About Jenn McCambridge

Jenn is a passionate Special Education Teacher specializing in students with orthopedic impairments. As an educator and caregiver to children who are mobility-challenged, she brings a wealth of acumen and expertise. A resourceful individual, she provides well-researched articles and interviews with professionals in the mobility industry. She also writes exclusively for AMS.

My Poor Knees

As a member of the Atlanta Track Club Women’s competitive team and a teacher who lifts and aids students with disabilities, I have more than my share of wear and tear on my joints and muscles. I just recently experienced a setback with a diagnosis of Runner’s Knee and arthritis in both knees. I am beginning to realize that just like brakes in a car, your joints also have a shelf life! Taking care of your body and mind should be a priority throughout the year. There are proven practices that will help your body from wearing out! I caught some good advice from some individuals who are very knowledgeable in this area! I went to an Atlanta Track Club member’s New Year’s Day party and gravitated towards the Masters Runners who are [...]

Let’s Dance!

When I was young, I always wanted to dance. I danced in my room, backyard, in front of the television, and wherever I could without driving my parents, brother, and our poor dog crazy. Music was always important to me, and it still is today. I finally took my first, official dance class two years ago. I looked around, eyeing up the other (much younger) participants, but my nervousness and awkwardness soon dissipated and wow… what a release! Dance is a great outlet for anyone, even for individuals who use scooters or power wheelchairs. Research shows that dance can be a HUGE stress reliever—and it’s an excellent workout too! Please keep in mind that it took me about 20 years to get myself out on the dance floor for a class. If [...]

Let’s Get Positive!

Depression can creep up on you like a silent rainstorm brewing. The seasonal changes can also play a big part. When you leave for work in the darkness and return in darkness, life seems a little… gloomy, quite frankly! Let’s fight those dreary, sad feelings with some mood lifting techniques.  I tried to find some strategies other than the usual “get your eight hours of sleep”.  Medications can help, but they are not cheap and may cause side effects. How do you disengage yourself from those lackluster feelings? Getting outside can be a chore sometimes, but it can tremendously elevate your mood. How-to-fight-depression.com emphasized this important concept on their website. You will reap the benefits, whether you are sitting outside [...]

How to Set Realistic New Years Resolutions

The New Year is a time to reflect and set goals for the next twelve months. This is a great time to look back and evaluate big decisions and determine whether they were bad judgments or stellar decisions, deserving of a pat on the back. So if you haven't already, take about a couple hours this week, sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, and get your notebook out from the drawer. Focus your thoughts and get on track to improve your life for the next year. The first step is to create an annual self-evaluation chart with three columns. The first column will include “Major, Important Decisions” you made in your life this past year. This may take some time to deliberate, because the beginning of the year may be pretty fuzzy. Title the second [...]

Angels Among Us

There is a place I visit on Sundays where everyone is welcome. It is also a place that believes in helping the whole community. The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta works with a lot of organizations that benefit society as a whole. disABILITY LINK is one organization whose table I visited last Sunday at the church. I am glad I did! This is a wonderful grassroots organization that specifically "promotes the rights of all people with disabilities". I love this agency because they concentrate on people who need the most support. This dynamic organization can help you find employment and most importantly, provide follow up support to help you successfully maintain the position. disABILITY LINK is a great way to network and connect [...]

A Special Holiday for Everyone!

The holiday season is a time for reflection and showing thankfulness and generosity. As my daughter anxiously waits for the prolific Christmas morning, I remind her that the holidays are truly more about giving than receiving. That philosophy is a little difficult for a five year old to wrap her mind around, but we adults know that is for certain.  If you have a disability or care for a person with a disability, you know that medical bills and purchasing healthcare and mobility supplies often take up the entire budget and then some. Whether you are interested in giving or need assistance, there are some resources out there for you and your loved ones. The Salvation Army has been our country’s charitable staple since 1885! I encourage [...]

Adaptive Cooking

Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate the important things in life, like food and family! I fondly remember enjoying big Thanksgiving lunches as a child with my extended family on the farm. Thanksgiving traditions tend to evolve throughout the years, but I do miss those days as a child with no worries but an overfull belly. I do not consider myself a cook, but I know that cooking can be both therapeutic and offer a feeling of accomplishment when you relish in that first taste of your creation. Cooking can become difficult as we age and lose motor function. Thank goodness there are products out there that can keep the cooking alive! Disabled Hands is a great resource that directs you to manufacturers of adaptive cookware and utensils. Check [...]

Works of Art!

Sometimes it is difficult for me to go to sleep even after a long, arduous day. In the evenings I depend on books to suppress my racing thoughts, just so I can sleep!  Art is a mode of expression that stimulates our brains and distracts us from our daily lives. The actual process of written expression can release stress and help our minds let go of things that we cannot control. A Different Light, http://adifferentlight.wordpress.com/, is one of my favorite discoveries online that uses writing in this exact form. A Different Light is a meaningful outlet and resource for individuals with disabilities. Ruth Harrigan is the mastermind and creator of this blog that accumulates her written works of poems, short stories, and essays about disability. [...]

The Story of Inspiration

There are some books that have transformed my life forever. “As I Am, A True Story of Adaptation and Disability”, written by Garret Lee Frey and Dr. Karen Hutchins Pirnot, is one of those books. “As I Am” is an amazing autobiography about a boy that survived a tragic event and how he overcame unbelievable obstacles. Garret Lee Frey was just like any other four year old boy, but his life took a drastic change on April 24, 1987. Garret experienced an event that would leave him paralyzed and dependent on a respirator for the rest of his life. This amazing story guides us through Garret’s life and it intimately acknowledges the depression he struggled with and the anxiety he experienced with the outside world, especially during [...]

Wheelchair Zen

I am a huge advocate for the practice of yoga. Yoga, in my opinion, builds strength, peace of mind, discipline, and courage. You may wonder why I chose the word “courage,” but it takes a big leap to sign up for your first class. I remember my first yoga experience. I was a “newbie” and pretty lost. Luckily, I was able to catch on to the basics pretty quickly. A well-organized yoga class begins with a centering of awareness with the practice of breathing. Once you get the breathing down, participants continue through the poses with the same, repetitive deep breathing techniques. Yoga has many benefits for everyone, including individuals who use wheelchairs or scooters. Chair yoga is a type of yoga practice that does not require [...]