What are we talking about?

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What are we talking about? 1/21/2014

This week I researched high and low in order to keep you updated on current events in the community of people with disabilities. Hope you enjoy!

1. A new commercial for Duracell has highlighted a new perspective on Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle Seahawks. In the commercial, Coleman addresses the challenges and discrimination he faced growing up. “They told me it couldn’t be done, that I was a ‘lost cause’,” Coleman states, “I was picked on, and picked last. Coaches didn’t know how to talk to me. They gave up on me, told me I should just quit.” Even the first time he entered the draft he went unpicked, becoming an undrafted free agent out of UCLA. But he continues his account, saying, “They didn’t call my name, told me it was over, but I’ve been deaf since I was three, so I didn’t listen.” Now, Coleman has a place in the NFL and is proving that being deaf is not a weakness.

Watch the full commercial at “Deaf Seahawks Fullback Derrick Coleman Stars in Terrific Duracell Commercial” on the Bleacher Report.


2. The use of cannabis, or medical marijuana, for treating children with seizure-inducing conditions such as epilepsy has recently sparked what some are calling a “frenzy,” both in the medical world and amongst parents looking to find treatment for their children. Over a hundred families have re-located to Colorado, the first state to legalize cannabis “for recreational use,” in hopes of finding relief for their children. According to an article on telegraph.co.uk “Colorado officials have now announced they want to spend $7 million on grants to scientists to establish whether children could benefit from such treatments, or whether they would suffer long term damaging side effects.” In particular, parents are hoping for the same success as seven-year old Charlotte Figi. Over the course of a couple of years undergoing the cannabis treatment, seven-year old Charlotte went from having  three-hundred to an average of one seizure per week. Her particular treatment has been re-named “Charlotte’s Web” after her success with cannabis. Although there has been a lack of testing and research in this area, many are willing to overlook the uncertainty surrounding the treatment in hopes of achieving a similar outcome.

Read more about the controversy at “Families with sick children flock to Colorado to try cannabis treatments” on The Telegraph.


3. While the 2014 Golden Globe Awards captivated viewers across America with their announcements of the best actors, actresses, and movies of the year, one element of the show came as a shock. During the coverage of the red carpet, E! Entertainment released a series of “fun facts” to hold the audience’s interest. However, two of the facts hit a more “insensitive” than fun note for some viewers. In particular, an apology has been issued to Michael J. Fox from E! Entertainment for the fun fact “Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991”. In addition, the fun fact “Robert Redford was stricken with polio as a child” was aired. E! Entertainment has issued the statement, “We understand the serious nature of the disease and sincerely apologize.”

Learn more about the incident at “Golden Globes 2014: E! apologizes to Michael J Fox for Parkinson’s disease ‘fun fact’” on Independent.co.uk.


4. The Seven Mile Bridge in Florida is soon to become a more accessible top tourist destination spot. A new plan is in the works to make the “historic” bridge, known for being one of the best spots for viewing the sunset in the Sunshine State, accessible for people in wheelchairs and other mobility devices. This is a project by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, involving a budget of over a million dollars, which will add a ramp counterpart to the existing staircase which allows access to the bridge. In the future, more people will be able to enjoy the popular tourist site.

Watch a video about the project at “Florida Keys’ Seven Mile Bridge to be Wheelchair Accessible” on NBC Miami.


I’ll leave you with our quote of the week:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.

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