2008 World Wheelchair 9 Ball ChampionshipBritain’s Danny Luton achieved a creditable bronze medal from the WPA World 9Ball Championships held in Tampa, Florida. The title went to Sweden’s Henrik Larsson while Ireland’s Fred Dinsmore took fourth place.  Players from all over the World gathered in the “Sunshine State”.However, after the double elimination, initial stages the field was reduced to the final eight: Charlie Hans and Kray Mims (both USA), Larsson, Luton, Dinsmore and Kurt deKlerck,(Belgium), Tankred Volkmer (Germany) and Takahiro Terada (Japan). Hans, ranked number one in  North America, had beaten Dinsmore 9-8 in the preliminary rounds. But his unbeaten run on the “no loss” side was cut short by European 8 Ball Champion Luton, who won 9-7. On the “one loss” side, Hans met two time US Open Champions Kurt deKlerck. DeKlerck played flawlessly to win 9-2 leaving his opponent tied for 5/6th place with Tankred Volkmer. Volkmer went down 9-3 against Larsson in the “no loss” side semi final. Volkmer was unable to recover his form in his next match and lost 9-4 to Dinsmore, Tha latter had defeated Japanese number one, Takahiro Terada, 9-6.  Terada finished the event tied for 7/8th place along with Kray Mims.  Mims currently ranked third in North America, was eliminated 9-3 by DeKlerck. In the “no loss” side bracket final. Larsson took on Luton and won 11-4. That guaranteed him at least a Silver medal while Luton was assured of third. Luton’s next opponent was determined by the outcome of the first semi final  between deKlerck and Dinsmore. Several times Dinsmore led by two but eventually was taken to a deciding rack.  Dinsmore skillfully ran down to the 9 Ball but then missed a 40 degree cut shot for the win.  deKlerck advanced to meer Luton. The Englishman battled well, however deKlerck secured an early lead and eventually finished an 11-4 winner. In the first to 13 final, Larsson established an ealy advantage and claimed a 13-5 success. Fran Crimi, WPA reresentative for the BCA, presented the medals plus colour co-ordinated Viking Cues (Gold, Silver, Bronze) custom engraved for the World Championships by Viking Cue Manufacturing inc.

Trevor Baxter, Cuesport Magazine, February 2008.

By Guest Blogger Lori Adler, Ticket to Work Participant & Public Relations Specialist for Employment Options, Inc.

I hated the inevitable question, “What do you do for a living?” I didn’t want to say I was on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I didn’t want to tell anyone that I did not have a job. But that was the truth. I had a disability, and it interfered with my ability to work locally.

This was a hard time for me. I had too much time on my hands. I missed having a set routine. Moreover, I missed that feeling of being productive and the intrinsic sense of pride that comes from having a job. I also missed the paycheck!

A few years went by and then, I learned the Social Security Administrationhad created a return-to-work program for people with disabilities, like me, receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/orSupplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Even though I had not worked in a long time, I still believed that I had abilities and skills to offer the working world. I just had no idea how to go about getting a job or whether I could handle the “work world” again. Moreover, I was afraid. As much as I needed more money, I simply could not afford to lose my monthly cash or health benefits.

However, this Social Security Administration return-to-work program, officially called the Ticket to Work program, was free, which made my ears perk up. They also told me I wouldn’t lose my cash benefits or medical care all at once. It is a gradual program with a large safety net.

If I wanted to try it out, all I had to do was contact an employment network (EN) that was certified to handle program participants. I calledEmployment Options, because I liked the name. After I finished all my screenings, they told me I would be a good candidate for working from home.

At first, I didn’t think I was cut out for working from home, but then I began to realize what a great deal it was for people with disabilities and their employers. American companies save on all the overhead, while the employee avoids all the cost and time of commuting. Plus, and perhaps most important, the workspace and work environment is already set up with accommodations for a person’s particular disability.

Working from home through the Ticket to Work program has been life changing for me. I feel I got a second chance at a career because I had the help I needed to get a good job that fits my needs. Ticket To Work gave me that cushion to transition back to work, which means now I can answer the question, “What do you for a living?” with a big smile.

For More Information:

Lori Adler is a Public Relations Specialist for Employment Options, Inc., a nationally-recognized Certified Social Security Administration (SSA)Employment Network for the Ticket to Work program. The company has been in business for over 20 years and handles both work-at-home and on-site job placement. 

Please note: the links above are provided for informational purposes only. does not endorse any particular EN or other service providing part time or full time employment opportunities.

Financial Assistance Options for Adaptive Driving

Photograph of a man in a wheelchair, with a woman sitting on his lap, and a van with a ramp in the background

Just wanted to pass this on to our readers, This article is from and was written By Guest Blogger Chris Miller, Director of Interactive Marketing, The Mobility Resource

Americans love their wheels. Whether it’s a leisurely drive through a beautiful countryside, hitting the highway for a quick get-away or simply going to work, people look forward to the freedom of mobility. Many individuals with disabilities, however, require varying types of vehicle adaptions to enjoy that sense of freedom. Unfortunately, they often face prohibitive costs when it comes to purchasing the proper equipment for their transportation needs.

The good news is that funding assistance to purchase new adaptive vehicles or to retrofit existing vehicles is becoming increasingly available. Through these programs, people with disabilities have access to rebates and incentives for new vehicles adapted for their specific needs. In some cases, assistance is available for adaptive equipment installed through upfitters – vehicle modifiers or adaptive equipment installers – who will ensure vehicles are adjusted to suit individual needs and are compliant with federal and state guidelines.  Adaptations can include driving devices and equipment, hoists and carriers, seat modifications and power seats, ramps and running boards and other necessary equipment.

Whether you prefer vans or sedans, trucks, SUVs or crossovers, there are a variety of government programs and automaker rebates, as well as private and association-based funds, that can make adaptive mobility equipment more accessible and affordable.

Government Programs

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a jointly administered federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid benefits differ by each state, but Medicaid usually offers benefits not normally covered by Medicare. Most state Medicaid agencies do not have an exclusive list of covered medical equipment.  Instead, any medical equipment, including newer technologies, is approved on a case-by-case basis when a request for funding is presented through a prior approval process.  After being placed on a Medicaid Waiver list, Medicaid may pay for adaptive equipment. A list of Medicaid state offices is available at
  • Medicare:  Medicare is a federal program, but Medicare health plans are offered through private companies that contract with Medicare to provide Part A and Part B benefits to people enrolled in Medicare. Part A is hospital insurance, while Part B covers doctors and outpatient services, and some medical devices based on medical necessity.  In some instances Medicare will pay for adaptive equipment following a specialty evaluation performed by a qualified practitioner. For more information, call 1-800-633-4227.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI eligibility and payment amounts are based on income and other resources. SSI offers a Plan to Achieve Self-Support program, or PASS, which helps those with disabilities pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific employment goal – to ultimately return to work. For more information, visit
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Often sales-tax exemptions on equipment purchases and other out-of-pocket costs can qualify for tax deductions as medical expenses. If an adaptation qualifies as a medical necessity, it can be deducted from federal taxes. Contact a tax adviser or get literature from the IRS that outlines the tax code for medical equipment by calling 1-800-829-1040 and asking for publications with extensions 3966, 907 and 502.

State Programs

  • Some State Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) Agencies may be able to assist with the costs associated with purchasing an adaptive vehicle (or adding adaptive equipment to an existing one) if the vehicle is necessary in order for a person to get to and from work. For more information, contact your state’s department of vocational rehabilitation.
  • Many nonprofit organizations offer programs that provide assistance paying for adaptive vehicles or vehicle modifications, especially if the vehicle is necessary in order to meet an individual’s work-related transportation needs. These programs include Pennsylvania’s “Ways to Work” program and Otsego County, NY’s “Wheels to Work” program. To learn more, visit or read the fact sheet, “Car Ownership Programs for Low-Income Earners”.

For Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a grant enabling veterans and service members to purchase a new or used automobile to accommodate certain disabilities that resulted from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service.  There are two components of the grant, each requiring a separate form, but some veterans could be eligible for both:

  • An automobile grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile for up to $11,000 and is available once in the service member’s lifetime. Veterans who qualify for the automobile grant may also qualify for the adaptive equipment grant.
  • An adaptive equipment grant includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle.  The adaptive equipment grant may be paid more than once, and it may be paid to either the seller or the veteran.

For more information on this program, call 1-800-827-1000 or read the VA’s “Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants” fact sheet.

Automakers Rebate Programs

A number of automobile makers are stepping up to provide persons with disabilities a wide range of rebates and incentive programs. Many of these programs cover not only new and leased vehicles, but also third-party adaptive equipment installation.  Below is an overview of some programs from auto manufacturers offering rebates or reimbursements for people who require adaptive equipment.

  • Daimler Chrysler Corporation: buy or lease any new 2010, 2011 or 2012 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or Fiat vehicle from a participating dealership or FIAT studio, and Chrysler will provide cash reimbursement to help reduce the cost of installing the adaptive driver or passenger equipment on the vehicle. Leased vehicles must be leased for a minimum of 12 months to be eligible.
  • Ford Motor Company: the Ford Mobility Motoring adaptive equipment reimbursement offers up to $1,000, or up to $200 for alert hearing devices, lumbar support or running boards and is available on any new Ford or Lincoln vehicle purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford or Lincoln dealer during the program period. Maximum reimbursement per vehicle is $1,000. Major structural vehicle modifications to accommodate the installation of wheelchair lift or ramp must be completed by a Ford Authorized Qualified Vehicle Modifier to be eligible for reimbursement.
  • General Motors Corporation: through the GM Mobility Reimbursement Program, new vehicle purchasers/lessees who install eligible adaptive mobility equipment on their new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles can receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for the cost of the equipment. Also, you can get two extra years of standard OnStar® service at no additional cost on all 2011–2013 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles equipped with OnStar.
  • Volkswagen: Volkswagen will provide up to $1,000 toward the purchase and installation of lift equipment, carriers, hand controls, pedal extensions or other assistance equipment on any eligible model of new and unused Volkswagen models.
  • Audi: Audi offers $1,500 in assistance for hand controls or other approved assistance devices to anyone who purchases or leases a new Audi or CPO Audi vehicle. Contact an adaptive equipment retailer of your choice for information concerning the purchase and installation of such equipment. All payments will be made directly to the Audi owner approximately four weeks after submission to Audi.
  • Toyota: the Toyota Mobility Assistance Program provides cash reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the cost of any aftermarket adaptive equipment or conversion, for drivers and/or passengers, when installed on any eligible purchased or leased new Toyota vehicle within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease. The cash reimbursement will be provided for the exact cost to purchase and install qualifying adaptive driving or passenger equipment for transporting persons with physical disabilities. The program also applies to purchasers of the Toyota Factory Installed Auto Access Seat, where the full $1,000 cash reimbursement will be paid directly to you. Only vehicles sold or leased and delivered to a retail customer by an authorized Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc. dealer are eligible under this program.

And the list goes on…

In addition to those above, there are myriad funding opportunities available through trade organizations, nonprofit entities and other private sources. The most comprehensive listing of these entities can be found at The Mobility Resource handicap van financial aid directory (The Mobility Resource does not sponsor or endorse any organizations exclusively). Search for assistance by state by visiting

For anyone who enjoys the freedom of mobility and requires vehicle modifications or adaptive products, seeking out the appropriate funding opportunities for your individual needs might take a little time, but it could pay off in years of comfortable mobility.

Chris Miller is the director of interactive marketing for The Mobility Resource. Born with a mild case of muscular dystrophy, he is an advocate for disability rights and mobility freedom. His team has worked closely with several government agencies, non-profits and associations to make it easier for people with physical disabilities to acquire mobility freedom. A graduate of The University of Akron, he holds a bachelor of arts in public relations and organizational communication.

Chris will be attending the National Forum on Disability Issues with his team on September 28 and will serve as a member of the media panel. During this event, teams from both presidential campaigns will discuss their plans for issues surrounding the disability community.  Do you have a question for a candidate? Please send it

Paralympics table tennis shot defies eyes but not explanation

British table tennis player David Wetherill produced one of the most extraordinary moments of the 2012 Paralympics with an amazing headlong diving shot in his Class 6 (for athletes with severe impairments of arms and legs) clash in London.



David Wetherill returns the ball, without diving, during a match at the 2012 Paralympic Games. (REUTERS)

This video shows Wetherill launching himself into a full-length layout to power a winner past German Thomasz Kusiak at the Excel Arena – to the audible delight of both the crowd and an awestruck commentator.

Wetherill’s electrifying moment came during game four in a best-of-five match that he would eventually lose, signifying the end of his campaign at the Paralympics. But despite his exit, he has provided a moment that deserves a place in any highlight reel video from the sporting festivities in London this summer.

I might be 33 and fonder of baby back ribs than backhands and backspins these days, but many moons ago I was thinner, sharper and the Australian Open junior table tennis champion. As I break down Wetherill’s point-winning shot, be assured that there are plenty of world class able-bodied table tennis players who have never played a shot as dramatic as this.

[Martin Rogers: Cancer survivor and MMA vet caps career with symbolic gesture]

So what makes Wetherill’s stunner so out of the ordinary?

First of all: the obvious. The 22-year-old suffers from multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, a disease that affects cartilage in the legs. His movement, while impressive, is severely restricted by his condition. Which is why his shot against Kusiak defies belief.

Leading up to Wetherill’s shot, he is effectively jammed up by Kusiak, who positions an excellent ball into the right hip of the Brit, meaning that neither a forehand nor backhand can be easily played.

Temporarily caught in two minds, Wetherill steps left to make room for his forehand, but this opens up the table for Kusiak, who takes advantage with a hard backhand punched shot that looks to win him the point.

Not so fast. Wetherill’s dive looks like nothing more than an act of desperation at first and while athletically impressively, seems to have little chance of helping return the shot. With his feet suspended as he hits the ball, he is literally swinging his paddle in mid-air rather than using his legs to generate power.

But don’t be fooled into thinking this is this nothing more than a wild swing that somehow found its mark with a large helping hand of fortune. If not executed imperfectly, it would be easy for the ball to elevate out of control, which is why Wetherill comes over the top of the ball, imparting topspin, which gives the stroke enough height to clear the net but then drags it down towards the end of the trajectory, meaning it will strike Kusiak’s side of the table.

[Related: Pistorius loses Paralympic race, alleges winner had unfair advantage]

There is still one element remaining though, and it is the one that turned an outstanding shot into a truly incredible one: In the fraction of a second before Wetherill made contact with the ball, he rolled his wrist slightly, meaning that sidespin as well as topspin would take place at impact. If not for the sidespin, the ball would likely have been positioned right at Kusiak’s paddle. With it, however, the ball curved away from the German, kicking further to the left after impact with the table and spinning it past his outstretched arm.

Wetherill might have finished on the losing side, but with a flash of imagination and a never-quit mentality, he added a moment of magic to the Paralympic story.

What Does Do? is the federal government website for comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide. The site links to more than 14,000 resources from federal, state and local government agencies; academic institutions; and nonprofit organizations. You can find answers to questions about everything from Social Security benefits to employment to affordable and accessible housing.

New information is added daily across 10 main subject areas – BenefitsCivil RightsCommunity Life,EducationEmergency PreparednessEmploymentHealthHousingTechnology and Transportation. is a web portal, which means every time you select a resource, you will be directed to another website. For example, a resource about Social Security benefits may direct you to the Social Security Administration’s website, is not responsible for the maintenance of these resources or websites.


Workforce Recruitment Program

WRP Logo: Workforce Recruitment Program

Put Your Abilities to Work: A Student’s Guide to the Workforce Recruitment Program


Tuesday, September 11, 2012 from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT

Teleconference Information

  • Call-in toll number (US/Canada): +1-408-600-3600
  • Access code: 662 614 804

Please log in ahead of time to make sure your connections are working properly. If you encounter problems joining the meeting, please enter by clicking “limited access.”


Audio also will be streamed to attendees through their computer speakers.

For users who cannot use the captioning that will be in the WebEx presentation window by default, the following website is available:


  • Sara Mahoney, Business Development Specialist, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), U.S. Department of Labor
  • Stephen M. King, Director of Disability Programs, Office of Diversity Management & Equal Opportunity (ODMEO), U.S. Department of Defense

Questions for the hosts

You may submit questions prior to the webinar to or submit them via the “Chat” feature during the webinar. Answers to all questions will be available following the discussion.

An accessible version of the PowerPoint used during the webinar will be posted at prior to the event. In addition, live captioning will be provided in the WebEx.

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