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Arts & Entertainment

  • April 29 - Jerry White publishes I Will Not Be Broken: 5 Steps to Overcoming a Life Crisis, a book he wrote in response to losing his leg in a land mine accident in 1984.
  • November 14 - The 4th Moscow Disability Film Festival: Breaking Down Barriers opens in Moscow, Russia.


  • April 29 - The Sousa Cobra Stock team, a group of 8th grade special education students from Sousa Middle School, win the central region Stock Market Challenge sponsored by the Maryland Council on Economic Education.[1]

Government & Advocacy

  • January 15 - Federal employees with severe disabilities at lowest percentage in 20 years. Report issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), known as "Participation Rate of People with Targeted Disabilities in the Federal Work Force" says that people with severe disabilities accounted for slightly less than 1 percent of the government's workforce. [2]
  • March 5 - AAPD Presented 2008 Henry B. Betts Award to International Human Rights Disability Advocate Eric Rosenthal.[4]
  • March 5 - the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Justice (DOJ) released new guidance reinforcing the right of people with disabilities to make "reasonable modifications" to their dwellings if a structural change to their dwelling or to a common area of the building or complex in which they live is needed so that they can fully enjoy the premises.[5]
  • May 6 - Writeslaw announces a Call to Action on the IDEA Fairness Act (H.R. 4188) which, if passed, would allow parents who prevail in due process or litigation under IDEA to be reimbursed for their expert witness fees.[7]
  • May 28 - The 6th Annual Tennessee Disability MegaConference opens at the Nashville Airport Marriott.[8]


  • July 21 - Researchers including Clemens Scherzer, MD, a neurologist and researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), aannounce that they have found that the build up of a certain protein is responsible for controlling the production of the gene, alpha-synuclein, which is a cause of Parkinson's disease.[11]

Sports & Recreation

  • January 14 - Paralympic 400m star Oscar Pistorius is denied entry into the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games when the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled his prosthetic limbs give him an advantage over able-bodied opponents and contravene rules on technical aids. [12]
  • March 10 - The University of Michigan agrees to increase the number of wheelchair seats and companion seats in their football stadium from 81 to 329 as a result of a lawsuit involving the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America.[13]
  • May 12 - The Northeast Independent Living Program hosts their 5th Annual Golf Tournament For Independence at the Georgetown Country Club in Georgetown, MA.
  • May 12 - Nigel Rogoff, a former skydiver and amputee kayaker begins Our Journey 2008, a trip around the British Isles in a sea kayak to raise awareness for amputees and important funds for the British Limbless Ex-Service Men's Association.[15]
  • May 23 - British National Wheelchair Tennis Championships open in Glochester, England.[16]
  • June 7 - The British National Powerlifting Championship opens in Stoke Mandeville, England.[17]
  • July 24 - The Extremity Games 3, a competition for extreme sports for people with disabilities opens in Millington, Michigan.[18]
  • August 25 - Canada's Mobility Cup 2008, an international regatta for sailors with disabilities, opens in Montreal, Canada.[19]
  • September 6 - The 13th Paralympic Games are scheduled to open in Beijing, China. [20] The Beijing mascot will be Fu Niu Lele, the Cow. "Cows, symbolic of a down-to-earth, diligent, staunch and never-say-die spirit, are adopted to show the unremitting spirit of athletes with a disability in being the best they can be." [21]


  • January 29 - Touch Bionics the company that developed the world's first commercially available bionic hand incorporates in the U.S.[22]
  • February 1 - The FDA approves Medtronic's Endeavor Zotarolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent for use in treating patients with narrowed coronary arteries. The decision marks only the third approval of a drug-eluding stent in the U.S.[23]
  • February 18 -, a site for accessible gaming on Mac OS X, is launched . AssistiveWare launched which featured articles about general gaming topics, reviews discussing individual games, and short descriptions of games with a special focus on their accessibility. [24]
  • February 28 - Touch Bionics signs U.S. distribution agreement with Southern Prosthetic Supply (SPS) to distribute the i-LIMB, the world's first commercially available bionic hand.[25]
  • April 1 - Toidi-Naru launches the iMind, a super light mind switch headset, that utilizes technology from existing 'mind gaming' headsets and features more than twenty tiny sensors to read thoughts and analyze even the most subtle facial movements all in an effort to control an iPod.[27]


  • March 24 - John Slatin - Slatin was the founding Director of the Accessibility Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. John, who is blind, was also the co-chair of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group from 2005 to 2006.[28][29]
  • March 26 - Jerald Jordan - Deaf sports leader. Jordan was the president of the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf from 1971 to 1995.[30]
  • June 4 - Harriet McBryde Johnson - American disability advocate. Johnson was disabled due to a neuromuscular disease. She is also the author of Too Late to Die Youngand Accidents of Nature.


  1. "[ Sousa MS Special Ed Students Win 2008 Stock Market Challenge]." District of Columbia Public Schools. Press Release. April 29, 2008. Accessed on May 12, 2008.
  4. "AAPD Presented 2008 Henry B. Betts Award to International Human Rights Disability Advocate Eric Rosenthal." Bender Consulting Services, Inc. 2008. Accessed on April 28, 2008.
  5. "DEPARTMENTS OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND JUSTICE RELEASE NEW GUIDANCE ON “REASONABLE MODIFICATIONS” UNDER THE FAIR HOUSING ACT." Disability Rights online News.U.S. Department of Justice. Civil Rights Division. April 2008. Vol. 24. Accessed on July 24, 2008.
  6. "Ecuador Ratifies UN Disability Rights Treaty, Triggering Entry into Force." Rehabilitation International. April 3, 2008. Accessed on April 4, 2008.
  7. "[ Alert! Call To Action on IDEA Fairness Act (H.R. 4188) Tuesday May 6]." 2008. Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. Accessed on May 19, 2008.
  8. "Sixth Annual Tennessee Disability MegaConference, May 28-30." Vanderbilt University. 2008. Accessed on May 28, 2008.
  9. Fact Sheet on the EEOC's Final Regulations Implementing the ADAAA U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. March 25, 2011.
  11. "Genetic Mechanisms linked to Parkinson's Disease Uncovered." Brigham and Women's Hospital. Press Release. July 21, 2008. Accessed on July, 29, 2008.
  13. "UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AGREES TO IMPROVE ACCESSIBILITY AT FOOTBALL STADIUM." Disability Rights online News.U.S. Department of Justice. Civil Rights Division. April 2008. Vol. 24. Accessed on July 24, 2008.
  14. Bourgeois, Beth. "Eight Archers are Beijing Bound for the 2008 Paralympic Games." United States Olympic Committee. April 9, 2008. Accessed on May 28, 2008.
  15. "About Us." Our Journey 2008. 2008. Accessed on May 22,2008
  16. "Sports Calendar - WheelPower Events." WheelPower. 2008. Accessed on May 28, 2008.
  17. "Sports Calendar - WheelPower Events." WheelPower. 2008. Accessed on May 28, 2008.
  18. "Extremity Games Schedule." Extremity Games Official Website. 2008. Accessed on May 22, 2008.
  19. "Notice of Race." Mobility Cup. 2008. Accessed on May 22, 2008.
  22. "Touch Bionics expands U.S. presence." Touch Bionics. Press Release. January 29, 2008. Accessed on April 28, 2008.
  23. "FDA Approves Drug-Eluting Stent for Clogged Heart Arteries." Federal Food and Drug Administration. Press Release. February 1, 2008.
  25. "Touch Bionics signs U.S. distribution agreement with SPS." Touch Bionics. Press Release. February 28, 2008. Accessed on Arpil 28, 2008.
  26. "Epilepsy Foundation Takes Action Against Hackers." Epilepsy Foundation. Press Release. March 31, 2008. Accessed on May 12, 2008.
  27. "iMind: the Mind-control iPod accessory". Telegraph Media Group Limited. April 1, 2008. Accessed on April 1, 2008.
  28. "Dr. John M. Slatin." RampWEB, Inc. 2007. Accessed on March 25, 2008.
  29. Slatin, Anna. "John passed away peacefully 10pm Mon, March 24." The Leukemia Letters. Blog. March 25, 2008. Accessed on March 25, 2008.
  30. "Longtime Deaf Sports Leader Jerald Jordan Dies." USA Deaf Sports Federation. March 29, 2008. Accessed on April 1, 2008.