Well, what a great time to be a Boston sports fan! The Pats are undefeated, and the Celtics look better than I thought. By the way, congrats go out to the Boston Red Sox for winning the World Series for the second time in four years--a clean sweep! Before 2004, it took 86 years to win another title; now they've won two World Series titles in my lifetime-- wooooooooooooooo! I believe with the pitching and young stars they have now, we will see more championships in the near future.
*Why are the World Series games televised so late at night? The first pitch is not until 8:30 P.M with a half hour pre-game show before that. Many games did not conclude until well past midnight. What is Major League Baseball doing? How are kids going to become baseball fans when they grow up if they can’t watch the World Series when they are young? At the very least, they could put one game on during the daytime.
*What can I say about the Patriots that has not already been said or written about them? They are winning with so much ease that it's making their games boring. The only way I see them losing is if they lose their focus. Most people are looking forward to the Indianapolis game on November 4. Indianapolis is the only other undefeated team in the NFL, but New England has scored 86 more points than Indy. They have also scored 14 more touchdowns than the Colts. I would look after their bye week for a possible slip up--or maybe the December 3rd game at Baltimore.
*What a year in college football! In all honesty, I’m not a huge fan of Saturdays in the fall . But I root for one team, Notre Dame (I don’t what to talk about it!). This year, there have been more upsets than I can ever remember. The top two teams in the BCS (Bowl Championship Series) have lost (LSU and South Florida). As of this week, Boston College is number two and UCONN (let me type that again), UCONN football is ranked 13th. Like I said, a wild and unpredictable year.
*I understand why the National Football League played a regular season game in London, England; they are trying to globalize American football. However, I don’t think it will work. American football is not a global game. It was born in the U.S and is played mostly in the U.S.. In England, they have rugby-- which is a much faster and skillful game. Globalization is easier in basketball or even hockey because these sports are played all over the world. I think it will take more time and money to educate the world about American football. And by the way, rugby players don’t play with pads on.
*As an advocate for people with disabilities, I have to say that we have a long way to go. I was reading a press release about ESPN's coverage of The Breeders’ Cup. One of the features in the coverage was about Greg’s Gold, a horse named after a Special Olympics athlete. What made me so angry was this: the release said that the athlete "suffered" from Down syndrome. A person with Down syndrome does not "suffer;" they have it, they are born with it, and people do not die from Down syndrome. I had hoped the piece for TV would show better judgement and use better language than this (It did). This is why we need with-tv.
This week's spotlight shines on the Australia Men’s national wheelchair basketball team. This profile comes from the Paralympic website.
After placing second at the 2007 VISA Paralympic World Cup in Manchester, Great Britain, only losing the final match against Paralympic champion Canada in a “last second thriller”, won the final of the 2007 Arafura Games in Darwin, Australia, against Iran (75:37), taking home the gold medal and title of Oceania Paralympic Champion. For the new Rollers’ Head Coach Ben Ettridge, Australia's Gold Medal victory at the Arafura Games took his win-loss record to 9-and-1, since he took over from his mentor Murray Treseder, who departed Australia to take up the top job with Great Britain in March.
The team has a good mixture of talented young players and more experienced older ones, the youngest being 22 years of age and the oldest 41.
Career Highlights of the Rollers: Gold medal - Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games Silver medal - ATHENS 2004 Paralympic Games Bronze medal - 2006 IWBF World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands
The perfect "10-out-of-10" wheelchair accessible building may not exist. But after visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey California, I know where I'd send someone who asked me how to build - and staff - one. The first thing I'd ask them to do is get in a wheelchair and roll along beside me. Imagine yourself in that chair and take the tour with me.
Enter. Yes, the Aquarium has the usual awkwardly tall ticket booth, but, the staff person is quite accommodating. During this construction period everyone enters through the big, manually opened door at the Group Entrance. It swings easily - with no threshold at all. Onto the easy-rolling tile floor -- you're in! Spaciousness is the first impression.
Look up. The Marine Mammal display leaves you feeling dwarfed and awed. You can find a spot near the fixed benches to comfortably view the continuously playing movie on whales, seal lions and dolphins. Look over your shoulder. The Sea Otter home can't help but make you feel playful. There's a ramp near the cafeteria to take you to the sunken viewing area right up against the glass. Close and dark, but not claustrophobic, as you sit face-to-face with an impressive wall of water. Otter antics and audience appreciation make the space entertaining. For a top-down view of these critters, look at the monitors on the wall.
Plan your path. Rule #1 is: Don't miss the feedings! A close second: Take in the movies.
Mr. Renensland, President and Founder of [with]tv, has been a professional actor, writer, director, and teacher for thirty years. He is a member of Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio
Artists, and the Actors Equity Association. Mr. Renensland has appeared in over 400 television commercials, numerous radio ads, and hundreds of print ads as well. He has appeared on Broadway as well as with The
Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, The Missouri Repertory Theatre, The
Cleveland Playhouse and The Dallas Theatre Center.
television he has been seen in Hill Street Blues, The Ted Knight Show,
Family Ties, We Got It Maid, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, a number of
Daytime Dramas and in the films Black Beauty, Batteries Not Included
and Friendly Persuasion with Richard Kiley. He was a Theater Arts
Professor at Kansas University, Clark College, Case Western Reserve
University, and Park College.
Mr. Renensland earned a
B.A. from Washburn University and an M.A. from Trinity University. He
has conducted workshops on Preventing Sexual Harassment, Diversity in
The Work Place, and Disability Etiquette for AMTRAK, The Commonwealth
of PA, Pfizer, The New York Humane Society, The Visiting Nurse
Association of New York and others.
birth of his first child Victoria, who is a person with disabilities, Mr. Renensland has actively advocated for her inclusion. He has written and spoken
extensively on the issue of inclusion of students with disabilities
from preschool through college. Most recently he and his daughter were
invited by The Circles Network to travel to Great Britain and speak to
parents and educators. He has written a variety of plays and is at work
on a memoir of his life with his daughter from birth to college titled,
INCLUDING VICTORIA. He is a member of the American Association of
People With Disabilities and TASH.
It is Howard Renensland's passion and limitless
energy that guide the vision of [with]tv.
Thank you, Jodi, from Reimer Reason, for allowing us to publish your post:
When our children are little they learn new things every day. It seems
that every time we turn around they are learning a new word or a new
skill. When our kids have disabilities, we notice every new
thing they say or do. They have to work so hard and it sometimes takes
so long, as parents, we don't take these milestones for granted.
our children get older, the new skills don't come every day or even
every week. They seem to be few and far between. You will understand
then, my cause for celebration. Yesterday, my teenager rolled his eyes
at me. Yes, there was no mistaking it. We were sitting on the couch in
the living room and we had a guest over. We were chatting about driving
and driver's licenses. I turned to Kellen and said to him, "In order to
get your driver's license, you need to take a big test". That was when it happened. He rolled his eyes at me. It was age appropriate. It was great. I'm celebrating.
p.s. It took ya long enough!
Cross-posted on Reimer Reason Have a post you'd like to share? Please submit your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org
[with]tv would like to say a special "thank you" to John G. Box, President of Colours in Motion. A very successful businessman who markets a
variety of fine products to our community, John is always giving
with his time and advice. As we attempt to build [with]tv into
something we all believe it can become, we are grateful to John for being supportive of our efforts and of the [with]tv mission.
The link above includes the responses from several Latino actors and others in the film and television business for their thoughts on the industry - from obstacles and expectations through inspirations and successes and advice. What is interesting is how much their replies mirror some of the frustrations of people with disabilities in trying to get into film and television and reminds us that we have to 'go beyond' to make sure we are seen as professionals capable of playing an extensive breadth of characters and not just "disability" roles.
In particular, I would like to quote Yareli Arizmendi who has been in films such as A Day Without a Mexican, Fast Food Nation, Like Water for Chocolate and was a regular on '24' as Karima Naiyeer, Reza's mother, in Season 2.
"Not only have I been discounted, but worse: not even considered for a role I know I could have filled to the nines. In its search for efficiency, the Hollywood casting system - addicted to Breakdown Services and a factorylike production schedule - is by nature one that discounts actors by ethnicity, age, abilities or disabilities, gender - in short, everything tat makes up a person's physical image. It takes a creative, not-so-incredibly-pressed-for-time casting director and/or agent to think outside the box, to give an actor a chance to show producers/directors an angle not yet discovered by the system. As an actor, one is responsible for finding 1,001 ways of showing all sides of yourself."
The article itself is long with some great information from a wide variety of very talented actors. Let me close this post with some great advice from Jorge Garcia who has been in Lost, Deck the Halls, and Becker.
"Actors, do what you can to get in the room. Get invited to the party first, and change their minds later. Just get there, because a lot of it is a numbers game, and you need to meet enough of them before they start seeing you for who you really are and seeing what they have to get you work. Everyone's got an obstacle against them, even pretty people. Get in the room and convince enough of them that finally something happens and you get called in for the right part at the right time. That's when the magic happens."
Disability is still very much on the periphery when it comes to maintream media, but there is no reason things have to stay that way!
"Ernesto" runs the cafe at the agency where I work. I noticed that my colleagues weren't encouraging E to do his job independently. I'd had some prior experience teaching cooking classes to blind teens, so I began working with him on grinding and brewing the coffee using non-visual techniques. It's been a couple of months and he's completed training. He no longer needs our assistance to do his job. In fact, he's really great at it. He's a natural salesman, which I really envy.
My colleagues have responded to all this not with encouragement as you would think but by grumbling about his "non- compliant behavior" which I translate to mean that: they (the sighted staff) are made uncomfortable by the fact that Ernesto is doing his job independently- why? because said job involves handling hot liquids? And in what bizarre universe does wanting to do your job on schedule mark you as non- compliant?
Ernesto has come to me complaining about how these same staff members continue to tell him how to do his job. I suggested that he could go on strike on the days these folk's interference becomes too much, but he has chosen to take the high road and negotiate, calling on a winning combination of charm and humor in dealing with these naysayers.
I really don't care what they think. Ernesto loves his job and does it well. His social skills are better than mine. End of story.
Posted with permission by Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Bangkok Post TRAVEL FOR THE DISABLED GAINING MOMENTUM
An International Conference on Accessible Tourism (ICAT 2007) for people with disabilities is to be held in Bangkok between November 22-24 to highlight the need for improved facilities and services for a growing but still largely neglected market segment. Says Scott Rains, one of the conference organisers and publisher of the Rolling Rains Report, a newsletter on travel for people with disabilities, "With a generation of permanently disabled people having experienced increasing degrees of employment, education, and leisure, those of us with the means to travel belong to a consumer group that is only starting to be noticed."
The conference is being backed by Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sport, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, UNESCAP and Disabled Peoples' International Asia Pacific (DPI-AP). It will be held at the UNESCAP convention centre.
There is no registration fee for participants with disability but they have to take care of their own personal expenses as well as of their personal assistant. Accessible bus will be provided for airport pick up and send off. Facilities such as accessible toilets, accessible water fountains, and accessible lifts are available in the convention center.
Essential sessions of the conference programme will be translated into Braille. A large-print programme will be prepared. English will be the official language, accompanied by a sign language interpreter during the conference.
Mr Rains says the conference will contribute to processes of change and development lines of tourism businesses to ensure a favorable environment for attracting tourists and travelers with disabilities and retired, ageing people, including access to built environments and public transport as well as training and employment.
Says Mr Rains, "Travel the world today and you will find that there is a hunger for community and solidarity among people with disabilities. Wherever you go you will find unique opportunities to learn from and contribute to local manifestations of disability culture. When we travel we represent more than ourselves because we are part of a community. The very fact that you have a disability and travel suggests something about your economic condition. It indicates that you have credit, savings, education, maybe a profession that requires travel, but most importantly the ability to make decisions about the course of your life for yourself. That combination of means and dignity are potent means of social transformation."
He adds, "Leisure travel means moving beyond mere survival mode. A small but growing percentage of us have made the transition to economic stability but we are not equally distributed around the world. Travel spreads us around which is to say that it spreads around living examples of an alternate lifestyle; ambassadors of choices still out of reach for some. How we chose to spend those resources - even through our leisure activities - has profound impact."
Mr Rains cited research showing American adults with disabilities or reduced mobility currently spend an average of US$ 13.6 billion a year on tourism. In 2002, these individuals made 32 million trips and spent US$ 4.2 billion on hotels, US$ 3.3 billion on airline tickets, US$ 2.7 billion on food and beverages, and US$ 3.4 billion on trade, transportation, and other activities.
Out of a total of 21 million persons, 69% had traveled at least once in the previous two years, including 3.9 million business trips, 20 million tourist trips, and 4.4 million business/tourist trips. In the previous 2 years, out of a total of 2 million adults with disabilities or reduced mobility, 7% had spent more than US$ 1,600 outside the continental United States. In addition, 20% had traveled at least 6 times every 2 years.
A study by the Open Doors Organization estimated that in the year 2003, persons with disabilities or reduced mobility spent US$ 35 billion in restaurants. According to the same study, more than 75% of these people eat out at restaurants at least once a week. The United States Department of Labor reported that a large and growing market of Americans with disabilities or reduced mobility have US $ 175 billion in purchasing/consumer power.
In the United Kingdom, the Employers' Forum on Disability estimated 10 million adults with disabilities or reduced mobility in the UK, with an annual purchasing power of 80 billion pounds sterling. The Canadian Conference Board reported that in 2001, the combined annual disposable income of economically active Canadians with disabilities or reduced mobility was 25 billion Canadian dollars. A UN survey also found that by year 2050, the numbers of ageing population will rise to 2,000 million and 54 percent of them live in Asia region.
The conference is supported by Pattaya City, Asia Pacific Disability Forum, The Redemtorist Foundation for People with Disabilities and the Council of Disabled People of Thailand. The conference website: http://www.dpiap.org
Advertorial sponsorship messages cost 750 Euro per dispatch. Please contact: Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, 24 Soi Chidlom, Bangkok, Thailand 10330. T: (66-2) 2551480, 2537590. Fax: (66-2) 2544316. Email: email@example.com