups studies and achieving authenticity and thingslike that. So we did focus groups and asked maybe 10 or12 questions to get feedback. Nearly all the surveyresponses we got were incredibly positive, with lessthan three percent coming back with anything negative.

    Cooper: Those were probably the people who fell asleepduring the focus group.

    Broussard: (laughs) So then my senior executiveallowed me to go forward with the demo. I hired a localvideo production company to do it, and we used all Pep-siCo employees. The hardest part was convincing mywife to let me use our house.

    Cooper: Was that your house in the commercial?

    Broussard: No, we only used it in the demo, which wasa bit different. In that version, we started inside a houseand showed them watching a game. After we shot thedemo, my senior executive presented it to the seniorexecutive level team, and there was immediate enthusi-asm. They green-lighted the project and said, We wantto fast-track this to the Super Bowl and give it as broadan audience as we can.

    Cooper: And the rest is history So whats next for you?

    Broussard: Ive been asked, Are there follow-up con-cepts? There are a couple of concepts were consider-ing. Im still a little new to the mysteries of marketing. I

    dont know how those things get determined. But wevegot ideas to contribute.

    Cooper: So those ideas will be sent up the flagpole theway you did before?

    Broussard: Yeah, and I think marketing will determineif its something we want to pursue. But in the mean-time, the Super Bowl ad is getting distributed over theInternet, which has really been huge. While the SuperBowl attracted 90 million households, whats interest-ing is that when content on the Internet goes viral-millions upon millions of people forwarding it along tofriends and coworkers-it can potentially reach evenmore people.

    The reception the ad received on the Internet wastremendous, beyond anything I would have conceivedof, and it quickly went to, like, number three onYouTube. Ive been told that of the 90 million viewerswho watched in on TV, one in 10 households had some-body deaf or hard of hearing in the household.

    Cooper: I think there are roughly 28 million people thatare deaf or hard-of-hearing.

    Broussard: It struck me what a large percentage of thecommunity would identify with the ad. We wanted totell a story that featured diversity and inclusion in a waythat would appeal to a broad audience and in a way thatwas humorous.

    Cooper: I think humor is a common denominator.

    Broussard: On the business end, we figured: This has aclassic element of typical PepsiCo advertising: fun,humor and a good product.

    Cooper: What other activities are you working on?

    Broussard: There are some things that Im working on.We had a large company reach out to us after the adwas shown, saying, Were interested in talking aboutaccessibility awareness, would PepsiCo considerworking with us on that? So thats something werediscussing now.

    Cooper: Thats interesting, that you might provideawareness training to other companies.

    Broussard: Im currently working with the Dallas May-ors Committee for the Employment of Persons withDisabilities-a forum of businesses in the Dallas metro-plex - to determine how to create awareness of this topicinside our community. Last year we sponsored a break-fast for local area HR people on the topic of onboard-ing persons of different abilities. There are other thingsIm working on, but cant talk about yet.

    The chapter of EnAble that Im with had a kickoff

  • ABILITY 21

    meeting for 2008 recently, and we talked about what we want to accomplish thisyear. Different people volunteered for various committees.

    Cooper: I noticed youre not saying people with disabilities, youre saying peo-ple with different abilities.

    Broussard: Thats very conscious on our part.

    Cooper: Theres been a lot of talk within the disability movement about language,such as people first language, the word disability. Even though the wordhandicappedhas been dropped, its still a struggle to use the word, disability.

    Broussard: I dont know if its offensive to people, necessarily, but you know, wereall-what is the common expression? Were all temporarily able-bodied. What Ithink Bobs House did is give the outside world a glimpse, not just into deaf cul-ture, but a glimpse into PepsiCo culture. Senior leaderships advocacy of the con-cept of Bobs House and their willingness to get behind it all the way to SuperBowl, I dont think could happen in just any organization. I think PepsiCo is lead-ing the way in the 21st century for how other organizations will become over time.

    Cooper: Would you say your chapter is more active than other chapters?

    Broussard: I wouldnt say that. Everybody brings something different to the table.

    Cooper: Do you have meetings where all of the EnAble chapters come together?

    Broussard: We have some national meetings where representatives from each chap-ter assemble.

    Cooper: In person?

    Broussard: I believe so, yes. Ive not attended one yet. There are other employeenetworks, such as the Womens Initiative Network (WIN), the Black ProfessionalsAssociation (BPA), and a Latino-based organization called Adelante.

    Cooper: Of course EnAble cuts across all those groups.

    Broussard: We believe that EnAble is the most diverse of any network, because theissues that were dealing with are so varied.

    Cooper: Its not gender-specific, its not race-specific, its across the board.

    Broussard: Yes. And its not dealing just with individuals who represent that com-munity, but caregivers who support those individuals in that community. The NewYork chapter is doing a lot around autism. I know one of the gentlemen involvedwith it there, and he shared some incredible statistics-that one in 10 boys is some-where on the autism spectrum, and in the New York area its even higher than that.So its about creating awareness around this topic.

    One person who is very active in that group is a parent of children with autism.What ends up happening is that other parents who are employed with PepsiCo,who are also parents of children with autism, come together in a support group andsay, Heres how you handle and resolve this. It also fosters awareness andunderstanding in the rest of us about what our fellow employees are dealing with.So theres an expression that weve got in PepsiCo about, Bring your whole selfto work. People who are caregivers either of an aging parent or of children withspecial needs have got some challenges that we can accommodate when wereaware of what they need. Like our CEO said, We do better by doing better.


  • At first, a recent press trip to Utah seemed to beall about hitting the slopes. Each morning Jessi-ca Taskmaster Kunzer got us up, out and ontothe mountain. We skied all three days of our journey.We also changed resorts all three days.

    Did you enjoy the ski lodge? shed ask. Great, thenyoull love the next one! Get your things. Were leaving.

    Of course, Jessica said it all in a nice way. Besides, shehad to keep us moving, as there was a lot to see duringthis Ability Awareness tour, sponsored by Ski Utah. Thepoint of the tour was to promote accessibility on theslopes. Skiing is available to everyone, the NationalAbility Center in Park City is there to help.

    Day one, Park City Mountain. I met Danelle DAquan-ni, a skier who is legally blind and training for the Para-lympics, along with Sally Tauber, her ski guide. At arecent retreat DAquanni learned that we each have99,999 voices in our heads. These inner chatter boxesinclude the voices of kindness, anger, mourning, loveand showing off.

    She said she tried to ski while focusing on her lovingvoice, which was helpful. But when she engaged hershow-off voice, she found she skied faster. So with myshow-off voice egging me on, I tried to keep up with theduo, but they flew ahead. Show offs!

    Though I was relatively slow compared to them, Izoomed pretty fast by my own standards, so maybe thevoice was working to an extent. But Im not that experi-enced. Although I skied a little during college and atevents connected to this magazine, its probably beenonly a little over a dozen times altogether.

    The next day, Snowbasin. Jessica paired me with ChrisWaddell a paralympian and five-time gold medalist.(People named him one of The Fifty Most BeautifulPeople in the World, and Skiing called him one ofThe 25 Greatest Skiers in North America) I skiedbehind him as well, trying in vain to pick up tricks ofthe trade.

    Building on my shaky confidence from the first day, Itried the mid-lift for the newly marked slalom course. Ihad a blast carving turns and hitting gates for the first

    22 ABILITY

  • ABILITY 23

    time. After a couple of runs, Chris and Jessica, anexcellent skier herself, wanted to go to the start of thewomens Olympic downhill run.

    Hey, its the womens run, they said, by way of talkingme into it. It was a challenge, but I got through it. Next,they wanted to ski the mens Olympic downhill run.

    Hey, sure, I said, as if it were no sweat.

    Getting there required a separate gondola to the top ofthe mountain. Until that point, Chris had no problemwith accessibility: He would ski to the chairlift and geton while remaining in his sit-ski. But accessing the gon-dola, however, was a slightly different story. We had tounhook the ski portion of his gear, and needed severalpeople to help us carry him up the metal stair system.

    In the gondola I sat backwards, looking down as weclimbed ever higher, struggling with my fear of heightsby pretending to study my ski boots. Thats when I wasouted: The gondola operator asked if there was anyonewho hadnt been to the top before? I raised my hand andlooked around. I was the only virgin.

    I could only stare up the slop to see how high we weregoing, as the gondola operator continued on about thelevel of risk and how, at this elevation on the mountain,Id have to pay for my own rescue. Then he asked ifanyone wanted to go back down.

    Thats when somebodycould it have been, um, Jessi-ca?said, Nobodys going down in the gondola.

    As the door opened, I gulped, trying to keep my eyesdirectly in front of me. The beautiful view includedparts of four states, but I hardly noticed because I wasdizzy and nauseous. Sensing my panic, Chris and Jessi-ca said, You can do it. Youre a good skier.

    Chris, reattached to his sit-ski, was the first down the cat-walk, a narrow strip that leads to the start of the mensrun. Swoosh! He was down the mountain in a flash.

    Before Jessica took off, she turned to me briefly andsaid, Follow my lines. I knew she was going to flydown the mountain. At that moment, my showoff voiceretreated behind my fear voice. And the latter was loud.Fear, it turns out, has 99,999 voices of its own, including

    Chris Waddell

  • 24 ABILITY

    fear of heights, fear of dying, fear of throwing up

    I did a half slide down the catwalk to the beginning ofthe run. It seemed impossibly steep. My strategy was toski side to side. Off I went. Down I went. Down I wentagain. Falling and falling. Sliding on my back. At onepoint, I wondered Will it ever stop?

    I finally stopped, but by then one of my skis had gonemissing. Thats when Jessica kindly swooped down andreunited me with it. I was happy to be saved, but feelingembarrassed to look like a scary klutz in front of my host.

    Food is always a good salve for the wounds of theslopes. Fortunately for me, Snowbasin has two five-starrestaurants, accessible ony by chairlifts. The best part ofthe hour or so of great company and dining was the timesitting still so that my calm voice could return.

    After lunch, Chris wanted to go back to the top again.Suddenly, I was in the mood to take pictures. Hey! Youcant ignore your photo-taking voice.

    Chris flew down the mountain again as I snapped away.

    That night we went to dinner with a number of peoplefrom Ogden, UT, where we had a great discussion abouthow the city is rejuvenating itself. Downtown Ogden iswhere the Union Pacific met the Central Pacific Rail-road, thus completing the trans-continental railroad. Ofcourse, back in the day, that came with a price: prostitu-tion, opium dens, a fair number of saloons.

    Ultimately, the town had to clean up its act to become a

    legitimate city. Its done a great job. These days therestalk about the first indoor ice climbing facility. Worldrenowned climber, Jeff Lowe, supports the facility andplans to teach the sport there to people with MS.

    On our last day we skied Snowbird, and met up withtwo families who were taking a class through theWasatch Adaptive Sports program. One family hadtriplets, and two of the three had cerebral palsy. Whenthey first entered the program, the instructor said to theirparents, Tell your sons to raise their right hands to goright, and their left hands to go left. But the parentssaid, They cant raise their arms.

    Peter Mandler, executive director of the program, con-tinued to work with them, putting the children on amono ski and tethering them. Another instructor stayedin front to keep an eye out. As they skied, the kids actu-ally started to move their arms for the first time. Whenthey wanted to turn, they indicated it with their arms.They skiied right on down the bunny slope with wideand wonderful grins on their faces.

    We then met up with Gael Yonnet, a young Frenchphysician whod been in a snowboarding accident, bro-ken his back and become paraplegic. His experience ledhim to change his focus to treating those with spinalcord injury. He was just getting back in the game andwas inspired by the sit ski experience.

    On the way home I slept and, lucky for me, my 99,999voices liked nap-voice as well.

    by Chet Cooper



    Jessica Taskmaster and Chris

    Tod Apedaile

    Laura Schaffer, Snowbird

    Park City

    John Paul Lodge, Snowbasin

  • ABILITY 25

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  • ABILITY 27

    Enroute to our seven-day Alaskan cruise, we flewfrom L.A. to Seattle a day early to enjoy a stay atthe legendary Fairmont Hotel. Its an historic,five-star affair where anybody who was anybody hasbedded down at one time or another. We journalists hada great dinner, got to know each other and wanderedthrough the streets of Seattle. The next morning, weboarded the ms Noordam cruise ship, part of HollandAmericas fleet, blew the horn and eased out into theharbor with the Seattle skyline and its signature SpaceNeedle at our back.

    The ship was elegant, gleaming and quite accessible,from its wide-lane decks and halls, to its easy-to-navi-gate elevators, state rooms and dining areas. As allcruises do, they spoiled us with incredible food andgave us plenty of healthful seafood offerings, so wecould feel a bit better about it all when we were piggingout at the midnight buffet. They also have a cookingschool, an eco-conscious spa and a Walk for the Cureevent, which allows you to do 12 laps around the ship toraise money for breast cancer research.

    First stop: Glacier Bay National Park, where thepanoramic sweep of mountainous ice encircled us. Itseemed touchably close, and yet an hour later we werestill moving towards it thinking, Were almost there,were almost there. Then we looked across the bay andspied another cruise ship that was as small as a dot, andrealized that our whole sense of size and proportion wascompletely distorted. The glacier was so much morevast and more imposing than we could imagine.

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    One of the most incredible things about watching aglacier is that it changes before your eyes. The localscall it calving when a big hunk of the whitish blue icesnaps off and crashes into the water. As the glacierslowly moves into the sea it emits an echo that they callwhite thunder, and gives you an even deeper respectfor nature.

    Next stop: Juneau, a woodsy-looking town that putsyou in the mind of the western frontier. Because acces-sibility was never a problem, our group put a gooddeal of wear and tear on our credit cards at variousstores and restaurants. We bought indigenous crafts,smoked salmon and bowls made out of a single piecewood. But for those who like adventure, Juneaus alsogreat for scenic bicycling and treks through its thick,lush rain forests.

    From Juneau we flew in a small biplane to Sitka, wherewe got in a few more gawks at glaciers and then came infor a landing directly on the water. Then we headed to anearby cabin for a tasty salmon cook out. As a finishingtouch, the cooks slathered on sweet glaze, which wasthe next best thing to honey according to the bears thatcame out of the woodwork in hopes of having dinnerwith us.

    Stay back, stay back, the proprietors implored us.Thats when I grabbed my camera and rushed forward.How many opportunities do you get to meet and greet abunch of furry friends the likes of dem bears? Not oftenenough, Im afraid.

    In Ketchikan, we hiked to a sanctuary for birds of prey,where I got some great shots of bald eagles, as well aspictures of salmon swimming to spawn. It was andincredible experience to witness the punishing upstreamjourney that would cost them everything.

    Thoughout our trip, we saw elements of indigenous peo-ples rich culture, including carvings of beautiful soap-stone as well as tall wooden totem poles that depict clanstories and histories.

    We also saw whales threading their vast bodies in andout of the water. Everything was so picturesque that thecruise felt like slipping into another world-a world Iwouldnt mind slipping into again and again. HollandAmerica, call me.

    by Chet Cooper

    Holland America Line has more than 150 cruises that set sail to Alaskafrom Seattle and Vancouver between May and September. Whether itsviewing wildlife, historic treks, fly fishing, kayaking or mountain climbing,there are plenty of shore excursions to suit your tastes.

    Fares start at about $850.


  • ABILITY 29


    In todays competitive society, a college degree is crucial for success. Notonly does a degree symbolize knowledge attained, it also opens doors forgreater financial and social opportunities. Over an adult's working life, highschool graduates earn an average of $1.2 million, associate's degree holders earnabout $1.6 million, and bachelor's degree holders earn about $2.1 million,according to the US Census Bureau.

    In addition to financial advantages, other benefits of higher education includesuch intangibles as a tendency for postsecondary students to become more open-minded, more cultured, more rational, more consistent and less authoritarian

    benefits that get passed down to succeeding generations. These are qualities that societyvalues and a chance to develop them should be available to all students, including thosewith disabilities.

    Universities are legally required to provide students who need them with reasonableaccommodations for course examinations, provision of equipment and auxiliary aids,including sign language interpreters. They must make certain that students know aboutthese services. They are also required to ensure that students with disabilities are notdenied educational opportunities because of architectural barriers.

    While these laws are in place, it often takes advocacy to put teeth into them. Thats whythe Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) recently represented undergraduate and gradu-ate level students with disabilities at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB),a sprawling campus of 17,000 students.

    In the case, plaintiffs alleged that despite persistent efforts by the students with disabilitiesto obtain accommodations for classes and classroomsspread out over 67 buildings acrossmore than 400 acresthey were unable to achieve the access required to complete theireducations. The students had advocated on numerous levels, including filing a complaintwith the US Department of Educations Office for Civil Rights. Nevertheless, the studentsalleged that they continued to experience myriad difficulties.

    One masters degree student with a spinal injury needed accommodations such as a stand-ing podium in class because she was significantly limited in her ability to sit at a typicaldesk. However, the podium was sometimes unavailable or had been moved to a placewhere she could not get to it easily, which negatively affected her studies.

    Another student with a vision disability needed his textbooks and other written materialtranslated into alternative formats, such as audiotapes or Braille, and also required note-takers and testing accommodations. He received the accommodations after weeks of delayor not at all, and could not participate fully in his courses.

    These students experiences were echoed by the allegations of other plaintiffs and classmembers. Some students were made to wait for weeks after classes had begun to receivemodified equipment and alternate format materials. When instructional media was finallyprovided, it was often inadequate. Books on tape were inaudible, or the wrong chapterswere recorded. At times, accommodations were modified or eliminated without notice inthe middle of an academic term. Many students experienced architectural barriers through-out the campus.

    Now, thanks to a recent settlement, these doors of opportunity have swung wide for theseindividuals and other students with disabilities.

    The DRLC and the Law Offices of David G. Geffen secured the rights of CSUSB studentswith disabilities in a recent federal class action settlement (Jackson, et al. v. CaliforniaState University San Bernardino, et al). The settlement resolves a challenge to what plain-tiffs alleged was CSUSBs systemic failure to provide consistent accommodations and

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  • ABILITY 31

    physical access for students with disabilities. The classaction suit alleged violations of federal and state disabil-ity rights laws, including the ADA and Section 504 ofthe Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

    As part of the settlement, the University has also agreedto spend approximately $11.7 million to remove archi-tectural barriers and enact substantial, campus-widechanges. This will ensure that the more than 300 stu-dents with disabilities who seek services from CSUSBare fully accommodated and well-served. This includesalternative and accessible furniture, accessible softwarein computer labs, campus transportation, staff and facul-ty training as well as student grievance procedures. Theagreement also mandates the creation of an emergencyevacuation plan for students with disabilities.

    Addressing barriers to education is critical to ensuringthat people with disabilities are independent and inte-grated members of society, says Shawna L. Parks,director of litigation for the DRLC and lead counsel onthe case. The scope and depth of the commitmentsmade by the university in this settlement will usher in anew era at CSUSB.

    In fact, it already has. The masters student was awardedher degree in 2007, shortly after the court approved thesettlement. Likewise, the plaintiff with a vision disabili-ty was able to receive his alternative reading materialsand testing accommodations and is back in school.

    This agreement will serve as a model for how campusesacross the nation can appropriately serve students withdisabilities. This is especially significant in light of theincoming influx of student veterans, many returningfrom Iraq and Afghanistan, who are expected to begincollege in the near future.

    by Paula Pearlman & Debra Patkin

    For more information, visitwww.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org

    The Mission of the Disability Rights Legal Center, formerly the WesternLaw Center for Disability Rights, is to promote the rights of people withdisabilities and the public interest in and awareness of those rights byproviding legal and related services. We are located on the campus ofLoyola Law School in Downtown Los Angeles and work with Loyola Lawstudents in all of our programs.

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    By most accounts, low back pain is the leadingcause of lost work time in the US, and perhaps inmuch of the developed world. In the early daysof the Industrial Revolution, at least one physicianassociated the malady with the back-breaking workof railroad construction, and described the condition asRailway Spine.

    Although back pain is somewhat better understood thesedays, it is still the most common complaint heard in adoctors office. Most of these complaints are attribut-able to degenerative arthritis of the spine, which alladults have as a natural part of the aging process. Theword arthritis actually means inflammation in the joints,and the spine is one long series of joints.

    Virtually everyone will experience back pain at somepoint in life. In addition to occasional excruciating backpain, symptoms can include numbness and weakness inone or both legs, difficulty walking, bowel and bladderproblems as well as sexual dysfunction.

    Fortunately, most people will only have a few minorepisodes, which will respond to home remedies suchas rest and over-the-counter medications. Others,however, may require additional measures, includingaltering work habits or replacing an old mattress witha new, more supportive one. Still others who experi-ence ongoing chronic back pain will get partial relieffrom more advanced treatments and go on to live rela-tively normal lives.

    Those with the most severe cases may continue to findthemselves in declining health and be referred by theirgeneral practitioners to see a neurosurgeon. These spe-cialists are trained to operate on the brain and spine.Some orthopedic surgeons also perform spine surgerya procedure which should always be a last resort.

    Traditional therapies include medication, physical thera-py, chiropractics, pain management and sometimessurgery. Non-traditional treatments include acupunctureand acupressure. Unfortunately, no treatment is com-pletely effective in every case.

    Use of non-traditional potions and herbs not regulatedby the FDA should be approached with caution. Mostare ineffective, while others, if used improperly, cancause liver damage and other problems.

    Often, there is a psychosocial component to back pain.Life stressors or depression, for example, may requirespecific therapies. When the stress or depression isaddressed, the pain may vanish.

    Those on a quest to ease chronic back pain shouldbeware. While many therapies are touted, success ratesare disappointingly low. This can be as frustrating forcare providers as it is for patients. In general, doctorstend to believe that the best treatments for a disease arethose that can be scientifically proven. Even the treat-ments for back pain that have been studied the mosthave not produced impressive results.

    A person who has exhausted most available remediesand seeks the advice of a physician can expect a some-what regimented approach. The primary care physicianmay prescribe a slightly stronger pain medication orsimple exercise regimen. This is an appropriate stalltactic, as back pain often resolves on its own or withsimple intervention.

    If symptoms persist despite initial treatments, a primarycare physician may then refer the patient to a physicaltherapist. A trial of physical therapy frequently involvesmoist heating pads, massage and range-of-motion exer-cises applied during a series of several visits per week.Strength training or more rigorous therapies arereserved for periods when pain is absent or minimal.

    Frequently, an MRI scan is obtained to better assess theexact nature of any degenerative changes in the spine. Inthe case of low back pain, the MRI will show the lowerpart of the spine, called the lumbar spine. Aside fromexcluding the rare, more serious diagnosis, this con-tributes little to the initial management of low backpain. Most of the time, an MRI only shows the degener-ative changes in the spine that all adults have. Most ofus are not aware that we have these age-related changesin our spines because we are not having severe enoughsymptoms to warrant an MRI scan.

    When physical therapy is no longer effective, the nextstep may be a referral to a pain management specialist,who usually has expertise in anesthesia or physicalmedicine. This person may invoke a number of treat-ments from careful administration of potent narcotics toinjections of anesthetics and steroids directly into thelumbar spine.

    All too often in this country, the next step is referral toa spinal surgeon (neurosurgeon or specially-trainedorthopedic surgeon). In many instances, spine surgeryis relatively effective. However in others, there is littleor no improvement or the relief is temporary and symp-toms return in a few years. Though most operations arecompleted successfully and many patients recoverwithout a hitch, never lose sight of the fact that suchback operations are considered major surgery andtherefore involve risk.

    For those who suffer pain in their cervical spine (neck),the story is nearly the same. However, degenerativearthritis in the neck can cause symptoms in the arms aswell. Cervical spine disease is fraught with an additionalconcern in that the spinal cord itself can be involved.Pressure on the spinal cord causes a greater array ofsymptoms, some of which may not recover even if thepressure is relieved surgically. This lowers the thresholdfor surgical treatment in the case of cervical spine dis-ease, but does not change the scrutiny with which thedecision to have surgery should be made.

    In the next installment of our special series on painmanagement, well discuss fibromyalgia.

    by E. Thomas Chappell, MD

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    vote. State and local governments may comply withADA accessibility requirements in a variety of ways,including redesigning equipment, reassigning servicesto accessible locations, altering existing facilities orconstructing new ones. In choosing the manner inwhich to comply with these ADA regulations, stateand local governments must give priority to thosealternatives that provide the most appropriate, integrat-ed setting.

    Despite these laws, many people continue to experienceaccessibility problems at their local polling place. As aresult, I requested that the U.S. Government Account-ability Office (GAO) survey people with disabilitiesabout their perception of their access to polling placesand to alternative voting methods.

    The GAO visited nearly 500 polling places nationwideduring the 2000 election and reported that 84 percent ofthem had one or more barriers to accessibility. In addi-tion, the GAO found that none of the places surveyedoffered ballots in an alternative format or voting equip-ment adapted for voters who are blind. While the resultswere discouraging, their exposure did add support forstronger provisions for voters with disabilities in 2001sHelp America Vote Act (HAVA).

    This act contained a number of provisions designed toincrease accessibility for voters with disabilities. Forexample, state and local governments are eligible toreceive federal funds to make paths of travel, entrances,exits and voting areas at polling places more accessible.Additionally, each polling place is now required to havevoting equipment that accommodates everyone, includ-ing the blind and those with low vision, so that theyenjoy the same privacy and independence that is accord-ed to others.

    Following the passage of HAVA and the 2004 election,the GAO has reported improvements in state provisionsand local practices. However, we do not know the extentto which these advances have resulted in improvedaccessibility of polling places and voting systems onelection days. Thats why I have requested that GAOreexamine the issue during the 2008 election.

    I know that many of you disability advocates continueto work with state and local officials to ensure that localpolling places are accessible, and I commend you onyour efforts. Together, we can ensure that voters withdisabilities can fully participate in the electoral process.

    Senator Tom Harkin, D-IA


    Senator Tom Harkin



    Dear ABILITY Magazine Readers,

    Voting is the foundation of our American democraticsystem, yet until recently many voters with disabilitiesfaced physical barriers at the local polling place. Thisoften discouraged them from participating in elections.When they did, it was often by absentee ballot.

    I believe that people with disabilities should have achoice about how they wish to vote. If they want to goin person, they should be able to do so. Consequently, Ihave worked to ensure that they have the option to votein a full, equal and integrated manner.

    Historically, accessibility issues facing voters with dis-abilities on election day generally fall into two cate-gories: physical access to the polling place and ballotaccessibility. There are a number of federal laws that,together, are intended to afford voters with disabilitiesaccommodations in both of these areas.

    Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voters who areblind, disabled or unable to read or write are entitled toassistance by a person of the voters choice. This personis permitted to accompany the voter into the booth.

    The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handi-capped Act of 1984 requires that all polling places forfederal elections (with a few exceptions) be physicallyaccessible to voters with disabilities. Additionally, statesare required to make available voting aids for those whoare disabled, including instructions printed in large typeat each polling place and information about telecommu-nications devices for those who are deaf.

    Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)requires that people with disabilities have access to pub-lic services, programs or activities, including the right to

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  • In their new book, Big Brain: The Origins and Futureof Human Intelligence, authors Gary Lynch, PhD,and Richard Granger, PhD, ask, Does size matter?Here are some clues:

    1: Based on physical size alone, mens brains are biggerthan womens. (But if women are right, men think withanother part of their anatomy anyway.)

    2: There were pre-human primates, now extinct, whosebrains were relatively larger than ours.

    3: Chimpanzees perform better on certain memory tasksthan college students.

    To knock some sense into their own skulls, Chet Cooper, editor-in-chief, and E. Thomas Chappell, MD,managing medical editor of ABILITY Magazine andneurosurgeon, recently spoke with Granger, who is aprofessor at Dartmouth College in Massachusetts,about the book he co-authored with Lynch, a professorat the University of California, Irvine. The two scien-tific researchers undertook a groundbreaking study ofthe human brains evolution. Both prominent neurosci-entists, they trace human intelligence back at least tensof thousands of years to before the Boskops, pre-humans with brains 30 percent larger than ours. Grangerand Lynch endeavor to understand Alzheimers via acomputer model, to comment on the limits of the humanbrain, and to examine such stellar thinkers as AlbertEinstein.

    Chet Cooper: Gary is in California and youre in Mass-achusetts how did the two of you get together to writethis book?

    Richard Granger: We both used to be at UCI. I came toDartmouth to take an interdisciplinary position. Dart-mouth College founded the Neukom Institute, which isaimed precisely at the questions that interest me most.

    Namely, how can we understand brain cell connectionsas circuits? How can we understand the complex sys-tems of the brain so thoroughly that we can actuallybuild simulacra or computer models of them? Theinstitute is in the building stages now at Dartmouth, andits an exciting and challenging prospect.

    Cooper: When you think about building a computermodel of the brain, given the complexities of what goeson with memory and the organs other functions, canyou say how youre going to pull that off?

    Granger: Sure. There are a few key ideas. One is to consider the connections between brain cells and treatthem like electrical circuits. We can actually build brain-like circuits and study them.

    Another notion to consider is that much of what webecome as humans is learned. Some things are hard-wired, so to speak, based on evolution and genetics orDNA. Other things are acquired from our various lifeexperiences. That combination is the one-two punch sci-entists are striving to understand.

    We are trying to build circuits with an architecture simi-lar to that of the brain. Computers have what is called anarchitecture, which is a set of circuit designs that can dosuch tasks as calculations. Though computers are nowquite sophisticated, they cant think, recognize, orexecute many of the tasks that humans can do with theirbrains. How well we understand the brain is anothermatter entirely, but our knowledge base continues toevolve.

    We can already teach the circuits weve built. Weliterally hold up a cup in front of a robot and say,Heres the cup. Then we move it and say, Now thecup is over here, and then we ask it, where did thecup go? We teach it the relationships between objectsin the real world, what it perceives, what it hears.

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    The computer can respond to simple language, such asyou might use with a child, to format its own internalsoftware models for what its seeing and hearing.

    This sounds a bit like magic, but existing computer tech-nology allows machines to change their output based oncertain input. This is analogous, in a rudimentary way, toa child never touching a hot stove again.

    Tom Chappell: How does this relate to Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

    Granger: Attempts at AI have had a goal related to oursfor a long time. Much of the early study in this area wasnot focused on the brain. It was focused on studyinghuman behavior, and trying to see if we could imitatethat behavior with a computer. In all fairness, this is a bitlike trying to understand a carwithout looking under thehood. More recent endeavorspay attention to what theactual mechanisms or theengines of the brain areand how they actually work.Our idea is to better under-stand the intricacies of brainfunction to give us a realistic shot at building roboticbrains.

    Cooper: I guess one of my concerns is the concept ofignorance and how we might replace a persons igno-rance with a certain idea. Thats the good thing aboutignoranceits curable. If you introduce the person toinformation in a specific way, you may get them tounderstand it. Often it seems the only way for a personto understand something is by experiencing it. Im talk-ing about temperament theory, specifically a tempera-ment that is rigid. The only way a person with a rigidtemperament is going to change their thinking is by hav-ing an experience that is different from what they per-ceive to be the truth.

    So, Im wondering how thats ever going to be possible.If you look at extremists, for instance, they truly believewhat they believe. There seems to be no way to changetheir views, no matter how inaccurate they are. So thequestion is, if you could understand the brain mecha-nisms that support this kind of thinking, could youchange it for the better? And, if you could, would it beethical to do so?

    Granger: Thats a tough issue, and one thats on all ofour minds these days. Picture a teenager who just does-nt realize that a car really is dangerous until he gets inhis first accident. At that point, his whole conception ofwhat hes doing while hes driving changes. The abilityto simulate experiences is already happening in what wenow call virtual reality. Many kids these days areexposed to this in video games with uncertain results, tobe sure. If we can train people by simulating reality so

    that they perceive realistic experiences, it may be asuperior way to learn.

    If, however, you are talking about a person unwilling tolearn new ideas, thats a different story entirely. One cer-tainly doesnt want to turn to thoughts of brainwashing.

    Chappell: Im curious about the scientific approach youuse. Are you studying the circuitry of the brain andthen trying to emulate it with electrical circuits, or areyou learning more about electrical circuits and then try-ing to see if they apply to the brain, or both?

    Granger: Its the former, much more than the latter.Were trying to take the computational and engineeringknowledge that we have and apply it to brain function,to help us see if we can understand what kind of

    machine a brain really is.

    However, working in the otherdirection is quite interesting, aswell. If we can understand braincircuits, we can build artificial cir-cuits that might be able to plug

    into brains. Circuits that might beable to act as prosthetics and improve

    or repair brain function.

    Chappell: The quantum leap is the connectionbetween the brain and the mind. Eric Kandels work onthis problem won the Nobel Prize. As you know, he wasable to show chemical changes in the rudimentary ner-vous system of a simple inverte