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Disability Rights Oregon Opportunity. Access. Choice.

Meet John. John was born with Cerebral Palsy and has needed a wheelchair for his entire life. From when he wakes up until when he goes to bed, his power wheelchair is his “legs.” He uses it to complete regular activities of daily living.

A caregiver helps John with basic daily activities for around 10 hours each day, but for the remaining approximately 14 hours a day, John’s not only independent, but on his own. Having an effective wheelchair is important at all times, and particularly when John is solo.

He also experiences dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, which puts him at risk of choking. He is unable to move himself to a more forward leaning position to prevent choking due to having quadriplegia. The wheelchair power tilt and reclines/ pre-cline function enables him to move his upper body forward when necessary.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself? What do you enjoy doing?

I have some technical skills that I share through volunteer work at the farmer’s market.

I enjoy taking advantage of the beautiful natural area in which I live by spending time outdoors – whether it be riding ATVs or enjoying a sunny afternoon on a pontoon boat at my local lake.

Q: What do you rely on your power wheelchair for?

I take pride in doing things myself. I rely on the functioning of my power wheelchair every waking hour of my day. It helps me to live as independently as possible without relying on 24/7 support from my caregiver.

Without a power chair I would not be able to get myself around to complete regular activities of daily living. For starters, I would not be able to move at all. I use my wheelchair so that I can sit and observe my environment. Also, if I go out anywhere, such as grocery shopping, I need my wheelchair. My powerchair is tailored to me so much that there’s not a position outside of the chair that matches the comfort I feel while in my correctly fitted powerchair.

Q: Why did you need a new power wheelchair?

My former wheelchair was six to seven years old and left bruises on my body because the cushions were so deteriorated. I was sitting against bare metal.

On top of that, the informational display, which told me which gear I was in or how much battery life was remaining, was gone – posing a safety risk for my caregivers and me. It left me vulnerable to getting stuck outside with dead batteries because I was unable to monitor my battery level. It was very uneasy feeling not knowing whether I would have enough power in my battery to return back to my home without needing to ask somebody else to push my wheelchair to a safe location.

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In October of 1998, Matthew Shepard, a young, gay student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. Five days later, when Matt passed away, the world was watching. Approaching the eve of the 20th anniversary, Craig Hella Johnson has responded with his first concert-length work, .

Led from the piano by Johnson, showcases the award-winning artistry of Conspirare’s singers with a chamber ensemble of renowned instrumentalists. This three-part fusion oratorio speaks with a fresh and bold voice, incorporating a variety of musical styles seamlessly woven into a unified whole. Johnson sets a wide range of poetic and soulful texts by poets including Hildegard of Bingen, Lesléa Newman, Michael Dennis Browne, and Rumi. Passages from Matt’s personal journal, interviews and writings from his parents Judy and Dennis Shepard, newspaper reports and additional texts by Johnson and Browne are poignantly appointed throughout the work.

debuted at #4 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical Chart after Harmonia Mundi released the 2-CD Set recording in mid-September, 2016. Album page Audiences describe this work as “brilliant,” “powerful,” “innovative,” “dazzling,” and “gripping.” wrote “it has the richness, depth and complexity to compel repeated hearing, and the power to get you the first time out,” and from the “’Considering Matthew Shepard’” demonstrates music’s capacity to encompass, transform and transcend tragedy. Powerfully cathartic, it leads us from horror and grief to a higher understanding of the human condition, enabling us to endure.”

joins the ranks of many significant artistic responses to Matthew Shepard’s legacy. Most noteworthy is by Moises Kaufman and the Members of the Tectonic Theater Project, which has been seen by more than 30 million people. Jason Marsden, Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation calls “by far the most intricate, beautiful and unyielding artistic response to this notorious anti-gay hate crime.”

Celebrated Grammy® award-winning Conspirare will present the work on tour in February 2018, September 2018 and October 2018. Conspirare is represented by Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Ox Black Leather gzqW2
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Matthew Shepard’s story must never be forgotten.

“Matt Shepard and his story have led me on an inspiring, challenging and deeply meaningful journey that I continue to this day. In composing I wanted to create, within a musical framework, a space for reflection, consideration and unity around his life and legacy.”

I’m a high school math teacher. Please don’t place the blame on us. I try incredibly hard to motivate my students to learn and become skilled at math. However, I regularly get students who can’t add or subtract anything other than whole numbers.

Social promotion and litigious parents are the reason these things are happening. A child can fail every single grade from 1st through 8th, and still get into high school. Social promotion must end in California if we are to see gains in Math and English. Why should my 9th graders believe me that it’s important to learn Algebra if there’s never been a consequence for failing for eight years?

And parents threaten to sue schools every single day. While some suits are justified, the majority aren’t. But those threats of lawsuits really affect administrative policy at schools. Unfortunately, usually a negative effect where requirements are dumbed down or flat-out ignored to avoid potential lawsuits.

In the end, it comes down to the student. They need to work for a degree. It’s not a right to have one. When I struggled with a few concepts in my Calculus 2 class at community college, I went to the free tutors they provided. There is a lot of free and low-cost help out there. Students need to use it and push themselves.

So many of my 9th graders want me to “give” them a good grade. I tell them they have to earn a grade, not be given one. Seems a lot more students need to learn that.

Nonsense. As a math major, physics minor, I did use a bit of simple equation solving, but not much, after my stint in college. I spent a lifetime of telecommunications work. Once in a great while, I had to figure out how long to cut a line, to help hold up a vertical antenna tower. And, that was about it. I learned that, somewhere around the 8th grade. Had … Read More

Nonsense. As a math major, physics minor, I did use a bit of simple equation solving, but not much, after my stint in college. I spent a lifetime of telecommunications work. Once in a great while, I had to figure out how long to cut a line, to help hold up a vertical antenna tower. And, that was about it. I learned that, somewhere around the 8th grade. Had I been into writing, such as writing training manuals, or poetry, I would have had no, repeat, no use at all for higher maths. It is good to have a decent background in English (reading and writing), government, geometry, and algebra, on a high school level – but having to take further maths and science classes, on into college, for people who will never need it? If they do not know what their long-term work plans are, they are just as likely to need something else.

College, especially the first year or so, is where most students finally make those decisions, and then they need more hours in those subjects, than something that they will never touch again. I know, it’s hard to make decisions, as an 18-year-old, but eventually most of us do it, and get through it.

This article presents a view of this issue that is often overlooked - that the policies universities adopt relative to math requirements can be seen as civil rights issues. As a Latino college math professor who started his training at Cal State Northridge, this is an important issue for me. In fact, I spent three years as an employee of the Carnegie Foundation and worked on both Statway and Quantway in a variety of ways. … Read More

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