Friday, October 7, 2011

MGH to host AccessAbility Fair

TASK FORCE TEAM: Disability Awareness Task Force members, from left, Amirhosseini, Lenny DeBenedictis; Helena Kryuchkin; Shellie Leger; Susan Muller-Hershon; and Betsy Pillsbury

WHAT STARTED LAST YEAR as a small table with information pamphlets has turned into a full-scale event honoring National Disability Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Office of Patient Advocacy and the Council on Disability Awareness, the AccessAbility Fair will be held Oct. 19 from 10 am to 4 pm in the Bulfinch Tents. It will be open to staff and the general public.

The event will feature representatives from a number of state and national organizations that provide services to individuals with disabilities as well as hands-on demonstrations of adaptive equipment. A panel of parents of children with disabilities will host a question-and-answer session about how they’ve navigated the hospital system, and MGH clinicians and practice managers will field questions at the “Know Your Body, Know Yourself” table. In addition, the event will showcase the talents of a Beep Ball blind baseball team, who will demonstrate the specialty equipment they use, such as a modified baseball that makes a series of beeps once it is pitched, enabling players to know when they should swing the bat.

“This fair will help our staff better understand some of the unique needs of our patients with disabilities,” says Zary Amirhosseini, MEd, disability program manager in the Office of Patient Advocacy. “My hope is that those who attend the fair will take away information on what resources are available, both in and out of the hospital. There is much that can be learned about working and interacting with people with disabilities, and the AccessAbility Fair will hopefully stimulate people to consider issues they hadn’t thought about before.”

For a full list of booths and presentations or to request disability accommodations, contact


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