Selma Blair Just Dropped an Adaptive & Accessible Gift Guide for People With Disabilities

by SAM MANZELLA: Complete Post through this link…

Selma Blair wants to help you shop with accessibility in mind this holiday season. The veteran actress and disability justice activist recently teamed up with QVC to curate an accessible gift guide. From adaptive clothing items to innovative kitchen gadgets, her picks are designed to make everyday tasks easier for people with disabilities.

Blair knows firsthand how challenging it can be to navigate an able-bodied world with a disability. In 2018, the Cruel Intentions star was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic and potentially disabling disease of the central nervous system.

Like many of the 1 million Americans living with MS, Blair experiences pain flare-ups and restricted mobility as a result of this condition. She is now in remission, but she continues to use her platform to advocate for accessibility in Hollywood and beyond. It’s no wonder she was named QVC’s official ambassador for accessibility.

Below, we’ve rounded up all 15 products Blair selected for her gift guide with an explanation of what makes them accessible. Plenty of her picks can benefit able-bodied people, too. (Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t appreciate a leverage-boosting, 5-in-1 jar opener?)

Doctors Have Discovered the Safest Way To Take Valium and Ativan


More than six decades since their introduction, medical professionals have discovered the first substantial evidence supporting the notion that intermittent use of benzodiazepines, like Valium and Ativan, as opposed to continuous usage, results in fewer side effects, and a decrease in falls, hospital admissions, and fatalities.

Benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Librium, and Valium were first used to treat anxiety and insomnia in the early 1960’s.  By 1977, these were the most prescribed medicines globally; they are still regarded as reasonably safe and effective (although some patients developed tolerance, and became dependent on the drugs, while the risk of falls and fractures remains a concern in older people). They are still very widely used, but modern antidepressants (such as SSRIs) are more commonly prescribed.

Varied Opinions and Limited Research

Most studies on benzodiazepines (“benzos”) only followed health outcomes for up to 6 to 8 weeks, meaning that there has been little information on the results of long-term use over months and years. This has led to conflicting views amongst doctors with some clinicians saying that benzo use should be limited to a few weeks to avoid the risks of tolerance and dependence, or even that they should not be given to people over 65 at all, whereas other doctors advocate long-term use as being acceptable.

Our results show that changing the way people take benzos from chronic to intermittent could lead, over one year, to 20% fewer hip fractures 33% fewer in men), 7.5% fewer falls requiring hospitalization or emergency visits, and a 24% fall in the chance of needing to go into long term care.”

Join us for Action Labs:Build Skills. Take Action.

From DDP: Complete Post through this link…

Gain hands-on experience in engagement and self-advocacy as you move through our series of bi-weekly labs that provide in-person and virtual tools to empower you to build essential skills in your community. Fuel the future of organizing and leadership building through a disability justice lens with Action Labs!

Join Detroit Disability Power’s Action Labs–a dynamic regularly-scheduled meeting space where passion meets purpose! A blend of in-person and virtual experiences, empowering you to cultivate essential skills in community organizing and advocacy. 

ASL and CART available by request.​

What to expect from Action Labs:
  • Gain knowledge and skills around anti-ableism and disability justice values
  • Learn more about DDP’s values and what our priorities are
  • Learn about accessible campaigns and strategies
  • Hands-on experience with passionate disability justice facilitators
  • Options! Join us in-person or virtually on Zoom. 
  • Refreshments provided for in-person labs

Verizon fell for fake “search warrant,” gave victim’s phone data to stalker

By JON BRODKIN: Complete Post through this link…

Verizon tricked by fake cop, fake search warrant despite obvious warning signs.

Verizon Wireless gave a female victim’s address and phone logs to an alleged stalker who pretended to be a police officer, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI special agent. The man, Robert Michael Glauner, was later arrested near the victim’s home and found to be carrying a knife at the time, according to the affidavit submitted in court yesterday.

Glauner allegedly traveled from New Mexico to Raleigh, North Carolina, after finding out where she lived and, before arriving, sent a threatening message that said, “if I can’t have you no one can.” He also allegedly threatened to send nude photos of the victim to her family members.

Novel Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Shows Promise

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: Researchers developed a small molecule drug showing potential as a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). This research focuses on targeting the glutamate system rather than the immune system, differing from existing MS therapies.

The drug not only reduced MS-like symptoms but also showed potential in repairing damaged myelin in two animal models. This innovative approach is a significant leap toward clinical trials, offering new hope for MS patients.

Key Facts:

  1. The new drug targets the glutamate system, a novel approach in MS treatment, showing effectiveness in pre-clinical models.
  2. The treatment has demonstrated the potential for rescuing myelin and motor function, key challenges in MS.
  3. CAMH and the University of Aberdeen are moving towards human trials, backed by extensive pre-clinical research and funding support.

Tinnitus Linked to Auditory Nerve Loss

From Neuroscience News: Complete Post through this link…

Summary: A new study reveals that tinnitus, a common auditory issue characterized by ringing in the ears, is associated with undetected auditory nerve loss. This finding challenges the traditional understanding that tinnitus is solely a result of brain maladaptation to hearing loss.

The study shows that individuals with normal hearing tests but experiencing tinnitus actually suffer from cochlear synaptopathy, a type of “hidden hearing loss.” This discovery paves the way for potential treatments, including nerve regeneration through neurotrophins, bringing hope for millions affected worldwide.

Key Facts:

  1. Tinnitus in individuals with normal hearing tests is linked to undetected auditory nerve loss.
  2. The study identifies cochlear synaptopathy, or hidden hearing loss, as a key factor in tinnitus genesis.
  3. Future treatment possibilities include auditory nerve regeneration, offering hope for a potential cure for tinnitus.

Soccer Players Beware – New Research Links Heading to Significant Decline in Brain Function

By RADIOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA: Complete Post through this link…

New findings recently presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) links soccer heading, a technique where players strike the ball with their heads, and a notable decrease in both the microstructure and functionality of the brain over a span of two years.

“There is enormous worldwide concern for brain injury in general and in the potential for soccer heading to cause long-term adverse brain effects in particular,” said senior author Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and affiliate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia University. “A large part of this concern relates to the potential for changes in young adulthood to confer risk for neurodegeneration and dementia later in life.”

Arizona first state to stop seizing social security, disability benefits of foster children

By Bridget Dowd: Complete Post through this link…

The Arizona Department of Child Safety has adopted a new program that creates savings accounts for children in foster care.

Kids who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (RSDI) benefits will have those funds placed in a Personal Needs Account.

For decades, child welfare agencies have seized those benefits to pay for the child’s foster care. DCS head David Lujan said Arizona is the first state in the country to stop that practice.

“Also, we are looking at other services that we can provide while children are in the foster care system, like financial literacy, financial planning, education, so that they can make good choices with those dollars as well,” he said. 

Lujan said creating the new savings accounts will create a $4 million hole in the DCS budget. He’s hoping the Legislature will make up for that deficit with money from the state’s general fund.

“I think it helps in terms of [foster children] going into adulthood, I think it helps them be able to plan more long term, and I think it just helps put all of these youth that are coming out of the foster care system on a much sounder footing,” he said.

Michigan lawmakers vote to end most juvenile court fees, citing harms

By Lauren Gibbons: Complete Post through this link…

  • Michigan lawmakers approved bills ending most court fines and fees levied in juvenile courts 
  • It was part of a larger overhaul of the state’s juvenile justice system
  • The bills’ passage follows Bridge reporting on how some counties pass the costs of juvenile detentions onto families, leaving many in debt

Michigan lawmakers gave final approval to a series of bills overhauling the state’s juvenile justice system late Wednesday evening, including legislation that would eliminate most court fines and fees currently levied on youth and their families. 

The legislation, which will now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her signature, would keep mandatory crime victim payments and restitution, but eliminate most other references to fines, costs and assessments. They were passed with little debate as lawmakers rushed to finalize a slew of Democratic priorities before the Legislature adjourns for the year. The bills’ passage follows recent Bridge Michigan reporting on the financial burden fines and fees impose on juvenile offenders and their families.