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Showing posts from 2020

"Deja vu" and The Red Suit

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Over the weekend, my wife Maggie was going through items in storage boxes we accumulated over the years, which we have stored in our basement. There were old files, clothes, furniture and other items, including photographs dating back 30 years or more. Many items would be discarded, others we will keep.

She called me over as she sorted out decades-old pictures, a good many in black and white and in color. One of the photographs was of our five year-old son, Jimmy wearing a red  suit, tie and white shirt. The photograph brought back many memories as "Jimmy," as I fondly call him, is now 30 years old. I recall the story of Jimmy and the red suit as it has remained a legendary story in our family.

A Shopping Weekend

At the time, we lived in Rockland County, New York, and decided to go clothes shopping for our then 11-year-old daughter Danielle and 5-year-old, Jimmy, who was about to graduate from kindergarten.  The New Jersey Malls were no more than a 30-minute car ride from our…

Who holds elected officials accountable when it comes to employment?

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The following article was written by by John D. Kemp, President and CEO of the Viscardi Center.  Published in the Hill: 01/14/20 


“I just want a J-O-B, but no one seems to want to hire me because I’m disabled and assumes I am useless:),” read a recent Twitter post by a graduate from the Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center, a graduate who holds not only a high school Regents diploma, but a Bachelor’s degree; a graduate who presents with a severe physical disability and medical fragility, and who has been dismissed within minutes of arriving at many job interviews.

The common thread: approximately two-thirds cannot find employment. Those who have landed jobs know the road to securing employment is long, tedious, and filled with mostly arbitrary, unnecessary obstacles.

Further, some are limited by earnings caps due to the fear of losing critically needed benefits. Where education has succeeded, employment has failed them quite miserably.

There is frustration, loss of self-worth,…

"Wheels on Wheels:" Commuter Rail Accessibility in Boston

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My wife and I moved back to the Boston area from New York City about six months ago. One of the challenges we were concerned about was finding transportation to get to work. I didn't want to travel to Boston by car, because the commute is daunting. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered transportation that quite a few people use in the Boston area. I decided to get to work by train, or the "commuter rail."

To my pleasant surprise the 50-minute commute to Boston from my town, Hanson, works really well. The train is mostly on time, the conductors are efficient and diligent, and the passengers I ride with thus far have been delightful!

I catch the train every day each morning on the Kingston line to South Station, The beauty of the commute for a wheelchair rider is that the train is very accessible. And, the process is quite simple.

When a wheelchair rider boards a train, attentive conductors provide a metal plate, which is stored in "each" train car. The "me…