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Informative pieces, opinions and perspectives from local guest contributors, business owners and an assortment of other creative wordsmiths.

Daniel J Vance

Blindness Rebecca Kragnes

The National Federal of the Blind Web site reports that about 1.3 million Americans are legally blind, and of those only one percent were born that way.
Daniel J Vance

Autism / Murphys

Melanie Murphy of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, thought at first that her son Cole just had a speech delay. “He would say only a few words, and I couldn't understand what they were,” said Murphy, 36, in a telephone interview, of her then three-year-old son.
Daniel J Vance

ADHD / Matt Lust

From all appearances, Matt Lust is “normal.” He's a 24-year-old graduate student majoring in sociology at a midwestern university and a former high school football player.
Daniel J Vance

Joni Eareckson Tada Part #2

This columnist recently featured Joni Eareckson Tada, a 40-year survivor of spinal cord injury, who broke her neck while diving into Maryland's Chesapeake Bay in 1967. She uses an electric wheelchair, and has paralysis in all four limbs.
Daniel J Vance

Spina Bifida

Stacy Picard of Knoxville, Iowa, thought having a fifth child would be easy. “The first couple children you worry about something going wrong, but after that you don't even think about the possibility of a disability,” said 30-year-old Picard in a telephone interview.
Dennis Godby, ND

Human Genome Project: Personal Impact

Incredibly, a couple of years ago, the entire Human Genome was mapped! You might be thinking, "What is that and how does it affect me?"
Daniel J Vance

Joni Eareckson Tada (Part 1)

Joni Eareckson Tada likely is the most famous person you've never heard of.
Daniel J Vance


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.”
Daniel J Vance

Team Hoyt (Part 2)

As mentioned in a recent column, “Team Hoyt” consists of 66-year-old Dick Hoyt and his 44-year-old son Rick Hoyt, and together they have competed in hundreds of marathons and other athletic events throughout America over the last 26 years.
Daniel J Vance

Team Hoyt Part #1

A number of readers have drawn my attention to “Team Hoyt” and graciously asked me to feature this amazing father-son running team associated with disability. The first email came from a reader of Grainger Today in Tennessee.