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A World of Concerns
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My husband has a form of muscular dystrophy known as Becker's. He has been confined to a wheelchair since 1992. With the help of both the WV Vocational Rehabilitation Program and the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation as well as the U. S. Muscular Dystrophy Association, he is independently mobile and continues to preach the gospel. He was featured in our local newspaper with his stand-up wheelchair which was provided by the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
I will explain a little more about Vocational Rehabilitation services, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and give some Internet resources for the disabled.
Because of his physical problems, we have been actively involved with MDA. He served as president of a local chapter for two years, and I ran the local Jerry Lewis Telethon headquarters over several Labor Day weekends. There have been some recent breakthroughs in neuromuscular research. Hopefully, one day MDA will no longer have to help anyone manage a world of concerns! Meanwhile, I thank God daily that such organizations exist to help meet that world of concerns.
Preaching from His Stand Up Wheelchair

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Information about VocationalRehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation is the provision of services to enable individuals with disabilities, including individuals with the most severe disabilities, to pursue meaningful careers by securing gainful employment commensurate with their abilities and capabilities. One or more Vocational Rehabilitation programs are funded in every state in the United States by the Rehabilitation Services Administration under the U.S. Department of Education. The Vocational Rehabilition system is authorized by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which has been amended as recently as 1992. The purposes of the Act are:

(1) to empower individuals with disabilities to maximize employment, economic self-sufficiency, independence, and
     inclusion and integration into society, through--

  • (A) comprehensive and coordinated state-of-the-art programs of vocational rehabilitation;
  • (B) independent living centers and services;
  • (C) research;
  • (D) training;
  • (E) demonstration projects; and
  • (F) the guarantee of equal opportunity;
(2) to ensure that the Federal Government plays a leadership role in promoting the employment of individuals with
     disabilities, especially individuals with severe disabilies, and in assisting states and providers of services in fulfilling
     the aspirations of such individuals with disabilities for meaningful and gainful employment and independent living.

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Information about MDA
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The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), formed in 1950, unites scientists and concerned citizens in an effort to conquer 40 neuromuscular diseases. These diseases include the muscular dystrophies, motor neuron diseases, inflammatory myopathies, diseases of the neuromuscular junction, diseases of the peripheral nerve, metabolic diseases of the muscles, myopathies due to endocrine abnormalities, and certain other myopathies.
Among the specific disease entities covered are Duchenne muscular dystrophy, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Myotonic dystrophy, Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, polymyositis, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and myasthenia gravis.
MDA programs cover basic and applied scientific investigation, comprehensive services and clinical care, and widespread professional and public health education. A worldwide research program provides grants to physicians and scientists.
Direct services to patients include assistance with the purchase of wheelchairs, educational-recreational activities, a summer camping program, and support groups. Some 200 hospital affiliated clinics provide diagnostic services and therapeutic and rehabilitative followup care.
To provide information to physicians, nurses, and therapists, MDA sponsors scientific publications, convenes international seminars, and holds conferences of MDA clinic directors. A continuous education campaign involves the dissemination of public service messages, audiovisual materials, brochures, pamphlets, and press releases.
MDA resource materials include a variety of publications and videotapes. Serial publications include the Annual Report--information on programs, research activities, medical services, fund-raising, and educational programs, as well as such organizational data as financial statements. Research materials are also available. Another serial publication is Quest, (magazine) quarterly--reports on the latest research findings and issues of living with a neuromuscular disease.

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Links to Deaf, Hard of Hearing & Sign Language Related Web Sites

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