Page 1

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE FOR ALUMNI AND FRIENDS OF THE UIC COLLEGE OF APPLIED HEALTH SCIENCES

Big Leaguers Meet four AHS alumni making careers among the pros

PLUS: THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TURNS 25 THIS SUMMER. AHS EXPERTS GRADE ITS IMPACT SO FAR.


Message from the Dean

This issue represents the breadth of AHS The story behind this issue of AHS Magazine is rather interesting. It started last December, when we recognized that July 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That landmark legislation shares a soul with so much of the work in this college, and our faculty includes some of the nation’s most esteemed minds on accessibility, advocacy, disability rights and the lived experience of disability. We decided immediately that this issue—perfectly synced with the ADA’s anniversary—would include a large feature related to the law and its impact. Some months later, editor Elizabeth Miller connected with a few incredibly interesting alumni who provide healthcare to professional athletes in Chicago, and with both the Bulls and Blackhawks heading into their respective playoffs—well, the timing was just perfect for a feature on these alumni too. Elizabeth’s dream came true when Mike Gapski and the Blackhawks brought the Stanley Cup back to Chicago just before press time. But we did wonder: Do these two articles belong in the same issue? Does a feature with the “star power” of famous, elite athletes undercut our request that readers give thoughtful attention to civil rights for people with disabilities? Then we realized that these stories, together, represent the spectrum of people this college exists to serve as we strive to promote healthy living of self-determined lives. That spectrum extends across the full width of diversity in our communities. The people we wish to serve are all people, every one. AHS is world-renowned in fields that are essential to help people maintain or regain function: diet and exercise, motor control, cardiovascular health, neuroscience, rehabilitation. You’ll see this in the alumni featured in “Big leaguers” (p. 9). And AHS is an international leader in working for and with people with disabilities, advancing their self-determination, their civil rights and their equality as citizens. In fact, in that arena, the scholars and advocates featured in “The promise of rights” (p. 14) have some “star power” of their own. So I hope you’ll find this issue as satisfying as we do, and that it will stir pride in everyone connected to this inclusive college.

AHS MAGAZINE Summer 2015 WRITING AND EDITING Elizabeth Harmon Miller Director of Marketing and Communications Erika Chavez Assistant Director of Development DESIGN Kimberly Hegarty UIC Office of Publications Services CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS UIC Photo Services ©2015 University of Illinois at Chicago. All rights reserved. Published by the Office of the Dean (MC 518), UIC College of Applied Health Sciences, 808 South Wood Street, 169 CMET, Chicago, Illinois 60612-7305. Telephone Fax E-mail Website

(312) 996-6695 (312) 413-0086 advanceahs@uic.edu www.ahs.uic.edu

Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editor, the college or university.

You might notice abbreviations throughout this issue. They correlate to academic units in the College of Applied Health Sciences. BHIS Department of Biomedical and Health Information Sciences BVIS Program in Biomedical Visualization DHD Department of Disability and Human Development HI

Program in Health Informatics

HIM Program in Health Information Management KINES

Major in kinesiology

KN Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition MLS

Medical Laboratory Sciences

OT Department of Occupational Therapy

Bo Fernhall Dean UIC College of Applied Health Sciences

PT

Department of Physical Therapy


SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE TABLE OF CONTENTS 5

FEATURES 9 Big leaguers  AHS alumni work in a variety of fields. Here we introduce you to four who work to keep others on the field (or ice, in some cases).

14 The promise of rights  It’s been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act became

9

law. Its architects outlined specific goals. Now AHS experts grade its progress.

DEPARTMENTS NOTEBOOK 14

2 Newly assembled Advisory Council will help AHS achieve its priorities 5

With the ICD-10 deadline looming, one researcher offers a cost- saving tool

7

AHS and Mariano’s want people to eat more produce

PEOPLE 22

Better together: Highlights from alumni gatherings in 2015

22

On the cover: Mike Gapski, ’82 BS KINES, head athletic trainer for the Chicago Blackhawks, donning his playoff beard in 2013


Notebook AHS NEWS AND NOTES #AHS

Guidance councillors Late in 2014, AHS Dean Bo Fernhall took a visionary step to widen his perspective on long-term planning for the college when he established an Advisory Council comprising esteemed leaders in the professions for which AHS educates students. The founding members, all AHS alumni, are (front row, l-r) Margret Amatayakul ’70 BS HIM, President,

Margret\A Consulting; Brian Gagne ’85 BS ’87 MS KINES, Chief Operating Officer, Health Fitness Corporation; Gail Larsen ’75 BS HIM, Divisional Vice President-Provider Relations (retired), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; Joanne Bradna ’81 BS MLS, President, Rochelle Scientific; Sandye Lerner ’68 BS OT, Founder/President/ Chief Innovation Officer (retired),

The Comprehensive Group; (back row, l-r) Eric Warner ’88 BS PT, CEO (former), Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers; Bo Fernhall, Dean; Mike Doyle ’83 BS BVIS, Chairman/ Chief Technology Officer, Eolas Technologies; and Carol Blindauer ’83 BS NUT, Senior Strategist Food and Nutrition, Blindauer Consulting. Council members, who serve terms of up to three years, provide strategic advice, connections and resources for the college in many ways, including: providing advice on how to connect curricula to professional application; advising on trends in healthcare practice; providing feedback on the college’s academic changes and new external activities; and enhancing faculty and student recruitment efforts that support the college’s priority to improve diversity. “The council members are the experts, and I’m grateful to them for investing personal time to influence our college’s operations,” says Fernhall. “Because of their contributions, our graduates will be even more attractive to employers and even better prepared for the real work environment once they’re hired.”

#UIC

Leading man Here at UIC, the excitement about new chancellor Michael Amiridis hasn’t diminished since he took office in late March. Join the campus in getting to know him a little better every day via his dedicated website, chancellor.uic.edu, and his Instagram account, @uicamiridis. And meet him in person on Oct. 24 at AHS Celebrates, a gathering to recognize the college’s reach through our alumni, faculty and partners (see back cover). 2

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015


#UICBHIS

Tour managers The 2015 conference of the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, better known as HIMSS15, attracted more than 38,000 attendees to Chicago in April. Many arrived already looking forward to the Intelligent Health Association’s pavilion showcasing cutting-edge technologies for home and hospital settings. And when attendees got to the pavilion, AHS was there to give them the full tour. Some 45 students from our health information management and health informatics programs, dressed in red UIC polos and white lab coats, were on hand all day on each of the conference’s five days. Their job: To identify and demonstrate new technologies in a massive simulation center that included an operating room, ICU, emergency department, pharmacy, labor and delivery suite, laboratory, private residence, and more. “[The experience] was a chance for me to help advance health IT, engage consumers, and promote improvements in quality healthcare,”

HI student Jim Borda, as patient, and HIM student Allyson Ward, as provider, demonstrate new technologies on display during HIMSS15

says Jim Borda, a student in the online master’s program in HI. Allyson Ward, an undergraduate in the online HIM program, adds, “My time at the Intelligent Health Pavilion, and at HIMSS overall,

emphasized that my major in HIM is not only relevant today, but will continue to evolve in demand and complexity in future years.”

#UICOT

Legacy to last Barbara Loomis was honored on Apr. 23 at “An Evening with Legacies & Leaders,” hosted by UIC and the University of Illinois Foundation to recognize exemplary donors’ impact on the university.

Loomis (in white) is flanked by (l-r) Nicole Thonn ’10 MS OT; OT associate professor Gail Fisher ’80 BS OT, and former OT department head Wini Scott

Loomis is known to generations of occupational therapy alumni as an admired professor, department head and even acting dean of the college in the 1960s and ’70s. In those roles Loomis became well acquainted with the financial need some students experience. So, more than a decade ago, she gave

the first of many donations that would—with additional contributions from her family, friends and “fans”—reach endowment level in 2009 and be named in her honor. The first Barbara Loomis Scholarship was awarded in 2010 to Nicole Thonn. So it was joyously fitting that Loomis was joined by Thonn—the leader together with the symbol of her legacy—at the April awards dinner to celebrate an extraordinary gift.

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

3


Notebook

#UICPT

Triple award score This spring brought big honors to an alumna and two faculty in our Department of Physical Therapy.

Schwertfeger with Rep. Danny Davis during his visit to AHS

Madhavan in her Brain Plasticity Lab

Pai in his Clinical Gait and Movement Analysis Lab

Julie Schwertfeger ’94 BS PT was selected to receive the American Physical Therapy Association’s 2015 Federal Government Affairs Leadership Award, which honors outstanding work in advocating for the profession, educating APTA members about the importance of advocacy, and demonstrating how physical therapists can influence federal healthcare. Among her many efforts in this arena, Schwertfeger helped arrange visits to AHS by U.S. Rep. Danny Davis in 2014 and U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in 2013 to show them how federal legislation affects of physical therapy delivery. She accepted the award on June 3 in Washington, D.C.

The American Physical Therapy Association selected Sangeetha Madhavan, associate professor of physical therapy, to receive one of only two Eugene Michels New Investigator Awards for 2015. Madhavan is in the second year of research, funded by a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, to examine whether brain stimulation combined with gait training can improve patients’ ability to walk after a stroke. Her work may help some 3.6 million stroke sufferers in the U.S. who are unable to walk independently. Madhavan was recognized at APTA’s NEXT Conference on June 4.

Physical therapy professor Clive Pai continues to draw honors for his research in fall prevention among older adults. (In case you missed his May 23 segment on ABC7, view it at go.uic.edu/PaiABC7.) In March, Pai was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. AIMBE reports that it represents “the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers,” and among its 50,000 members, only some 1,500 have been made fellows. Pai was also named UIC’s Distinguished Researcher in Clinical Sciences for 2014.

#UICDHD

The united colors of scholarship In May, six freshly minted scholars graduated from our PhD program in disability studies, and each one was from a different country. (pictured l-r): • Lieke van Heumen, from the Netherlands, will stay at UIC for another year to continue her research, now as recipient of the 2015 Student Award from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. • Henan Li, from China, is off to Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., for a two-year postdoc assignment. • Badeer Aldimkhi will return to Kuwait to train teachers in adapted physical education. • Patrick Ojok will return to Uganda to resume his faculty position at Kyambogo University in Kampala. • Natasha Spassiani will head home to Canada and undertake a postdoc at the University of Toronto. • Terri Thrower from the U.S. (not pictured) is planning a move back to Atlanta where she’ll launch a podcast on disability culture. 4

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015


#UICHI

ICD, easy as 1 2 3 As the Oct. 1 deadline looms for all healthcare providers to transition to the 10th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10)—a revision that more than quintupled the number of diagnosis-code concepts in its predecessor, ICD-9—it’s comforting to know that Andy Boyd is still hard at work. Boyd, assistant professor of health informatics, became a recognized ICD expert in July 2013 when he and colleagues published a paper in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The paper, “The discriminatory cost of ICD-10-CM transition between clinical specialties,”

would be among the journal’s top 10 downloaded articles for 20 consecutive months. At press time, it was still among the top 5 most cited of all JAMIA articles. Since then Boyd et al. have published seven additional scholarly articles on the topic, most diving into the unique challenges likely to face specific medical fields in the ICD-10 transition. His team’s most recent paper on the topic, published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine in April (and for which HI assistant professor Jacob Krive was a co-author), was still among the most read on the journal’s website two months after publication.

Andy Boyd poses before a graphic representation of ICD-10 codes and their convoluted relationships

Andy Boyd is more than writing about the complexities of the ICD-10 transition. He coled development of a free online tool to help providers make the switch without hiring expensive consultants. See it and use it at go.uic.edu/ICD.

#UICKN

The Forum Four

At the 2015 UIC Student Research Forum on Apr. 2, AHS students dominated the life sciences category, taking four out of six available awards. And the winners were: • Rand Akasheh, a PhD candidate in nutrition advised by professor Giamila Fantuzzi, won second place at the graduate level • Sandra Gomez-Perez, a PhD candidate in nutrition advised by assoc. professor Carol Braunschweig, won third place at the graduate level • Kevin Li, kinesiology senior advised by physical therapy professor Shane Phillips, took second place at the undergraduate level • Ralph Griffiths, kinesiology senior advised by associate professor Karrie Hamstra-Wright, took third place Find the project titles and abstracts of these winners—and the other 33 AHS students who presented research at the forum—at go.uic.edu/2015SRF.

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

5


Notebook

#UICBVIS

Funding for the arts In March, three outstanding students wrapping up their degrees in biomedical visualization received research grants from the Vesalius Trust, the top organization that supports research and education in visual communications related to medical and life sciences. They are (pictured l-r): Grace Hsu, for her project designing a mobile app to improve patient adherence to medications; Faith Simunyu, for her project using interactive media to visualize molecular interactions that occur during a chemistry laboratory procedure; and Madeline Lee, for her project related to visualizing limb development in a human fetus (image at left). Only 15 Vesalius grants were awarded throughout the U.S. and Canada. All three BVIS now-alumnae will be honored at the Association of Medical Illustrators conference in Cleveland in July.

#UICOT #UICDHD

#UICKINES

First class

All abroad!

Four members of the AHS community were among the inaugural class of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Leaders & Legacies Society, established to recognize professionals for their “significant personal involvement in advancing occupational therapy at local, state and/or national levels” and their “ongoing desire to contribute to the field.” All were inducted during the AOTF Golden Gala in Nashville on Apr. 17, 2015. They are (pictured l-r): Great Lakes ADA Center director Robin Jones; alumni Coralie “Corky” Glantz ’61 BS OT; professor and head of occupational therapy Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar; and associate professor of occupational therapy Gail Fisher ’80 BS OT.

6

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015

The college’s first-ever study abroad program is happening this summer, with 10 kinesiology students undertaking six weeks in Dublin. In the course on sport psychology, each student will conduct an individual photography-based project under guidance of kinesiology assistant professor John Coumbe-Lilley. Follow the group and their highly visual projects on their blog at studyabroad. ahslabs.uic.edu.


#UICKN

FitZen starts As doctoral students in kinesiology and nutrition, Heather Grimm and Chenyi Ling are very interested in seeing people adopt healthy lifestyles. They noticed the rising use of health-management apps and wearable activity trackers, but they also felt “current apps are underdeveloped.” Grimm added, “We wanted to create an app with the fullest potential to help people live healthier [lives].” So they did just that: created an app and also a start-up company to produce it, called FitZen. The product is actually “an app-based consulting service that intercepts physiological data collected during ... daily physical activity to design a training [improvement] plan,” according to the company’s business plan.

The start-up (which also includes UIC business student Huizhang Zhou) then entered—and made it to the final round—of UIC’s 10th annual Concept2Venture businessplan competition. The team won $500 for advancing so far in the “Shark Tank”-style contest, and impressed one judge so much that he plans to invest $1,000 of his own money in the young company. They hope to launch the app publicly later this year. Grimm says they learned from the competition that, “There is a very big gap between the way a scientist thinks and a business person thinks,” but adds that both she and Ling still, “are hoping to become entrepreneurs focused on health-related technology businesses to improve people’s quality of life.”

FitZen’s Grimm, Ling and Zhou as they await the judges’ decision

The FitZen logo, because every great athletic product needs one

#UICNUTRITION

AHS goes to market This fall, Mariano’s shoppers may see something unusual in grocery stores: produce tours, conducted by AHS students. Twenty undergraduate and graduate students in nutrition will be trained to give tours of fresh, frozen and canned produce sections, thanks to a grant awarded to nutrition program director Jamie Shifley and Peggy Balboa ’10 BS NUT, Mariano’s only registered dietitian. The grant came from the Produce for Better Health Foundation, whose mission is to inspire more produce consumption in the U.S. as a matter of public health.

Shifley and Balboa will deliver the training, which functions as an independent-study course for students who participate. Then “Mariano’s Edible Store Excursions” will be available to consumer groups upon request at any of Mariano’s 32 stores. Shifley is eager to get students involved in nutrition education in the community. For her part, Balboa is excited that the experience “will provide students real-world examples of the questions customers have, and the importance of unified answers based in science,” she says. “Plus, these students will have a blast!”

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

7


Notebook

#UICAHS

Class dismissed On May 7, the college celebrated the graduation of 548 students— the AHS Class of 2015—in a joyous commencement ceremony at the UIC Forum. After hearing from distinguished guest speakers, recognizing award-winning professors and students, and distributing diplomas, the 2015 student speaker Dustin Jesberger, DPT, took to the podium. He shared that, during a clinical practicum, his instructor told him, “Ten percent of what you need to know [for a successful career] comes from the classroom; the other 90 percent comes from experience.”

Jesberger found it daunting at first; where would he and his classmates find the other 90 percent? He concluded: “The other 90 percent is here. The other 90 percent is sitting right next to you. The other 90 percent is your community. The other 90 percent will come from every single experience that we are privileged to have with those we serve.” Then he added, “Congratulations on your 10 percent. Now, go find your 90!”

Parts of the sum: The AHS Class of 2015 OCTORATE CERT. AL D C I IN HEALTH INFO. CL

MANAGEMENT

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

HEALTH INFORMATICS ASSISTIVE TECH

PHYSICAL THERAPY NUTRITION

HEALTH INFORMATICS

F SCIENCE OR O L E CH BA

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

BIOMEDICAL VISUALIZATION KINESIOLOGY

NUTRITION

REHABILITATION SCIENCE DISABILITY AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT DISABILITY STUDIES KINES, NUTRITION, AND REHAB

PHD 8

AHS MAGAZINE SUMMER 2015

TER OF SCIENCE MAS

HEALTH INFO. MANAGEMENT

KINESIOLOGY

Notes: (1) Each section’s extension from the circle center represents the class-size growth in that program since 2011, when the total number of graduates was 429. (2) Totals include students whose degrees were conferred in May 2015, December 2014 and August 2014.


Big

Leaguers

Meet four AHS alumni at the top of their game who are helping Chicago’s professional sports teams stay on the move

Mike Gapski ’82

In 28 years and more than 2,100 Blackhawks games, Mike Gapski (above, in black) has twice worked the NHL All-Star Game and was part of the Stanley Cup Championship teams in 2010, 2013 and 2015

BS, Kinesiology Head Athletic Trainer, Chicago Blackhawks How did you get started working with the Blackhawks? I was working as a trainer at UIC, and most of my job was to [train the] hockey team. The Blackhawks were looking for a trainer [in 1987], but I didn’t know it, so it was out of the blue when Bob Murdock, the Hawks’ head coach at the time, called and asked me if I’d be interested in the job. I think he called the UIC hockey coach first and asked about me. Before that, I never dreamed of going

pro; I enjoyed teaching1 at UIC, I enjoyed the college life and college hockey. I never thought I’d be here. What question do you get most often about this work, and how do you answer it? People ask me if the guys are as cool as they seem. I say, “Yeah, all the guys are great.” I consider these guys my friends, not just people I work with. Do I hang out with them [socially]? In the old days I did, yes, because

we were the same age. Now I’m a little older obviously. But we go out together occasionally on the road and get together for different things. I definitely think of them more as friends than as work acquaintances. What would surprise people most about your job? The schedule is 24/7; my phone is never shut off. I’m not complaining, because I love my job, but I think that might surprise people. On a game

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

At the time, UIC’s athletic trainers served as educators for interning students who were majoring in kinesiology and pursuing the National Athletic Trainers Association certification.

1

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

9


day, typically, we’ll get in at 8:00 in the morning to treat guys who need treatment. After practice and the pregame skate, players go to lunch, and I typically do my paper work. At about 4:00, the guys come back, and we do whatever we have to do to get ready for the game. If it’s a home game with a 7:30 start, I usually leave [the United Center] at about 11:30 or midnight. For away games, we travel as soon as the game ends. Right after the game, we’ll do our treatments really quick, then jump on a plane. We’ll do treatments again on the plane. And we get to our hotel rooms between 1:00 and 3:00 in the morning. Our coach is really great about giving the guys time off. There’s a mandatory off-day once a week, but that doesn’t mean I’m off off. I usually come in and do treatments for the injured players.

job; I look at it as fun. It’s nice when you have guys just sitting around in the training room, not because they’re injured, but because they enjoy being there and they enjoy the company and the conversation. That’s all part of the game; it’s part of the program because it helps them get ready for the games. Twenty years have gone by, and it’s just as fresh as the first year. It’s a pleasure for me to see the fruits of my work on the ice. Were you a Blackhawks fan before you got this job? I’ve been a Blackhawks fan my whole life. Growing up, games were on in the house all the time. Before [I joined the staff], if somebody asked me which pro team anywhere I would want to work for, it would’ve been the Blackhawks, so it worked out great for me.

What personal qualities do you need to do this work?

To what do you attribute your success, and how did your UIC education contribute to it?

The biggest thing is that you have to enjoy the work. I don’t look at it as a

The biggest factor is to always be sincere. You can’t be a phony in this

job. You have to truly care about the guys, truly care about the team. You have to continue to learn all the time because complacency will get you nowhere. Doesn’t matter if it’s your first year or 20th year, you always look for some way to better yourself, some way to help the guys out. UIC set me up for that in a couple of ways. I wanted to go into applied sports nutrition, and there was no degree exactly like that. So I sought out a career counselor who introduced me to a couple exercise physiologists [at UIC] and to [UIC’s head athletic trainer at the time] Carol Humble. Carol suggested I try taking a class. I did, and I loved it, and that was it. The other way UIC helped me is that Carol hired me into my first job, and she gave me an opportunity to take the hockey team early in my career. The UIC [athletic training] program was small and we had a lot of sports, so we were always busy, and I wanted to work as much as I could, and it just happened to pay off down the road.

Cindy DeStefano ’87

BS, Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy Manager, Chicago Center for Surgery of the Hand, Designated hand specialty clinic for the Chicago Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and Fire

10

AHS MAGAZINE SUMMER 2015

How did you get started working with pros/elite athletes?

What question do you get most often about this work, and how do you answer it?

Most of Chicago’s pro teams—the Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks and Fire—use Northwestern for their medical care, so if the players happen to injure an upper extremity, they wind up in our office. But when I came to work here 24 years ago, that wasn’t a factor [in my decision]; the draw was the reputation of the surgeons. They’re just amazing.

A lot of times people just want to know how players are as individuals. Sometimes another patient spots [an athlete in the clinic for treatment] and makes a huge deal about it. Then I feel so embarrassed for the player, but they’re usually very good about it. They engage in conversation. The other [patient] will say, “We really need you back,” and the player is like, “That’s why I’m here. I’m working on it!” They just tend to be very, very sweet people.


What would surprise people most about your job? As a society, we put [pro athletes] on a pedestal, but when they come in injured, they’re just normal people. When the physician walks them back [to the therapy clinic], the doctor will have already given them the choice to be treated in a private room or in the communal room. I’d say 99.9 percent of them come back to the communal room. They’re just regular people who happen to be very blessed athletically. They go through the grieving cycle, and they’re scared. We have to take them through it, step by step. And there’s nothing more rewarding than, at the end, when a 300-pound Bears linebacker seeks you out to give you a hug and thank you for everything you’ve done for him. How do you balance proper care with the pressure to get a player back in the game? You respect [the pressure] tremendously, and you make sure you’re really on top of your game. Playing is their job. They hate sitting out. We did have one incident, once, when a former Blackhawks player wasn’t happy with how quickly he was progressing. So he [sought out alternate care]. When he came back on Monday, I felt his finger and said, “What did you do?” He had completely fractured through the

plate that was holding his finger fracture together. Players just have a different mindset than most of us [have]. So you move them forward rapidly, but you do it within medical safety guidelines.

They respond better when they know you have a genuine interest in [their recovery]. Are you a sports fan? I’m not an avid sports fan where I watch every single game, but I love sporting events. Sitting around on a summer afternoon, watching the Cubbies play, is wonderful—but I won’t be watching all 180 games. To what do you attribute your success, and how did your UIC education contribute to it?

Cindy DeStefano won’t name her clients, but jerseys from former Cubs first baseman Derrick Lee and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher adorn her clinic’s walls, and Blackhawks player Kris Versteeg thanked her by name in a February 2015 press interview.

What personal qualities do you need to do this work? I think you just have to genuinely care about them. I always tell my therapists, “You’re not providing good quality therapy if your hands aren’t on your patient.” If you’ve got them doing three sets of ten reps, they can do that at the gym. Athletes are [unique]; they’re so in tune with their bodies that, when there’s an anatomical reason that they can’t do something, it drives them crazy.

I feel very blessed to have found a career for life that I really enjoy. Going through college, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, I bounced around. I thought I wanted to be a doctor, then I thought I wanted to be a nurse. Then I thought physical therapy was for me, so I spent time observing in a PT clinic. The OTs were in the adjacent room, and I thought, “Boy, they’re having a lot of fun over there. They’re on swings and scooters and doing all sorts of cool things.” At UIC I was able to explore all that, to move between things and figure it out. Now I’ve been an OT for 28 years, and I still love coming to work. UIC helped me find my niche in the world.

David Reavy ’98

BS, Physical Therapy Founder of React Physical Therapy, Inventor of the Reavy Method How did you get started working with pros/elite athletes? It started back 2007 when one of my offices was in an elite basketball training facility. [NBA players] Dwayne Wade and Tracy McGrady were among my first pro clients. I was lucky enough to work with quite a few NBA players during my tenure there and to establish long-term relationships that carry through to today. The players I worked with would tell me that they could feel their bodies change, [and] if they feel like something is really working, they tell their teammates. I started to get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, which is the main way I get professional athletes today. For instance, I saw Tommie Harris from the Bears back in 2007, and he referred Matt Forte to me years later. Matt has sent me the rest of the Bears I currently treat. SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

11


during rest, weak muscles just get weaker. The core problem of compensation is rarely addressed. I’ve found that when you address the underlying imbalances in the body, it takes the pressure off the injured area and allows the athlete to feel good enough not only to play, but to play very well. What personal qualities do you need to do this work?

Photo: Ryan Lowry

I think confidence and consistency are key. These athletes trust you not only with their health but also with their careers—their livelihood. You need to demonstrate confidence to show them you know what you’re doing, and then they understand you are going to prevent injury, improve performance, and give them longevity in their careers. Consistency is important because you need to be able to produce the same results each time they see you. Reavy’s clientele of NBA and NFL players includes Chicago Bears star running back Matt Forte, who lauded Reavy in Men’s Journal, saying “Dave was telling me things about my body … that no one else had before. He found the root of the problem.”

What question do you get most often about this work, and how do you answer it? The question I get is, “What do you do that’s different?” It’s the Reavy Method™, which is a whole-body approach to physical therapy. Instead of just focusing on the site of injury, I look at the whole kinetic chain to identify and address weaknesses, restrictions and imbalances. I address the cause of pain, not just the symptoms. When your body is in balance, everything works the way it is supposed to work, and you’ll notice that in your movement. What would surprise people most about your job? People tend to accept the norm when it comes to their bodies. They think, “This is just the way I walk,” or “I’ll always have back pain.” People are most surprised when I show them we can change their normal. They don’t

12

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015

realize that they just aren’t using their bodies properly, and that is what is leading to weakness, tightness and pain. How do you balance proper care with the pressure to get a player back in the game? Proper care is what gets the player back in the game. Athletes always want to push the limits and always feel an immense pressure to get back in the game. The key is to make sure your athlete can play without making the injury worse. Compensation means the body is working harder in one area to offset a deficiency in another area. Athletes’ bodies are so finely tuned that they can get away with compensating longer than the average person. But sooner or later the inefficiencies catch up to them, and the athlete ends up injured. Rest is a classic prescription to address [this], but

Are you a sports fan? Yes, I’d consider myself a pretty big sports fan. I’ve got my teams—the Bears, Bulls, Hawks and Cards. At my clinic, we have sports on all day every day. I enjoy not only the competitiveness, but also watching how well these athletes can move and perform. It’s cool to watch a game and analyze someone’s movements, especially when I can see the difference in the athletes I work with play out in a game. To what do you attribute your success, and how did your UIC education contribute to it? UIC gave me the foundation I needed to develop my methodology. My department head always stressed accountability, teaching me that I am accountable for my patient’s recovery. It was that lesson that gave me the ability to question the status quo and think, “How can I improve upon my practice?” That’s what led me to develop my methodology.


Rachel Parr ’09

BS, Kinesiology Massage Therapist, Chicago Bulls How did you get started working with the Bulls? I got a call in my final year at UIC from the Bulls’ head strength coach; he asked me if I would come work with them. He got my name through my mentor in massage, Doug Nelson. My [now-]boss at the Bulls, the strength coach, would only hire people that were trained under Doug. So he asked Doug—I found out later—for some names, and Doug gave mine and said, “If she doesn’t work out, I’ll give you a list of people.” That was a very unexpected phone call seven years ago, so it’s has been a great run.

especially the younger generations who really look up to some of these athletes. What would surprise people most about your job? What surprised me the most was how difficult the travel is. I gained a lot of respect for athletes once I started travelling with the team. It sounds really glamorous: You’re flying private and you’re staying in beautiful hotels, but it takes a toll on the body. You’re constantly moving. You’re flying to a new city at 1 in the morning. With back-to-back games, the turnaround is [grueling].

What question do you get most often about this work, and how do you answer it?

How do you balance proper care with the pressure to get a player back in the game?

Most people ask, “Who’s your favorite player?” or “What are the guys really like?” I always say, universally, “They’re all wonderful, all the guys.” And I mean it! The guys are all very wonderful individuals. I actually forget a lot of times that they’re famous. I’ll be out walking with [a player], and people just follow them. The guys are awesome about it; it’s quite impressive to see how they handle that attention. They have a big impact on some people’s lives,

We try to train the guys from their rookie year to use massage as treatment and prevention. We would prefer them to get what works while they’re healthy instead of getting a massage after they’ve been injured. We do treat both injured and healthy players, but our main objective is to get them to use it as a preventative treatment.

“I call them my boys,” says Parr of the Bulls players, despite the decidedly nonboyish height of Jimmy Butler and his teammates.

What personal qualities do you need to do this work? One of my former players said to me—and a couple of others have said something similar—“You’re not a guy and you’re not black and you didn’t grow up in the ’hood, (which he did, though obviously not every athlete did), but I relate better to you than anyone else because you’ve taken the time to get to know me.” That really struck me, because I had assumed everyone [got to know the players]. I treat my players just like I do any of my other clients. I get to know who they are, what they need, not just what position they play on the court. You have to treat every player as an individual; you can’t just lump

them all together and say, “This is a basketball player so I’m going to do A, B and C.” Were you a Bulls fan before you got this job? No, I was not at all. And in my first season, the guys never looked down on me for not knowing who they were or not knowing anything about what they did. They were always very sweet when I asked questions like, “What’s a double double?” They were always there to explain things. There was no ego with the players. Now, I’m a true fan. To what do you attribute your success, and how did your UIC education contribute to it? Getting my degree in sports science has helped me tremendously to work on a more professional level with team physicians, strength coaches and athletic trainers. We have a physical therapist now, and I’m able to talk to her on a much higher level. I feel confident in what I’m doing.

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

13


Organized by ADAPT, the Wheels of Justice campaign brought hundreds of people with disabilities to the nation’s capital in March 1990 to support the ADA. Photo: Tom Olin

The

promise of rights AHS experts weigh in on whether the Americans with Disabilities Act, at age 25, has lived up to its intentions 14

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015


n July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush to offer equal opportunities for individuals with mental, physical and sensory disabilities. Although the first draft of the bill, authored by the National Council on Disability, was introduced to Congress in 1988 (two years before a version was passed), the road to its passage began many decades before that. Adopting strategies of the AfricanAmerican Civil Rights Movement before it, the activists, organizers and advocates who made up the disability rights movement used acts of public civil disobedience— marches, protests and sit-ins—to shed light on the inequalities and challenges faced by people with disabilities. Their actions, which departed significantly from the long-accepted norm of segregating and/or hiding people with disabilities, raised Americans’ collective consciousness and forced public discourse. The ADA’s passage also owes a debt to various legislative efforts before it, beginning with the passage of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, specifically Section 504, which (1) banned discrimination on the basis of disability by entities who receive federal funds; and (2) classified people with disabilities as a minority group. Regulations to implement Section 504 met with resistance from multiple sides, from small businesses to the White House.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan charged his Task Force on Regulatory Relief with weakening or eliminating regulations that were perceived to be burdensome on businesses, but the disability rights movement’s collective energy forced the administration to drop its challenges to Section 504. It was this same collective force that overturned countless discriminatory rulings and reinforced equal protection regulations throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Before the ADA, it was easy for Americans who did not have personal experience with disability to perceive the issues of disabled people as ones that didn’t affect them. The long road to the ADA opened the nation’s eyes as people with disabilities from different backgrounds, cultures and circumstances came forward to share their stories in order to ensure the bill’s passage. Their visible, vocal presence made it evident that the ADA had implications for everyone—with or without disabilities. As the ADA celebrates its 25th anniversary in July 2015, AHS Magazine asked members of the college’s faculty—three experts renowned for their work and research in the experience of disability—to grade the ADA on how well the law has met its four original goals for people with disabilities: equal opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. All three experts agree that the ADA was a momentous law that positively and dramatically changed the experience of people with disabilities, but has it lived up to its full promise?

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

15


About the contributors

th es e

A AD

Grad

Joy Hammel

B+

Joy Hammel holds the Wade/Meyer Endowed Chair in Occupational Therapy. She is internationally known for her research to identify barriers and supports for community living and full societal participation of people with disabilities. Hammel conducts community-based participatory research, done in partnership with disability communities, designed to effect systems change. She is one of only 61 members of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research.

KNOW-WORTHY: Hammel codirects the ADA-Participation Action Research Consortium, a federal grant project to examine disparities experienced by people with disabilities in home, community and work/economic participation at the national, state and local levels. Visit the project website at centerondisability.org/ada_parc.

th es e

A AD

Grad

Robin Jones

B-

Robin Jones has directed the Great Lakes ADA Center, housed in AHS’ Institute on Disability and Human Development, since its inception 24 years ago. The center promotes ADA compliance among businesses, schools, municipalities and other organizations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. It also educates individuals on their rights under the ADA. Jones is nationally recognized for her leadership in promoting disability rights and accessibility.

KNOW-WORTHY: The Great Lakes ADA Center website, overseen by Jones, is a veritable treasure trove of resources and information for people seeking to understand and comply with the ADA. Visit adagreatlakes. org/GreatLakes.

16

th es e

A AD

Grad

Carrie Sandahl

C+

AHS MAGAZINE

Carrie Sandahl is founder and head of the Program on Disability Art, Culture and Humanities, housed in the Department of Disability and Human Development and devoted to research on and the creation of disability art. She is frequently invited to present her scholarly and creative work at local, national and international venues. Sandahl was born with sacral agenesis, which affects mobility and stature; she uses crutches or a wheelchair.

SUMMER 2015

KNOW-WORTHY: Sandahl is director of Chicago’s Bodies of Work, a consortium of more than 50 respected cultural, academic, healthcare and social service organizations, working to advance the disability arts and culture movement. Learn more at ahs.uic.edu/dhd/bodiesofwork.


ADA Goal:

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

JH

: I think we’ve come a really long way, and for people who were born [in or] after the 1990s, they don’t even know what the ’80s, ’70s and ’60s looked like. It’s radically different in terms of opportunity afforded to people with disabilities because of the Americans with Disabilities Act. But there are so many things in the ADA that we have yet to really get out to people with disabilities in the community. A lot of people with disabilities don’t even know what the ADA is. Most OTs and PTs that are working with people with disabilities aren’t really talking about the ADA. They talk about [issues] that are good for rehab, but not about civil rights and participation. What we see in the research is that a lot of people with disabilities are not participating at the same level as people without disabilities, in part because they don’t know what their rights are. They don’t know it’s their right to ask for accommodations, or to go into a business and say, “I’d like this to be accessible to people with disabilities. Here’s how you could do it.” They don’t know they can go to their employer and say, “I don’t want to go on Social Security Disability. I want to explore how I could return to work, and here are the accommodations I need.” So few people are doing that, which [means] equal opportunity is not realized yet.

RJ

: Equal opportunity wraps into all of the other goals of the ADA because, for example if I had a disability, I may have equal opportunity to travel because airports are accessible, planes are accessible, hotels are accessible. But if I can’t get a job, and I can’t make enough money to afford to travel, is that equal opportunity? Do I have equal opportunity to live independently in the neighborhood that I want to live in? I don’t in Chicago because we don’t have a good, accessible housing stock here. Do I have equal opportunity to go to college? One would say sure, I can apply to UIC. But did I have equal opportunity in [K-12] school to achieve the GPA that’s necessary to be admitted to UIC? Life with a disability is a series of very consequential trade-offs with very limited options. When you have a disability, you might have to evaluate where you want to live based—not on where your family is, for example—but on which [state’s] system is more user-friendly for you, to help you work or live independently or get an education. That’s the next frontier that we have to fix: to really allow people with disabilities more flexibility about where they go, what they do, even between states. So while the theory of equal opportunity under the ADA is great, there are so many more barriers to overcome.

CS

: One example leaps to mind when I think about equal opportunity: When I was director of graduate studies [for the Department of Disability and Human Development], I worked really hard to recruit students. And it was infuriating when they would get admitted, but their benefits weren’t able to transfer from their home state, even though they technically should have been able to. I can think of at least three students that we actively recruited and then

admitted, but we could not figure out how to accommodate. And so they were not able to come here or had to jump through a million hoops and delay admission. Some people have had to establish residency before coming to school, and then they get put on a waiting list [for services], because someone can’t just move to another state and have services immediately available. And then I also have had students who come from states that haven’t put up these barriers. The variation is ridiculous. The opportunity isn’t even equal within the disability community. How can that be equal opportunity for all people?

ADA Goal:

FULL PARTICIPATION

CS

: In my field, in the arts, the first thing you saw when the ADA passed was a big change in accessibility for audiences. You saw wheelchair seating, assisted listening devices, large print programs and eventually live captioning during performance events, audio tours of museums, etc. What has taken more time is artist accessibility. So there might not be a dressing room that the artist can use. The costume shop, the lighting booth, the backstage bathroom, the box office—all these spaces that you don’t even think about are often completely inaccessible. That’s just starting to change now. Then there’s the issue of education. I started first grade in 1974, so I’m the first generation that had access to public education as a right [due to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973]. But it definitely didn’t feel like we had any rights. Even as an undergrad [in the late 1980s], going to classes that were up four flights of stairs, it never even dawned on me that I could ask for a classroom to be moved. It was like we disabled people were just lucky to be there. So now I’ve been on both sides, as teacher and student. To me the biggest indicator of the ADA’s success [in achieving full participation] is that many students are not afraid to identify as someone with a disability. They don’t grovel or hide, but just present their disability as a fact and expect to be accommodated. So the ADA did a lot, but there are still so many ways [for an organization] to be technically compliant, without really being accessible for everyone to participate. The law’s clauses about “undue burden” and “reasonable accommodation” leave room for a lot of subjectivity. Now I’m the parent of two disabled kids. Our school district has eight elementary schools, and they don’t all have elevators. That means kids with certain kinds of impairments aren’t able to go to the same school as the other kids in their neighborhood. It also means that schools without elevators are not accessible to parents, teachers or staff who are unable to use stairs. And this is a district with a lot of resources! But if our schools say it’s an undue burden, financially, to make all the school accessible, that’s “legitimate” under the law.

RJ

: Full participation can only happen when people with disabilities are viewed by people in the community as being equal to them. We still have reports of people saying that they go to the SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

17


store and the salespeople ignore them. There was just a story We’re far behind the curve in the United States, and it’s in the paper about a man who was injured in Iraq and has a not because ADA didn’t work. It did work. It’s because the service animal. He went into a well-known chain restaurant systems and the policies and the businesses are resistant to [in a Chicago suburb], and the manager refused him service. change, even in the face of compelling cost benefit. Our office got a call about another recent incident And independent living feeds into full participation. If at Navy Pier [in Chicago]. A mother with a child who had you’re not able to have a choice about where you live, if you cerebral palsy wanted to eat at one of the establishments don’t have access to affordable and accessible housing, then there. This child had some flailing the whole world of participation of the arms and some vocalization. is closed to you. If you’re in an “I attended the signing of ADA back The [restaurant employee] told them institution, you’re not going to get to come back later when the place out and do things in the community. in 1990, and one of the things that would be less crowded so [the child] One of the big projects we have President Bush said there was that wouldn’t be as much of a bother to going now at the national level is to Congress can legislate ... how the other patrons. look at disparities [in community environment has to be changed, but So that mother may have come participation] between people on the bus because it was accessible, who live in institutions and in the they can’t legislate attitude.” and she could go around Navy Pier community, and we see, strikingly, - Robin Jones with her child in a wheelchair-type people in the institutions are not stroller because there are curb cuts participating. and there are wide enough doors and there’s a bathroom she can go into. But when she gets : Independent living is a difficult issue. One of the denied service at that restaurant, then she and her child big problems is housing. In [my town], it’s almost don’t have full participation in the community. impossible to find accessible housing. I landed there, my There are far fewer denials [of service] than there used to kids got in the school system, and I really got rooted in the be, but they still happen, and that’s about attitudes. community. Then my landlord was foreclosed on, and I had to find a new place to live in 30 days. Plus, I have two : From the ADA perspective, where we’ve seen disabled kids that I wanted to keep in the same school the biggest increases and improvements are in district and keep all their services in place. To make it worse, two areas: One is physical accessibility in the community. in the limited accessible housing that exists, there’s an Businesses, parks, village halls, libraries—many of these assumption that you don’t have a family. places and spaces have undergone major changes around So now I have an apartment with [entry] stairs that I can physical and sensory accessibility because of the ADA. manage, but it’s not visitable by a lot of my friends, most of The other area is transportation access. Chicago is whom are disabled, and a lot of them use wheelchairs. (I one of the [cities] that used the ADA very quickly in the believe there are visitability provisions in new housing codes, transportation arena, to say, “This system is not accessible but I live in an older community.) So even when people with in many ways. It needs to be improved.” Now we’re one of disabilities have the resources to live independently, I think the leading cities in terms of accessibility of train stops, there’s a lot of isolation that happens. bus systems, bus routes—all those things. Accessible and : Unfortunately, the ADA leaves it up to the states affordable transportation lets people get around in the to determine how to spend money [intended to community, to go where they want to go. It’s critical to full participation. support independent living]. For example, Illinois has what we call an institutional bias; the state’s policies support institutional living over independent living. ADA Goal: There are people who have been able to move out of nursing homes, largely due to lawsuits. [Illinois has three ongoing class-action suits challenging stateoperated institutions and the policies that favor them over : The ADA gives [people with disabilities] the right independent living arrangements.] But they need support— today to live in a community with supports versus personal care assistants, homemaker services, things of that being put into a nursing home or institution. We have nature—to be able to stay in the community. compelling cost-benefit data that shows that communitySo each person is evaluated to determine what they’re based care and support, even [with state-issued] housing eligible for in services. It’s called a Determination of Need vouchers for rent, is far less costly than what a nursing home (DON) score. The state’s current cut off is 34. This year, or institution costs, and we get better outcomes in terms of though, we’re facing huge budget cuts in Illinois, and the quality of life and participation in the community. proposal for the new budget year is to move that eligibility So, right away, the cost data is compelling, and you score to 37. That means there’s a whole group of people wonder, “Then why isn’t everybody doing it?” Well, that’s who are at risk for having to go back into a nursing home our system; the nursing home industry has a very powerful because they won’t receive the services they need to stay in lobby. In other countries—Canada and across Europe—they the community. [moved toward community living supports] long ago, so Under the ADA, the state can legally make that they’re realizing the benefit. They worked with businesses determination [to deny services]. to say, let’s train a whole new group of therapists and rehab New lawsuits will happen, but nobody wins in lawsuits, professionals that will be community providers.

CS

JH

RJ

INDEPENDENT LIVING

JH

18

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015


because while we’re fighting, you’ve got groups of people who end up in an institution again.

ADA Goal:

ECONOMIC SELF-SUFFICIENCY

RJ

: What we’ve realized is that, under the ADA, the dial hasn’t moved as anticipated [related to] employment. There are areas that have definitely been more successful. The ADA has made it much easier for people who become injured after they’re already employed to retain their job. Prior to the ADA, if you acquired a disability, you

could lose your job. Now, with the ADA, the employer has an obligation to look at whether a person can still do the job with a reasonable accommodation. That’s a huge difference. However, getting employers to see people with disabilities as qualified applicants remains a problem. There’s still an idea among employers that people with disabilities are less qualified and cost more money, even though research has shown that that’s not the case—that people with disabilities tend to stay longer, to be more loyal as employees. Disincentives are also a huge issue. If I have a disability and I’m getting Social Security Disability [insurance payments]—maybe just $1,100 a month—but I have my healthcare covered too, then it’s a huge risk to go back to work and lose that safety net. So people choose to live with

Gather and Hunt AHS researchers aggregate research on the ADA to look for evidence of its impact What’s the true impact of the ADA? Has it helped those it intended to help? Twenty-five years since the law passed, these questions are difficult to answer. Many research studies have been conducted, but they vary widely in their focuses and their findings, making evaluation of the ADA’s impact a monumental challenge. But researchers in AHS’ Department of Disability and Human Development are taking that challenge head on. As part of the National ADA Knowledge Translation Center Project, based at the University of Washington, researchers Sarah Parker Harris and Robert Gould are conducting a five-year review of available ADA research in an effort to better understand the law’s impact. The goal, they say, is to put research findings to use in moving social behavior, practices and policies toward improved equality for people with disabilities. The project’s first stage, the scoping review, involved gathering and analyzing huge amounts of ADA-related research. Completed in 2013, stage one resulted in several key findings, including that there is too little qualitative research regarding the ADA’s impact—research that’s critical to understanding impact on the lived experience of disability. Also, they found that most ADA-related

AHS researchers Sarah Parker Harris and Rob Gould, presenting on their research at the Society for Disability Studies Conference in June 2015.

research has looked at employment and education, with much less focus on other important areas like housing, and that most research examines the law’s impact on people with disabilities and employers, overlooking families, advocates and healthcare practitioners. For the rapid evidence review (stage two), Parker Harris and Gould narrowed their focus to employment. The team sought to answer the question: What evidence exists that the ADA has influenced knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about the employment of people with disabilities?

National Network as they assessed, compiled, categorized and analyzed employment-specific research. Their conclusion? The ADA has positively influenced knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about employing people with disabilities. However, says Gould, “It seems that knowledge of the law, when it’s not informed by the perspective of disability rights as civil rights, is being used more to avoid litigation than to advance meaningful cultural change.” In stage three, the project team is conducting a full systematic review of research related to attitudes, healthcare and disclosure of disability. The full fiveyear study will be complete in 2017. “Throughout the project, we’ve found great anecdotal evidence that people’s lives have been positively influenced by the ADA,” says Gould. “But there’s very little research to document that conclusion. We clearly need better documentation, to ensure the ADA is treated as a matter of civil rights.” Learn more about the project and read plain-language summaries of each stage at adata.org/national-adasystematic-review.

The researchers consulted with a panel of nationally recognized ADA experts as well as representatives from the ADA SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

19


less money in order to keep their healthcare. There is a system in place that allows people to try to go back to work without losing benefits right away and that reinstates benefits without a long wait if a disability exacerbates, but people don’t trust the system because, for so long, it’s been a bad system. So they’ve given up on employment. [On the employer side], the only incentive to hire people with disabilities is an employment tax credit that covers a percentage of the person’s wages for the first six months. But there are many hoops the employer has to go through to exercise that small benefit. Most decide it’s not worth it. There have been efforts to try to increase the tax incentive, but I really don’t know if it would make a difference. I think it goes back to attitudes—the level of commitment that the organization has to diversity, inclusiveness, and having a workplace that reflects society. Also, our other systems that prepare people for employment have not changed as they should have since the implementation of ADA. More and more in our society, employers are looking for master’s degrees, and it’s harder for students with disabilities to get those because it’s different to get accommodations for advanced-degree study, like research, than it is for undergrad study. So when an employer comes to me and says he’s interested in hiring a person with a disability who has an MBA, it is not easy to identify qualified people. The employer isn’t always to blame; there’s an issue with the employee supply pool. And that was the promise of the ADA. Education and training is part of economic self-sufficiency, but access to those things is still not equal.

CS

: There are a huge number of people with disabilities who are of working age and are not in the workforce. Of those of us who are, the unemployment rate is about 15 percent. So, to me, the way the ADA has let us down is in its idea that all employers have to do is remove barriers and everyone will be able to participate. People talk about the ADA leveling the playing field, which I think has given the public the wrong impression. Now people assume that, if you’re not able to work, then it must be your own fault somehow. The ADA gives you a right to an education and a right to employment, so you must just be lazy if you can’t find a job. The assumption is that all you need is some accommodation, and then you can work a 20-, 30-, 40hour work week. But some people with disabilities have stamina issues or symptoms that fluctuate. And a lot of jobs are not going to give you adequate healthcare or enough income to pay for a personal assistant.

20

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015

So the ADA has helped people like me—people who have impairments but whose impairments don’t exclude them from employment. Although even then, it depends on how and where you live. If I were living in the small town that I grew up in, out in the country, what work would I do? I don’t know. Disabled people’s life choices are dictated by certain policies, which narrows our opportunities. You see someone like me get through, but you don’t see a lot of people like me. You see people who maybe were injured later, who already have their education. The more that I’m around people with all different kinds of disabilities, the more that I see that the law makes it appear that there is a lot more opportunity then there actually is.

JH

: I think the biggest issue for people with disabilities still is the vast number of people who are living in poverty, largely because they’re not entering the workforce. If you look at employment right now, there are huge disparities between people with and without disabilities that have stayed fairly consistent since ADA. Education has changed, community access has changed, but we haven’t seen a big dent in employment. The question isn’t, “Do people with disabilities have the skills to do the work?” The main issue is that they face so many disincentives to going into the workforce [where] benefits might get pulled away. It’s impossible for a lot of people with disabilities to even consider working because, if they have to pay for a personal attendant, they may end up losing money. Segregated employment for people with disabilities has also been a long-term issue. One thing that’s happening right now is that advocates are using the [1999] Our Department of Disability Olmstead Decision—which came and Human Development out of ADA and said [people with disabilities] have a right to live is an official partner of ADA in the community—to say they 25 Chicago, a year-long also have a right to work in leastcommemoration and series of restrictive, integrated settings in the community. So now we start to see programs that will leverage the potential lawsuits against sheltered ADA’s milestone anniversary workshops where, depending to build public awareness on which state you live in, many about equality for people with people with disabilities are guided to and paid sub-minimum wage to disabilities. Programs include do contracted jobs. educational, cultural, arts, It’s often the case that change sports and recreation events starts with a lawsuit and a lot of hosted by partners throughout disability-rights advocacy. And that reminds you that, not only do metro Chicago. Learn more at you need the ADA as a civil right ada25chicago.org. and a law, but you need an activist community that’s banded together to make these rights work for citizens with disabilities.


SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

21


People

Better together The college and its individual departments held a host of alumni events, on and off campus, during the first half of 2015. All who participated enjoyed loads of fun and fellowship.

#AHSmingles

Alumni and Friends Reception at CSM 2015

February 5 More than 40 physical therapy alumni and friends gathered at this year’s annual reception held during the Combined Sections Meeting of the American Physical Therapy Association in Indianapolis.

Alumni Dinner in Phoenix, AZ

22

AHS MAGAZINE

February 18 AHS alumni from the greater Phoenix area attended an intimate dinner with Dean Bo Fernhall. The dinner followed a reception for University of Illinois alumni hosted by President and Mrs. Robert Easter.

More photos from several of these events can be found on the AHS Facebook page at facebook.com/ UIC.AHS

SUMMER 2015


People

WinterDance

February 20 When Mother Nature crashed AHS @ SummerDance in September 2014, we decided to try again, taking the mingling and moving indoors. Co-sponsored by the UIC School of Public Health, our oncampus WinterDance kicked off with a fascinating presentation by kinesiology professor David Marquez, followed by group dance lessons. Then some 50 alumni salsa’d, samba’d and merengue’d the night away, without umbrellas.

Alumni Meet-up at GLATA 2015

March 12 UIC’s former head athletic trainer Carol Humble, current assistant athletic trainer Mike Gilmartin and alumna Ann O’Brien ’94 BS ’98 MS KINES, organized a fun evening for athletic training alumni at this year’s annual meeting of the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association in

Wheeling, Ill. Attendees enjoyed some active fun led by Brian Wismer ’91 BS KINES, who previously entertained alumni at the AHS Alumni Awards Dinner in 2014.

SUMMER 2015

AHS MAGAZINE

23


People CE Day and the 2015 Ruth French Lecture

April 11 AHS’ first CE Day and the 2015 Ruth French Lecture made for an extraordinary afternoon of learning and networking. Some 70 AHS alumni took advantage of the more than 12 hours of free continuing education, and dozens more alumni from four co-sponsoring UIC colleges attended the lecture and reception. Stanford

health psychologist Kelly McGonigal and her lecture, “The science of inspiring behavior change,” were lauded by attendees from across the various professional fields represented in the audience.

Alumni reception at HIMSS15 April 13 Hosted at the historic University Club of Chicago, nearly 50 alumni from our health informatics and health information management programs attended a cocktail reception held during the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Conference & Exhibition.

Welcome to Alumniville: The UIC AHS Alumni Community

April 30 Our first-ever social event to actively welcome new graduates of our college into the AHS alumni community was attended by nearly 60 grads, as well as the faculty and staff who were instrumental in shaping their

24

AHS MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2015

experiences. AHS alumni from all over the country contributed to a “welcome” video that was shown during the event.


ALUMNI AWARDS PROGRAM Recognizing alumni with three awards: • Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award • Loyalty Award • New Alum Award Awards will be presented at AHS Celebrates on October 24

Mike Doyle, ’83 BS BVIS

Recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Nominate yourself or a classmate today! Find criteria, nomination forms and details of past recipients: go.uic.edu/AHSAlumniAwards SUMMER 2015 AHS MAGAZINE

25


AHS MAGAZINE

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Chicago, Illinois Permit No. 4860

University of Illinois at Chicago Office of the Dean (MC 518) College of Applied Health Sciences 808 South Wood Street, 169 CMET Chicago, Illinois 60612-7305 Address Service Requested

See you there!

Fr ie d an nt

s

Ye a

16

OCT

OCT

H Ch IM ica Ingo se r

vi ce

,S

tu

de

th 40

H Ne I/HI w M Or A lea lum ns ni

28

24

FEB

Ev en s nd

on ni

19

SEP

f1 97 5 PT Ch C ica las go s o

SEP

14

rR eu

e nc Da er m Su m o

ag AH Ch S ica @ C go h ic

AUG

23

ta tA AH H Re S IM C Ch co el A ica gn eb 20 go izi ra 15 ng te ou s: rr ea PT ch An A th ah lum ro eim n ug ia h al nd um Fr ni ie ,f nd ac s ul Re ty ce an pt d io pa n at rt ne CS rs M 20 16

5 01 I2 M at A er nn Di s nd Fr ie d an ts en ud St i, BV Cl IS ev ela Alu nd mn

JUL

#AHSmingles

Connect with fellow alumni, future colleagues and mentors by attending UIC AHS events happening across the country. Visit ahs.uic.edu/news/events for details.

2016

#myAHSnetwork

AHS Magazine - Summer 2015  

The publication for alumni and friends of the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you