Tetra

The purpose of Tetra is to recruit skilled volunteer engineers and technicians to create assistive devices for people with disabilities.

Throughout the years our astonishing Tetra volunteers have made a huge number of assistive gadgets and devices that have assisted with beating boundaries in physical or natural areas. We need to distribute this work and go and make it simpler for anybody anyplace on the planet to have the capacity to receive one of the numerous arrangements that have officially had any kind of effect in somebody’s life.

terms of use and Disclaimer Rights.

We provide the gadgets with the notifications, conditions and terms pursue. The accompanying conditions and terms are applicable to TetraBase, all gadgets and employment. If you don’t mind survey cautiously. These terms and notifications incorporate disclaimers for liabilities. Utilizing TetraBase demonstrates your consent to all the conditions. In case you don’t prefer to consent to these conditions, don’t utilize it.

Utilization terms:

It is extended to you molded upon your acknowledgment without change of the conditions, terms, and notification contained in it.

Elite Obligations:

It has been intended for only data requirements. It wasn’t intended for deadly reasons. It might not be utilized for illegal reasons and that utilization is explicitly disallowed under the conditions and terms of its utilization.

This unique program was developed in response to difficulties that people with disabilities experience in their search for greater independence and integration within their communities. The solutions are often simple but can change someone’s life.

Tetra recognizes that people are not handicapped by their disabilities but by obstacles or barriers in their living environment. Volunteer engineers, design technicians, and health professionals work one to one with their clients to make assistive aids or modifications to their environment so that greater independence can be achieved. This site offers a sampling of the projects we have completed. 

Bcmos Equipt

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Along with our supporters and volunteers, we’ve helped to enrich and change lives.

There have been some amazing examples of people who have fought all odds to overcome the obstacles in their lives. They triumphed only because of their indomitable spirit and determination. In fact, some of these differently abled people have become more successful than their common or so-called normal counterparts. We cannot call them disabled anymore. It is just that they are differently abled, and at times they are more powerful and stronger than the other people.

There is nothing that differently abled people cannot do now. There are some brave souls who have managed even the unimaginable- conquering Everest and Antarctica- where the extreme temperatures and the toughest terrains can scare people to stay away. They participate in extreme rallies with their specially designed vehicles and drive everywhere.

With the help of technology and the support of their families and the more open societies now most of the differently disabled can feel integrated into the main community without any major issues. The education system has also evolved and has become more open and embraces all differently abled students easily. They can study and become financially independent without any major obstacle.

This brings us to the use of computers and software technology in the entire process. This area has contributed most amazingly to change the scenario. For example, we have trading systems that are completely automated and can be easily used by anyone. Being a robot based program investors do not have to put in much effort and can earn good profit margins by just spending some time setting the parameters for the robot to follow. This is a great boon for differently abled people as well. There are many online additional resources available on these trading websites that help people to understand the process and earn money using a simple interface and a few clicks of the buttons.

All that these differently abled people want the others to understand is that they are not different from others due to their own choices. They cannot change the set of cards given to them. They actually overcome the hurdles using technology and determination. They will be happier if others just accepted them the way they are and helped by being more inclusive as a community. Segregation is not the right path. They can contribute to society as much as others if not more. We need to have empathy and all-encompassing love to create a society that is stronger and more cohesive.

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We envision a world where people with physical disabilities feel empowered and inspired to redefine what is possible.

Physical disabilities were considered to be a big obstacle in the life of any person. This was mainly due to the reason that people had to depend on their limbs and physical abilities for survival. Slowly the world has changed to make it a comfortable place for everyone.

We depend a lot on machines now. We do not have to do much physical work these days. Even the common people use the help of machines to do their daily chores, to commute and even to complete their office work. We have robots doing the most repetitive boring work that no one wants to do, leaving more cerebral work for humans. We have created a world where slowly the dependence on machines is increasing, enabling people with disabilities to feel as empowered as others. Imagine a scientist like Stephen Hawking could use his extraordinary brain with the help of a robot and voice simulator, even though he could not move any part of the body.

In such a scenario, one aspect that everyone wants help with is earning more money as that has become a crucial aspect of a happy and successful life. Even if disabled physically, people do want to utilize their intellectual faculty and earn money and be independent. They may not be able to move out or commute as much as they would like to do but they do need some kind of job that sustains their requirements. Online trading is a platform that can help them to make money without stepping out of their comfort zone.

Ethereum Code is a trading platform that has been creating waves due to its cutting edge technology and sophistication. It helps people to overcome their fears and is taking them to the next level of financial revolution. This specific program helps people make virtual money which is the biggest thing in terms of software futuristic technology. If people with disability are able to make some digital currency using this technique they can be sure about a secure future. Digital currency trading will ensure that they are equipped to face any kind of situation in the future. Robots and technology make the programs very easy to use. With just a few clicks on the keyboard, they can join the trading system and start trading.

The Disability Foundation, in supporting our affiliated societies, has been fostering meaningful experiences for people with disabilities through outdoor recreation, social connectedness and innovative adapted devices – for more than 20 years, from Metro Vancouver, throughout B.C. and across Canada.

Disability foundation

DISABILITY NEWS

GOOD NEWS TRAVELS FAST ON ONE WHEEL AS TRAILRIDER HEADS FOR THE FOOTHILLS

By Paul Gowan

The yawning prairie expanse is no match for one versatile TrailRider – certainly not in the hands of Steven Fletcher or Val Mayes.

This past autumn, a lone TrailRider made the journey from Manitoba to Alberta on a show-and-tell circuit that opened the eyes of Albertans to the original features of this one-wheeled wilderness access device that affords persons with a disability a unique outdoor opportunity.

The TrailRider is a revolutionary, lightweight vehicle resembling a fancy lounge chair with long handles at either end. It carries its occupant across rugged terrain with the help of two able-bodied individuals, one who pulls and one who pushes. Unlike multi-terrain wheelchairs, this non-motorized device leaves little or no environmental ‘footprint’ on the trail.

With the latest developed technology, the vehicles are improving day by day. These are designed and remodeled to help the disabled navigate through the difficult maze of traffic. They can be confident and secure that the vehicles are enabled to help them through their commuting. The manufacturers also have suitable advice for them.

Steven Fletcher first heard about the TrailRider while participating in disabled sailing’s Mobility Cup in 2001. Unknown to him at the time, the Disability Foundation‘s Sam Sullivan, who conceived the TrailRider in 1998, had been using one to access the backcountry for some time. Word, though, had not yet spread as far as Manitoba.

His first reaction was surprise. “I spoke to Sam Sullivan and he said he was going hiking. I thought he was pulling my leg,” recounts Fletcher.

Not until the next year when he experimented with one himself did he shed his disbelief and fully realize the independence the TrailRider gave him.

Steven, who is 31 and a C4 quadriplegic – meaning he has had no motion below the neck since a 1996 car accident – is a Winnipeg resident and highly active member of the community. Currently, he is Manitoba president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, and is on the slate as a candidate for the next federal election, when it occurs.

When he rode the TrailRider, the experience transported him. Remote lakes, trails and mountains he had always been drawn to before his accident – but which he thought were lost to him – opened up once again.

He purchased his first TrailRider in 2002. Then, with the help of two $10,000 donations – from the Winnipeg Foundation and from a private donor – he acquired a second for others to experience and enjoy.

With the support of the Disability Foundation, he formed Wilderness Access Manitoba in 2003, giving others a chance to use the TrailRider to experience the wilderness and feel the same rush of excitement he had.

Last autumn, he received a phone call from Val Mayes, who works with Alberta Recreational Parks Association in Edmonton as a diversity officer and has connections with the association’s Calgary office. At the time, she was also Alberta representative for the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability (ALACD), an organization that addresses community inclusion for persons with a disability.

She first witnessed the TrailRider during a 2003 Calgary Film Festival, entitled Picture This …, that focused on disability issues..

After conversing a few times, Fletcher phoned Mayes one day in September to announce he was driving to Calgary that night and would bring the TrailRider with him. He was heading out for a political meeting, and would drop the TrailRider off. He was happy to lend it to someone, since the Manitoba hiking season had just ended.

In Manitoba, Fletcher has introduced the TrailRider to the media, shown it off to other disability organizations such as the Canadian Paraplegic Association, and taken it to school presentations. He explains the sense of reward he gets from helping others to enjoy an activity that would be normally be out of reach.

One family rented it and took it to their family cottage for their son who has a very serious case of degenerative ALS. For two months, the son rode around their property and Steven says the family told him that it “just made their summer.”

On Sept. 10, with two health aides and the head of his constituency association in tow, he made the 16-hour trip and handed over the TrailRider to Val Mayes in Calgary.

Mayes took the TrailRider on a custom tour of Alberta. Her first stop was the Easter Seal March of Dimes’ Camp Horizon outside of Calgary, where children with muscular dystrophy took it out for a ride. Later, she introduced it to a physical education class at Mount Royal College in Calgary, and the following day, it was off to a Calgary health care workshop called Activate the Network.

Then, she rented an SUV to accommodate the TrailRider and drove to Edmonton, where she presented it at Alberta Parks and Recreation and Alberta Special Olympics venues.

The next stop was five hours further north to Grande Prairie. Val flew, but dropped the TrailRider off at the Greyhound station in Edmonton for a bus journey.

“The guy at the Greyhound station took one look at it and said, ‘No!'” she recalls. After some “sweet talking,” she managed to persuade him. The transportation was by truck not bus. But still, she was told to “lose the cardboard box (that it was packed in).”

In Grande Prairie, the vehicle attained instant popularity at a resource fair and a workshop at Grande Prairie Regional College.

The TrailRider returned to Calgary in December, and made an appearance in February at the Picture This… Film Festival, 2004.

Mayes sighs that eventually Steven is bound to want it back. She has $3,000 raised from an anonymous donor toward purchase of a TrailRider for Alberta, and hopes she can find another pot of money somewhere in the community to finance the rest of the funding needed.

Meanwhile, Fletcher’s TrailRider has been a popular hit on the hustings.

Related Articles:
— One-wheeling to paradise: TrailRider features
— About Steven Fletcher

Tetra Society of North America

There exist a billion individuals on the planet with a certain sort of handicap, and different not-for-profit association is making their lives somewhat less demanding. They function with technological organizations on creating answers for the specific requirements and difficulties of the handicapped. Here are some of their activities that are empowering individuals with uncommon requirements to survive in a better way.

Google touch free mobile phone:

An application created by Sesame Enable, an Israeli organization, and Google has created sans hands innovation accessible to cell phone clients through the Sesame Phone, a gadget that is activated by voice-initiated order. The camera in the phone tracks a client’s movement of the head and enables them to explore the menu, open applications, send messages, play games or make calls. Individuals in Israel can receive the gadget for nothing through help which may be copied in different nations across the globe.

 

Enhanced accessibility of applications:

Google welcomed organizations to its Israeli grounds to direct a pilot program. It immediately affected the application designers who visited the program. They altogether enhanced their applications’ openness for individuals with incapacities. Next workshop took place in March, where Google duplicated the program at its grounds in San Francisco and the UK. During 2015, Project Applicable acquainted an expert manual with openness in application improvement that provides coders knowledge into what an outwardly disabled client might perceive. Further renditions of the booklet will extend to incorporate different aspects of incapacity so the explicit requirements can be tended to.

Versatile keyboard:

Individuals with vision, motor and acquiring inabilities frequently have issues utilizing the keyboard that are fundamental to the basic gadgets we utilize daily. Two organizations teamed up with programming organizations to build up a keyboard suitable for iPad that utilizes alterable hues for keys, letters, and backgrounds to simplify it to peruse and view clearly.

 

Hydrotherapy administrations:

The advantages of water for individuals with inabilities like strike damages, cerebral paralysis and orthopedic impedances have been medicinally demonstrated, that led to starting the first independent hydrotherapy focus in Israel. It currently has over 120 hydrotherapy outlets in their original site of Israel and instructs many understudies in amphibian treatment across the globe.

Exceptional requirements dental administrations:

A few individuals with handicaps such as cerebral paralysis do not have the ability or strength to look after their teeth appropriately, and that disregard can prompt more serious issues. During 1989 in Israel, the initial non-healing dental office started extending services to such patients and kids having autism, to provide dental care which is otherwise stressful.

Vancouver Adapted Music Society

VANCOUVER ADAPTED MUSIC SOCIETY

VAMS supports and promotes musicians with physical disabilities in the Metro Vancouver area.

We assist numerous artists who have an inability or long haul sickness, and we can dependably attempt to ensure that you are receiving all the assistance you are qualified for from the neighborhood government and advantages framework. The Government’s site has an outline of the assistance accessible from the government.

Debilitated Musicians:

We are spearheading a worldwide development to perceive and feature incapacitated artists with exceptional capacities. It enlists on a moving premise and is available to exceptionally fit and productive artists who are focused on playing in a troupe. The site has an exceptionally accommodating page for visually impaired and partially blinded artists that has data on various aspects.

Creating Music:

There exists an innovation center point that intends to separate boundaries to getting involved in music by handicapped individuals. Also conveying training ventures, they bolster crippled artists to build up their vocations and work with the goal to have a noteworthy influence on the human culture and experiences. Numerous music scenes extend discounts or exceptional prices for individuals having handicaps. We don’t have the assets to arrange these rebates yet it merits knowing these places in your locality.

Various Benefits:

The fundamental advantage for handicapped individuals is that it is being eliminated and supplanted by independence charges. In case you have additional requirements as a result of disease or incapacity the advantages that might be accessible will encourage you. You may have the capacity to receive assistance for commutation expenses. Your advantages might be influenced in case you have a long visit to the doctor’s facility or have to depend on a care provider facility.

Vacations and Hiatus:

Pop over here to know that vacations can be convoluted and distressing to mastermind under the most favorable circumstances and that there can be additional difficulties in sorting out a vacation in case you are crippled. Hence in case you are pondering arranging an occasion and might want to go to an office that gives caring facilities while permitting you the opportunity to less, you might be keen on the different associations that offer such benefits.

We operate Western Canada’s only fully-accessible recording studio, have our own choir, and promote concerts. Our latest CD, The Strong Sessions, highlights VAMS musicians – which we re-created on stage in April 2015.

Follow us on Twitter, join the discussion on Facebook, and, if you can, please support our life-changing programs with a donation.

Caucus Member

Tim Louis

Tim Louis
Persistence and Progressive Politics

Throughout his political and legal career, Tim Louis’ accomplishments as a public servant and disability advocate are significant.

Handicap isn’t characteristic in an individual however is, fairly a social idea, an element of the cooperation of the individual with the social and physical conditions. The measure of inability that an individual encounter relies upon the presence of a possibly debilitating situation or confinement and nature in which the individual survives, for which have a peek at this web-site.

Some examples: He founded the Vancouver HandyDART system; a custom transit service for people with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use public transit without assistance. He created the HandyDART operating company, the Pacific Transit Co-operative, as a user-run co-operative. He was a founding board member of the B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities, and co-founded the Public Interest Advocacy Centre – a law centre that takes on precedent-setting legal cases.

A prodigy of the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) political party, Louis continues to give credence to his mentor, Harry Rankin, and to represent and bring forward a progressive viewpoint to politics and to public service.

Louis was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1958, and grew up in Tsawassen-Boundary Bay on the mainland. He completed high school in South Delta, and entered the University of British Columbia (UBC) in the late ’70’s. He happens to have been born with a physical condition that requires him to use a power wheelchair; a situation that doesn’t personally faze him a bit, or even seem to enter his consciousness unless prompted.

“I don’t even know the name of it myself,” he says about his condition.
Of being a public man in a wheelchair, Louis responds, “it did politicize me to a degree, but it has never been an issue [for me]. As for how it impacts on others, I don’t know – you would have to ask them!”

Louis became politically active during his undergraduate years at UBC, and a choice encounter with his future mentor while advocating for the disabled would shape his life’s direction.

“In the late 1970’s I was organizing around the need for more public transportation for people with disabilities. At that time there was a very rudimentary system funded by the City of Vancouver, so we would go down there [to City Hall] and lobby and demonstrate.”

While there, Louis met city councillor and COPE (Coalition of Progressive Electors) party founder Harry Rankin: the man who would be his mentor.

“Harry Rankin was a lawyer, on City Council, and a very progressive fellow. He inspired me to go into politics. He inspired and motivated me and shaped my political consciousness. I became more political, applied to and got into [UBC] Law School.”

When Louis graduated with a degree in law, Rankin hired him as an articling student.

“It was a fabulous year of articling. I did a lot of criminal work, a lot of advocacy work, a lot of poverty law, and in ’84 I set my own firm up. No money, no line of credit, no assets, no clients, and I waited for the phone to ring. I borrowed three things: a typewriter from the B.C. Federation of Labour; a broken filing cabinet from a non-profit society; and a broken table. Slowly but surely the firm grew.”

At his mentor’s urgings – and sensing that it was “a good place to get started [in politics]” – Louis ran for Vancouver Park Board in 1982. He lost. Inspired by Harry Rankin’s personal example of tenacity and focus – and taking heart that Rankin himself had run 13 times for Council before being elected- he ran again in ’84. He lost again.

“Two years later in ’86 I ran again, and lost again. And in ’88 I ran again and lost again. Finally in 1990 I got elected. By then they turned into three year terms, and in 1993 I got re-elected to the Park Board. So I served six years with the Park Board.”

Louis recalls that his proudest moment on the job came when they were able to bring an end to ‘perks’ for Park Board commissioners and re-divert monies into children’s programs and services.

Feeling that he had accomplished “pretty much all that he could” with the Park Board, he put his mind to serving on Vancouver City Council, as his mentor Harry Rankin had done before him. As Louis puts it, “council, had a lot more impact on people’s lives, and it also afforded a greater opportunity to give profile to progressive issues.”
Louis ran for City Council in 1996- and lost. He ran again in ’99 and was elected. He ran again in 2002 and was re-elected. He ran again in 2005 and lost this time round.

Louis, who now devotes more time to his legal practice, recalls that his proudest accomplishments on City Council have been: “Helping to put an end to the public transit strike in the summer of 2001; opening up City Hall to public scrutiny; and putting a progressive perspective forward on the issues that came before Council.”
Would he run again for elected office? Louis responds: “Never say never!”
Louis’ advice for success in getting elected to public office: “Persistence and consistency and principles.”

Louis’ advice for those who want to enter into politics for change: “Become active around issues. Take a position on those issues, and be consistent.”

Caucus Member

Steven Fletcher
Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Charleswood-St. James Assiniboia, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
www.stevenfletcher.ca

Steven Fletcher, the son of a Canadian mining engineer, was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1972. He followed in his father’s profession: He completed his engineering degree from the University of Manitoba and worked as a mining engineer in Northern Manitoba at the Bissett Gold Mine.

Fletcher’s career path seemed set until a fateful automobile collision with a moose in 1996 left him a C3 – 4 quadriplegic, wheelchair-dependent, and with a new cause and course.

Fletcher had served his community since his high school days. Now, his accident, hospitalization and rehabilitation polarized his perceptions of healthcare and quality of life issues, and significantly, reawakened his political activism.

Before his injury, he hadn’t thought much about public policy or disability issues. Going through the healthcare “recovery system” forced Fletcher to recognize what he refers to as “society’s contradiction.”

The measure of the various disabilities isn’t controlled by dimensions of hindrances, pathologies or utilitarian constraints, yet rather is an element of the sort of administrations given to individuals having impairing situations and the degree to which the physical, the manufactured condition is pleasing or not obliging to the specific incapacitating condition to get more.

Fletcher has stated, “On the one hand we ‘save’ or extend the lives of individuals and then we do not provide the resources to help these individuals, young or old, to have a reasonable quality of life. This contradiction is what initiated my first major political initiatives. In particular, I focused on Manitoba Public Insurance to insure that they meet their mission statement: ‘Bring the quality of life of a victim as much as practical to the level it was before the accident.’”

Ten years later, Fletcher is still in court battles with Manitoba Public Insurance, fighting for funding to live a normal life and the right to be in politics. Due to pushing the envelope of what has traditionally been possible, Fletcher has encountered a lot of institutional inertia due to the old style of thinking about what a person with a disability can accomplish.

Fletcher returned to the University of Manitoba for his masters of business administration (MBA) degree, and became involved in the student movement and provincial politics. He was elected president of the student body, and based on his accomplishments, was re-elected for a second term as president of the University of Manitoba Student’s Union. He served as member of the board of directors of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations; completed his MBA; and received his professional manager designation (P. Mgr.) and chartered manager designation (F.CIM.) from the Canadian Institute of Management.

Fletcher broadened his goals and became more involved in provincial politics to serve the complete community – which includes issues going far beyond healthcare or disability issues. In a highly contested election, he became president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba in November 2001. At age 29, he was the youngest person ever to hold this office, and the first with quadriplegia.

In 2003 Fletcher was instrumental in bringing the Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties together into the union that is now the Conservative Party of Canada. Fletcher was nominated as a candidate for the Conservatives for the 2004 provincial elections, and on June 28 of that year, was elected as the federal member of parliament for the Charleswood-St. James riding in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He made history as the first person with a permanent disability to be elected to the House of Commons in Canada, and was re-elected for a second term in January 2006 in the new riding of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia..

Fletcher’s disability has not been a hindrance to himself in his work, though it has created awareness of the needs for accommodation and access for people with disabilities in Ottawa. He recalls a lunch function at the British High Commission in 2004, when his hosts found out that their building was not wheelchair-accessible. Of note, Fletcher reports that things are changing and becoming more accessible.

“I don’t have a view per say [on any influence the disability may have on doing the job]. I conduct myself as if I didn’t have a disability. Of course there are some obvious differences; I am in a power wheelchair; I have an aide with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But I focus on my role as a member of parliament and fulfill those duties and meet the expectations and often exceed the expectations of the people who elected me.

“I love what I do. I really enjoyed helping the people of Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, and all Canadians, and I was very fortunate to have the position of senior health critic in the last Parliament, at a time when the healthcare debate is so important. . I am honored to be appointed by Prime Minister Harper as the parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health. Since the cabinet is small, I can have a major influence on health policy in Canada.

“In addition, I am very much looking forward to being the parliamentary secretary for the Minister of the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario. I enjoy dealing with the economic side of government. There is a lot of interaction between Manitoba and Northern Ontario, and I look forward to increasing economic opportunities for both provinces.”

Fletcher’s key for successfully running for public office: “Make sure you represent the people who elected you. My views on the world are by and large consistent with the majority of the citizens of my riding. I represent my riding to Ottawa, and not Ottawa to my riding.”

Fletcher’s reflections on a political life: “For anyone entering politics, the rewards and personal satisfaction of the position are significant; the risks are extraordinarily high. So make sure you have a balanced life, because politics can be all consuming.”

Caucus Member

 

Nancy Starnes
Vice President and Chief of Staff, U.S. National Organization on Disability (NOD)

Nancy Starnes was 30 years old, with 15 years in the business and financial industry when a small plane she was traveling in crashed. She left the plane alive and with T12/L1 paraplegia. She was unable to complete her licensing exams to become a stockbroker, because, at that time, the testing site was not required to have wheelchair accessible washrooms.

This was in the years before the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (1991). This was in the era when even Franklin Roosevelt’s legacy wheelchair ramps had been removed from the White House. Public access for people with disabilities was a cause that needed champions. And Nancy Starnes developed an interest in public service.

It must have been difficult to develop the right attitude in the people in the right places to ensure laws and legislation that would help the disabled people to integrate with the rest of society. People do not understand the problems of differently abled people until they see and experience what they are speaking about.

Her business skills, charm and subtle approach have paved and smoothed miles of roads and ramps for the disability cause in America.

Starnes was born in Kansas City, Missouri (1943), and grew up in Dallas, Texas, in a semi-rural community. Her parents had a small business in town and a small 5 acre farm with 200 chickens, 10 sheep, three horses and a sow. Her father liked nothing more than to come home from work, get on the tractor and plow some ground, recalls Starnes. Her mother inspired her to become a business woman.

“Back in that day, most of the women who went to college were looking for that coveted ‘Mrs.’ Degree – which means they went to college to meet their mate and get married,” says Starnes. “But my mother was part of my father’s business, so I assumed I would somehow be involved in business from the management side.”
Starnes graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in business administration,

She joined the light manufacturing firm where she worked as a summer student, married, and followed her husband and his career to New York. Rather than live in the big city, they chose a rural area in New Jersey as home, and Starnes put down roots there as a business person and mother.

“The only way to get to the corporate offices back then was to have an executive assistant’s position – a very high level one – and I was very fortunate to have one of those with a holding company, where I was assistant to the president. That was where you got the contacts and learned what happened with the decision makers.”

She was moving up in the world of business and finance, when she decided after the third corporate office relocation and her boss’ death to look for something closer to home. With financial skills in her portfolio, she was in the process of getting her stockbroker’s license when she was injured in the plane crash. She returned to work after six weeks of recuperation, and the very first handicapped parking space in Sussex County, New Jersey was established for her.

Starnes was involved in her Sussex County community, with plenty of time in the evening for extra-curricular activities. She was asked to run for public office as an elected member of the Sparta, New Jersey Town Council in 1981. She was elected, and in 1984, was appointed by the council members of Sparta to become their mayor. She was the first female ever to serve on the town council, and the first person with a disability.

“I hadn’t really thought of myself as a public official,” Starnes recalls. “I thought of myself as a good citizen, and very much interested in how my community was growing, and the community agenda, and honestly didn’t see many other people with disabilities participating at that time. I still wanted to contribute to my community in any way I could that would be productive and helpful”

During this period, the Board of Chosen Freeholders (the title held by New Jersey county commissioners) selected her to be the liaison from the county to the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981). This is where she learned about the vision of Alan Reich, the founder of the National Organization on Disability (NOD), which was established the next year. Reich would tap her skills and hire her for NOD. She worked with him until his passing in 2005, and continues to serve NOD today.

In 1988, Starnes was asked by the New Jersey Board of Chosen Freeholders to set up a unit of county government to deliver programs and services for its citizens with disabilities. It was people with disabilities who taught Starnes about their diverse issues, she recalls, and she developed programs and services to meet the needs of the New Jersey rural population.

The 1990’s were public years for Starnes. She was encouraged to run for the Miss Wheelchair New Jersey Pageant, which she won. There she met her future husband who encouraged her to head up the largest U.S. non – profit members organization for people with spinal cord injury and disease – the Paralysis Society of America, where she served as chief operating officer. She did significant work for the Paralyzed Veterans of America, (The chief funders of the Paralysis Society), meeting Senator Bob Dole, President Clinton and other high – level politicians, giving visible credence to the message of people with disabilities through her presence as a woman with a wheelchair. In 1998 she was commissioned by the United Way to bear the torch on its way to the Atlanta Olympics. And in 2001 she joined Alan Reich, and was honored to serve along side him as NOD chief of staff.

Starnes’ accomplishments for people with disabilities come from her unique ability to work behind the scenes and make people comfortable with new ideas. There are several keys to the way she successfully serves the disability community and its needs.
“Coming out of public life and public service, and hopefully having learned something from the civil rights movement of the ’60’s and the women’s rights movement, in a large-scale movement like this, there have to be connection points that are comfort zones for people who are not already part of that movement. It doesn’t mean that the person leading that parade – the most aggressive one – is going to be the place where everyone is comfortable coming into that company. So I tend to be more subtle, probably work more behind the scenes, and really appreciate a broad background of people’s views.”

Starnes’ business experience has been invaluable in her work as a public servant.
“My business background helps me recognize what the barriers are for the people and find ways to break down some of those barriers. When somebody says, ‘you can’t do it because …’ then you start thinking about things from where you want to go to how you put that shovel in the dirt. How do you begin to build the foundation that will lead you to the end that you desire?”

Starnes continues to work at the head and behind the scenes to help people with disabilities fully participate in their communities.

“You have to recognize that there are a lot of people who are affected by folks who have disabilities; whether that means an economic impact because people with disabilities can or cannot get jobs, shop in stores. It’s a matter of thinking things through and being sensitive to a lot of different perspectives and elements that must be considered if you are going to be successful.”

Nancy Starnes continues to live and work in Washington, D.C..