Saturday, November 19, 2011


Some of you may not be aware of the fact that I had my hall bathroom remodeled this past summer. I had the bathtub and shower doors removed and a walk (or wheel) in shower installed, to better accomodate my disability.

I was able to have that work done through a program called HomeMod, short for Home Modification. This is a city sponsered program for persons with disabilities under the age of 60. Fortunately I qualified for the program.

Not only did they lower the floor where the tub previously resided, but they also completely retiled the floor and the shower walls. Additionally, they replaced  the vanity sink with a pedestal sink and a new mirror.

The bathroom looks fantastic and better suits my needs, adding safety, ease of accessability and beauty. What more could you ask for?

The workmanship was exemplary, the entire project was started and brought to completion, including clean up and disposal, in five days.

Mark Nobriga, the man in charge of the program, had originally come to my home to discuss at length what my remodeling needs were, with respect to my particular disability, and how the HomeMod program could be of assistance. Several weeks later after the remodeling was complete, Mark came back to my house to take pictures of the remodel.

While Mark was here he said that the HomeMod program was going to be featured on an ABC Channel 7 News segment. He then asked me if they could film my bathroom and interview me for the segment. I explained that I would be happy to participate in anything that would glorify the program and help insure it's continued success.

On November 8, Karen Tamley, Commissoner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, along with Mark Nobriga came to my house for the interview.

Karen Tamley, a wonderful lady, is in charge of all affairs concerning programs, accessability issues, and potential grievances for the disabled here in Chicago. She heads a department of the Mayor's Office specifically geared toward equality of opportunity for those who are disabled. Her position with the city and the importance of her work cannot be understated. It was an honor to have met such an accomplished woman and have her visit my home.

I know this may be confusing but there is another woman named Karen Meyer, who has been with ABC Channel 7 News for many years. Karen M. has been actively addressing the concerns and introducing programs for those with disabilities for a very long time through the news media. I have seen her on the news many times.

You can imagine my surprise when I learned it was Karen Meyer who was going to conduct the interview for an upcoming segment on Channel 7 News, promoting the HomeMod program.

First, Karen Meyer of Channel 7 interviewed Karen Tamley Commissoner. (I told you it was a little confusing with two Karens). Karen T explained to Karen M the importance of the HomeMod program. She continued to elaborate that the city of Chicago faced many challenges regarding accessability issues for the  disabled. One of the primary problems is that most residential buildings built before 1980 were vertical in structure with staircases, causing major hurtles for those with mobility related disabilites.

Listening to Karen Tamley speak made my admiration for her grow even stronger. She has devoted her entire career to helping the disabled live better, safer and easier lives, what a wonderful accomplishment.

Likewise, Karen Meyer of ABC Channel 7 News, has devoted her career to helping the disabled. She has been instramental in getting information out to the public regarding programs aimed at assisting the disabled. Karen M. through the news media, has helped countless persons with disabilities.

The entire process of filming this news segment has allowed me to meet these wonderful people, who have accomplished so much for others. It was an experience I will never forget.

I don't know the exact time and date this news segment will air onChannel 7. When I do know, rest assured I will pass that information to you either through my blog, email, facebook or the good old fashioned way, the telephone.

I have said this before but it bears repeating, "through great losses come great blessings." That statement was made to me by my friend and author, Michelle McKinney Hammond.

Meeting these three people Mark Nobriga, Karen Tamley and Karen Meyer has been one of those blessings I have received through my loss and I am truly thankful.

If  you are disabled or know of someone who is, this program HomeMod, could be of great assistance in helping  live happier and easier lives. You may contact this program through the website: to download an application.

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