Polio Place

A service of Post-Polio Health International

independent living

Whose Life Is It, Anyway?

Nancy Baldwin Carter, BA, M Ed Psych, Omaha, Nebraska is a polio survivor, a writer, and is founder and former director of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association.

My friend Mary called with what she termed a dilemma: She has a friend whose mother won’t take a bath. “It’s been three months,” she said. “The woman refuses to bathe. Her daughter promises her a night out at her favorite restaurant if she’ll clean up, but she won’t do it.”

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Making the Most of Time

William Stothers

It all depends on your disability, of course, but most of us probably pay out more money, and most likely more time and energy, to manage our daily routines than non-disabled people.

For example, even with health insurance, I shell out a steady flow of funds for wheelchair repairs, other orthopedic equipment and ventilator supplies.

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Independent Living

The independent living movement grew out of the anger and frustration of people with disabilities who were excluded from places of education, work, general retail, worship, and recreation due to barriers in architecture, transportation, and communications.

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Post-polio advocates noticed that polio survivors experienced very frustrating visits to physicians when reporting new post-polio problems. Barriers included the limited amount of time a physician had for an appointment and the lack of experience of physicians in the early days. They weren’t as skilled at asking the right questions. Additionally, polio survivors knew they didn’t feel well, but hadn’t spent much time thinking about details. In fact, many survivors spent years pushing polio and its effects out of their everyday thoughts.

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Indicators of coping were first described by Beatrice Wright (1982). Coping individuals focus on what they can do, rather than on what they cannot do; play an active role in their lives, rather than respond as passive victims; and participate in areas of life seen as worthwhile and meaningful. Problems are perceived to be manageable, rather than overwhelming. Personal problems are not kept at the forefront of their attention.

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (PL 101-336), signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990, is first and foremost a civil rights law that establishes a clear and comprehensive prohibition of discrimination on the basis of disability.

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