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Sarah Palin, the elderly, the disabled, older Americans and rural Alaska

[revised]

naomidagenbloom 2008 September 2

Vuee, Vuee, We need to hear MORE from you now about the way Alaska has come into our consciousness via your governor–the believer in “stakeholders.”

Readers can’t get off that easy, Little Red Hen— what questions do folks have?

The reason I have been rather quiet, blogwise, is because the news from rural Alaska about living there isn’t good. There has been next to nothing improved since earlier posts, this includes the past 18 months of the personable Gov. Sarah Palin. I’ll give examples below, but they sound depressing. So readers, what do enquiring minds want to know? If nothing else, I can at least point you to some good sources of facts or commentary from Alaska perspective.

An older friend of mine (from Tucson) sends this musing upon the early photo of Sarah Palin and her caribou ( http://newsminer.com/photos/galleries/2008/sep/01/sarah-palin-growing-alaskan/1156/. It is the photo of the red-nosed caribou NOT a reindeer.)

>My deep reflections, caribou inspired::
1. Macho women don’t need to wear pantsuits to assert themselves.
2. Most currently popular female names go from my daughter Michelle to my mother Sarah.
3. Sarah definitely shoots better than Dick. How about Joe’s expertise with firearms?
4. Candidates should not be judged only on basis of age, gender, and looks.
5. Candidate’s children are given on-stage prominence. It should be unfair to have the youngest ones debate politics, but what about having a food fight?

————————————-

  • there’s the older gentleman who is resigning himself to move 400 miles away from home to be near his grandkids because his grown children had to move to Anchorage to find work to meet the utilities payments
  • there’s all the older people who need an assisted living arrangement or nursing home (a 400 mile trip, if one can afford to get into Bethel from the village to get on the jet)
  • there’s fuel oil at $6-15 a gallon
  • there’s the Bush-Cheney stimulus payments which only went to those who have taxable income. They don’t go to those who cashed in IRAs early to pay electricity or who struggle to make sense of their returns.
  • there’s electricity at 40 cents or more per kilowatt hour (with a subsidy for residences) in rural Alaska (Wasilla pays considerably less, without subsidy)
  • there’s gasoline, needed to go out and “grocery shop” on the tundra or out in the river, at $6 to $18 gallon.
  • there’s gaining grandmother status at 34
  • there’s raising grandchildren at 70
  • there’s having your one-time $1200 “energy check” from the state stolen by your children for smokes and booze

2008-09-04 Look guys, what someone else found
gov-sarah-palin-call-in-kyuk/

2008-09-04 Fact Check of Governor Palin’s Speech http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2008/09/saradise-lost-chapter-twenty-five-obama.html

PALIN: “Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest – and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.”
REALITY: PALIN OPPOSED CRUCIAL EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND SENIORS FUNDING […]

Andrew Halcro does a fine job at http://www.andrewhalcro.com/grading_palins_speech_a

Also: tech support has a listing of reasonable sources at Sarah Palin content

2008-10-27 Palin’s gaffe about her policy on “special needs” while her record shows she has none
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/BlueOasis/~3/431498178/showDiary.do


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Joy into cycling for disabled

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tempo Tricycle specialises in producing tricycles especially designed for those with disabilities….
One of the company’s products was showcased last week to a school teacher and national athlete Joseva Verevou.

“Many families have bike riding as a healthy, cheap and fun activity,” Mr Isham said.

“However, what happens where one of them has no arms or cannot use them, that person has to stay behind or the whole family stays home,’ he said.

…the Fijian-designed and made glider … is a recumbent, where the rider is a prone position and pedals out front.

“You steer it by simply leaning right or left and the bike goes that way, pedalling backward to brake.”

Mr Isham said the cycle was just one of the 135 different cycles and accessories that the company made in Lautoka for exercise and rehabilitation for people with disability.

I can’t find the Fiji office information but the main manufacturer website is

They have quite a range of cycles.

Mr Isham is Sales Manager, Tempo Tricycles International
Manufacturers of Rehabilitation, Industrial, Vending & Recreational Cycles
11/6 Pinacle Street, Brendale (Brisbane) QLD 4500, Australia .
Phone: (07) 3881 1104

For more information about Mr VEREVOU’s projects, see

For more than 20 years, Japan International Cooperation Agency has organized two training courses, “Leaders of Persons with Disabilities” and “Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Promotion of Persons with Disabilities” to promote the creation of a society in which persons with disabilities can take part. To date nearly 400 people have attended the two courses.

Baen Books free for blind, dyslexic, paralyzed, or disabled readers

Go to the ReadAssist or Webscription sites to register. However, I cannot find the specific application link on either site. I will try to find out and post back here.
2007-01-13

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Baen Books all free for blind, dyslexic, paralyzed, or disabled readers Michelle sez, “Baen Books, a publisher of science fiction, will provide its books to fans who are blind, paralysed, or dyslexic, or are amputees, in electronic form free of charge, effective immediately. Baen Books is making this offer in recognition of Veterans Day, and all our disabled military veterans. Many Baen authors are veterans themselves, using a military setting as the setting of their tales. Right now convalescing vets might welcome an exciting, fast-action tale to pass the time.”

Since 1999, Baen has published its new books as ebooks each month, in several formats, with no Digital Rights Management, through WebScriptions (www.webscriptions.net), for a small fee. Now, this service will be available at no cost to the disabled, who must apply for this privilege.

Applications will be processed by ReadAssist

a volunteer group devoted to helping disabled readers find the books they want in the form they need, and join the community of fandom. The application form has been set up by ReadAssist, and can be found through either WebScriptions or ReadAssist.

ReadAssist

contains links to items which will assist in giving a computer its orders, turning pages of paper books, getting text from the computer screen to the brain, or anything else that might aid those with impaired dexterity or impaired vision. Check out the links to sources of e-books and audio books too, under eAvailable Books. And don’t forget public libraries; librarians want everyone to read.

from

Disability across the Socioeconomic Spectrum (USA, NEJM)

The complete article is on-line (free!). It might seem obvious that poorer older people have lesser physical function than those better off, but the article discusses early work history, smoking, education, and earlier age at death also.

Gradient of Disability across the Socioeconomic Spectrum in the United States
Meredith Minkler, Dr.P.H., Esme Fuller-Thomson, Ph.D., M.S.W., and Jack M. Guralnik, M.D., Ph.D. New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 355:695-703, August 17, 2006 , Number 7

ABSTRACT

Background: Although the relationship between extreme poverty and poor health among older adults has long been recognized, less attention has been devoted to investigating whether a gradient in disability exists in the United States among persons with middle-class and upper-class incomes. We attempted to determine whether a gradient in functional limitation exists across the full spectrum of income among persons 55 years of age or older.

Methods: We obtained data from the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, which used the methods and questionnaire of the American Community Survey, a nationally representative survey of 890,698 households with a response rate of 95 percent. Our sample included 149,000 men and 186,675 women who were at least 55 years of age, of whom 32,680 men and 48,111 women reported having a functional limitation (a long-lasting condition that substantially limited one or more basic physical activities, such as climbing stairs or lifting).

Results: A social-class gradient was observed for both men and women between the ages of 55 and 84, a gradient that held true even at the upper rungs of the socioeconomic ladder. For example, in comparison to persons between the ages of 55 and 64 who lived at 700 percent of the poverty line or above, persons of the same age but below the poverty line had six times the odds of reporting a functional limitation. With increasing income, the odds ratio declined. A significant gradient was present up to, but not beyond, the age of 85 years.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that functional limitation in Americans between the ages of 55 and 84 years is inversely related to social class across the full spectrum of the socioeconomic gradient.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/355/7/695?query=TOC


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World Usability Day

World Usability Day is a project of UPA – Usability Professionals’ Association: promoting usability concepts and techniques worldwide. Human Factors International is the title sponsor for World Usability Day.

“Why doesn’t this work right? What am I supposed to do with this now?”

World Usability Day, November 3, 2005, is for everyone who’s ever asked these questions.

This Earth-Day-style event, focused on easy-to-use technology, currently involves plans in more than 70 cities in 30 countries.

World Usability Day promotes the value of usability engineering, user-centered design,and every user’s responsibility to ask for things that work better. The Usabililty Professionals’ Association is doing that by encouraging, organizing, and sponsoring 36 hours of activities at the local level around the globe, all occurring on November 3, 2005.

http://worldusabilityday.org/


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