Executive Director's Message - 25 Years of ADA and FDOA!!

25 years ago I moved to Florida. Little did I know that was the same year that the Americans with Disability Act passed and the Florida Disabled Outdoor Association was formed. I didn't know how lucky I would be to work with this AMAZING organization and the friends I would meet along the way.

The Americans with Disability Act made it illegal to discriminate in the area of recreation as well! I have given thought to what that means for us today. Why is this celebration important? How is this celebration relevant?

As we look around, we see more people with disabilities depicted in advertising, television and movies. We become aware that people with and without disabilities are recreating together. We become aware of vocation possibilities for people of ALL abilities. We become aware that EACH of us has something to offer our community. That is no small thing! Recreation and active leisure start the inclusion process! When we are having fun together, it becomes easy to see what we have in common. It leads to each of us being healthier and happier.

Find a resource in your community today!

If there isn't something out there already, go to your local community and find a way to participate. It is your right!! Active Leisure for Life!!

 TBI and Stress – Tips to Relax

One often overlooked area for people with a traumatic brain injury is stress. Learning ways to manage your stress will go a long way to improve your health and wellness. Let’s review a few tips to relieve stress:

  1. Exercise – Movement of any kind helps more than people like to admit. Movement gets the blood flowing and can make a big difference in how people feel. Push yourself to do a little more each day. Remember to always consult a physician before starting any new exercise routine.
  2. Laugh – It is no joke that laughter is the best medicine. Studies have proven that people who laugh more, live longer. So, why did the chicken cross the road?
  3. Music – Listen to some soothing music or nature sounds. Music is a universal and powerful language. There is a correlation between rhythm in music and the rhythm of your heartbeat. Try music that has a slow beat at a low volume to lower your stress.
  4. Breathe Deeply – It sounds too simple, but deep breathing has many benefits like relieves tension, brings clarity to one’s mind, relieves pain, releases toxins, and helps people live longer.
  5. Meditate – Focus on relaxing your toes, your legs and work your way up. When you feel your body is relaxed, work on relaxing your mind. (Now is a good time to breathe deeply.)
  6. Talk to a Friend – Sharing with others is therapeutic. People often “bottle up” their feelings. Just allowing yourself to say it out loud can bring relief. Try talking things through with someone, it really does help.
  7. Be Thankful – Stop and count your blessings. As Americans, we have much more than most of the world. Food to eat, air to breathe, family, friends, sunrises and sunsets, etc. Focus on your glass being half full, rather than half empty.

More information for People with a Spinal Cord Injury:

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More information for People with a Brain Injury:
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FDOA gratefully accepts tax deductible donations and in-kind gifts as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. (Federal ID# 59-3051552)