Saturday, May 26, 2007

Project Vote :: Voter Registration :: THE CHALLENGE IS ON..

Another activity to be revisited very soon, but in the mean time.......

To everyone who participated in the People First of Georgia-sponsored Project Vote voter registration training in Warm Springs, Georgia, a few weeks ago, the challenge to get people registered is on.. People First of Clayton has come out strong and ahead with 94 people registered by two people in less than 24 hours..

The rest of us have some SERIOUS catching up to do.. If you have have new voter registration numbers to report, wish to get in touch with People First of Georgia, or would like to get information on starting your own chapter, please check them out over at their Yahoo! group listserv, PeopleFirstOfGA..

Friday, May 25, 2007

So, what's everybody doing to celebrate Olmstead decision this year..?

Drawing: Long Road Home

Getting the following from a few different directions right now, Georgia Advocacy Office and disABILITY LINK, both in Decatur, Georgia.. :waving to Cheri and Linda:

Not too late to organize something to celebrate in your own community.. Marches from a point of interest to or through an institution are very popular with my friends.. If you get down to the last second, you could still get together and go out to dinner, anything, and still bring awareness to those around you..

Advocacy Tip: For next year, stop right now and put yourself an entry in your favorite calendar program, such as Yahoo!'s Calendar.. Set it to start reminding you a few months ahead of time so you can start encouraging those around you to get involved, too..

Remember, June 22, 2009, the Ten Year Anniversary of Olmstead decision, is just around the corner, too.. Hint, hint..

PS.. If you would like to volunteer, get involved with the event in Georgia, give a shout to Cheri Mitchell: 678-755-6015..

Long Road Home 2007 :: It’s a Celebration!!

Friday, June 22, 2007 :: 12:00 noon

Join activists from around the state for a Rally at the Georgia State Capitol

We will be celebrating the Olmstead Decision of 1999 and the victories won this year.

  • Approval of Georgia’s Money Follows the Person application
  • The passage of The Advanced Directive Bill
  • The passage of the Medicaid Buy-in

After the rally, everyone is invited to March with us to the Atlanta Public Library. Endeavor Freedom will be filming people’s stories.

We all have a story to tell, share yours.

The stories will be preserved for the Georgia Disability Rights Exhibit.

What Begins As Simplicity Speaks To a Change For the World to See. Be the Change!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

HHS Press Release: Pandemic Preparedness Blog..

Will probably elaborate more on my own participation in the CDC's pandemic flu community forum last year, but, for now, can tell they're already touching very much on the various topics we all bantered around that particular Saturday..

Very brief summary is that we very much need to become as independent as possible as quickly as possible because regions of undetermined sizes will come to a screeching halt to stem the spread of disease.. Previously established local circles of support will be paramount to the survival of persons with disabilities during this times of national crises..

Of note about the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog is that this is an unusual method of getting the message straight out to the people and skipping the middle man, so to speak, such that rumors don't get the chance to begin.. Remembering back to that Saturday's forum, one of my own concerns was that communication could possibly be affected in an immediate crisis.. Doing all that we can pre-crisis to get the facts and not fiction to everyone is crucial, again, to the survival of all..

Note: Will go ahead and post now then see if I can't sniff out a few more links as resources related to their release..

For Release: Immediately
Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Influential business, health care, faith-based and community leaders participate in pandemic preparedness blog and forum hosted by HHS

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog, a five-week-long blog about pandemic preparedness. Participant bloggers include some of the nation's most influential business, health care, faith-based and community leaders. This online event is part of a new campaign to help Americans prepare for a potential influenza pandemic and engage U.S. leaders in the challenge to help others prepare.

"The conversation about individual preparedness for pandemic flu must extend nationwide through all possible channels, including social media and the Internet," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "The blog summit is an innovative and efficient forum for bringing together leaders for a lively discussion on the pandemic preparedness movement."

HHS is one of the first government agencies to utilize the participatory nature of the Internet to create a dialogue around a specific issue or campaign. This effort to engage individuals in an online conversation is the one of many steps HHS will be taking to carry out its campaign to encourage Americans to prepare. By preparing now, individuals will be better able to withstand the impact of a pandemic, slow the spread of disease, and lessen the overall impact to themselves, their families and to society.

Ideas and dialogue generated during the leadership blog will contribute to HHS' upcoming pandemic influenza leadership forum in June, an event which will bring together approximately 80 U.S. leaders representing the business, faith, civic and health care communities. The dynamic leadership forum will call on participants to help Americans become more prepared for an influenza pandemic by leveraging their influence and expertise in their communities to actively promote individual pandemic preparedness.

"It may not be possible to predict with certainty when the next flu pandemic will occur or how severe it will be, but it is essential to prepare ahead of time and that time is now," Secretary Leavitt said. "We are the first generation ever to have an opportunity to prepare in advance of a pandemic. Government alone can't prepare the nation for a pandemic. This is a shared responsibility and the challenge requires leadership from those most trusted and respected in their communities."

The pandemic-focused leadership blog gives national leaders the opportunity to participate in an ongoing and critical conversation about the potential impact of a pandemic on individuals, families, communities and workplaces. Participating bloggers will be asked specific questions related to the threat of a pandemic in the U.S. and will collaborate on ideas for what can be done to help their employees, constituents, customers, congregations and clients prepare now.

Approximately 16 influential leaders, including leading authorities on pandemic flu, will blog throughout the next five weeks. A few of the participant bloggers include Pierre Omidyar, Founder and Chairman of Ebay and Co-founder of Omidyar Network; David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service; and Greg Dworkin, Founding Editor of Flu Wiki and Chief of Pediatric Pulmonology and Medical Director of the Pediatric Inpatient Unit at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn.

The Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog will continue through June 27 and is open to the public and media. Comments are welcome and encouraged by all who visit the blog at

In conjunction with the blog, HHS will hold a Pandemic Influenza Leadership Forum on June 13 in Washington, DC with representatives of the business, faith, civic and health care communities. Using materials prepared by HHS, local leaders will be asked to reach out to the people they represent with the essential steps necessary for pandemic flu preparedness. By preparing now, individuals will be better able to withstand the impact of a pandemic, slow the spread of disease, and lessen the overall impact to themselves, their families and society.

An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza ("flu") virus appears in humans; the new virus causes serious illness and death, and spreads easily from person to person worldwide. Past influenza pandemics, like the one that occurred in 1918, have led to: high levels of illness; death; disruption in normal, everyday activities like going to school, work, or other public gatherings, and economic loss.

Related Website..

Resource:: HHS press releases..

Each time your cutesy, fancy, inaccessible Flash presentation fries my 'puter..

I gets just a little bit more ill..

Each time your cutesy, fancy, inaccessible Flash presentation fries my 'puter..

I have to go through the entire reboot process of shutting everything down and then starting back up all over again..

Each time your cutesy, fancy, inaccessible Flash presentation fries my 'puter..

I'm just that much less likely to come back and set a spell on your cyber porch..

Each time your cutesy, fancy, inaccessible Flash presentation fries my 'puter..

I'm going to take just that much closer a look at those billions upon billions of other webpages offering a much more accessible virtual sandbox in which to play..

Each time your cutesy, fancy, inaccessible Flash presentation fries my 'puter..

You can bet your bottom greenback(s), these fingertips won't be the only ones..

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

AJC :: Hartsfield-Jackson climbs into tie for second in satisfied users..

Just forwarded this to a number of lists that I'm on.. Fair warning: It may take a free registration/subscription to participate..

This quick article from today's online AJC summarizes a California-based J.D. Power and Associates survey that found Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport being tied for second overall regarding customer satisfaction.. According to the article Atlanta's airport is most improved in baggage check-in, accessibility, terminal facilities [cleanliness of terminal] and baggage claim..

Thought that some may have travel-related experiences to relay regarding the accessibility and universality of the same.. Please don't forget to take this opportunity to also share good experiences, too, to let people know what does work..

If you're thinking of commenting, jump right in because some comment sessions are closed after end of business hours the first day an article appears online.. Never to fear, we can always contact the paper along with those featured after the fact through the use of snail mail, phone calls, and emails should we feel they really need to hear our experiences.. :: 140,000 new parents compromised.. By Georgia's DHR..

Ladies and gentlemen, we have just crossed over into..........

The Twilight Zone..


To those looking for something to back up the extreme negatives of disability-specific databases, got your something right c'here..

To everyone else, what was it I said not too long ago about how this shtuff affects all in the community.. Hitting close enough to home yet..?

From 140,000 new parents compromised, by Dan Kaplan, Secure Computing Magazine, May 22 2007 10:48..

Forms containing the sensitive information of about 140,000 parents of newborns in the US are at risk for compromise after they were not shredded upon disposal, the Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) has told parents in a letter.

DHR, which oversees the state Division of Public Health, said in the letter mailed last week that it improperly discarded records containing the Social Security numbers and medical histories of parents whose babies were born in the state between April 2006 and March 16 of this year.

How the data forms loss was (and wasn't) discovered..

Lisa Moery, spokeswoman for the DHR, told today that the incident came to light after an investigative reporter for a local television station discovered the records in March in trash bins outside a facility.

"We weren't aware of it until last week," Moery said.

The article goes on to credit Kevin Simzer, as chief marketing officer of Entrust, with the professional observation that.. doesn't matter unless organisations ensure employees understand the value of sensitive data while also having the proper policies in place.

"It sounds like they really didn't have these things in place," Simzer said.

The article concludes by referencing that this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened.. It mentions that a Georgia state government contractor misplaced the very personally identifiable information for a reported 2.9 million health care services recipients..

To those contesting the concept of disability-based databases, these are the kinds of things that need cited for, if an organization in the business of securing sensitive information cannot keep that information safe, protected, private, what are the chances the average technically-inexperienced, heavily volunteer-centered organizations are going to be able to do that much better..? No offense to those organizations, but we have to be very real about the danger that disclosure of personally identifiable information forever forward puts in the path of our vulnerable extended family..

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dear Big Oil :: The value of each additional dollar you take from me...


One dollar..

One greenback..

Four quarters..

Ten dimes..

Twenty nickels..

One hundred spanking brand new shiny pennies..

Potentially one warm meal in my belly (wait, not quite done yet)..

Times four days plus..

That is, if I splurge at each sitting and cook two packages of generic Ramen noodles recently bought from Wally World..

Why post it..? Why expose that very shameful part of this unusual leg of Life..?

Because nothing else seems to be reaching your Hearts..

As you unceasingly continue to reach deeper and deeper into our pocketbooks..

Not that I expect this to change anything, though..

But you can't blame a Girl for trying..

Because this Girl knows she is not alone..

Several times today, almost seemingly frantic, maybe even desperation sensing emails have found their way into my inbox, glaring at me that you, you who own and run the Big Oil Companies, you who have gabillions of spanking brand new shiny pennies in each your own.. sigh.. silk-lined pockets are heading the price of one gallon of gas to at least $4.00..

With a bullet..

Two years ago, I could take a trip to Decatur from here to see my friends who are my Lifeline, the folks down at disABILITY LINK, by dropping about $10.00 in the tank.. Even seems like there was more in the tank at trip's end than when I started at the time..

Now, two very short years later, I'm lucky if $15.00 gets me down there and nearly back.. The tank is certainly lower than when it started when today's version of $15.00 worth of gas is added at trip's begin..

And we won't even go into what it's doing to everything we buy that uses fuel to get where it's going.. (Is there anything that doesn't..?)

Yup, safe to say each night that I've made a trip somewhere related to my disability advocacy efforts and then I sit down to my Ramen noodles, I think of you all..

No fibbin'..

You know.. There's only one person who has the most of anything, 'cause that's what it's all about to you all.. It's a game, a money game where you're consciously ravaging everybody else through the cost of gasoline purely because you can..

For your own personal rewards.......

For the bling.

Isn't there even one of you all who wants to be the Hero and not..?

Just one..?

To someone somewhere times untold numbers, each $1.00 you bump, nay, gouge that gas up per gallon is four plus less warm meals in the belly of a stranger you will never know..

Per gallon..

Peaceful dreams.........

Inspiration:'s Stop Price Gouging Campaign..

The Warmth in the Sun :: They say You can't go Home again..

Flipper and Friends, Little Surfer Girl Roman Ride

With Home being whatever it was Life was in the past..

Before the Reality of Today..

But every once in a while something hits your inbox that throws you back so fast, your Head and your Heart truly spin..

Enter Stage Left: The Beach Boys with the announcement of their album, The Warmth of the Sun..

Cyber hugs from..

Little Surfer Girl..

Monday, May 21, 2007

FDA :: Safety Alert on Avandia..

Making the rounds today from the FDA..

Media Inquiries: Susan Cruzan, (301) 827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: (888) INFO-FDA

FDA Issues Safety Alert on Avandia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of a potential safety issue related to Avandia (rosiglitazone), a drug approved to treat type 2 diabetes. Safety data from controlled clinical trials have shown that there is a potentially significant increase in the risk of heart attack and heart-related deaths in patients taking Avandia. However, other published and unpublished data from long-term clinical trials of Avandia, including an interim analysis of data from the RECORD trial (a large, ongoing, randomized open label trial) and unpublished reanalyses of data from DREAM (a previously conducted placebo-controlled, randomized trial) provide contradictory evidence about the risks in patients treated with Avandia.

Patients who are taking Avandia, especially those who are known to have underlying heart disease or who are at high risk of heart attack should talk to their doctor about this new information as they evaluate the available treatment options for their type 2 diabetes.

FDA’s analyses of all available data are ongoing. FDA has not confirmed the clinical significance of the reported increased risk in the context of other studies. Pending questions include whether the other approved treatment from the same class of drugs, pioglitazone, has less, the same or greater risks. Furthermore, there is inherent risk associated with switching patients with diabetes from one treatment to another even in the absence of specific risks associated with particular treatments. For these reasons, FDA is not asking GlaxoSmithKline, the drug’s sponsor, to take any specific action at this time. FDA is providing this emerging information to prescribers so that they, and their patients, can make individualized treatment decisions.

"FDA remains committed to assuring that doctors and patients have the latest information available to make treatment and medication use decisions. In this case, FDA is carefully weighing several complex sources of data, some of which show conflicting results, related to the risk of heart attack and heart-related deaths in patients treated with Avandia," said Steven Galson, M.D., M.P.H., director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "We will complete our analyses and make the results available as soon as possible. FDA will take the issue of cardiovascular risk associated with Avandia and other drugs in this class to an Advisory Committee as soon as one can be convened."

Avandia was approved in 1999 for treatment of type 2 diabetes, a serious and life threatening disease that affects about 18 to 20 million Americans. Diabetes is a leading cause of coronary heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation. Since the drug was approved, FDA has been monitoring several heart-related adverse events (e.g., fluid retention, edema and congestive heart failure) based on signals seen in previous controlled clinical trials of Avandia alone and in combination with other drugs, and from postmarketing reports. FDA has updated the product’s labeling on several occasions to reflect these new data, most recently in 2006. The most recent labeling change for Avandia also included a new warning about a potential increase in heart attacks and heart-related chest pain in some individuals using Avandia. This new warning was based on the result of a controlled clinical trial in patients with existing congestive heart failure.

Recently, the manufacturer of Avandia provided FDA with a pooled analysis (meta analysis) of 42 randomized, controlled clinical trials in which Avandia was compared to either placebo or other anti-diabetic therapies in patients with type 2 diabetes. The pooled analysis suggested that patients receiving short-term (most studies were 6-months duration) treatment with Avandia may have a 30-40 percent greater risk of heart attack and other heart-related adverse events than patients treated with placebo or other anti-diabetic therapy. These data, if confirmed, would be of significant concern since patients with diabetes are already at an increased risk of heart disease.

Avandia is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, which is based in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Butterfly Byte :: Check bulk and spam folders regularly for "strays"..

A quick geekette tip here..

There's a little bit of "something" going on out there these days that we're going to have to start watching each other's backs over: Some of our advocacy-related emails are starting to find their way into spam and bulk email folders now..

The best way to combat this is to set up a self-imposed regular schedule to check those same folders just in case this is indeed a new tactic to be used against effective advocates.. If digging in the spam and bulk-type folders is not something you think you'll remember, any one of the miscellaneous reminder programs out there can do the remembering for you..

Personally, I've been using Yahoo!'s Calendar feature for things like this, but many other similar programs abound.. And for free..

Having pulled some eight or ten fellow advocates' emailed correspondences out of the spam folder and moved them back into the Inbox just this past week alone, can't begin to emphasize that there's no time like this very second for everyone to start watching each other's backs as best as possible under these particularly unusual circumstances..

Happy, Safe Surfing.. :)

Allen L. Roland :: "Here's to the Crazy Ones"..

Among other untold webpages and detours already since awakening, today's cyber trip included a stopover at Allen L. Roland's web blog posting of The Walking Dead / P.T.S.D...

Catching my eye just to the left then came Here's to the Crazy Ones.. REALLY liked it..

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things.


Would that you called North Georgia home..

PLEASE take the time to read and really digest what he's saying in his The Walking Dead / P.T.S.D... On any number of levels, what he shares applies to anyone, anyone who has ever experienced a Life-shattering experience..


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On Liberal Bashing..

Stopped momentarily to reflect on Liberalism, Centrism, Conservatism et al(l) in response to a Liberal bashing blog that pulled up during an Internet search on the politically correct way to reference homelessness for another post sitting in draft..

Results from the World's Smallest Political Quiz aside, don't have a clue exactly what I am.. Increasingly becoming less and less important in the scheme of things as Life's just too short to waste it pondering the small shtuff..

Do know that, whatever it is I are, those likemindeds I run with don't spend their Days and Nights spuing Hate towards others.. They do, however, endlessly, selflessly spend those same Days and Nights doing all in their power to better, nay, save the Lives of countless thousands upon thousands of absolute and total strangers, doing so literally to their own Lives' very last breaths..




Just what the dickens is it about those who value the same that can bring still others to such abusive ire..?

Monday, May 14, 2007

ABC News Now/Prevention Magazine :: Picture of Health Contest..

You know what..? I honestly don't know what to think of the Picture of Health Contest featured by ABC News Now and Prevention Magazine.. Well, not so much about the contest as it is the, sigh, maybe overly "mushy" way one website referenced the individuals and depicted the contest.. The word I need alludes me.. Ha, got it.. "Patronizing"..

What I most definitely AM for regarding the Picture of Health Contest is that, through Kate Adamson's participation, light continues to be shed on the pain that is the starvation and dehydration of [incapacitated patients]..

Cool beans.. Forever in our Hearts and Minds, Terri.. May there always be those who will never let it go..

Atlanta Paratransit Action Today :: MARTA Headquarters, Lindbergh Station

A forward representing a cooperative effort of several Atlanta-based disability advocacy organizations.. Fifty rides is not enough when one considers that this barely covers the coming and going to work, let alone all the other activities one must perform just to maintain the status quo of Life..

This MARTA Paratransit action takes place in little less than two hours.. If you're anywhere near the Atlanta downtown area right now, please help out by show of Body and Voice..

Snipped for brevity

WHAT: MARTA Paratransit Action for People with Disabilities!

WHEN: Monday, May 14, 2007 -- 12:00 noon until..

WHERE: MARTA Headquarters at Lindbergh Station
2424 Piedmont Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30324

For more information, call Cheri Mitchell at 678-755-6015

WHY: People who ride para-transit vans now pay $105.00 dollars for one month's worth of unlimited rides. The MARTA Board of Directors is now proposing that para-transit riders must pay the same $105.00 dollars, but for only 50 rides per month! 50 rides per month is not enough!

Even though People with Disabilities riding para-transit pay double what others pay, they get:

  • Poor Service
  • Late Para-transit Pick Ups
  • Almost No Response from Dispatch
  • Long Hold Times when Dispatch Does Respond


  • Unlimited Rides!
  • On-time performance of 95% (Industry Average)
  • Ride times of 60 minutes or less
  • Timely response from Dispatch with hold times of no more than 5 minutes.
  • No Trip Denials

Cross-posted at: Georgia Disability Advocates' Calendar..

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Personal to Self-Advocates :: Two questions to ask any entity..

You're contemplating supporting, be it virtually, financially, or spiritually:

  • Does the organization in question advocate the support of the self-advocate Voice under all circumstances..?
  • Does the organization in question advocate the desegregation of persons with disabilities under all circumstances..?

If you encounter a "yes" answer to the first, cool beans, for there are those who answer "no".. Should an entity choose to advocate the squelching of the newly empowered self-advocate Voices springing up all over our World, one cannot help but doubt the motivation of an entity that openly, publicly advocates to (seemingly) more powerful entities that they throw the self-advocate Voice into the figurative Trash, especially should that original entity be one that itself presents a public facade of encouraging independent living..

If you encounter a "yes" answer to the second, the desegregation of persons with disabilities under all circumstances, cool beans, again.. To those who answer "no" to this question, one might do well to ask why they choose to support an action that will only serve to encourage other entities to follow suit, thus setting backwards a movement that has taken some 30, 40-odd years plus to create, the 100% full, unfettered inclusion of all persons with disabilities in our communities..

Just one person's most humble O.. The Choice, as always, is yours..

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Calf Path :: The reason I never delete..

Anything until opened with at least a quick glance for fear precious email gems would be missed..

The following snippet is from the poem, The Calf Path by S.W. Foss.. A member of the W3C's www-html listserv just featured a different snippet from the same poem to illustrate what came across as her point that just because a cow path has been worn as is forever is no reason to give in to popular demand and grandfather something in, especially when that something goes against the stated mission of an entity's purpose..

The Calf Path..

And from that day, o'er hill and glade.
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because 'twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed - do not laugh -
The first migrations of that calf.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

We can make the conscious *CHOICE* to stand around wasting precious time and energies..

Bashing [things]..

Or we can make the conscious CHOICE to get involved and change things from within..

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Hidden Shame :: Undoubtedly triggering material for psych survivors..

Can't ever seem to get beyond, get any further than Alan Judd and Andy Miller's first paragraphs that reflect those three-digit numbers my original website predicted regarding community mental health care, let alone in hospital..

115 reported suspicious deaths..

194 reported cases of physical and sexual abuse..

Got more news for you..

These are only the ones the likes of Andy Miller and Alan Judd had the time and resources to dig like H-e-double-toothpicks for..

These are only the ones who somehow still had something left to come forward with..

These are only the ones who still had someone who believed in them enough to come forward for them..

For those who are teetering, there are many, many out there who will help when you are ready.. There is nothing more empowering than coming forward and speaking out to make it stop for the next guy fixin' to walk through those very same doors..

When you're ready.......

{{ You }}

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

NCD :: DOJ Issues New Installment of ADA Technical Assistance Materials..

Quickly forwarding along as this type of change has a snowball effect on whom it ultimately touches.. When you hear mention of key phrases such as "accessible design" and "universal design", this is one of the places to turn for insight..

PS.. This early arriving email is a sign your NCD has hit the ground off and running this morning.. Don't forget they are a public entity to whom you may email your concerns and suggestions for their considerations:

Tool Kit For State and Local Governments (new chapters 05/07/07): "On December 5, 2006, February 27, 2007, and May 7, 2007, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued installments of a new technical assistance document designed to assist state and local officials to improve compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in their programs, services, activities, and facilities. The new technical assistance document, which will be released in several installments over the next ten months, is entitled 'The ADA Best Practices Tool Kit for State and Local Governments'. The Tool Kit is designed to teach state and local government officials how to identify and fix problems that prevent people with disabilities from gaining equal access to state and local government programs, services, and activities. It will also teach state and local officials how to conduct accessibility surveys of their buildings and facilities to identify and remove architectural barriers to access."

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Memory loss versus longevity :: Life's strange little ironies..

In clearing out my inbox and came across a couple of slightly dated MedlinePlus articles that couldn't help but generate a quick, "Ah, the irony of it all.."

The first article was about a study that gingko biloba may not have any effect on memory loss, Alzheimer's, dementia, etc, but that it did show the possibility its usage was prolonging Life.. The next article then proceeded to lament the worldwide cost of care for persons experiencing memory loss who were..

Living much, much longer these days, thus the increasing and sizable cost of their specialized health care..

There is some real Life humor to be seen in the irony, not to mention the old "Truth is stranger than fiction"..

While I'm at it, another article coming out that same week focused on CREB (cAMP response element-binding), a brain protein researchers have reported to have discovered affects memory retention when manipulated in mice.. Their foresight at this point is that they could see one day being able to manipulate memories into healthy brain cells and away from dying brain cells in, say, Alzheimer's and brain injury patients, individuals.. Now that's cool..

FDA :: Proposal for new black box warnings about suicidal thinking, behavior..

In light of all that has been occuring across our country of late, not unexpected to start re-seeing this type of press release become more frequent.. From these fingertips, forget that it is addressing "young adults".. If ANYONE of ANY AGE starts feeling strange, weird, out of sorts, and especially unusually or unexpectedly violent, either suicidally or homicidally, PLEASE seek professional feedback immediately..

Always be aware of, listen to, and know what your body is telling you.. BUT, at the same time, don't let paranoia get the best of you.. Work within yourself to find just that balance of knowing what should be occurring and what is indeed an early alarm for times ahead..

For me, it was Serzone.. The most unbelievably violent, literally saw red emotions came over me in a flash absolutely out of nowhere during the most pleasant, enlightening conversation with a friend.. Can still "see", feel that very moment it occurred..

What coninues to byte about it was that I kept telling the professionals and all I got back was, "Serzone doesn't do that to anyone.." End of discussion. Period.

Wasn't so empowered by others at that Time.. Wish I knew then.. :wink:

Soooo.. Should you find yourself wearing those same shoes, or should you find yourself in a place where you are uncomfortable "complaining", as you might feel it to be, find someone you trust to sit with you in your presence and advocate for change in your meds, treatment.. Be it a family member, friend, member of your church or local civic group, you have the right to have someone help you speak up if you need that accommodation..

If you are still not listened to, become 1) a self-advocate and 2) an advocate for others by turning to places like your local or state mental health advocacy agencies, your local CIL (center for independent living, yes, they're for you, too), and/or state advocacy office.. Don't stop until someone has been able to help you receive accountable mental health care..

For your very Life..

Cyber hugs..

May 2, 2007
Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242
Press Officer: Sandy Walsh Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA Proposes New Warnings About Suicidal Thinking, Behavior in Young Adults Who Take Antidepressant Medications

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed that makers of all antidepressant medications update the existing black box warning on their products' labeling to include warnings about increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment (generally the first one to two months).

The proposed labeling changes also include language stating that scientific data did not show this increased risk in adults older than 24, and that adults ages 65 and older taking antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidality. The proposed warning statements emphasize that depression and certain other serious psychiatric disorders are themselves the most important causes of suicide.

"Today’s actions represent FDA’s commitment to a high level of post-marketing evaluation of drug products," said Steven Galson, M.D., MPH, director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Depression and other psychiatric disorders can have significant consequences if not appropriately treated. Antidepressant medications benefit many patients, but it is important that doctors and patients are aware of the risks."

People currently prescribed antidepressant medications should not stop taking them. Those who have concerns should notify their health care providers.

The proposed labeling changes apply to the entire category of antidepressants. Results of individual placebo-controlled scientific studies are reasonably consistent in showing a slight increase in suicidality for patients taking antidepressants in early treatment for most of the medications. Available data are not sufficient to exclude any single medication from the increased risk of suicidality.

The proposed labeling update follows similar labeling changes made in 2005 that warned of a suicidality risk in children and adolescents who use antidepressants. At that time, FDA asked manufacturers to add a black box warning to the labeling of all antidepressants to describe this risk and to emphasize the need for appropriate monitoring and close observation, particularly for younger patients taking these medications. In addition, FDA directed manufacturers to develop Medication Guides, FDA-approved user-friendly information for patients, families and caregivers, that could help improve monitoring. Medication Guides are intended to be distributed at the pharmacy with each prescription or refill of a medication.

Also in 2005, FDA began a comprehensive review of 295 individual antidepressant trials that included over 77,000 adult patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders, to examine the risk of suicidality in adults who are prescribed antidepressants.

In December 2006, FDA’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee agreed that labeling changes were needed to inform health care professionals about the increased risk of suicidality in younger adults using antidepressants. Additionally, the committee noted product labeling needed to reflect the apparent beneficial effect of antidepressants in older adults and to remind health care professionals that the disorders themselves are the most important cause of suicidality.

FDA has been developing language to revise product labeling and update the Patient Medication Guides for these products. Manufacturers of antidepressants will now have 30 days to submit their revised product labels and revised Medication Guides to FDA for review.

Products involved in today’s action include:

  • Anafranil (clomipramine)
  • Asendin (amoxapine)
  • Aventyl (nortriptyline)
  • Celexa (citalopram hydrobromide)
  • Cymbalta (duloxetine)
  • Desyrel (trazodone HCl)
  • Elavil (amitriptyline)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine HCl)
  • Emsam (selegiline)
  • Etrafon (perphenazine/amitriptyline)
  • fluvoxamine maleate
  • Lexapro (escitalopram hydrobromide)
  • Limbitrol (chlordiazepoxide/amitriptyline)
  • Ludiomil (maprotiline)
  • Marplan (isocarboxazid)
  • Nardil (phenelzine sulfate)
  • nefazodone HCl
  • Norpramin (desipramine HCl)
  • Pamelor (nortriptyline)
  • Parnate (tranylcypromine sulfate)
  • Paxil (paroxetine HCl)
  • Pexeva (paroxetine mesylate)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine HCl)
  • Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Sarafem (fluoxetine HCl)
  • Seroquel (quetiapine)
  • Sinequan (doxepin)
  • Surmontil (trimipramine)
  • Symbyax (olanzapine/fluoxetine)
  • Tofranil (imipramine)
  • Tofranil-PM (imipramine pamoate)
  • Triavil (perphenazine/amitriptyline)
  • Vivactil (protriptyline)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion HCl)
  • Zoloft (sertraline HCl)
  • Zyban (bupropion HCl)

For more information:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

ADAPT :: HUD Secretary Comes to ADAPT with Commitments; American Hospital Association Agrees to Meet..

Latest press release on ADAPT's current (non-violent civil) action up in Washington D.C...

For Immediate Release: April 29, 2007

For information contact:
Bob Kafka (512) 431-4085
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504

HUD (US Department of Hoursing and Urban Development) Secretary Comes to ADAPT with Commitments; American Hospital Association Agrees to Meet

Washington, D.C.--- This time around ADAPT didn't have to shut down HUD headquarters, because as HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson stated, "I came to you," when he and three members of his staff met with 500 members of ADAPT in their Washington, D.C., hotel. By the end of the morning, Jackson had stated unequivocally that "Fair Housing is a right." And he made a number of commitments to ADAPT, including:

  • Informing ADAPT, before the September ADAPT action in Chicago, on how many housing vouchers for persons with disabilities he has recovered from the 58% loss in vouchers that the disability community suffered due to a combination of federal budget cuts, and misappropriation of vouchers by local entities that administer the voucher program in communities across the country.
  • Vowing to eliminate the "outrageous" level of discrimination in housing against persons with disabilities. HUD recently reported that 40% of the Fair Housing complaints filed with HUD are based on the "protected class" of disability. This number surpasses, for the first time in history, the percentage of complaints filed on the basis of race (39%).
  • A promise to facilitate a meeting between ADAPT and Reps. Barney Frank (D-MA) and Maxine Waters (D-CA). Frank is Chair of the House Committee on Financial Services, and Waters is Chair of the Financial Services Committee's Sub-committee on Housing and Community Opportunity. This Committee and Sub-committee are responsible for legislation affecting changes to the Section 811 program. ADAPT is calling for a restructuring of the Sec. 811 housing program to provide affordable, accessible, integrated housing, as well as increase the number of vouchers available to persons with disabilities, both of which will require action by Congress. Sec. 811 is the segregated housing program for persons with disabilities. The segregated housing program for older persons is Sec. 202.
  • Jackson committed to work with ADAPT on implementing ADAPT's Access Across America Program, which would provide housing vouchers to persons with disabilities in nursing homes and ICFMRs that, combined with Money Follows the Person and previously existing initiatives in the states, will get people out of nursing homes and into affordable, accessible, integrated housing in their own communities.
  • A promise to meet with ADAPT three times a year, with the next meeting most likely occurring in Chicago during the next ADAPT action, September 8-13.

"ADAPT is pleased that Sec. Jackson came to us, and we are cautiously optimistic at this point," said Cassie James, Philadelphia ADAPT Organizer. "His own personal experience with discrimination gives him a window into the unconscionable discrimination in obtaining affordable, accessible, integrated housing that is experienced by people with disabilities all over America. We look forward to the Secretary keeping his commitments and partnering with us to improve the current sad state of affairs."

In other action on Tuesday, ADAPT took over the building that houses the American Hospital Association (AHA), ultimately receiving a commitment from AHA top leadership to meet with 15 ADAPT members in the next 30 days. ADAPT is demanding that the AHA endorse the Community Choice Act (S 799, H.R. 1621, "amend title XIX of the Social Security Act"); work with ADAPT to develop a hospital discharge protocol that will steer people into community services, not institutional services; put ADAPT on the agenda of the next AHA conference; and finally, write a letter to all AHA member hospitals encouraging them to make discharge referrals that do not inappropriately segregate and institutionalize people with disabilities, thus complying with the U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision.

Commented Gene Spinning Rochester ADAPT, "Hospitals should not be feeder systems for the nursing home industrial complex, and we expect AHA to take a lead in reforming the all too common practice of treating us like cash cows and making automatic referrals at discharge to nursing homes without even exploring what's available in the community."

On Wednesday, ADAPT will meet with Mike Hudson, Chair of the Republican National Committee. ADAPT will also deliver Community Choice Act materials to every member of Congress. Included in the materials is a ten minute DVD compiled from the testimony about the horrors of life in a nursing home that was delivered before a national panel in Nashville during ADAPT's spring 2006 action.

GOOD movie just came on a few minutes ago..

On USA Network ("Characters welcome..")

Patch Adams with Robin Williams playing the real Life-based character of Hunter "Patch" Adams and his Gesundheit! Hospital Project..

Robin's always been a personal favorite of mine and then eventually a hero when he came out about his less-than-perfect Life a number of years ago now..

Hmm.. What an amazing World it would be were it more bountiful in "What box..?"-driven Patch- and Patchettes..

Nanu, nanu.. :wink:

LCCR :: Make the Call to Protect Head Start..

Sharing here because Head Start is one of the many programs that is discussed on any number of listservs devoted to disability advocacy.. If you wish to track H.R. 1429, the Head Start Act, offers a number of options for successfully doing so and, in fact, is probably one of my Top 10 disability advocacy resources for recommendation..

May 1, 2007 - This week, the US House of Representatives will likely vote to reauthorize funding for the successful – and historic –Head Start program. This program, which provides assistance to low-income children and families, has been an important part of America’s effort to promote school readiness and ensure that all Americans are able to receive the education that they deserve.

Unfortunately, even with bipartisan support expected for the reauthorization of Head Start (H.R. 1429), Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) is expected to offer a "Motion to Recommit". This legislative trick would stall the bill, strip it of its current civil rights protections, and legalize religious discrimination.

Call your member of Congress TODAY at 202-224-3121 and urge him/her to oppose this "Motion to Recommit". Tell him/her to support the reauthorization of Head Start (H.R. 1429) without this discriminatory change!

What's at Stake?

Under current law, religious organizations that provide federally funded Head Start programs cannot make hiring decisions based on religion.

The "motion to recommit" would attempt to remove civil rights protections that prohibit religious discrimination against the thousands of employees and volunteers who serve the Head Start program.

Resource: Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/LCCR Education Fund newsletter..