Editor's Column - October 2002

Disability Awareness Month is a good time to discuss differing opinions.  The article written by Mr. Janssen and Mr. Ryan on behalf of the Spinal Cord Society (SCS) about Christopher Reeve is their opinion on research.  As many of you know there’s a split in opinions within the community on Cure vs. Care.  This topic needs much more visibility and discussion in the community.  Personally, I’m not opposed to money being spent on research but we need to be cautious not to lose the progress and momentum we’ve made in care for the disabled.  The SCS believes that with enough money spent on research, in the very near future there will be no need for care for the disabled with spinal cord injuries.  If this is true, we have to remember there are many others in the disability community that this research will not affect and who will still need care.  I am a proud member of the disability community and would consider myself a part of it under any circumstances whether my spinal cord were repaired or not.

This month, John Tschida’s column offers another perspective on the topic of Christopher Reeve.

We also welcome your thoughts on this issue.

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Access Press wishes Martha Hage the best.  Her radio show, Disabled and Proud, has kept us informed on so many people and issues over the years, that it’s hard to count.  We look forward to seeing what Martha’s new endeavors will bring the disability community. 

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Thanks to Sue Wolf and Ann Hagen of the University of Minnesota Law School for recruiting Rebekah Orr, a student at the school, to write an article for AP on Ed Larson’s lecture.  Larson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, lectured on eugenics and the effects of gene therapy in the disability community.  Rebekah did a superb job and we appreciate her efforts.  We hope that she will be willing to write again on medical and legal topics of concern to the disability
community.

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Employment is always a big issue in the disability community.  Derek VanderVeen offers us a look into the world of retail and some of his experiences there.  We thank him for sharing his views.

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Ellen Houghton has been filling in as our spirituality columnist and offers a new angle on the subject.  If you haven’t read one of her columns yet, now is the time to take a moment and see if you can relate to her insights.  Ellen, all your time and patience is very much appreciated.

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The Green Party candidate for senator, Ed McGaa, was defeated in the primary by Ray Tricomo. Mr. Tricomo was sent the same question that Access Press asked Coleman, McGaa, Moore, and Wellstone.  To make an informed decision on the Tricomo candidacy, you need to read his response on the front page.

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Terry McAuliffe, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), recently announced a new website (www.democrats.org/disability) that is intended to allow the DNC to speak directly to the disability community on issues of concern.  McAuliffe said: “We remain committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities have the facts on the issues that impact them… and this new website will provide those facts with a click of a mouse.”  We should bookmark this new site for political insight into the Democratic Party.