Tag Archives: Blind

California Family Raising Confident, Blind Child Sharing Successes to Change Perceptions of Blindness


Hayward, CA (PRWEB) June 16, 2010 –

old girl glides gracefully down the escalator with her long white cane. __title__ blind child on escalator] At the bottom, she laughs and says, Thats so funny as people look on in wonder. For anyone in the station that night who believed that blind people are dependent and helpless, their attitudes were likely changed by watching this tiny, young girl move so fluidly and independently. Now parents as far away as Tasmania, Australia are watching these images as the childs family celebrates the shipment of the 100th DVD called, Letting Your Childs Wild Side Out.

When their first child was born at 25 weeks gestation weighing just over a pound, Graciela and Genro Sato could only pray she would live. During the nearly five-month hospitalization that followed, they learned to speak Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) lingo to advocate for their daughters medical treatment. This included five surgeries at four different hospitals in two states, four of which were related to her eyes.

Now, seven years later, their daughter Milagro enjoys downhill skiing, reads and writes Braille, plays trombone and has developed quite a routine on her trapeze in the family room. She enjoys gymnastics and is learning to dance.

How has this family succeeded in raising this confident child and how are they now inspiring other families? To show how they did it, the Sato family has created a unique DVD. They show by example why its critical for families (and educators) to let go of the urge to overprotect children with disabilities. They show the relationship between letting the child master a sense of self-confidence and achievement of early independence.

The messages apply widely to families with kids with disabilities and to the larger population that includes many parents who may be overprotecting their typically-developing children.

In the presentation, they share five years of photos and videos of their daughter as an infant, toddler, preschooler and kindergartner participating in physically challenging activities that greatly aided in her development. Not overprotecting and setting her free to explore movement in a variety of ways enabled their daughter to achieve an early sense of self-confidence through a strong mastery of skills.

The project originated as a presentation Graciela was asked to present to educators and parents at the California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped (CTEVH) conference in 2007. Dr. Penny Rosenblum, a professor at the University of Arizonas department of Special Education, suggested that Grace create the DVD. She knew that families and educators would benefit greatly from this powerful message most effectively delivered by a parent.

The Satos tackled this project in the evenings after putting their children to bed, utilizing skills gained as professionals in Silicon Valley. The multimedia DVD titled, Letting Your Childs Wild Side Out: Raising the Wild and Confident Blind Baby, Toddler and Preschooler, was the result. The DVD has now shipped to agencies and schools in half of all the United States, plus agencies in Canada and Australia.

Graciela now works as an educational advocate running Tiscareno-Sato Advocacy Services. She has presented her workshops to educators and parents in Los Angeles and San Francisco, early intervention service providers in Tacoma, the Blind Babies Foundations home counselors, the Infant Development Association and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC). The NOPBC is the parent division of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the largest organization of blind individuals in the United States. The NFBs tagline is Changing what it means to be Blind, now also a goal for the Sato family.

Graciela states: As our daughter gets older and learns to navigate the world independently, we worry less about her and how she will grow up. We instead worry about the people she will encounter that will attempt to limit what she can do for herself and what she can achieve. We want to dispel the existing widespread ignorance on the topic of blindness in our society. We want to hear less pity when people see our daughter walking by with her cane and more comments like, Wow! Look at how independent she is at such a young age!

Genro, the childs father, states, We want to show the world that blindness can be relegated to being an inconvenience. One physical disability does not need to define and limit anybody. These are the values weve absorbed from the NFB that we want to disseminate as widely as we can. Sharing our daughter as an early example of competence and confidence is the best way we can do this.

The best reward for Milagros parents comes as feedback from families raising blind children much younger than Milagro who have been inspired by the DVD. At a recent family camp for families with blind children, Grace met Bonnie, mother of a two year-old boy who is blind.

Bonnie and I met at the pool, Grace recalls. She recognized Milagro because her sons Orientation and Mobility Instructor had shown her the DVD when her baby boy was six months old. She said that the philosophy we adopted, about never losing the child to the disability, completely influenced how shes raising her child. Shes raising her son to be a happy, independent, adventurous little boy.

Proceeds go directly into Milagros college fund. The family donates ten percent of all sales to Blind Babies Foundation and the California Association of Parents of the Visually Impaired. These two organizations provided early intervention services and parent-to-parent knowledge in the first three years of Milagros life.

Graciela is actively seeking funding to create the entire DVD in Spanish. http://www.babymilagro.org/dvd

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The Onder Law Firm Supports Consumer Advocacy Groups in Their Condemnation of Window Blind Manufacturers’ Refusal to Produce Safe Corded Window Covering Products


St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) September 06, 2011

In a maneuver of extreme protest, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Independent Safety Consulting and Parents for Window Blind Safety representatives walked away from their participation in what they stated was a “flawed year-long process (that) has not eliminated strangulation risk”. For the first time, these organizations were allowed input in long-needed safety standards improvements for the corded window covering products industry, providing much needed information from those organizations acutely aware of the hazards posed by accessible window blind cords. The Onder Law Firm, which has represented families having suffered a window blind cord strangulation tragedy in 31 states, is supporting the valiant efforts of these organizations, many of which are motivated by personal tragedy.

On June 15, 2010, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission joined with safety commissions from the United States, Canada and the European Union made demand upon the window covering industry for a swift and comprehensive process that concurrently eliminates the risk factors causing deaths and injuries from all types of corded window covering products. In response, the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) pledged to produce new window covering safety standards to eliminate cord hazards that it would announce in October 2011. The Window Covering Manufacturers Association presented a draft of its proposed new safety standards in Washington, D.C. at a meeting on September 1, 2011. The utter failure of this safety standards draft to so much as reduce, let alone eliminate, strangulations risks prompted the safety organizations protest of this process.

Recently, consumer advocates have become skeptical as industry has attempted to slip back to old product designs which have been documented to kill dozens and dozens of children. Linda Kaiser, Director of Parents for Window Blind Safety, says It has become increasingly clear that the Industry is merely paying lip service to the CPSC, and has no real intention of addressing the number one cause of child strangulation death in America. Appalled by the Industrys lack of action, on August 4, 2011, Inez Tenenbaum, head of the CPSC, reiterated to Industry, After hundreds of preventable deaths over the last two decades, the time is now to finally, once and for all, eliminate the strangulation hazard with exposed window blind cords. Notice how I did not say, reduce the hazard. I said, eliminate the hazard. I am standing before you feeling less than confident that this process is headed in the right direction.

Cordless products are commercially available, yet the Industry has not lived up to its 1994 promise to the CPSC to update product designs and eliminate hazards, said James Onder, a lawyer who has represented nearly 50 families whose children have been killed or catastrophically injured on blind cord hazards. Indeed, today the Industry, in a bold and brazen move, not only thumbed its nose at the United States CPSC, but Health Canada, and the entire European Union. The Industry simply does not care. Manufacturers would rather buy off lawsuits than spend the additional $ 1.00 per product necessary to eliminate cord hazards, says Onder.

The time has come for action. The Consumer Product Safety Commission must intervene, rejecting the ineffectual voluntary safety standards and imposing mandatory safety standards that will truly eliminate the risk of strangulation from corded window covering products. To show your support for blind cord safety and to urge the CPSC to invoke rulemaking to force standards and a mandatory recall, we ask that you please click through and sign our online window blind cord safety petition.

James G. Onder, is the managing partner of the law firm Onder, Shelton, OLeary & Peterson, LLC. His firm has represented nearly 50 families whose children who have been killed or catastrophically injured on blind cord hazards. He is considered the nations foremost legal authority on window covering litigation, in the last 10 years having represented more families in window covering lawsuits than all lawyers in the country combined. The Onder Law Firm offers information pertaining to window blind cord dangers at http://www.windowblindcorddangers.com.

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Weather and Emergency Alarm System for the Deaf and Blind from Maxi-Aids Now Offered by Rehabmart.com


Elberton, GA (PRWEB) June 04, 2013

Rehabmart.com, an online e-commerce company that sells rehabilitation and medical supplies, has joined into a distribution affiliation with Maxi-Aids, Incorporated, to offer Midlands Weather and Emergency Alert System Alarm Kit 2 to a wider consumer audience. Specializing in products that enhance independent living for users with blindness, low vision, deafness, hearing impairments and other physical challenges, Maxi-Aids is owned and operated by individuals who are blind, deaf and autistic. Because they understand the needs of the disability community firsthand, they have evolved into the worlds leading provider of products for independent living, adaptive products and products specifically designed to enhance lifestyles by making everyday tasks simpler to perform.

As an early warning defense system in any emergency, the Midland Weather and Emergency Alert System Alarm Kit 2 that Rehabmart now offers from Maxi-Aids helps users protect themselves and their loved ones in an emergency. This system monitors the NOAA Emergency Broadcast System 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provides immediate notification of threatening weather or civil emergencies. Dually functioning as an AM/FM clock radio with an alarm and snooze, this system includes color-coded alert lights, a powerful 90 decibel alert tone, and an accessory jack for an optional pillow vibrator or strobe light to help alert users with low vision or hearing, or the deaf and blind to dangers in their vicinity.

The included alarm monitoring kit has the ability to connect all the existing alarm devices within a dwelling to the wireless link system, covering a broad area and displaying up to three alarm channels. First on the market to fit a small to large scale building, this flexible alarm monitor system works well for spaces from small residential houses to motels and apartments. Emergency battery backup ensures that this system will continue to work during a power blackout as well. The innovative Built in Time Condition signal filter ingeniously keeps the alarm from sending an accidental false alarm.

We are excited to introduce more consumers to the amazing security benefits of the Weather and Emergency Alert System Alarm Kit 2 via Maxi-Aids, said Hulet Smith. Early warning is the best defense to prepare for an emergency, and this system helps alert all individuals to bad weather and other possible dangers in their immediate areas. The deaf, hearing-impaired, blind and individuals with low vision can enjoy peace of mind knowing that this system will alert them to any emergency situations which include inclement weather announcements, evacuations, biological hazard warnings, civil emergency messages, contagious disease warnings, hazardous material warnings, special marine warnings, power plant warnings and child abduction (Amber Alerts). We are proud to offer this, and all of the helpful products for independent living from Maxi-Aids.

About Rehabmart.com:

As an Occupational Therapist, the founder of Rehabmart, Hulet Smith, has the breadth of knowledge and experience necessary to match the needs of his customers with the very latest innovative products in the field of medical supplies and rehabilitation equipment. As a parent of special needs children, he has a personal interest in finding the best products to improve the lives of those who are disabled and medically challenged. Rehabmart.com is committed to providing superior customer service, competitive pricing and exceptional product offerings.

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