Monday, October 25, 2021

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

Image of a person's head as a jigsaw puzzle with two pieces displaced

Dyslexia is a neurological condition in which the brain’s “wiring” makes reading difficult. Brain anatomy studies and functional brain scans show that the brains of people with dyslexia are structurally, developmentally and functionally different from the brains of people without dyslexia. However, dyslexia is not brain damage nor a disease.

Dyslexia is not related to intelligence; highly intelligent people can have dyslexia. People with dyslexia may not read accurately or fluently, because they have trouble identifying the individual sounds that make up a word, or they can’t learn to relate a sound to a visual symbol like a letter. They may have difficulty decoding written or printed language, and may be poor spellers and have illegible handwriting. Having dyslexia may affect reading comprehension; persons who read less also tend to have smaller vocabularies and less general knowledge than more capable readers.

Children with dyslexia often face difficulty receiving an appropriate education. If their teachers do not understand their struggles, students with dyslexia may be tagged as lazy, stupid, or underachieving. However, many coping strategies are available. Dyslexia is now considered a specific learning disability, and can be covered by accessibility laws related to educational opportunities. About 14% of students have enough problem with dyslexia to qualify for special education services. With proper education and support, about 96% of students with dyslexia can become good readers.

For more information on adult dyslexia, please visit these sites:

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Easy Study Tool: Flashcards

A stack of 3 by 5 index cards used for memorization
Index cards for memorization

This old-fashioned tool used to be handwritten on the front and back of 3 by 5 index cards, but no longer. Now there are excellent e-versions which can include not only definitions but also pictures, sounds, and fill-in-the-blank questions. These modern flash cards are available as apps for iOS and Android devices. You can study anywhere! 

This tool is best for memorization and recall. Learning vocabulary in a new language, or multiplication and division tables, or chemical formula names, or famous painting or musical selection identification, or physics or mathematics formulas, or anatomical names, or… pretty much anything you need to commit to memory.

Several companies offer pre-made flashcards on a wide variety of topics, or you can create your own sets and then trade them. Some offer free services, others charge a fee. Many have created games to make studying more fun. Most keep stats so you can track your progress. The best flashcard sets optimize your memorization by repeating incorrect guesses later in your study session, and waiting to repeat correct responses for some set amount of study later on.

Here are some examples of companies offering flash card sets:

Give flash cards a try, no matter what you are studying.

Monday, October 18, 2021

What Can I Ask JAN About?

JAN can be a disabled employee’s best friend.  JAN is the Job Accommodation Network, a US organization that provides free, confidential information about job accommodations and disability employment issues to employees and employers worldwide. Within the US, JAN supports job accommodations under Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as supporting entrepreneurial self-employment for persons with disabilities. JAN is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).

According to the ADA, a reasonable workplace accommodation is a modification or adjustment to either the job requirement or the workplace environment that is made so that a qualified employee who has a disability can perform the essential functions of a job. It also applies to job applicants, meaning accommodations can be made so an applicant with a disability can participate in the job application process. JAN specialists can brainstorm with employers, employees or job applicants to identify potential accommodations.

While half of all accommodations cost nothing, JAN can help employers and employees figure out not only what accommodations might work, but also how to afford them. JAN maintains a list of public and private funding sources. JAN also has information on tax incentives for employers related to increasing accessibility for employees with disabilities.

You can search the JAN website for information on accommodations by disability, functional limitation,  work/task functions that need to be modified, types of accommodation, or other topics. You can also find links to many publications and other helpful resources.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Does HIPAA Protect You from an Interviewer or Employer Asking You Health Questions?

Image of two people in a job interview
A job interview

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Since 1996 it prevents the release of your protected health information to unauthorized persons without your permission. It also requires that your physician’s office provide you with printed information about how your healthcare information is used and protected from unauthorized access. (That’s the sheet of closely typed information you probably don’t read during check-in, just sign that you received it.)
HIPAA does NOT prevent interviewers or employers from directly asking you health-related questions, including your COVID vaccination status. HIPAA does NOT prevent you from answering such questions. And HIPAA does NOT prevent interviewers, employers, or businesses such as restaurants or movie theaters from asking you to provide proof of COVID vaccination.
However, you do NOT need to respond to these questions or requests. If you consider them nosy or inappropriate, you can certainly say so and refuse to answer. Of course, then the person who asked you may make their own assumptions about your health or vaccination status.
It is not illegal for anyone to ask these questions, and it is your choice to answer or not answer.

October 20, 11am SLT - National Disability Employment Awareness Month Virtual Celebration

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

On Wednesday, October 20, at 11am SLT (2pm Eastern), you can join U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams for a virtual celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the 20th anniversary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy.

This online event will feature insightful dialogues and a video showcase highlighting strategies in action for an equitable, disability-inclusive economic recovery. Featured guests will include Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Jenny Yang and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy.

You can register at this link to receive instructions on how to attend the celebration from your computer:

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Invisible Disabilities Week, Oct. 17-23, 2021

"Visible Courage - Stories of Life" - celebrating Invisible Disabilities Week
Logo from

The Invisible Disabilities Association invites everyone to celebrate Invisible Disabilities Week by proclaiming the visible courage of persons with invisible disabilities. 

Invisible disabilities are not readily apparent to others just by looking at a person. They include conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, mental illness, chronic pain, peripheral neuropathy, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, lupus, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, PTSD, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and myasthenia gravis, to name just a few. The impact of an invisible disability can range from minor impairment to completely disabling.

About 10% of Americans have an invisible disability; 96% of people with chronic medical conditions have an invisible disability. Because these disabilities are not apparent to the casual observer, a person with an invisible disability may be accused of faking or exaggerating their condition. The Invisible Disabilities Association is striving to establish a discrete National Disability ID icon that is more inclusive than the current blue and white wheelchair symbol for accessible parking in order to address potential misunderstandings with law enforcement, emergency and first responders, and other public services.

To learn more about invisible disabilities:

Oct 16, 2021, is Ether Day

Photograph of the first surgery
performed with the use of ether

Painting to commemorate the first surgery
performed with the use of ether

Ethers are a group of organic chemical compounds that are commonly discussed in biochemistry as they are often links in carbohydrates. However, the ether to be celebrated today is a specific example of this class of compounds, chemically named diethyl ether.

The first general use of diethyl ether was as entertainment in the early- to mid-1800s. “Ether frolics” were held by self-described itinerant scientific lecturers, who allowed audience members to inhale the fumes of diethyl ether. These eager participants were gawked at by the rest of the audience while they underwent what they later described as “mind-altering experiences.” 

In the mid-1800s, nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) was used as a general anesthetic for surgeries. Physicians, noting the anesthetizing effects of inhaling ethyl ether, began attempting its use in medical settings. On October 16, 1846, dentist William T. G. Morton made the first successful public demonstration of diethyl ether general anesthesia in a dental extraction. The audience attended this surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in what became known as the Ether Dome. A painting of the event by Robert C. Hinckley is titled The First Operation Under Ether.

For more information about diethyl ether, visit the links on this page:

Monday, October 11, 2021

TIP- Calcium and D together

Cartoon cow with hooves spread apart as if asking a question

Most of us know that calcium in the diet is important for bone health. Over 99% of the calcium in your body is found in your bones. It is less well known the calcium aids muscle contraction and nerve message transmission.

Vitamin D is another important dietary necessity, as it helps your body absorb calcium. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin derived from cholesterol. For most people, over 90% of necessary vitamin D is created in the skin in the presence of sunlight. Good dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, trout, tuna), eggs, and foods fortified with additional vitamin D such as dairy products, orange juice and cereals.

In addition to ensuring you get adequate calcium in your diet, be sure you also get enough vitamin D.

For more information about calcium and vitamin D in your diet:

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Sunless Tanning: Is it safe?

Thatch umbrella over beach chaise lounges

Sunless tanning, also called self-tanning, can make your skin look as if you have spent hours in the sun, but without the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Products sold for sunless tanning may be creams, lotions or sprays, and are readily available over the counter. You can also get a professional spray tan.

Most sunless tanners contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a color additive, as their active ingredient. The DHA enters the dead skin cells at the surface of your skin. DHA temporarily darkens the appearance of your skin, but the tan wears off after a few days as you shed the tinted dead skin cells. 

Generally these products are considered safe when applied externally according to directions. For instance, avoid getting the tanning product in your eyes, nose or mouth. Avoid inhaling spray-on tanning products.

Sunless tanning pills are available, but should NOT be used. They contain a different color additive, canthaxanthin. If you ingest too much canthaxanthin, your skin will turn orange or brown from the inside. Canthaxanthin can also cause hives, impair your vision, and damage your liver. Avoid this product!

A warning: Most self-tanning products do not contain a sunscreen. If you spend time in the sun after self-tanning, using sunscreen is imperative. While a normal suntan provides some protection against sunburn, a self-tan does not. Using a sunscreen on self-tanned skin is important for your health.

For more information on sunless tanning:

Monday, October 4, 2021

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month


The purpose of this awareness month is to ensure that people with disabilities are fully involved in their communities and have full access to appropriate employment. It also celebrates the contributions persons with disabilities have made to their workplaces and the economy.

The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has made a list of 31 activities for Disability Employment Awareness Month, one for each day. Some are activities for employers, others for educators or for use in social media. Check them out here:

During the month of October, Virtual Ability will celebrate Disability Employment Awareness Month on its blog and Facebook pages with articles and tips about education and employment. Be watching for this useful information.

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Healthinfo Island Displays and Exhibits for October 2021

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs in this blog post. Click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images. 

If you click each poster, you will get a message with additional information and live links.

Thanks to Mook for assistance with the posters this month.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

TIP - How do you plan your meals?

Sample portion sizes of a dinner plate on a blue placemat
The Blue Plate Special

Many of us learned to plan meals from our mothers or home economics teachers by listing the main course, and then the side dishes. However, there is a better way.

Since vegetables and fruits should form the majority of a healthy diet and take up half of your My Plate dinner, start your plan by deciding which vegetables and fruits to serve. Then follow up by thinking of a complementary protein (not necessarily meat) and other meal elements.

My Plate logos copyright free can be found here:

Take a Hike!

Sepia colored man and woman walking on a forest trail

Walking is good aerobic exercise. It keeps your heart strong and blood pressure healthy, and it aids in blood sugar control. Regular walking decreases mental health issues such as anxiety and depression and lowers your risk of dying from cancer.

Taking a hike outdoors is great because you are immersed in the natural world. Research has shown that persons spending 120 minutes in nature (2 hours a week) have less stress and a higher sense of well-being than those who stay indoors.

However, due to the ongoing pandemic, it may not be as easy for you to get the outdoor exercise you need. Try bringing the outdoors inside. You can watch a video of a hike through various awesome natural sites while you use the treadmill or stair stepper, or just walk in place. 

Imagine yourself hiking in the Swiss Alps, climbing a mountain in Hawaii, running through a forest in Alaska, or striding rim-to-river in the Grand Canyon. View the natural scenery on YouTube while you exercise safely indoors. Here are some suggested virtual hikes.

If you are counting your steps, you can hike the Appalachian trail, virtually, using an app on your smartphone (iPhone or Android). You will unlock interesting checkpoints when you reach them.

However you do your hiking, whether in the physical world outdoors or indoors viewing a virtual hike, try to complete the recommended 150 minutes of walking per week, for maximum health benefits.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

What is the difference between a service animal and an emotional support animal?

Light brown service dog focusing on the picture-taker
Service dog

Although these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are major differences between the two. It is important to know these differences, which begin with the legislation that defines them.

A service animal is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Service animals are limited to two species. The most common service animals are dogs. If the person using the service animal is allergic to dogs or is prohibited from being around a dog for religious reasons, a miniature horse can be a service animal, although this is quite rare.

Service animals are individually trained to do specific tasks necessary for the person they serve. They must always be under the control of their handler at all times. They are almost always permitted to accompany the person they serve in any place where members of the public are allowed.

An emotional support animal is NOT covered by the ADA. Instead, it is defined under the Fair Housing Act. An emotional support animal of any species is identified by its owner as providing emotional support; however, it does not need to have specific training or to perform any tasks for its owner. Emotional support animals are permitted in rental housing if a medical or rehabilitation professional provides documentation of its owner’s need for it. However, emotional support animals are NOT allowed in public places that do not allow other pets. 

For more information about service animals:
For information about emotional support animals:

Saturday, September 18, 2021

What if someone at my school or work is allergic to my service dog?


Greyhound standing at attention

It happens. You have been authorized to take your service dog with you when someone else in that environment says they are allergic to dog dander. (It could also be that someone is extremely fearful of dogs. The same solutions apply.)

In this case, it is understood that both individuals need reasonable accommodations. The difficulty is in figuring out what can be done because their needs are in conflict.

It is not legal to deny the use of a service dog in a public area such as a classroom or workspace because someone else is allergic. Therefore, methods must be developed to minimize contact between the dog and the person with the allergy.

The Job Accommodation Network has developed a set of recommendations of how to manage the conflicting needs by eliminating or minimizing exposure of the allergic person to the dog. Their suggestions include:

  • Flexible scheduling or different work areas for the two individuals
  • Using portable air purifiers and HEPA filters 
  • Asking the service dog owner to temporarily use other accommodations, or to use dander care products on the dog
  • Asking the allergic employee to wear an allergen mask

View other suggestions of how to handle this tricky problem of conflicting health needs here:

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Save The Date! Preparedness Trivia (on Zoom) on 9/15!


Picture of a smiling young girl in front of books with "Never stop learning" spelled on the binders

Wednesday, Sept 15, 1-2pm SLT, 4-5pm ET

Please join the Region 2 National Preparedness Division for Ready Games in celebration of National Preparedness Month this September. 

Participants will be tested on their preparedness knowledge with true/false, multiple-choice, rank, and short-answer questions. Dot worry about bringing a #2 pencil. Participants should have a second electronic device (mobile phone, iPad, etc.) to log their answers for the test. 

Who should attend? The whole community – individuals and families, volunteer and community-based organizations, local, state, federal government, and private sector. 

Register here:

Saturday, September 11, 2021

September 11 is a Day of Service

Picture of the mirror pool 9/11 memorial
National 9/11 Memorial, New York City, New York

September 11, 2021, marks 20 years since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Each year, volunteers commemorate 9/11 Day to honor those who served the country. 

This year, thousands of volunteers will find ways to engage in acts of service. Service projects could include disaster preparation activities or neighborhood cleanups, food drives or home repair assistance. Community volunteers may plan to honor veterans, soldiers, or first responders by collecting donations, assembling care packages, and writing thank you letters.

The 9/11 Day website lets visitors search for volunteer activities in their area. You can filter your search by category, including such topics as emergency response, first aid, and food distribution.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

September is National Preparedness Month!

September is National Preparedness Month! This year’s theme is “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” has created a week-by-week plan to help you prepare for any emergency this month and all year long. Let’s get started!

September 1-4: Make A Plan

Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster.
Consider the specific needs of your household. Does it include children, elderly persons, persons with special needs, pets?

Write out a Family Emergency Communication Plan.

Update your plan based on COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

September 2021 Healthinfo Island Topics

(Note: all images are linked to their associated Second Life locations.)

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs in this blog. Click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images. 

If you click each poster, you will get a message with additional information and live links.

Image of the central pavilion at Healthinfo Island
Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island

Check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!


I'm Tired of Fatigue!

Picture of woman yawning while driving a vehicle

20 Powerful Heart Health Foods

The words "20 Powerful Heart Health Foods" on a multicolored background

September 20-24 is Falls Prevention Awareness Week.

Be sure to take the risk assessment quiz at the link in the first poster.

Text "September 20-24 is Falls Prevention Awareness Week"

Why Bone Health is Important

Plant Foods We Should Cook Before Eating

Text "Plant foods we should cook before eating" on a green background

September is Preparedness Month

Picture of a child, her mother, and her grandmother preparing

Some Possible Reasons for “Brain Fog”

Some possible reasons for brain fog

Who's Who in Eye Care?

 Picture of a woman's brown eye

Thanks to Virtual Ability member Mook Wheeler for assistance with the posters this month.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

August 31 is International Overdose Awareness Day

White letters on a green square - "Do you know what an overdose looks like?"

The aims of International Overdose Awareness Day are to:

  • End overdose,
  • Remember those who have died, without stigma, and
  • Acknowledge the grief of the families and friends left behind by those who have died.

The theme of International Overdose Day is “Time to Remember. Time to Act.” Find out more about International Overdose Awareness Day, including ways you can get involved, here:

An overdose occurs when someone has more of a drug or drugs in their body than their system can cope with. Any drug, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, illegal drugs, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, can cause an overdose. Overdosing symptoms vary with the type of drug(s) involved.

What is tolerance?

Tolerance to the effects of drugs build up with regular drug use. Tolerance means that the person needs to take more and more of the drug to continue to get the same effect.

You lose tolerance if you haven’t used the drug in a while. This can happen from being in rehab, a detox program, or in prison without access to drugs. Tolerance wears off. Then if you return to drug use at your former high level, you are likely to overdose because your body is no longer used to that much of the drug.

What is half-life?

Any drug, once taken, begins to become less effective as time passes. Some drugs are metabolized into other substances, others are eliminated from the body. As the amount of the drug in your system decreases, you feel fewer effects from it.

It is important to understand the half-life of drugs. This is the time that it takes for a dose to drop down to half strength in the body. For instance, the half-life of Valium is 24 hours. This means that a day after taking a dose of Valium, half of it remains active in your body. If you take the same dose 24 hours after taking the first dose, you will then have 1 ½ doses active in your body at the same time, which could be an overdose. Understanding half-lives is particularly important when multiple drugs are involved.

Doesn’t Naloxone help?

Yes, Naloxone (Narcan) is a medication used to revive people who have had an overdose of opioids (methadone or oxycontin, for example). It is very effective for this use. However, an important caution after being administered naloxone is that you risk having an urge to take more of the drug that caused the overdose in the first place.

This is because of a difference in half-lives between naloxone and opioids. While the half-life of opioids is around 12 hours (meaning half the overdose amount is still in your body half a day later), the half-life of naloxone is much shorter, only 60-90 minutes. Naloxone is powerful immediately after being administered, but its effects wear off much faster than do the effects of the opioids. It is important for people who have been revived with naloxone to not return to taking the drug that caused the overdose.

Remember, overdose death is a preventable tragedy. Your advocacy to end overdose could save lives as well as sorrow.

NOTE: Memes and logos here:

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Too Good to Be True? Free and Low-Cost Tech Education to Boost Your Career

Woman sitting behind laptop showing "Never Stop Learning"

One result of the pandemic is the opening up of numerous technology-related jobs which can be done from home. This can be a boon to a person with a disability, if they possess the requisite tech skills. If you are hoping to educate yourself in a skill area that interests you, or if you need certification of your skill set for your resumé, TechRepublic has listed a number of tech education opportunities that just might be what you need. And best of all, most of these are being offered for free, or at a significantly reduced cost.

Web development is a hot tech career right now. You can learn the necessary skills in MySQL, PHP, GitHub and more to move into this high tech area by studying the programming languages and database skills in the low-cost “Modern Web Development & MySQL Programming Bundle”.

If that sounds too advanced, you might want to start with the “2021 Ultimate GitOps Certification Bundle”. This package of various courses for beginners in technology fields teachers about the Python programming language, GIT, Kubernetes and even offers a guide for developing websites without coding.

Learn basic Kotlin software development for free. Kotlin is the language used for Android app development, which is an exploding career field.

With the “Raspberry Pi and Arduino Bootcamp Bundle,” you will build up to working in robotics. The price of this educational package has been greatly reduced.

Cisco certification will prepare network administrators for work with hybrid-cloud networks. Studying for the certification exam is aided by a deeply discounted “2021 Cisco CCNA and CCNP Certification Training Bundle.”

Take advantage of these free or inexpensive educational opportunities to bolster your technical capabilities and improve your career opportunities.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Ewwww!! Jellyfish!!

Jellyfish with long tentacles swimming in the ocean

If you go to the beach on coastal waters during the summer, you may notice strange gelatinous blobs lying on the sand. You may see what looks like a swarm of plastic bags floating on the waves. If you encounter the trailing tentacles of these creatures, you may develop a burning stinging sensation which is impossible to forget once experienced. Here’s what you need to know about jellyfish.

Although aquatic, jellyfish are not fish. They usually consist of an umbrella-shaped bell from which dangle tentacles armed with stinging cells. These nematocysts discharge a barbed stinger that injects venom into anything it touches; the jellyfish uses these stingers to catch prey and ward off enemies. Since the tentacles of some species of jellyfish are many meters long, you can be stung even if no jellyfish are visible. The dead jellyfish on the beach are also capable of stinging.

If you are stung by a jellyfish, some first aid measures are more effective than others. It appears that common treatments (vinegar, hot water, ice packs, meat tenderizer, even urine) may be ineffective or may only work for stings from certain kinds of jellyfish.

Start by scraping the affected skin with something stiff like the edge of a credit card to remove the jelly, tentacles and nematocysts. Dispose of the removed material; don’t leave it on the sand for someone else to step in. Then apply hydrocortisone cream to the damaged area to reduce both pain and inflammation. If the pain involves itching, antihistamines may help. Seek medical attention if these measures do not bring relief.

The best way to deal with jellyfish stings, though, is to avoid them. Pay attention to beach safety flags. Purple means marine pests such as jellyfish are present (but this doesn’t include sharks). Warning signs may also be used to help swimmers stay safe. It is wise to heed warnings about the presence of jellyfish, as the sting of some species can be deadly, especially to small children.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Healthy (and Unhealthy) Cooking Oils

Bottle of olive oil with pour spout on a kitchen counter
Healthy Cooking Oil - Olive Oil

There are many kinds of cooking oils. It can be difficult to decide which ones are healthiest. 

Unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are better to lower cholesterol. Fats which stay solid at room temperature, such as butter, lard and coconut oil, are high in saturated fats, and are unhealthy with regard to cholesterol. So are liquid oils made from tropical plants (e.g., coconut oil and palm oil), which are higher in saturated fats than other plant oils.

But beside the amount of unsaturated fat, you should also consider the oil’s smoke point. When you heat any oil, it begins to break down. Heat it hot enough and it begins to smoke. It is not healthy to cook anything in oil that has degraded to the point of smoking, so for higher temperature cooking, you will want to use an oil with a high smoke point.

This means the best oil for cooking depends on what you are making. For low temperature baking and sautéing (up to about 350-400 degrees F (175-200 degrees C), you can use canola, grapeseed or olive oil. For browning or roasting in an over up to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) or searing, peanut oil or avocado oil would be better.

Choose the right oil for the task and you will be happy with the results. So will your arteries.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Peale Founder's Day Celebration

A sign is posted in the Peale courtyard saying "Happy Birthday to the Peale - Join us for our Founder's Day Celebration Sunday, August 15th at 3 pm SLT - Click for Details."  8 balloons are beside the sign.  Fun and colorful strips hang from a cord by the balloons.  In front of the strips is a round table with a two-tier cake in front of it.  Another set of 8 balloons is on the other side of the strips.

Sunday, August 15

3 p.m. SLT/Pacific -- 6 p.m. ET

The Peale Museum

Join us on The Peale Museum island for a screening of the Founder's Day event to celebrate the 1 year birthday of the Peale in Second Life, and the 207th birthday of the physical Peale, located in Baltimore, Maryland. This live broadcast will be "projected" into the courtyard of the Virtual Peale, providing a portal into the physical Peale. Meet RL artists, staff and partners from the Peale, and see the progress of the ongoing restoration of the oldest museum building in America, established in 1814 by artist Rembrandt Peale. The hour-long event will also feature a musical performance by Scott Patterson for the Proximity Project, a history and demonstration of silhouette cutting with Lauren Muney, and a look back at Out Of The Blocks with Aaron Henkin.

The event includes live human generated captions and American Sign Language interpretation. For more information about transcripts, captioning, and other accessibility resources, please visit the Peale's accessibility page. If you have any additional accommodation requests ahead of time, questions or feedback about access, please contact our Accessibility Manager Robin Marquis at

Saturday, August 7, 2021

TIP - Increase Your Fiber Intake, One Meal at a Time

By Gentle Heron

If you are in serious need of more fiber in your diet, it is important not to increase how much you eat all at once. Instead, try making a small change once a week, one meal at a time.

For breakfast, increase the fiber content of your cereal. Fiber-rich offerings contain at least 5 grams of fiber in a single serving. Read the nutrition label to check how much is in different brands and flavors of both hot and cold cereals.

Build your lunch sandwich on whole-grain bread. Read the nutrition labels of different breads to find those with at least 2 grams of fiber per serving. Beware of deceptive brand names like “multi-grain” or “enriched,” which may not indicate the bread is whole-grain.

Choose your supper carbs wisely. Cook brown rice instead of white and use whole-wheat pasta for an extra fiber boost.

Dietary fiber is important for your health in many ways. It reduces constipation by helping food waste move smoothly through the digestive tract. It stabilizes blood sugar and helps you maintain a lower blood pressure. Make simple food substitutions to increase the amount of fiber in your diet.

Monday, August 2, 2021

By Gentle Heron

You can teleport to any of the eight displays and exhibits using the SLURLs in this posting. After you arrive, click on the poster with the same name as the title of the poster set, and you will get a notecard that contains all the text of the posters plus descriptions of the images.

If you click each poster, you will get a message with additional information and live links.

Central Pavilion of Healthinfo Island

1. What is Spasticity?
image of hands, image of an OT pressing the knee of a prone client

2. Scoliosis
3 x-rays, 2 pictures of the spine, doctor examining the back of a patient

3. August is Water Quality Month
August is Water Quality Month

4. Hydration for Health (get a free glass of water to sip!)
Turquoise Rectangle with Hydration for Health in it.

5. Contact Lens Health
Blue gradient background with the words Contact Lens Health

6. Eye Health and Amblyopia Awareness Month
Blue to green gradient background with the words August is Eye Health and Amblyopia Month

7. Viral Variants
Lab technician uses an instrument, 10 viruses pictures, This information is current as of July 2021

8. August is Immunization Awareness Month
Green gradient background with the words August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Also check out the calming breathing exercise on the back wall!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

‘Conversation about Long–COVID’ Webinar on Monday August 2nd at 1 p.m. SLT

By Gentle Heron

On July 26, 2021, the US federal government released a package of resources to support individuals experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19, known commonly as “Long–COVID”. This guidance, a collaborative effort between the Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, Education, and Labor provides information about where individuals can access resources and accommodations and clarifies the rights for health, educational, and support services.

The White House Office of Public Engagement, in conjunction with agency partners from HHS, Education, and Labor, invites you to a Conversation about Long–COVID on Monday, August 2nd from 1-1:45 p.m. SLT (4-4:45 p.m. EDT). The agenda is to review the published guidance, provide information on how to access support services, and answer questions from the audience.

If you wish to attend the webinar, please register for it at this link below:

Each individual attendee must register in order to gain access to the meeting.

ASL interpreting and CART will be provided. If there are any other accommodations that would make this meeting accessible to you, please indicate it in the registration form.

**Note that this conversation will be off-the-record and is closed to the press.

Are You Dense About Food Density?

Food density is not about brick-like Yule fruitcakes. It means caloric density, or the number of calories in a volume of food.

High density foods have a lot of calories in a small amount of food. These are fatty foods such as fast food meals and fatty meats, and sugary items such as candy, cakes, cookies, and sodas.

Low density foods have fewer calories in each amount. They often have a lot of water or fiber, and tend to be low fat. Most fruits and vegetables are low density foods.

Eating low density foods is helpful for your diet, because you feel fuller with a lower calorie intake. The water in vegetables and fruits increases the volume in your stomach, allowing you to feel satisfied with much fewer calories. The fiber in whole grains and vegetables not only increases your sense of fullness, but helps you feel fuller longer because it takes longer to digest.

Switching to lower density foods should be done gradually. Let your body accommodate itself to the increase in fluid volume and fiber content. You will improve your health overall by making this switch.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

TIP - Two Things to Be Sure Are Full Before You Grocery Shop

1. A list - Between shopping trips or online orders, make an ongoing list of items you are running low on. You really won’t want to run out of milk, eggs, or toilet paper. If you plan meals ahead (and that’s a good idea!), add any ingredients to your shopping list that you will need.

2. Your stomach - If you shop when you are hungry, you are more likely to pick up junk food. It’s easy to avoid that temptation by eating before shopping.

When you head to the grocery store with a full stomach and a complete shopping list, you will probably come home with nutritious and healthy foods.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Did You Know That Your Diet Can Help You Fight Aging?

Two-Tiered Cake With 50 at the Top

By Gentle Heron

Here are some mealtime ideas that will help you feel younger and stay healthier longer as the number of candles on your birthday cake increases.

• Drink more water. Older people do not feel thirsty as readily as younger people, so they risk dehydration. Drink water at every meal; it’s better for you than drinks with sugar, alcohol or caffeine.

• Be aware of calories. Metabolism slows as we age, so we need lower calorie meals and snacks.

• Get enough protein. A third of older adults do not eat enough protein, which your body uses to renew many tissues. Meat is a good source of protein, but so are dairy products and legumes.

• Adequate calcium is necessary for bone health. Bone mass decreases with age, leading to an increased risk of fractures. Dairy products are a good source of that mineral, but 
lactose malabsorption and intolerance also increases with age. Other sources of calcium include canned fish (with bones), beans and nuts.

You may not taste things as well when you age, but avoid adding extra salt. That won’t help your blood pressure. Instead use herbs and spices which have the added benefit of fighting inflammation.

• Be sure you get enough potassium to help control blood pressure, which tends to increase with age. Good dietary sources of potassium include greens (beets, chard, spinach, etc.), lima beans, and sweet potatoes.

• Avoid constipation caused by inadequate fiber intake. Be sure you get enough fibrous fruits and vegetables as salads, snacks, and desserts.

• Since some vitamins (e.g., B12 and D) are more difficult to obtain from food as you get older, you may need a specific supplement. Check with your doctor first, and if a supplement is recommended, buy one that contains only what you need without unnecessary other ingredients.