From the Editor
The focus is on ability--not "disability."
This is the clear message coming from amputees and orthotic users of all ages. For both youth and adults, disability sports programs and organizations provide a venue for learning, personal growth, and making new friends with similar interests and challenges.
Advances in technology also can improve the quality of life, increasing chances for success and happiness and making dreams come true. However, technology comes with caveats: Not everything is appropriate for everyone. But the goal should be that whatever is needed is available--in not only componentry, but comprehensive rehabilitation care--to help the individual achieve the highest function level and quality of life possible.
Educated, empowered consumers are a major factor in reaching this goal.
Individually, being educated consumers means being both positive and realistic. Not everyone can be a champion athlete. What an individual can accomplish functionally depends on many factors, including age, fitness, and other medical complications and conditions. However, exercise, cardiopulmonary conditioning, weight control, proper nutrition, and following healthcare providers' instructions are just some areas where consumers can take charge of their health and fitness for optimal function.
And--being realistic doesn't mean only recognizing limitations, it also means recognizing possibilities, not closing one's mind to what's achievable. Some can indeed become Paralympic stars. And even if not an elite athlete, everyone can be a "star," whether it's Grandpa taking his grandchildren to the playground, the young mother taking care of her toddler, a teenager playing hockey, or a bright-eyed youngster exploring the world from a new perspective in an RGO or walker. The possibilities are vast.