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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Safety Tips for people with a disability and the elderly. The blog is completed by an experience blogger. 


SAFETY BEGINS WITH AWARENESS

It is more important in the current times to be safety conscious if you are disabled or elderly.  More assaults are occurring especially to the disabled.  Here are some awareness and safety tips for the disabled and anyone concerned about their safety.

Be aware of your surroundings and who is nearby.  Always keep an eye out and always have an escape route when traveling.  Make note if you see someone watching you.  Go to safety if you feel uncomfortable.  Be cautious if someone you don't know stops you to ask for the time or directions.  They may be legitimate or they may be a threat.  Answer the question and then leave.  If questions become more intrusive walk away from the individual without saying a word. 


AT HOME

Make sure you keep all doors and windows locked.  If you have sliding doors or windows, make certain they are braced with wood or metal to keep the door from opening if pried.  

Use light times to make it appear that you are home.  

Make sure you have several working flashlights.

When you leave home, keep a radio or television on to make the home appear to be occupied.

If possible, get to know your neighbors.  If you trust your neighbors, let them know if you will be gone and when you will return.

If you are planning on being away for a period of time, stop your newspaper if you get one and have mail stopped.  

NEVER open the door to strangers.

Make sure you have a peep hole in your door so you can see who is there. 

If you think you are being followed, DO NOT GO HOME.  INSTEAD DRIVE TO THE POLICE STATION. 

If you arrive home and believe something is amiss, DO NOT ENTER.  GO TO A NEIGHBOR'S HOME AND CALL THE POLICE. 

Make sure you have your car keys out when leaving home and your home keys out when arriving home so you don't waste time fumbling with your keys.

CAR

When you enter your car, put the key in the ignition and leave.  Don't spend any more time parked than you have to

NEVER PICK UP HITCH-HIKERS.

Unless there is a clear medical emergency, do not stop to help anyone.  Call 911 instead and ask them to check the situation immediately. 

DON'T LET YOUR CAR RUN OUT OF GAS:  To the best of your ability, keep the tank full.

Make sure you have a mobile telephone with you in the event of mechanical or other problems. 

Keep a functioning flashlight in your car that you can easily reach.

OTHER SITUATIONS

When going to work or other routine locations, vary your routes.  Avoid using the same route to and from home in case you are being watched.

When possible, travel with a friend. 

Never put your home address or other identifying information on a business card.

When riding on a bus, have your money or token ready and seat yourself as close to the driver as possible. 

In large parking lots, write down the location of your car so you do not have to search.  It is always safer to go directly to your vehicle.

Do not carry large amounts of cash.

If you carry a purse, make certain you have physical possession of it at all times.  Never set it down unwatched. 

Use grocery carts for laundry and packages so your hands are not full.  When your hands are full, you make an easy target.

Always keep your head up and look around at your surroundings.  People who do not do this are frequently targeted.

SELF DEFENSE TECHNIQUES

Basic Information:  Individual abilities vary greatly. Use the techniques you are able to use or modify them to meet your physical abilities. Many parts of your body can been weapons with which to defend yourself:  head, teeth, elbows, fingers, hips, hands, knees, and feet.  Those carrying purses may have other weapons to use:  keys, brush, comb, perfume spray (to the eyes), pen or the purse itself. Use what you have such as a cane, but make certain you keep a firm grip on it as any self defense weapon can be taken away and used against you.  Always SCREAM.  NEVER FIGHT 'FAIR'  DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO STAY SAFE.


If someone comes up behind you and grabs you in a choke hold, do the following:  1) turn your head into the crook of his arm.  Doing so will release your throat from pressure and allow you to respond by (a) fist or heel to the groin (b) stomp your heel on his foot.

If you are bear hugged from behind:  (a) after striking the face hit your knee to his groin (b) kick him in the groin with your foot (c) stomp his foot (d) hit your knee to his stomach or face.

If you are bear hugged from the front and your hands are not free: (a) stomp his foot (b) hit your head to his face (c) hit your knee against his groin (d) kick his shin bone.

Other affective areas of his body you may strike (a) hair - grab back of hair and pull straight down, and if possible, place your other hand on his chin and twist (b) eyes - gouge your finger(s) into his eyes (c) nose - slam your fist down on the top of his nose or hit the tip of his nose and push upward (the latter can be lethal) (d) throat - strike the adam's apple with a closed fist, hard object or elbow. (e) fingers - if grabbed from behind, grab and pull his fingers backward, snapping them out of joint (f) groin - use a front kick between his legs and up into the groin, fist or open hand to the groin or raised knee into the groin.

Most of this information was provided from material written by SHORIN-RYU KARATE 

From time to time our organization sponsors self-defense training for the disabled.  For more information about this visit the following facebook page:  Elkhart Advocacy of the Disabled 

Blog # 2

Can Marijuana Help the Disabled?

 

Can Marijuana Help the Disabled?

BASIC FACTS:

Marijuana come from a plant called "Cannabis sativa" which is grown world wide.  Over 200 chemicals reside in the plant including the two best known -THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive ingredient and CBD (Cannabidiol).  Marijuana is derived from the mixture of the dried and shredded flowers of the plant and is greenish-gray in color.  Hashish (hash), also common, is derived from the resins of the plant and the oil is a sticky, black liquid. 
There are many ways to consume marijuana including rolling into a joint with rolling paper or smoking it with a pipe such as a bong.  There are also numerous forms of edibles that can be consumed and more are being developed every year since it has become legal in some countries and in some parts of the United States.
Marijuana is the most commonly used "illegal" drug in the US.  A Gallup Poll, completed in July 22, 2015 indicated that 44% of the population had tried marijuana and 10% use it on a regular basis.  A cautionary note about the accuracy of such surveys is since it is illegal in the US, some respondents may not report accurately.
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States even though it has been proven to be safe to use.  Marijuana is not addictive and no deaths have ever been reported from its direct use.  On the other hand, the most popular drug in the world, alcohol in all of its many forms, is addictive and results in millions of deaths each year.  The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in 2012 3.3 million deaths occurred world-wide due to the direct use of alcohol. 

FACTS VERSUS FICTION:  

It is extremely difficult to make definitive statements about the effectiveness of Marijuana in its various forms due to the interference of government into research of these potentials.  In 2014, Business Insider reported up to that time only 6% of the research done on marijuana involved the potential medical benefits.  Although more research is being conducted in the US at this time, the government continues to classify marijuana at the federal level as a schedule I drug and routinely discourages impartial, third party research into the medical benefits of marijuana.
My conclusion is that there is ample reason to begin impartial intensive research into the benefits of marijuana medically based on a sampling of the few studies done and the anecdotal data and claims of persons who have witnessed improvements of various medical conditions after using one or more forms of marijuana.  I consider it an act of extreme negligence on the part of the US government to continue obstructing the research and use of marijuana.

MEDICAL USES FOR MARIJUANA:

The following are uses and potential uses of marijuana to improve medical disorders and conditions. 

  1. PAIN:  The most common medical use of marijuana is for the reduction of pain caused by various disorders.  Marijuana seems to be most effective with neuropathic (nerve) pain of various origins.  Just for use of pain, marijuana could improve the lives of millions of people. Below is a very modest number of disorders which cause neuropathic pain:

          (a) Diabetes          (b) Fibromyagia          (c) Drug Toxicity such as drugs for HIV and others such as antibiotic toxicity.          (d) Neuropathy caused by alcoholism          (e) Neuropathy caused by amputation          (f) Facial Nerve Disorders          (g) Shingles          (h) Hundreds of others
      2.  Multiple Sclerosis:  Some research and many claims have suggested marijuana is very                       effective in treating MS.
      3.  Nausea:  Yes, this is a serious condition for many.  Research suggests that marijuana both            reduces nausea and increases appetite which is essential for AIDS patients and many others.
      4.  Epilepsy and Other Seizure Disorders:  Some research and numerous reports via anecdotal           data have shown improvement or elimination of seizures after the use of marijuana.  Much of            data has not been adequately researched and I strongly recommend the government get out of            the way of research and also fund it.
      5.  Anxiety:  Many studies and even more testimonials indicate that marijuana is effective for            the reduction of anxiety.
      6.  Reduction of Opiate Addition:  The use of marijuana in place of the usual opiates for severe            pain has been proven to reduce addiction rates in states where it is legal by over 25%
     7.  Traumatic Brain Injuries:  In the early 2000s, the NFL began funding research to investigate           whether marijuana could reduce the effects of TBIs on former players.  The research should be          upgraded for all other causes of TBI, many of which are caused during armed conflicts.            A large number of US Veterans come home with TBIs.
     8.  Depression:  Some studies suggest that depression can be reduced significantly with the use of           marijuana.  More research is needed.
     9.  Bipolar Disorder:  Some research studies indicate that Bipolar Disorder can be improved with           the use of marijuana, especially with regard to cycling.
   10.  Arthritis:  Some research and many testimonials have indicated arthritis can be improved or           prevented by the use of marijuana.  More research is needed.
   11.  Cancer:  Some research and many testimonials have indicated that cancer can be treated           effectively with marijuana.  Much more research is needed.
   12.  Alzheimer's Disease:  Some research has indicated that this disease is also helped by the use           of marijuana.
   13. Palliative Care:  Some research indicates that marijuana can be very beneficial to patients         who are involved with such end of life care.
It should be noted that many of the diseases/disorders listed above (such as seizure disorders) were treated with a mixture of CBD (Cannabidiol) - non-psychoactive chemical and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) the psychoactive chemical.  Note that THC was given in very small doses.
There are dozens of other diseases and disorders where claims have been made of major improvement or cures after using marijuana.  Unfortunately, the government has continued to block impartial research to further investigate in a scientific manner the possibilities for these conditions being treated by Marijuana.  Also note that the research is so poor, it has not been determined if marijuana impacts driving abilities significantly and if so, at what levels. 
It is my opinion that the government, the Alcohol Industry and the Pharmaceutical Industry continue to block legalization of this harmless drug and research into the positive effects.  We must put an end to this.
We must legalize the use of marijuana for the sake of millions in the US and elsewhere who could benefit greatly from its medicinal effects.
Not discussed in this article is the value of legalization of marijuana in terms of the numbers of lives destroyed by non-violent persons being incarcerated for decades for using a beneficial drug.  The ACLU reported that in 2010 52% of all drug arrests were for marijuana, a beneficial and harmless drug.

 

Blog # 3

Effects of Employment Discrimination on the Disabled

First, just a few simple facts about employment discrimination.  According to survey results in 2014 from the Disability Compendium, over 65% of people with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 65 living in the community are unemployed.  Those lucky enough to get jobs are paid an average of 32.2% less than non-disabled people.  There are more disabled people under the poverty level than any other minority.   These statistics do not even take into consideration older Americans who are still capable of working and sharing their expertise. 


In Elkhart, I frequently here employers whining about how they can’t find people willing to work.  Bunk!  There are thousands of disabled and older folks willing to work if they would just consider them.  The bigotry amongst business and government in this area and throughout the nation is a disgrace.   Even if only half of the 65% of unemployed disabled people in Elkhart could work, that would increase the workforce by thousands.  And then there are older workers who have spent their lives developing skills that could be shared and help local and national business.  But.... go ask some older workers how it is to find a job.  It almost always takes over 1 year and almost never allows them to use the skills they accrued over a lifetime.  All that knowledge; all that ability --- out the window.  But let me not forget to include unions who do nothing to help the disabled get the jobs they are qualified for and deserve.  I have requested support for our efforts from the AFL-CIO, Teamstears, AFSME and a couple of others and was completely ignored.


I will use myself as an example.  I worked for 35 years before becoming disabled.  I accrued 22 years in management including upper level management.  I have a degree and graduate work.  But because I am 65 and disabled, the only job I was given was at Walmart as a People Greeter for $9/hour.   Keep berating Walmart but you are a hypocrite if you don’t also include the 90% or so of government entities and businesses that won’t hire the disabled or older Americans.   I worked with people with disabilities, the entire time but the following agencies had no desire to hire me:  ADEC, Corvilla, Logan, Benchmark and others.  This is just one little example of the ignorance displayed by these organizations who opt to hire inexperienced people over experienced people with proven competence. 


What does this do?  It keeps the disabled and older Americans in the poverty range.  It increases the stigma of being unemployed.  For example, those who get SSDI, Medicaid, etc. because they are disabled and no one will hire them are berated and ridiculed as lazy and leeches.  It is a catch-22 (if you have read the book).  Business and government won’t hire the disabled but they will denigrate them for their own actions refusing to hire the disabled and older folks.  A very irrational and illogical process. 


Just so you know, we have tried many times to get the city of Elkhart and regional organizations who supposedly serve the disabled to publicize the percentage of their work force who are disabled.  They have all refused.  


It is time for we the disabled and the elderly to demand our rights to be hired for the jobs we are the most qualified to do.  In order to do this, we need to band together and start speaking in solidarity.  Together we have power.  Business and government want us to stay fracture and frightened to keep us from using our power.