Editor’s Column – December 2005

Happy holidays to every one! We at Access Press hope your New Year is far better than all your previous […]

Happy holidays to every one! We at Access Press hope your New Year is far better than all your previous years. The days are passing faster then I can keep up with and much faster then I remember them doing when I was younger. Maybe, that is the way it’s supposed to be. I know if the days were as long as they were when I was 12 years old, I would be too worn out to do anything past noon. But wait a minute; I’m already too tired to do much after noon! Here’s to more energy for all of us as we head into the New Year!

I mentioned in last month’s column that our Web site is doing great. Our Web master, Alice Oden, has written in much more detail this month on the status of www.testing.accesspress.org. I ask you all to visit the site and give us your thoughts on how we could make it more enjoyable, more informational, and easier for you to access. Please call us or write with any input.

Lisa Schmidtke has committed to writing a new regular column on products and services available for making life easier while living independently. In her first installment Lisa looks at home-delivered foods and groceries. She has given us some excellent resources and insights on costs and accessibility of these services. We look forward to Lisa’s new column; she has some great ideas for the coming months.

Jane Hampton has also been contributing frequently, and this month, in time for holiday visits to family and friends, she offers some helpful thoughts and tips on making a visit to someone’s house that may not be as accessible as you would like or are accustomed to. Jane presents some inexpensive alternatives.

Starting in 2006, the “DOT” area on the top of the front page will feature Disability Access Symbols.

Our topic this month is Braille and the universal sign for Braille availability. Herb Drill contributes a very interesting article about Braille and its history. Along with this article we have some other articles pertaining to low vision.

I don’t want to be a nag but, with only a few weeks left, don’t forget about Medicare Part D. Do your research and make an informed decision on what plan is right for you.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development along with several other disability organizations did an in-depth survey on employers and disabled employees. The survey didn’t find any new startling information but the survey did tell me that we need to continue spending a lot more time teaching employers how successful their businesses can be when they employ people with disabilities. The survey makes me think that the cost of employing someone with a disability is far outweighed by the loyalty, compassion and productivity of a person who hasn’t always had good job opportunities. One way we could all help is by getting more involved with the Minnesota Business Leadership Network (MnBLN). The Minnesota’s BLN has been struggling but is doing fabulous work and needs our support. There is talk that the national BLN conference could be held here in the twin cities and with community support that would be a great opportunity to bring awareness and add more business participation to the BLN which in turn will create more job opportunities.

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