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Veronique: The passing of a quad's best friend -- 2007-2019

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Veronique, a certified service dog, died this morning to due complications with cancer in Pembroke, Massachusetts. .
Veronique was with us for 10 years-- I got her when she was two.  I've included a previous post about Veronique, below, when I was trained to become her "handler" at the Canine Companions Training Center in Medford, Long Island (New York).
She became a member of our family and was a favorite with our two children and granddaughters. Her passing touched my wife and I deeply, and I didn't realize how much emotion --love-- one could feel for a pet as we did for Veronique. Every time I pushed the start button on my power chair, Veronique would come to attention and accompany me as I began my ride to any destination a wheelchair could get to -- as well as ride with me in any mode of transportation that was accessible. She gave me confidence, helped me become more social -- everyone loves a service dog-- and taught me how to be more attentive, as I was responsib…

Guest blog by Carmen Jones: Six Words that Made me a Brand Ambassador for Discovery Cove

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My friend and colleague, Carman Jones, wrote a moving piece about disability inclusion from the "heart," which I just had to share with readers fond of "View from the Chair."

Please take it in as I did, I'm sure you'll you'll take something away from her "view" as I did.

Jim

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July 10, 2018



Swimming with dolphins was on my bucket list for a long time, but as a paraplegic I wasn’t sure how this would happen. After some research, I found Discovery Cove in Orlando. I learned they provided park accessibility including the dolphin swim! So, with a lot of zeal and excitement, this single, wheelchair-using Momma and her little girl set out to for a memory-filled experience.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the main entrance and directed to registration. We received additional instructions, and told there was a beach chair I could use to maneuver throughout the park and beach areas. I felt great. However, there was on…

JFK Airport "Zero;" Delta Airlines "Won" Regarding Disability Inclusion

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I flew home on a business trip this week from Las Vegas, Nevada, to JFK airport in New York, and once again the trip was daunting and frustrating.

Airline travel is tough enough for all of us, however, when you have a disability and are traveling in a wheelchair, it becomes even more challenging. As a backdrop, I've been traveling for more than 35 years as a wheelchair rider and a C5-C6 quadriplegic. I basically travel when I must, especially when there is a business purpose involved.

I was returning from a disability inclusion conference with an organization called Disability:In, formally known as USBLN.  My team and I had just been recognized on behalf of our firm, JPMorgan Chase, as one of the best companies to work for if you have a disability and are qualified to compete for employment opportunities.


A perfect landing, but no wheelchair
I had already done four transfers to and from from my wheelchair by the time I arrived at JFK airport in New York on Delta flight 371. When membe…

The Henry Viscardi School Class of 2018 Commencement Address

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On the evening of Thursday June 21, 2018, 19 talented high school students received their high school diplomas form the Henry Viscardi School in Albertson, New York. 

I was honored to be invited as the commencement speaker for this talented class of graduates, who completed a rigorous education curriculum despite their disabilities.
The Viscardi Center, a network of non-profit organizations, provides a lifespan of services that educate, employ and empower people with disabilities. Its programs and services include Kindergarten through High School education, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, career counseling and placement and workforce diversification assistance to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses. View an overview video about The Viscardi Center.

The school was founded in 1952 by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr. who himself wore prosthetic legs, served as disability advisor to eight U.S. Presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Cart…

After I broke my neck, I couldn't walk. But I could still lead.

From OZY and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which have partnered to bring you Leadership Journey, stories and audio about how top execs ascended the corporate ladder. Listen below to hear how the head of disability inclusion at JPMorgan Chase got to where he is today. Enjoy the rest of our special series here.
While on vacation, I broke my neck body surfing. I was 25 years old and until then considered myself the best thing since sliced bread. But that life-altering accident changed the focus on everything. I was convinced I was done, that my career was over.

But IBM thought differently. I had already been working for them, and they assured me they wanted me back after my 18-month recovery. I took up a job in technical publications and, 39 years later, in 2015, I retired as corporate director of marketing communications.

 At IBM, I met many people who had a lot of heart. When someone offered me a helping hand, I took it in the spirit in which it was given. But I worked my behind off. I wanted…

From the Huffington Post: Busting Myths About Hiring People with Disabilities

By Mary Bailey Autism Advocate; Speaker; Co-founder Chase Yur Dreams Foundation; and Chase 'N Yur Face Media

As the subject of disability inclusion in the workforce becomes more prevalent, I wanted to take a closer look at some of the myths surrounding the hiring of people with disabilities, and to seek the insights of someone on the front lines of this movement.As the Head of Disability Inclusion at JPMorgan Chase & Co., and a C5-C6 quadriplegic, Jim Sinocchi’s knowledge and experience with this topic is unparalleled. Sinocchi thinks and speaks in terms that challenge and change how people with disabilities see and present themselves in the workforce; as well as how employers and colleagues perceive, interact with, and assimilate people with disabilities into their corporate cultures. Through an emphasis on professionalism, partnership, equalizing the playing field, enhancing performance, and opportunities for promotions, Sinocchi dispels the myths about hiring people with dis…

11 year-old boy comes to terms with disability 50 years later

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Disability comes in many different flavors. As an 11 year-old child it was a mental disability due to a tragedy in my family.  As an adult, it was a physical disability due to a surfing accident. Let me explain.

It has been 51 years since my father was shot and killed in New York City, in the borough of Manhattan. He was killed in October 1966 at the age of 28.

At the time, I was living in a South Bronx project development called the "Moore Houses," adjacent to St. Mary's Park. We lived on the 19th floor, apartment 19L, at 525 Jackson Avenue. We had a great view of the East River and could see LaGuardia Airport from our bedroom windows.

My sisters, Lisa and Debbie, were ages four and two respectively, and shared a room at the rear of the apartment. My younger brother Victor and I shared a room, as well as memories we would never forget.

Although we were on the 19th floor, we could hear the sounds and chatter on the street. The sounds of music, people talking and singing,…