Linda Bidabe, 1945 - 2017
Heroes and social giants belong to other times and other places. We see the well- known images of Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Oscar Schindler, and we know where they lived, what they did, and why we remember them. We know who the famous people are.
A lesser known woman, but one who is no less a hero is Linda Bidabe. Those who know her know that she developed movement science concepts ahead of...
A Great Book for a New School Year
Prince Noah is back in time for the start of a new school year. His second appearance on our blog heralds the sequel to the well-loved fairy tale The Prince Who Was Just Himself, a story about a child with Down syndrome unwittingly disarming a palace enemy through natural gifts of compassion and curiosity.
In the delightfully written Prince Noah and the School Pirates, Noah continues to be himself...
Activity-Based Curriculum in Action
Students at Woodland Developmental Center are on the move all day. The hallways are busy, the classrooms noisy and full of activity as the children practice important life skills that have been incorporated into their curriculum. And that’s what’s different about Woodland. Where students with disabilities in other schools may be seen two or three times a week in the therapy department, Woodland...
Their Name Is Today
Their Name Is Today: “This book showed me just how connected are so many facets of living that till now occupied separate rooms in my heart: teaching, disabilities, motherhood, work, play … taking life in all its raw, beautiful, exhausting, exhilarating truth. Read it. Savor it. Then share it.” (From the review by Maureen Swinger)
Father of the IEP
Last month a pioneer died. James Gallagher was the man who introduced the idea of an individualized education plan (IEP) and a tireless advocate of the idea that every child deserves a free and appropriate public education, regardless of physical or intellectual abilities. He was the person most responsible for the passage of the 1975 landmark legislation now known as the Individuals with Disabilities...
MOVE ing Forward
An update on the MOVE Curriculum As many of you will know, we at Rifton have worked with MOVE International over many years. For those who don’t know, the MOVE program is an activity-based curriculum designed to teach students with disabilities basic functional motor skills of sitting, standing, walking and transitions needed for life within the home and community environments. The last fifteen years...
Cheerleaders and Football Players Shine
Attending high school in the mid ‘90s, I noticed that students with obvious physical and mental disabilities—while integrated into our classrooms—were politely but firmly shut out of school social life. For any of them to have been voted “Most Lovable” or “Most Popular,” much less homecoming king or queen, would have been almost unthinkable, although they often...
A Perfect Christmas Gift
On December 20th a children’s charity in Pittsburgh is planning to give dozens of children in Pittsburgh an adaptive tricycle for Christmas. This wonderful program was launched on November 5, 2012 with hopes to exceed donations for over 100 tricycles. And it looks like this goal will be achieved. So here at Rifton we are producing trikes far faster than usual for this time of year. See more pictures...
Blog Picks from the Mommy Blogs
Providing quality products to those who need them seems to get more and more complex: codes, coverage, LOMNs, and prescriptions are only some of the details that consume so much of our time. So it is a rare treat to spend some time reading about the children and families who use our equipment. I’ve discovered several blogs—known affectionately as “mommy-blogs”—where the real...
A Surgeon's Ministry to People with Disabilities
Occasionally you stumble across a gem in the mainstream press that makes you stop, think, and turn back and read a second time. Last week I read such an article in the New York Times, a profile of an orthopedic surgeon with a vocation for people – children and adults – with disabilities. I hope it means as much to you as it did for me.