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Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers. The archives date back to 2006 and many remain relevant and inspirational.

Injured shoulder changes lifestyle

Becky Felton reads this column in the Ord Quiz, of Ord, Nebraska. In 2001, her experience with a disability began when she injured a shoulder after tripping over her dog.

Reader: “I Consider My Life a Success”

A regular column reader, "Roseanne" (not her real name), has been a fighter. Weighing only 21 ounces at birth, she then became overexposed to oxygen in an incubator for three months and developed retrolental fibroplasia. It's a condition that causes blindness.

Trailblazer for Blind: Dr. Kenneth Jernigan

Roseville, CA- This is that column held in reserve more than a decade, the one I'd always envisioned writing but wouldn't until now.


It was only three years ago when Lisa Adams of Grove City, Ohio, first learned her then four-year-old daughter Eden had neuroblastoma. A National Institutes of Health website defines it as “a malignant (cancerous) tumor that develops from nerve tissue” and occurs in infants and children.

College President Offers Disability Advice

You could say Dr. Richard Davenport, has a great deal of personal experience with and an open mind toward people with disabilities, especially communication disorders, such as stuttering, and also voice challenges caused

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

In seven years of writing this column, I have twice mentioned my own challenges regarding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and, both times, mentioned it only in passing.


The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website defines autism as a wide spectrum of disorders characterized “by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive, stereotyped patterns of behavior.”

Advocate Providing Dementia Help

For ten years, Gary LeBlanc was the caregiver for his father, who had Alzheimer's disease before passing away in 2009.

The Way You’d Treat Anyone

Not long ago, I interviewed 28-year-old "Steve" over the telephone. He preferred not using his real name. Rather than writing a regular column, this time I decided telling Steve's story unedited would be best.

Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of routine

"Routine, routine, routine," said 48-year-old Gary LeBlanc in a telephone interview, referring to what he believed most important in caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease. He regularly reads this column in the Hernando (Fla.) Today newspaper.

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