MI Paralyzed Veterans of America's Online Auction

The BFA LLC. team has known the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America for years now. They are an immensely valuable resource to the community. As a nonprofit, they need our help to continue to directly serve their organization’s mission. 

The MI Paralyzed Veterans of America has opened their online Auction! Take a look at the great items or do some holiday shopping, while supporting their mission. Wondering what kind of items are in the Auction?

  • 2 tickets to the November 23rd, 2017 Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vickings Game
  • 4 tickets to Henry Ford Museum or Greenfield Village
  • City of Livonia Golf Division Foursome Gift Certificate for 9 holes of golf
  • Bagger Daves Gift Certificate and so much more!

Click here to check out the Auction!

Happy shopping and Thank You for your support.

Are you a Disabled Veteran?

BFA LLC. is proud to be on the Department of Veteran Affairs Contractor List for the State of Michigan. We have worked with disabled Veteran clients, whom have received Housing Grants from the VA. The purpose of the Housing grants are to enhance disabled Veterans quality of life by providing a safe, barrier free home, where they can live as independently as they can.

support our troops.jpg

Through our experience, many of our Veteran clients have no knowledge that they have these grants available to them. And, much to our surprise, we found it difficult to find detailed explanations of their options. Thankfully, we found a document from Julian Gray Associates , where Cindy S. Alvear,  clearly explained the grants available and the specifications to qualify for them.

The VA offers a few different Housing Grants:

Specially Adapted Housing Grant (SAH)

  • Veteran may receive up to $67,555 for accessible home modifications.
  • Veteran is only qualified if they were permanently disabled during service.
  • Click here for details.

Special Home Adaptation Grant

  • Veteran may receive up to $13,511 for any accessible home modifications.
  • Veterans qualify if permanently and totally disabled as a resulf of Military service.
  • Click here for details.

Click here for more information on SAH and SHA grants from the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Home Improvement and Structural Assistance (HISA)

  • Veteran may receive $2,000 to $6,800 for accessible home modifications.
  • Veterans qualify if disabled as a result of service related or non service related conditions.
  • Requires a perscription from VA facility or physician.
  • " A HISA grant is available to veterans who have received a medical determination indicating that improvements and structural alterations are necessary or appropriate for the effective and economical treatment of a disability. The HISA program does not cover major modifications that are generally covered by the SAH grant program. For instance, handrails installed in showers are covered under HISA, while widening a bathroom doorway is not. A veteran may receive both a HISA grant and either a Special Home Adaptation (SHA) grant or a Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant."
  • Click here for more details.

Are you wondering if you qualify? Do you know where or how to get started?

If you are asking yourself these overwhelming question, contact the BFA LLC. team today!    We have contacts at the Department of Veteran Affairs that we can directly connect you to. Don't wait any longer.

Ask for Gwen, mention this article and receive a 10% Discount! Call 734-414-9525

**Discount Expires on 11/13/2017**

Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America Annual Salute to Veterans Gala

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November 11th, 2017 is Veterans Day, where we  honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.

The BFA LLC. Family has been involved with the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America for years. We are proud sponsors for the Annual Salute to Veterans Gala. The MPVA is passionate about enhancing the quality of life of Veterans and focuses on the local community. 

The Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA) Annual Salute to Veterans Gala will be taking place on Friday, November 10, 2017. This event is a way for all of us to take time out to remember what Veterans Day is all about and it is a day to honor those who are serving, those who have served, and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

The Salute to Veterans Gala will be held at the Suburban Collection Showplace from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Suburban Collection in Novi, Michigan.

This benefit is the MPVA’s largest annual fundraising event and proceeds will not only assist MPVA programs, but it will also support other organizations serving Michigan’s veterans.

During this time, the MPVA will also striving to host an Online Auction from November 3-17, 2017 in hopes to raise more funds that directly serve our organization’s mission. The Salute to Veterans Online Auction will be available on the website: http://www.biddingforgood.com/mpva/2017.

For more information go to www.michiganpva.org or download the event brochure here

Accessible Bathroom 101

Accessible Bathroom. Roll-in shower with folding bench. ADA toilet with Flip bars and bidet toilet seat.

Accessible Bathroom. Roll-in shower with folding bench. ADA toilet with Flip bars and bidet toilet seat.

Over the years, working with the disability community, bathrooms have been our top priorities. The majority of our clients injuries at home, are from the bathroom. 

"Bathrooms can be one of the most dangerous rooms in the home."

Above MS, is a helpful resource for people with MS. There, I found an Occupational Therapist giving advise on bathroom modifications. I found her tips useful, so below, I broke it down for you ,as well as, added advise from our experience.

1. Flip Grab bar, 2. Bidet toilet seat

1. Flip Grab bar, 2. Bidet toilet seat

Grab bars

Grab bars come in different sizes and shapes. They can be installed vertically or horizontally. Flip bars are also a great option, especially next to the toilet. The flip bar, flips up and down, depending on your needs. It is helpful for transferring to the toilet.

ADA toilet

A raised toilet seat, or placing a commode with arms over a toilet, can help with transferring by reducing the distance from sitting to standing, or standing to sitting. Along with the ADA toilet, many of our clients request bidet toilet seats. For many people who have any sort of problem with decreased sensation, trunk rotation, decreased spine-motor coordination, or dexterity, bidet toilet seat help our clients with wiping and proper cleaning, a bidet toilet seat is a Godsend.

1. Grab bars, 2. Folding shower bench

1. Grab bars, 2. Folding shower bench

 

Shower seat

A shower seat is a must for an ADA shower. We recommend a folding shower bench. This is connected to the wall, so there is no sliding of the seat. You can fold it up to be out of your way, or fold it down when you need it. If you notice the image, we install grab bars right next to the shower seat for safe transitioning. 

 Hand shower

A Hand shower allows our clients or their caregivers, to shower easily and safely. You can use it standing up or sitting down.

1. Grab bars, 2. Hand shower, 3. Folding shower bench, 4. Roll-in Shower

1. Grab bars, 2. Hand shower, 3. Folding shower bench, 4. Roll-in Shower

 

Roll-in Shower

As an ADA specialists, we recommend an open floor design or Roll-in shower. There are no barriers to step over. Our clients can roll in and out of the shower.

Automatic Light Switch

When it comes to light switches, push pads are much easier than switches. There are different kinds, some are a glow-in-the-dark with wall templates, that are helpful for nighttime use. We also recommend automatic light switches. They turn on automatically when you enter the bathroom, using motion sensors.

Like the Occupational Therapist says, "Again, bathrooms could be inherently dangerous rooms, so it’s probably one of the most important rooms to start with certain changes or modifications. "

Reach out to us:

by commenting below

 Like our Facebook page

email us at admin@adaforall.com

or call the BFA LLC. team at 734-414-9525

 

Water Therapy?

Sofia and her PT Christie, enjoying therapy in the pool.

Sofia and her PT Christie, enjoying therapy in the pool.

I recently came across a nonprofit organization, dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of kids with Autism and their families. And, well, that is right up our alley! 

Izzy, a pro-surfer and father of two, found out his son, Isaiah, had Autism at the age of three. After a rough day and no one being able to reach Isaiah, Izzy took him on the surf board with him in hopes that the waves would help Isaiah in the way they help him. The waves did exactly that, so he started his non profit, Surfers Healing, a surf camp for kids with Autism and their families.

Besides relating to the passion for enhancing the quality of lives of people with disabilities and their families, I could also relate to seeing the water, especially the ocean, be therapeutic for Sofia. As many of  you know, Sofia is the inspiration to our families business. Just like Izzy, Luis and Gwendolyne knew that there were other families dealing with the same difficulties and wanted to a resource to them. 

Sofia and Gwendolyne on the beach in Turks and Caico.

Sofia and Gwendolyne on the beach in Turks and Caico.

Sofia loves Adventure, so our family cruise to the Caribbean was her cup of tea! Did I mention she loves being in the water? I have never seen her be in a bad mood when she is in the water, even in the shower. Her favorite part of summer is going to PT in the pool. So, of course we had to take her to the beach. After figuring out a way to take her to the shore, in her wheelchair, and successfully complete it, she was finally in the water. Sofia radiated pure joy. You could tell her body was relaxed, her muscles didn't hurt and she was in paradise. Literally!

The point I am trying to make, is that I am finding more and more people in the disability community, find relief and a sense of calm in the water. Have you tried  any kind of water therapy? What is your experience with your loved one with disabilities and the water? 

Let us know in a comment below.

Make sure to follow our facebook page to see updates on current projects and events we participate in!

Pets and their Special Abilities

 Sofia and Hana (family pet)

 Sofia and Hana (family pet)

Our family loves animals, especially dogs! What can I say, we are dog people :)

Truthfully, the main reason for getting a dog was for Sofia, our loved one with Cerebral Palsy. We knew many people in the disability community who had dogs and mentioned that the dogs enhanced their quality of life. This resulted in extensive research on different breeds and deciding what we wanted in a dog. Once we decided, we welcomed Hana, a red Shiba Inu, to the family. As you can see, Hana is always by Sofia, she even sleeps with her. There is a special bond between human and animal, but I believe it is even more special when the dog has a purpose/ job. In our case, Hana is not a professionally trained dog, but she knows Sofia needs special attention and care, making Hana her helper.

From research I have read, there is a common misconception that service dogs are meant for people with visual impairments, but that is not the case. There are many ways a service animal can help anyone, especially with physical disabilities, M.S. in particular.

Sofia, Grandma and Hana (family pet)

Sofia, Grandma and Hana (family pet)

In the National MS magazine, Momentum, I found a great article about pets helping people with MS. They mention that there is no specific animal that is good for MS. Really, any animal that gives you joy and that can motivate you to be responsible for something other than yourself. They also  explain that trained service animals help improve balance, compensate for numb or spastic hands, provide visual assistance.

What I love the most about this article, is that it has stories of people with MS and their experiences with pets.

Brenda Bolster said, “Every day, Sam (her dog) made me get up and focus on him and not my MS. Along with the joy and comfort he gave me, I found myself working harder to regain my strength in my arms and legs so I could walk him and carry him.”

Pets aren't only therapeutic for the person with disability, but also their caregivers and family members. Worrying about your loved one with the disease is a lot of stress. Bolster found that Sam helped her husband release stress as well.

Whether your furry helper is a service dog or family pet, “nothing can compare to the unconditional love and emotional support they give you,” Bolster says. “They are such a healing thing for the whole family.”

We cannot agree more!

Read the full article here to learn more about service animals and their benefits.

Let us know your experience with your pets or service animals by commenting below.

A letter to Caregivers

"Caregiving is not easy, and I wish more people knew that it is a full-time, around-the-clock job, every single day."

I was hooked on this letter, from The mighty, after reading this sentence.

 Many of you know that we are a family owned business. The owners are husband and wife, who started BFA LLC. accessible home modifications company out of a need for accessible home modifications, for their daughter with Cerebral Palsy. The owners are also caregivers for their daughter.

Accessible Home modifications help people with disabilities have a better quality of life with the independence and safety they provide, but it helps the caregivers as well! Transferring is easier AND safer for the caregiver as well, when they are in a barrier free space.

Sofia (Daughter/ inspiration) to the left, Gwendolyne (BFA LLC. CEO/ Mother/ Caregiver) to the right

Sofia (Daughter/ inspiration) to the left, Gwendolyne (BFA LLC. CEO/ Mother/ Caregiver) to the right

As I read this article, I could relate. I imagine some of you can as well. 

This letter is from one mom caregiver to another:

"I completely understand what it’s like to devote your life to care for someone else and neglect your own needs. It started taking a toll on me. You helped me recognize that it is good — and at times necessary — to let people in and accept help."
"I learned that asking for help doesn’t make me any less of a mother or a caregiver.
As caregivers, we need to nourish ourselves."

 

The writer also reminds us...

 "It’s in everyone’s best interest that I’m the best version of myself, so that I can help my son live a successful and healthy life."

Caregivers are the glue that keep us together and going. 

The team at BFA LLC. is dedicated to enhancing our clients quality of life. We are passionate about accessibility solutions. We live in a home that is completely accessible, so we use the services and products that we provide our clients, everyday.

Caregivers, What do you do the de-stress?

Sensory Kits at Restaurants

If you have a loved one or friend, with a sensory processing disorder, you know that it may be stressful going to restaurants. Anova, the nonprofit for children with sensory and learning differences, is now providing restaurants with sensory-freindly kits specifically designed to avoid meltdowns.

This all started when Jackie Hadley, Anova’s manager of charitable development and community relations, mentioned that she had many parents and family say that they just do not go out to restaurants due to the challenges related with sensory processing disorders.

What a great idea!
Unfortunately, the Anova kits are only in 11 restaurants in California...But, The Mighty has also provided a link to make one yourself. Click here to make your own sensory kit.

Let us know if you made a kit, or already have a versions of a kit.

 

Yoga & MS

After hearing from friends and clients with MS, talk about Yoga benefiting them, I decided I wanted to learn more.

Right on the National Multiple Sclerosis Website, in the exercise category, there is a very informative piece that explains the benefits of Yoga, especially for those with MS. The overview starts with this:
                         "The word ‘yoga’ means to yoke or join together—uniting the mind, body and spirit. Joining physical poses with the breath, action with thought, and awareness with intention can bring peace to body, mind and spirit. The simple practice of breathing, something all of us do every day without thought, becomes a powerful tool when you can become aware of how your breathing affects every part of your body. As you learn how to focus awareness on your breathing, you can observe how your mind can feel calmer and your body more relaxed."

The article continues to explain that anyone can practice yoga. There is adaptive yoga, poses you can do in a chair or wheelchair. Meditation and its benefits are also mentioned. 

You can read the article here, to learn more about the benefits of Yoga and for resources to find a qualified instructor.

" If you have ever wondered whether yoga is something you can do, it is.
    If you have ever wondered whether yoga is too difficult, it's not."

Have you or a friend taken a Yoga MS class?
What did you think?
 

Glamping?!

Yurt with an accessible entrance.

Yurt with an accessible entrance.

Have you heard of Glamping, or glamorous camping?

Glamping is a "comfort-focused way" to enjoy the outdoors. Thanks to this trend, people with disabilities can now enjoy the great outdoors easier than ever. Lynn Anderson, a professor in the recreation, parks and leisure studies department at the State University of New York at Cortland mentions in the Momentum article that “You’re able to spend time in the outdoors overnight but have some of the amenities that you’re used to in everyday life to facilitate that experience.”

Karen Francisco, a customer service specialist who was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS says, “I go for lots of walks. The quiet is very peaceful, and the fresh air is energizing. It gives me the opportunity to think about life and decompress.” Wouldn't you agree that wilderness therapy is a great way to de-stress?

Check out the article here to read more stories of fellow glampers with MS telling their experiences with glamping. The article also provides information on planning your next trip and places to stay that are accessible.

Yurt with an accessible entrance.

Yurt with an accessible entrance.

“I tell people to think about the experience they’d like to have, rather than potential limitations. Maybe it’s getting into the mountains, or maybe it’s waking up to the sound of crashing surf? With glamping, there are ways to make it possible.”

I am inspired to plan my next trip. Are you?

Custom Wreath Business

Meet James Hall, or "Monnie" from Iowa. What started as hobby, making custom themed wreaths for friends and family, has now turned into a business. Monnie has a always had an eye for his crafts and it shows when you see the end result.

Go to Monnie's website to learn more about him and his products.

Go to Monnie's website to learn more about him and his products.

As a family business, we like to support other small business owners. Especially if the owner has a disability. As you know, people with disabilities are underrepresented in the business world, so it is important to do our part.

Monnie makes an emphasizes on his abilities, rather than his disability. On an interview with The Mighty, Monnie mentioned that more than anything else, he wants his business to focus on what he can do and hopes to inspire others with disabilities to know they can start their own business too.

“Don’t focus on your disabilities — you have plenty of abilities!” says Monnie to The Mighty, “I believe everyone should be an advocate for themselves, whether they have a disability or not.”

Check out Monnie's Custom Handmade Wreaths website here.

Accessibility option on Google Maps

 

On Thursday, Google made an announcement, in a blog post, that they have  "a new initiative that will help people with disabilities find more accessible destinations through Google Maps."

So, Google has made a setting where users can add whether or not a location is accessible.
A representatives from google made this statement: 

“Many of us take for granted simple things like walking through a doorway, taking the stairs to the next floor, or always having a comfortable seat at a restaurant table, but for tens of millions of people worldwide, those very things aren’t possible unless a place has a wheelchair accessible entrance, elevator or accessible seating.”

If you use Google Maps, you can add information to let others know if destination is: wheelchair-accessible entrance, has an elevator, seating or parking.

"So far, accessibility information has been added to over 7 million locations."

The world is recognizing accessibility as a standard ! This is great news for the disability community.

Check out the Mighty article here.

I don't need that yet...

When it comes to having an accessible home, the best advice we can give you is to think ahead !

Families often call us after mom has fallen for the second or third time. We want to be able to prevent you or your loved one from that happening in the first place.

This is why I was immediately sucked in to this article from Momentum, the magazine for the Nation MS Society.  The article has stories of individuals with MS. Read below to learn from their experience.

accessible bathroom by BFA llc.

After Anthony Andrade noticed difficulty going up and down stairs, he got a ramp. Anthony says, “Now I can drive my electric wheelchair up the ramp. It’s so much easier getting in and out of the house. And I can be home by myself.”

Another women diagnosed with MS, Retta Yorns mentioned this, “I knew things would become more difficult for me, so we started making certain adaptations." She renovated the bathroom and kitchen, as well as the doorways and floors throughout her house to make them more accessible. “I’m not using a wheelchair now, but I’m trying to think ahead,” Yorns says.

“Often people don’t want to do something until they need it, But you want to stay ahead of the curve, even if you don’t need it right now.”

Check out the article here.

How Story telling can help people with Alzheimer

When Jay moved her dad with Alzheimer's into a care facility, she made a short narrative, with photos and gave background on his career. She found that this information helped her dad form bonds with his caregivers.

This was the beginning of Memory Well. Memory Well is " a network of journalists who tell stories of people who can't tell their own, helping caregivers understand them and improve their quality of life."

Check out this great story here.

Ability App

Ellen Degeneres gives Alex Knoll $25,000 for Ability App

Ellen Degeneres gives Alex Knoll $25,000 for Ability App

"Accessing public spaces can be difficult if you have a disability. All too often, a store doesn’t have an automatic door, a restaurant has narrow aisles or a playground doesn’t have wheelchair accessible play areas. After conducting his own research, Knoll came up with the idea for Ability App — an app designed to help people with disabilities navigate public spaces. "

Having a family member with Cerebral Palsy who uses a wheelchair, we know first hand the challenges people with disabilities face when they travel. 

Check out the article here!

Would you use this app? Let us know!

Wheelchair Accessible Water Park

Morgans inspiration Island, wheelchair accessible splash park in San Antonio.

Morgans inspiration Island, wheelchair accessible splash park in San Antonio.

Wheelchair accessible water park? WHAT?! ... YES!

A first-of-its-kind splash park designed from the ground up to accommodate people with disabilities will make its debut!

The splash park is completely wheelchair accessible. The park has five play areas with pools, geysers, jets, water cannons and more! There is also a five-minute jungle-themed riverboat ride with twists and turns.

“Like Morgan’s Wonderland, Morgan’s Inspiration Island is not a special-needs park; it’s a park of inclusion,” said Gordon Hartman, the philanthropist behind the parks. “Both were designed with special-needs individuals in mind and built for everyone’s enjoyment.”

 But, what we are most excited about is... specially-designed waterproof wheelchairs built just for the park will be available for visitors!

Check here to read the article and learn more about this wheelchair accessible splash park!

 

Design for Disability...

The BFA LLC. Team is excited to see this collaboration of fashion designers and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Accessibility is our passion and fashion is another way to incorporate our mission.

" The Cerebral Palsy Foundation partnered with the nation’s top fashion schools to design clothing which will transform the fashion experience for people with disabilities. "

Six designers from Parsons FashionPratt Institute and Fashion Institute of Technology, have created three outfits each that will be featured in this 6 part series. Get exclusive access and vote for your favorite designer!

Check out #Design4Disability 2017 and sign up to be part of our 6 part web series starting June 6th. http://yourcpf.org/design-for-disability/ 

BFA,llc... brings Accessible Solutions to any home.

Check out the #Accessible Home Modifications... Call us today today at 734-414-9525. Kitchen Remodeling, Accessible Laundry, Vertical Lift Platform in garage, Master bathroom Roll-In Shower.  #ADA #Accessible #accessibility#BFALLC #adaforall #accessibilitysolitions #renovations#michigan #accessibleMichigan #grabbar #toilet#wheelchair #rollinshower

Easter at the Detroit Zoo

Celebrate this holiday weekend at the Detroit Zoo for the 26th Annual Bunnyville.

April 14-April 15th

You can take photos with the Easter Bunny, get painted whiskers and play “Funny Bunny” games.

There will also be a Jelly Bean Jamboree and a golden egg hunt. 

Click here for more details.

HAPPY EASTER!