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CNN Looks at the Best and Worst Cities for the Differently-abled

Posted by on June 4th, 2018 Posted in: Blog, Funded Project, Patient Engagement
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Kamau learns what it’s  like to be blind


She is a top model and has muscular dystrophy


Reducing Health Disparities Among VIPs and Other Minority Groups was the title of the NNLM NER funded grant project implemented by Visions Consulting in Year 1. Visually-impaired attorney, Liz Myska and business partner Jack Peacock are Visions Consulting, an organization dedicated to improving the interactions between those differently-abled and those in the community. Visions Consulting provides insight, consulting services and technology to organizations to address the needs of the visually impaired, hearing impaired and those with mobility challenges. Visions’ goal is to eliminate social, physical and logistical barriers for those with challenges in our communities. As you can imagine, offering this type of consulting services  necessitates a thorough understanding of community resources that comes from being well-connected in the community. Liz is a busy woman because she is so well-connected in the Worcester community.  Liz shares her time and expertise on many community councils and boards, like the Worcester Council on Disabilities, Community Health Improvement Plan, and as a Trustee of Tower Hill Botanic Garden, just to name a few.

Last fall, when Worcester, Massachusetts was ranked as one of the worst cities in the country for the disabled (https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-people-with-disabilities/7164/, CNN and Kamau Bell found their way to Worcester, MA and to Liz to get her thoughts on this ranking for an episode of CNN’s  United Shades of America. ‘United Shades of America’ follows comedian and political provocateur W. Kamau Bell as he explores communities across America to understand the unique challenges they face. The show on the best and worst cities for the disabled, featuring Liz, aired on May 20th. I recently watched the episode and I was very impressed with the depth, humor and the number of issues the hour-long episode addressed.  I was pleasantly surprised about how uplifting I found the show.  It made me feel good, while at the same time, I learned a lot about the physical, emotional and societal barriers those who are differently-abled deal with constantly. You will be touched by the strength of the differently-abled community that exists across our country, many of whom are using their strengths and talents every day to make our communities more inclusive.

Here’s a link to the entire show; it has advertisements embedded in it.  Liz has a total of about 3 minutes in the entire show, so watch this to the end.

If you are interested in other episodes of United Shades of America,


Image of the author ABOUT Susan Halpin
I am a former health and wellness educator who joined the NNLM NER in August of 2016, Excited to be promoting the excellent resources developed by the NLM and to provide training for anyone who would like to access the free and trusted information the NLM offers.

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NNLM New England Region
University of Massachusetts Medical School
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
(508) 856-5985

This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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