AOK Cover
Back from the Midwest
April, 2008
In This Issue
Are You Covered?
Getting the Message Out
Shi**y Writing Tips
Client Testimonial
2008 Reeve Hosts
March Follow Up
Quick Links
Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
Don't Forget
the Juggling!
Gary ALWAYS Finds a Way To Make a Point With an Amazing Display of Juggling!

Gary Jeans Juggling

Learn All About Juggling at


This month I completed year five of my sponsorship relationship with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center to speak at occupational and physical therapy schools and rehab centers.

I'm just home from 9 talks in 9 days in Indiana and Ohio! See this trip's list below. If you'd like to be on next year's schedule starting in July, please let me know.

I found some extremely special gems on this trip:

Dewey's Pizza in Ohio, N. Kentucky, and St. Louis.

Jeni's Ice Cream in Columbus, OH. (UN-BE-lievably great, and they'll ship!)

Read on, and enjoy!

Disability and You

Are You Covered?

I owe more of a debt than I can ever describe to the intensive rehabilitation I was provided after my spinal cord injury on the Fourth of July, 1973.
Rehab institute of Michigan
I spent 7 weeks in the Detroit Rehabilitation Institute (now the
Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, photo at right), following 6 weeks in acute care.

And they said I did it fast.

Now someone with the same injury is likely to be home after only 4 weeks (compared to my 13), barely realizing what hit them, and certainly not as prepared to get on with their lives as I was.

Rehab makes you strong. Rehab shows you how it works. Rehab helps your family adapt and prepare for coming home. And on and on and on. It makes ALL the difference.

Catastrophic care is getting the short end of the stick in the current health care environment. Here's why.

Employees want to keep their share of insurance premiums low. Employers pass that pressure on to insurers. So catastrophic care gets cut because we'd rather have our office visits paid for.

No one knows what they've lost until they need it.

Go ahead. Look into what kind of rehab coverage you have. You're likely to find a thirty day limit. Or worse.

What's it mean? It means that, should you need it, your chances of getting back to optimal living and independence are reduced, and your chances of immobilizing depression, weight gain, dependency on entitlements, and a whole slew of other nasty stuff is greatly increased.

What's the option? Be willing to pay for more of your standard care so insurance can do what it's supposed to do: cover you optimally when there's a crisis beyond your means.

Better yet: Advocate! Let your employer and insurer know you want a strong rehab benefit.

I couldn't have lived the life I've lived without it.
Getting My Message Out

Reaching the Perfect Audience

My longstanding advocacy goal has been to spread Disability Awareness in the workplace as a way to bring the surrounding cultural understanding of disability up to speed.

So I'm so thrilled to report that I've been chosen to give a luncheon keynote at the U.S. Business Leadership Network annual conference in Portland, Oregon on October 7, 2008!

The USBLN is an organization of business people who recognize the potential of people with disabilities as employees and as consumers.

That pretty much defines my work: to be of service to organizations who get this. I'm so honored that USBLN has invited me in as their partner on the mission.

DEAM Coming Around Again

Reminder: October is Disability Employment Awareness Month. If you're making plans for an event where I could be of service, please contact me soon. My dance card is starting to fill up.

Or tell someone in Human Resources, Diversity, your Disability Awareness committee, or a Disabled Student Services office about me and point them to my One Sheets.

Reaching Even Further

Beginning in May, I'll begin offering Webinars!

I'll start with two topics: Disability Etiquette, and Disability & Sexuality ("the Art of Kissing").

Classes will be an hour long and be limited to 15 attendees using a way cool web-based training tool so you can interact with me.

Stay tuned for specifics soon - including how to get a signed book with early registration.
Writing Tips

Bird By Bird With Thanks to Anne Lamott

It's unavoidable: writing is painful!

Which is why I so appreciated the chapter in Anne Lamott's great book about writing, Bird By Bird titled "Shi**y First Drafts."

Wow. It takes off so much of the pressure. Of course, the first thing we write is going to suck! Almost for sure by definition.

So the purpose of the first draft is just to get the information and ideas down in some rough structure. The real writing happens in the process of editing and rewriting.

It's worked really well for me. Writing is less scary, and I have more faith that I'll get to a good result by accepting the shi**y start and enjoying the process of getting it to it's best potential final shape.

Though I still have this nasty tendency towards run-on sentences. Workin' on it.
Client Testimonial

University of Indianapolis

Kathy Martin was my host on April 4, 2008 where I spoke to over a hundred students of occupational and physical therapy. She wrote:

"I'm always looking for the chance to put real world meaning on the classroom experience, and you did that in a funny yet profound way. Your attitude is contagious, and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Realize now that if you are ever in Indianapolis and don't look us up... you might be in trouble!"
April 2008 Reeve Hosts
Nine Sites in Ohio and Indiana
University of Dayton DPT  Rehabilitation Hospital of Indianapolis

University of Indianapolis OT and PT

Drake Center Rehab, Cincinnati

University of Dayton DPT (in photo above)

Xavier University OT, Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati PT

College of Mount St. Joseph DPT, Cincinnati

Ohio State Medical Center, Dodd Hall Rehab

Ohio State University Physical Therapy, Columbus, OH

With many, many thanks to my hosts who worked hard to make these talk happen and helped me be at my best.
Article Follow Up

The March issue of Good Reading described cerebral palsy.

For example: Abbey Curran, the reigning Miss Iowa, the first-ever woman with CP to compete in the Miss USA pageant, just held in Las Vegas.
Didn't get the March issue? Let me know, and I'll send it.
 Studio photos copyright,