501-362-7526 info@maysmission.org 604 Colonial Drive, Heber Springs, Arkansas 72543

Heat Protection Safety

Many people with disabilities, along with the elderly, need to take precautions against heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Not only is this group likely to be susceptible to heat related illnesses but they also may fall into a category of not being able to afford the high costs of air conditioning.

There are ways to keep cool, such as fans and the intake of fluids, which we often take for granted.  A dip in a tub of cool water can lower the body temperature significantly.  A stroll in a mall during the heat of the day is a soothing break from the scorching summer sun.  Sometimes we don’t stop and think of the obvious and inexpensive.

Hundreds of people die each year due to heat related illnesses.  If you have relatives or friends who are disabled or elderly make sure to check on them often, especially when temperatures peak ninety-five.  Make sure they have plenty to drink and circulating air.  A simple phone call may be the difference between life and death.

For more information on how to beat the summer heat, write, call or email us at info@maysmission.org for our free brochure “Heat Wave – Heat Protection Safety.”

We would love to here from you! Let us know what you think or if you have any thoughts on heat protection safety in the comments section below and thanks!

It’s okay to ask questions

I have always been one to encourage people with disabilities to keep in touch with their medical professionals. It’s easy to become complacent and think you are doing okay.  Taking a doctor’s advice has been a good thing for me and probably been to my advantage.  However…

I had an annual appointment with my rehab doctor several months ago.  Upon telling him that my shoulders, elbows and wrists had been hurting, he began checking my “range of motion.”  Everything seemed normal.  He asked a few more questions.  He then asked what I would think about moving to a “power wheelchair.”  Note that I had “pushed” a manual wheelchair for 46 years.  Back in the day, those of us with spinal cord injuries were told that we needed to push to keep up our upper-body strength.  I mentioned keeping up my strength to the doctor.  He said something I’ve never heard any of my doctors say before; “We were wrong about the upper body strength.”

I didn’t share this story with the intent to mistrust or lose faith in a medical professional.  The story was told to encourage you to ask questions when you don’t understand treatment or therapy.  Talk to your doctors and therapists.  It’s okay to ask for further explanation for your own peace of mind. 

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section. And if you would like a free copy of our brochure “Recreation is for Everyone” call us at 1-888-503-7955 or email us at info@maysmission.org today. Thanks!

David Marrs: Superhero!

A lot of our donors know that David Marrs is an integral part of the Mays Mission Production Team and has never let his disability hold him down. But you may not know that David Marrs is also heavily involved with the Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer in our community.

David has been volunteering with the Chamber for several years now pitching in at local business grand openings and community events like the local fireworks extravaganza over the Fourth of July every year and big tourist attractions like the upcoming local Springfest where David assists locals and tourists alike in the attractions. David is on a first name basis with many local politicians and business owners because of his volunteering efforts.

The folks at the Chamber of Commerce have made David an ‘Ambassador’ as a representative of Mays Mission and is a past recipient of the Chamber of Commerce ‘Super Hero’ Award for his volunteering achievements. Mays Mission for the Handicapped is proud of David and his community heroics!

David meeting Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin at a recent Chamber of Commerce Banquet

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything in life happens for a reason.  So often we as humans just don’t understand why.  Sometimes disabilities are a result of our own mistakes such as drinking and driving or merely not thinking before acting.

When one is born with a disability or is genetically predisposed to a disabling condition we all too often go to God and ask “why?”  In our finite way of thinking we often see the disability as something negative, only thinking of ourselves.  This is not to say that we cannot question God or pray and ask Him to deliver us from our illnesses. 

My grand-nephew, the grandson of my brother, was born with Down syndrome.  My brother, in his first reactions, questioned God wondering how such a thing could happen.  After much thought and a grieving process he found peace.  In his prayer time, while seeking God’s comfort the thought came to him; “Has God ever made a mistake?”  Without a doubt, the answer had to be “No!”

In the New Living Translation, Romans 8:28 says “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  It didn’t say “some things,” it says “all things.”

Even though disabilities happen, and whether or not they ever disappear, our lives touch and affect others.  Whether it’s for inspiration or to cause us be thankful for what God has given us, everything has its purpose. 

If you would like more information on how you can help the disabled in your community call us Toll Free at 1-888-503-7955 or email us at info@maysmission.org today. Thanks!

You can help a disabled child attend summer camp. Contact us Toll Free at 1-888-503-7955 or email us at info@maysmission.org to find out how.

What Is An Assistance Dog?

Assistance Dog

The ADA defines a assistance animal as any guide dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. Assistance animals perform some of the same functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself.

There are four types of assistance dogs.

Service Dog:Aids individuals who are mobility impaired by performing tasks that are physically demanding and frustrating.

Hearing Dog: Trained to alert people who are hearing impaired to important sounds.

Seeing Eye Dog: Enhances the independence and safety of a person who is totally blind. The dog leads its master and prevents her/him from any mobility dangers.

Therapy Dog: Enhances the quality of life for people through pet facilitated therapy and interactions.

Assistance dogs usually complete six to eight months of advanced instruction. The skill and personality of each dog is evaluated by trained staff.

Assistance dogs come from carefully selected stock. As puppies, they are placed with volunteers to begin the first stages of training. The puppies, with their puppy raisers, participate in everyday activities including errands and trips.

Step-By- Step Applying for an assistance dog

1.Send a letter requesting an application to the school nearest to you. Your letter should include your age, disability, and the affect your disability has on your life and how an assistance dog will help you. You will then receive an application packet to complete.

2. Complete and return the application packet.

3. You will be contacted approximately 90 days after your application has been received. At that time, you may be scheduled for a personal interview.

4. Applicants who meet guidelines will be invited to the nearest school for a personal interview with instructors. Selected applicants will be informed within 2-3 months of their acceptance as candidates in the program.

5. Candidates are chosen to attend a training class based on their position on the waiting list and the availability of trained dogs.

6. Candidates must attend the two or three week training course. During the course, a candidate will learn how to correctly use an assistance dog and will be matched with a dog that best suits his or her needs and personality.

Commonly Asked Questions About Assistance Dogs in Places of Business

Q: I have always had a clearly posted “no pets” policy at my establishment. Do I still have to allow assistance animals in?

A: Yes. An assistance animal is not a pet. The ADA requires you to modify your “no pets” policy to allow the use of assistance animals by a person with a disability.

Q: Can I charge a maintenance or cleaning fee for customers who bring assistance dogs into my business?

A: No. Neither a deposit or a surcharge may be imposed on an individual with a disability as a condition to allowing an assistance dog to accompany the individual with a disability, even if deposits are routinely required for pets. However, a public accommodation may charge its customers with disabilities if an assistance dog causes damage so long as it is the regular practice of the entity to charge non-disabled customers for the same types of damages.

Q: I operate a private taxicab and I don’t want animals in my taxi: they smell, shed hair and sometimes have “accidents.” Am I violating the ADA if I refuse to pick up someone with an assistance dog?

A: Yes. Taxicab companies may not refuse to provide services to individuals with disabilities. Private taxicab companies are also prohibited from charging higher fares or fees for transporting individuals with disabilities and their assistance dogs.

Q: What are the laws that apply to my business?

A: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), privately owned businesses that serve the public, such as restaurants, hotels, retail stores, taxicabs, theaters, concert halls, and sports facilities, are prohibited from discriminating against individuals with disabilities.

If you would like a copy of our free brochure “What Is An Assistance Dog?” call us Toll Free at 1-888-503-7955 or email us at info@maysmission.org today. Thanks!