Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Photography is on Flicker!

I thought I would share a slideshow of my albums that are on flicker... enjoy! I know I enjoyed creating these.

There are also few portraits of me that my old friend Sheila Adner took.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Latest Photoshoot

I had Brittany come over last week to work on some of her graduation pictures and we took a variety of shots. I thought that I would share a few with you. I own a Nikon D50 that I call "Frank" I also have a Nikon speedlight which I refer to as...can you guess? Flash! Together they become Frank-n-Flash! Yes I know that Halloween is over but I enjoy the nickname. I know it is a bit odd to name my technology items like my computer(Tabitha), cameras (Frank, George, and Ringo) and external hard drive (Lacey), but it keeps life interesting; besides people name their cars...Right?

Anyway, back to Brittany. I shot her in my new house which was such a joy and I had the opportunity to use different backgrounds throughout the shoot. Check this out ;)

She brought her kitty with her for a few shots. Her kitty was amazingly good and I think she actually liked the attention.

After several changes of clothes we decided to do a couple of shots that were a little more mooody. So I created a couple of black and whites.

She wanted something serious, so I gave her serious...

We had an amazing day and we had lots of fun and we have tons of pictures that I will put on the new website that I am developing. I hope you enjoyed these.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving in Perspective

Reporter "What are the best things about life?"
Brendon: "Having one."

Man! **sniff sniff**

I'm going to hug my kids

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Changes in Education for Children with Disabilities

The time has come and Butler County is implementing the updates applied to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004. Ohio updated the special education rules, effective July 1, 2008. The purpose of the update to requirements is to improve and ensure that children with disabilities have equal opportunity, full participation in education, independent living and economic self-sufficiency.

In her introduction letter to the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies (OSOEA) serving Children with Disabilities hand book, Susan Tave Zelman, Superintendent of Public Instruction lists the new emphasis on the following standards:

• High expectations and support;
• Intervening services provided as early as possible;
• Evaluation of research-based interventions;
• Highly qualified teachers;
• Flexibility in requirements in reevaluating student progress and needs;
• Instruction in general curriculum, presented in settings with non-disabled peers as much as possible;
• Goals and services for transition into life after high school; and
• Equal participation in education and school activities for those in nonpublic school.

Access to OSOEA handbook is available here via PDF.

More changes are being taken into consideration and there is a public review and comment period for this draft document that is open until 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2008. To review and submit feedback on the manual or for more information go to the OSOEA

Early screening is very important and If you suspect your child has a disability, contact the special education director in your school district. Here is a contact list for local schools in the Butler County Area
• Edgewood City School District: 867-7572
• Fairfield City School District: 829-4311
• Hamilton City School District: 887-5000
• Lakota Local School District: 644-1212
• Madison Local School District: 420-4778
• Middletown City School District: 423-0781
• Monroe Local School District: 539-2536
• New Miami Local School District: 863-0833
• Ross Local School District: 863-6150
• Talawanda City School District: 273-3572

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I'm Home

This is my new house. As you can see it is all flat and there are no steps. Jon is still getting things from the exterior of our old house but for the most part we are moved and we can consentrate on getting settled in our new home.

We have gotten started on the dining room that once had the same style paint job as the living room shown here. A white wall with one boarder going all the way around the living and dining area. A little lower and it could have been considered chair rail decor but it was about a foot and a half to high on the wall for that. Well I had different plans in store for my dining room, this shows it in transition. I'm not finished but I thought it would be cool to share my progress.

Please stay tuned... More to come

PS... if you are wondering how I painted, a broom handle and a roller goes a lonnnnnnnngggggggggggg way : ) Jon has to do the edging at the ceiling but for the most part I was able to do most from my wheelchair.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Business Traveling for People with Disabilities

When it comes to employment there are many issues that people with disabilities have to take into consideration. Accessibility is one of the biggest concerns. Airports today are very disabled friendly with gate to gate service and accessible transit service in most cities. Hotels have also made accommodations by wheelchair accessible rooms complete with roll in showers and shower chairs.

But what about lugging all your technical things around? Projectors, computers and getting set up in time for a big presentation can be a big concern. Well… I have an answer for that too! Travel Techs! Your travel tech will take all the equipment and software needed to your presentation destination and have everything set up and in working order by the time you get there. All you will have to do is look over your notes.

So working and traveling with a disability is not only possible it can be virtually stress free with a little bit of advanced planning, good communications and the right services lined up.

Here is more information on Travel Techs.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Packing and Moving in a Wheelchair

For those of you who don't know, I am disabled due to head trauma at 10 months old. My disability has simular traits to cerebral palsy. I have occasional mild muscle spasms. My right hand has limited use due to tightness that draws it up a bit. I also have limited motion in my legs. My condition is not progressive though, as I age my challenges will become grater but it all depends on how well I take care of myself, just like anyone else. I give you this background to help you understand the process of my packing to move into my new house.

I use a scooter...

I prefer a scooter instead of the traditional type wheelchair....

Because when you sit back in a traditional wheelchair and put your feet up on the foot rests you have very limited motion. I'm not talking about the wheelchairs like the para's use to jump stairs and do tricks on skateboard ramps. I am talking about an electric wheelchair like this one. Do to the lack of proper control in my right hand I can not use a manual wheelchair. Anyway, with a scooter I can stand up and sit down with grater ease. I can twist my seat and pick things up off the floor. When I go to the grocery I drag my grocery cart behind me, much like a choo choo train. I move furniture around by pulling my scooter up to it and push it or I stand up and move the furniture a few inches, sit down move my scooter closer and repeat the process.

Moving with a wheelchair is a looooooooooooonnnnnng process but I do it and I really really love my husband because he lets me do it. Our first date consisted of him helping me move into my apartment in Hamilton. I had just got out of my car and popped the trunk when he pulled up. He caught up with me at the back of my car and instead of taking over my move he handed me a box before he took one of his own. I knew right in that moment he was the one. OK OK it was a combination between that, the cowboy hat he was wearing and the strawberry milkshakes he used to bring me. Every once in a while he still brings me one. Anyway, my point is People naturally want to do everything for me. I don't get offended because it is natural to want to help someone who is struggling. My family and my close friends know if I need help I will ask for it. They also know I wont ask for it unless I have made absolutely sure that I cannot. Call it my idea of extreme sports if you like, but when I go to bed at night with sore muscles and blisters on my hands I feel good... real good.

Monday, September 22, 2008

...And so it starts

Hi, I am Etha, and this is my blog. I know that there are lots of blogs out there to read but I am glad that you took the time to stop by mine. So, let's see... about me... I am a physically challenged mom and photographer. I work as a web writer and I just finished my AA in Fine Art.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH Piece of news, I am buying a house :) It is on land contract and I am still amazed at how this opportunity came around but this house is modified for a disability. It has widened doors, big rooms, an awesome kitchen and no stairs or steps of any kind. It also has a two car garage that will keep my husband entertained for hours... What more could a woman want? I will post pictures soon. We aren't able to move in till October 19th so it will be a bit. Oh well plenty of time to pack right? 26 days and counting....