Association of Amputee Surfers Works With Disabled

July 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Video

The Association of Amputees Surfers is a Non-Profit Organization made up of amputees, those related to amputees, and those who work with amputees and others with disabilities. Their mission is to Promote, Inspire, Educate, and Rehabilitate (PIER) those with disabilities, especially our veteran heros, through Adaptive Surfing and other fun safe outdoor activities that all can participate in.

The video below done by CBS news shows the AMPSURF ( in action.

Watch CBS Videos Online


Disability A Great Learning Tool For Life

April 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Inspiring People

Disability a great learning tool for life

By Robert David Hall, Special to CNN
April 21, 2010 11:39 a.m. EDT



  • Robert David Hall hates to admit it, but he still believes that “Love is all you need”
  • Hall says he’s a husband, father, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, co-worker
  • He says his disability, walking on prosthetic limbs, helped him find himself
  • His greatest joy is being the father of Andrew and husband of Judy

Editor’s note: Robert David Hall is an American actor, best known for his role as coroner Dr. Albert Robbins on the TV show “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” He is a prominent advocate for disabled Americans.

(CNN) — Trying to answer the question “Who am I?” is a tricky undertaking. I tend to despise labels, but it’s probably helpful to have some idea of who you perceive yourself to be and how others perceive you.

It seems logical that you can examine this question from many angles: where you fit in statistically, physically, economically, spiritually, geographically, educationally and in so many other ways.

When I was a boy, my Cal Tech-educated father, an engineer and lawyer, used to tell me I was made up of nine dollars and 73 cents worth of chemicals and minerals. I’m fairly certain he was joking, but I think he was also trying to get me to consider the duality of humans, as both significant and insignificant. He certainly caused me to ponder who and what I am.

I grew up in many regions of the United States, and I’m a member of that particular “baby boomer” generation that came of age in the 1960s, so many things define me. I’m still guilty of believing that “Love is all you need,” although I usually keep that to myself. Without pretending to be all-encompassing, a few things pop to the front of my mind when I consider who I am.

I’m a human being, a presumably sentient being, living in the 21st century. I’m one of the fortunate who lives in the United States with good health and health care, a great job, a close family, good friends and, thanks to my wife, a beautiful home.

As a citizen of this country, I’m also a taxpayer, a consumer of many things and, I hope, someone who gives back something and isn’t too voracious in his consumption. I love my job acting on a TV show, and I value the people I work with.

I’m an imperfect but fairly responsive husband, father, brother, cousin, nephew, friend, co-worker and acquaintance.


Name: Robert David Hall
Age: 62
Birthplace: East Orange, New Jersey
Occupation: Actor, musician, father, husband

I’m also a survivor and a person with a disability. I became disabled in 1978 when I lost both legs in a freeway accident. An 18-wheeler truck hit me, and my car’s gas tank blew up, leaving me burned over 60 percent of my body. I spent several months in a hospital and learned to walk on two prosthetic limbs. I’ve gone on to success in my career in radio and as an actor and musician.

I used to hate the word “disability,” but I’ve come to embrace the fact that I’m one of more than 58 million Americans with some kind of physical or learning disability…Continued


Puppies Behind Bars

July 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

On July 7th I posted the below blog about the love of dogs.  Going through Time Magazine online , I came across a story about an incredible prison program that has inmates training dogs for the blind and the disable. The program actually trains a lot of animals for disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What is also remarkable is how much these dogs can change how these once hardened criminals think about themselves and the world.

“The program has taught me to be patient, honest with myself, and how to work without ego. My last dog, Yankee, went to a war veteran somewhere in Colorado. Just knowing that I helped to change someone’s life makes me feel as if I have a purpose and a destiny. These dogs have a way of touching a person’s spirit” says Tyrone, a man who has already served 8 1/2 years in prison.

This program also reminds me of a night I went to the Sony lot to see a screening of shorts directed by young men who were incarcerated.   This was a program run by a number of filmmakers in California who wanted to reach out to these youngsters and hopefully repurpose their lives. What was really interesting, was that every short was about love; either love or lack of for a girlfriend or a mother.

As the Beatles used to sing “All you need is love” it seems that the service dog program and the youth filmmaker’s program are a testament to that.


Previously posted on July 7th 2009

I got a dog six months after my husband had his liver transplant.  Both Chris and I were extremely allergic and so we could only have a purebred Poodle or a Portuguese Waterdog.

When I was visiting my parents in Brazil in December of 2006, I passed by a pet store with one of my nieces.  When we walked in a caramel toy Poodle was sitting in a box.

He was just so friendly and loving that I had to bring him back to the US.  Chris was waiting for me at the airport with all kinds of toys for the dog.  I had two dogs before but Chris had never had a pet.

Chris fell in love with the dog.  He couldn’t believe that this little animal was always ready to play and to love. He became so much part of our lives that we no longer travelled if we couldn’t bring the little dog with us.

When Chris’ cancer came back and we were making the first trip to Mayo Rochester, we took the little dog with us.  We told others that the reason we were taking him was because we didn’t know where and with whom to leave the dog with, but the truth was we needed him.  We needed to have this being, full of love and always playful, to help us through the first set of diagnosis and tears.

As the time went on and Chris got sicker, the little dog was his constant companion, always by him and loving him.  Having this little dog giving us so much love helped us to keep going.

It came a time when Chris was too sick and fragile to have him around and I had to make sure the little dog didn’t jump on Chris’ very swollen body. 

When Chris passed, my little dog became very attached to me.  When I laid in bed sometimes not wanting to get up, he laid next to me pulling my hands with his paw and demanding that I pet him.

These days whenever I feel blue I just need to spend sometime with my little dog, his antics bring a smile to my face almost immediately.  And what does he do for me?  He just loves me and I just love him.