Category Archives: Timely Happenings

5 Tips for Happily Working from Home During the Pandemic & Beyond

Disabled coder working from home
Although COVID-19 quarantines and restrictions are beginning to be lifted, many businesses throughout the country are still asking their employees to work from home. In fact, the new work-from-home normal may well become the way much business is done as we all move into our new future.
For those who are used to having a lot of social interaction at work, this can be a lonely experience at times. It can also be difficult to stay on task with pets and kids in your workspace. And then there are the household tasks, like laundry and house cleaning, that can contribute to a distracting at-home workspace. But, there are ways around all of it.

Here are five helpful tips for creating a happy and productive at-home work environment, during and beyond the pandemic:

1. Confine your workplace to a specific area of your house. This way, you are not subjecting yourself to the distraction of the activities that typically take place in shared or multiple areas. Instead of attempting to do your work near a television, create a quiet space where it’s easiest to stay on track. If another room is not an option, find an area with little or no foot traffic.

2. Block out the noise. A helpful trick is to use noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Studies show that peaceful music and nature sounds can activate the calming part of your brain that helps with concentration.

3. Set strict boundaries. Treat your workplace like you would the office and make it well-known to your family or housemates that your workplace is just that, a place to work. Make sure they respect the fact that you have a long list of things you need to do, and you will not be able to accomplish them without peace and quiet.

4. Be prepared. The pandemic impact on the workplace has paved the way to more virtual meetings and communication. Be sure you know how to operate virtual meeting applications ahead of time. Doing so can save you and the company time, not to mention potentially embarrassing moments or delays.

5. Avoid cabin fever. When you’re spending the majority of your time at home, it’s important to take breaks and get outside … whether it be venturing out around the block or participating in an outdoor activity that you enjoy. Once your workday is successfully finished, remove yourself from your workplace and enjoy other parts of your home. Spend time with your loved ones or get busy with that hobby you love to do.

The Bussani Mobility team cares about you, and we’re staying optimistic that we will emerge out of this crisis stronger than ever and with a greater appreciation for the little things we may have sometimes taken for granted. If there’s anything we can do to help you, please call us.


One Bussani Customer Gives a Van to Another This Holiday Season

During this season of giving, a beautiful thing happened at Bussani Mobility. One customer gifted another with an accessible vehicle. And a Merry Christmas it will be!


The first customer, who wishes to remain anonymous, walked in Bussani’s Smithtown location one day, in the market for a new wheelchair accessible van. He generously told Mobility Specialist Michael Garramone that he wanted to donate his current van to someone who needed it.

Long-time customer, Anthony Di Blanda, immediately popped into Mike’s mind. Tony had been in an accident over the summer on the way to church, at one of those Long Island intersections that truly needs a stop light. He made it through the accident with only some bumps and bruises, but his converted, 12-year-old Dodge with fold-out ramp was totaled. The family didn’t have collision insurance.

For six months, he and his family struggled with his transportation needs. His wife, AnnMarie, and his son had to lift him and his scooter in and out of their other SUV whenever they wanted to go anywhere. They often asked others for help.

“Tony has always been a person of positivity, radiating happiness. But that accident really got him down,” Bussani Mobility’s Michael Garramone said. “He was not happy because that vehicle was his independence. It was his way to drive and get out.”

Recounting the day Tony got the call from Bussani offering the vehicle, he said, “I remember that day. I said ‘thank you, thank you, thank you.’ The way they looked out for me was like family. It was truly amazing!”
The team at Bussani Mobility got to work fitting the donated 2007 Honda Odyssey with push-pull hand controls for Tony. It already had an in-floor, automatic power ramp installed. Don’s Hand Carwash of Smithtown also provided a free detail. And Branch Auto Care of Smithtown donated a free NY State inspection.

On Friday, December 8, the vehicle was ready and Mike handed the keys over to Tony and AnnMarie. When we asked where they’ll go first, Tony said with a beaming smile, “I’m going to wheel up the ramp in my scooter, sit in the back, and let my wife drive us to lunch!”

He went on to say, “She’s the real hero, the way she helps me, takes care of the kids, puts up the Christmas lights with a drill.”

The love between these two incredible people is palpable. Married for 25 years, they have three kids, now ages 13, 17 and 19. Just seven months after getting married, Tony was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he was 30. As the disease progressed, Tony began using a cane, then crutches, and then a scooter.

“In the beginning, I was so down about what happened to me,” Tony said. “I didn’t even want to bother trying to do things. But now there’s so much technology. At one time, it looked like I couldn’t even get into a vehicle. But now I can even drive. A life that looked closed is now open again.”

When Tony drives, he parks his scooter in the passenger seat area and transfers over. “It gives freedom to me and my family. It allows me to be there for them. It makes you feel better that you can take other people places. I can go to Costco, you can go to Costco, we can go to Costco together.”

Before life with MS, Tony was a chiropractor and a biochemist. He then started teaching science. Now he helps out with the school’s alumni outreach program. He said, “Now, I’ll be able to get back to the school and see all the alumni faces again.”

AnnMarie added, “The vehicle makes life doable. It opens up the opportunity to continue to live a normal life together.”


US Veteran Honored with 2016 Toyota RAV4 at NY Auto Show

Jeffrey Hackett RAV 4 donation NY Auto Show 2016

Congrats to US Army Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Hackett of Oswego, NY, on being presented with his new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid equipped with special steering controls and pedals that can all be used with his left foot. Governor Cuomo awarded him the vehicle at the NY International Auto Show.

Here’s the story that ran in The Bronx Chronicle on March 27…

Governor Cuomo Opens New York International Auto Show

Ten-day event expected to generate $300 million in economic activity across New York

Yesterday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo kicked off the official opening of the 116th Annual New York International Automobile Show at the Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side. The Governor drove a Silver Camaro ZL1 Convertible in a brief parade to kick-off the opening ceremony. More than one million visitors are expected to attend the ten-day event, the largest show of its kind in the country. The show features nearly one thousand of the world’s latest automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, and concept cars at the convention center and is expected to generate more than $300 million in economic activity for the Empire State.

“The New York Auto Show is a time-honored tradition that continues to serve as an important economic generator for the Empire State,” Governor Cuomo said. “By showcasing the industry’s best manufacturers and state-of-the-art designs all under one roof, this event keeps visitors and car enthusiasts like myself coming back year after year.”

The opening ceremony included celebrity appearances, musical performances, and was highlighted by the donation of a brand new SUV to an Afghanistan War hero who was injured in combat.

Toyota and the New York International Auto Show joined forces to celebrate and honor US Army Sergeant First Class Jeffrey Hackett of Oswego County, New York. Toyota is donating a 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid to. Hackett lost his right leg and suffered serious injuries all over his body due to an IED explosion that happened when he and his fellow soldiers were clearing a house in Afghanistan in 2011.

Governor Cuomo awarded SFC Hackett with an honorary license plate for his new RAV4. To assist Hackett, the Bussani Mobility Team of Bethpage, N.Y., equipped the RAV 4 with special steering controls and pedals that all can be used with a left foot. During his 19 years of military service, Hackett earned more than a dozen awards, including the Bronx Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Purple Heart.


Mardi Gras in NYC March 24!

NYCSCIA Mardi GrasWe’re just a few days away from the 11th Annual NYCSCIA Mardi Gras Fundraiser and there are so many new surprises lined up, it’s hard to pick just one to tell you about…the amazing light show, the caricature artist, the authentic Zydeco Band or the moon pies and king cakes for dessert. It’s a New Orleans theme.

You will just have to come and see for yourself on March 24th at Slate, 54 W 21st Street, NYC from 6 pm until 10 pm.

Victor Calise, Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, will be receiving the very first Peter Zarba Humanitarian Award.  Named in memory of our very dear friend, this award is given in recognition of the person, group or organization that best exemplifies service, dedication and passion for helping people with spinal cord injuries maximize their independence and quality of life.

As a passionate advocate for inclusion, accessibility and the healing power of adaptive sports, Victor has shown through his professional career, volunteer activities and personal example what true independence is and serves as a role model for the entire SCI community.  Molly Zarba and Dan Bussani will be on hand to help make the presentation.

Tickets are available for $30 in advance or $40 at the door. Tickets can be
purchased online
.


New Handicap Symbol in NY

handicapped icon NEW10-14
More than 45 years after it was first created, the handicap symbol is getting a significant redesign, at least in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently signed into law the measure, making New York the first state in the nation to replace the universal symbol with a modified version, according to the sponsors of the bill.

“New York is again leading the way by being the first state in the Nation to update our outdated ‘handicap’ signs with a more active, engaging symbol. Working together we will continue to be a shining example for disability rights throughout the country,” Sen. David Carlucci (D) said in a statement. He and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D) co-sponsored the bill, which has no fiscal impact as it only requires new signs to carry the updated icon and which also drops the word “handicapped” from signs and communications in favor of the word “accessible.”


Taking Flight in Freedom’s Wings Life Challenge

Freedom Wings
Freedom’s Wings (FWI) is a non-profit organization run by and for people with physical disabilities. They provide the opportunity for those who are physically challenged to fly in specially adapted sailplanes, either as a passenger or as a member of the flight training program.

Freedom Wings

 

On September 12, when we arrived at the Blairstown Airport for the Life Challenge event, it was a gorgeous morning. We felt something special was going to happen. And special is just what occurred.

Freedom Wings

 

Twelve amazing participants left their fear behind on the ground as they all took flight in Gliders provided by Freedom Wings International. What an incredible sight to see!

Freedom Wings
We witnessed first-hand and up-close how they approached this challenge with eyes wide open — and they did not waiver at all. It was inspiring to play a small part in helping each and every person into the cockpit for their Glider flight.

Freedom Wings

 

That’s what Life Challenge is all about.  In these high-level adventure trips, participants with SCI, along with family members and friends, face obstacles together. Through problem solving and teamwork comes a realization: “If I can do this, I can do anything.”

Freedom Wings

 

Since its inception in 2003, 36 Life Challenge Trips have taken place involving 246 people with SCI. Life Challenge has received generous support from the Ethan Ruby Foundation, the New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, helping to off-set the costs for participants. The program is coordinated by Jim Cesario, MA.

https://www.freedomswings.org/


Fun Things to Do Before Summer Ends

Summer’s not over yet! There’s still time to get out and enjoy the fun with friends and family. Festivals, parks, sports, the beach….you name it and it’s happening somewhere in the New York Metro area. Need some inspiration? Here are 10 accessible activities to do before summer ends:

hiking summer things
1) Blaze a Trail – Go hiking on an accessible trail, have a picnic or go camping. Take in some nature, maybe even do a bit of bird-watching. See what
New York state
has to offer.

2) Stop and Smell the Roses – Visit the stunning landscapes, collections and landmarks at the
New York Botanical Gardens
in the Bronx. There’s even jazz on Thursday nights…and floral design and Mario Batali cooking classes throughout the week.

Beach summer things
3) Hit the Beach – Rent a
Floating Beach Wheelchair
. These amphibious rolling beach chairs take you from boardwalk to beach to water!

4) Take a Dip in the Pool – Who doesn’t love to feel weightless? Call your local YMCA or YWCA to find out about an adaptive swimming program.

5) Go Fishing – Check out these
maps
in New York to find fishing access for anglers with disabilities.

tennis summer things
6) Play
Adaptive Tennis
– Wheelchair tennis can be played on any regular tennis court. It’s your serve.

7) Surfs Up – On September 21, a
Wheels2Water Paralyzed Surfers
event is taking place on Long Island.

8) Watch a Movie Under the Stars – Pack up the family and go see “The Lego Movie” under the stars on August 8th at Ridge Road Park (Hartsdale, NY), courtesy of The Miracle League of Westchester.

9) Take Me Out to the Ball Park – What says summer more than a baseball game? Yankees or Mets, it’s your call. Either way, hot dogs are a must.

10)
Swim With Dolphins
– For something truly memorable, hop a flight to Miami and head to Key Largo or Marathon Key for a one-of-a-kind, fully accessible swim with dolphins.

More Tips: Find out what you need to know about
accessibility at summertime venues
.


Bussani Mobility & NYDIS Partner to Relieve Lingering Issues from Super Storm Sandy

On Thursday, January 9th, the New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) held their January Board of Directors meeting.  During the meeting, three New York area families received new wheelchair accessible vans to replace vehicles lost during the devastation of 2012’s Super Storm Sandy.  All three vans were funded through a combination of federal funding and private, charitable donations made to NYDIS.  Working with Bussani Mobility, who performed modifications to meet the specific needs of each family, NYDIS was able to help these families regain the freedom that comes from having the right transportation needed for people living with disabilities.  In the video below, Peter B. Gudaitis of NYDIS announces the donations that were being made that evening.

[niceyoutubelite id=”MSM0tfEHgq4″]

Click Here to read Press Release

As many still struggle to recover after more than a year, some families were affected in much more devastating ways. The three families who received the vans not only lost their previous vehicles but also their ability to get out of their houses. For the better part of the last year they have worked with NYDIS, who gathered the necessary funds to purchase these vehicles for the families. While federal funding did help towards acquiring these vans, a large part of the funding came from private charitable donations that were received by NYDIS and the many groups that work with them. Bussani Mobility, the premier provider of wheelchair accessible vans to the New York Tri-state area, sourced the vans and made necessary modifications to meet each families particular needs.

 “To play a role in helping these three families get back on the road with the freedom that a wheelchair accessible van provides to them is one of the great benefits of what we do” said Bussani Mobility Vice President Dan Bussani. “When the people at NYDIS reached out to us we knew that this was something we had to do.” Mike Lampert and Carl Surface, two of Bussani’s Mobility Specialists who worked with all three families on getting them the exact vans they needed, echoed Dan’s sentiments. “When you talked with these people and understood all that they had been dealing with since Sandy devastated the region, their plights became our top priority,” said Lampert.

Below are links to additional videos from the evening where the families received their vans.

Mr Ali receives keys to his van from Bussani’s Mike Lampert at Jan 9 2014 NYDIS Meeting. Click Here To View

Salihi Family and their new Van Jan 9 2014. Click Here To View

Mr Curry received the keys to his new van and takes the wheel. Click Here To View

Mr Curry takes the wheel and says ‘I’ll drive!’. Click Here To View


Press Release – Bussani Mobility Announces Appointment of Dan Walsh as General Manager of Bethpage Showroom & Service Center

(Bethpage, NY) – The Bussani Mobility Team proudly announces the appointment of Dan Walsh, Service & Production Manager for the Bethpage Showroom, to the position of General Manager of the location.  While assuming the responsibilities of General Manager, Mr. Walsh will continue to serve in the role of service & production manager ensuring the seamless operations that Bussani customers have come to rely on.

Daniel Bussani, Vice President at Bussani Mobility Team, said: “Dan Walsh has been an asset to the Bussani Mobility Team since joining us over 9 years ago, driving our service & production teams to greater success.  Simultaneously, our customers have come to trust Dan and his team with all of their needs.  Dan’s appointment as our General Manager is a tribute to his hard work and dedication and represents our trust and confidence in his stewardship of our Bethpage location”

Dan has served as the Service & Production Manager for Bussani Mobility in Bethpage, New York, since 2004. He supervises new vehicle production and oversees the complete service needs of Bussani customers for both OEM and conversion vehicles. He is also responsible for reconditioning used vehicles and maintaining dealership sales and rental fleets. Additionally, he manages all auto-body estimates and repairs, purchasing from part vendors, 24-hour emergency service for customers as well as the hiring for all service-related positions, from mechanics to porters to drivers.


Press Release – Dan Bussani Elected To The Board Of The National Spinal Cord Injury Association’s Greater New York Chapter

(Bethpage, NY) – The Bussani Mobility Team proudly announces the election of Dan Bussani, Vice President of Bussani Mobility, to the board of the Greater New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NYCSCIA). 

The Greater New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (www.nycspinalcord.org) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, run entirely by volunteers.  Their mission is to help people rebuild their lives after spinal cord injury by providing resources, services and peer support to survivors and their families.  An official chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, the membership arm of United Spinal Association, NYCSCIA hosts a variety of local programs and events geared toward helping people with spinal cord injuries maximize their independence and increase their quality of life.  Their Grant Program helps people with spinal cord injuries obtain the equipment and services they need for independence and quality of life.  NYCSCIA is constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of their members.

“Bussani Mobility has been a partner and sponsor of the NYCSCIA because of the important work they do.  As a board member, I look forward to working that much closer with the other board members to continue to improve the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D)” said Dan. “I am extremely honored to be elected to the board and I hope to bring some new ideas and perspectives that will contribute to the ongoing efforts of NYCSCIA in the New York area.”

Bussani Mobility Team (www.bussanimobility.com) is a leading provider of automotive mobility products and services for people with disabilities. The company helps people with disabilities regain the freedom and independence to go where they want to go and do what they want to do. Established in 1974 with headquarters in Bethpage, NY, and with additional offices in Smithtown and Mamaroneck, Bussani Mobility Team is a market leader in the Tri-State (NY, NJ, CT) area. The company’s team of experts offers: a complete line of wheelchair vans and mobility equipment from top manufacturers available for purchase or rental, a full-service automotive shop, 24-hour emergency service, special financing options, insurance services, educational opportunities, and in-store consultants who are dedicated to meeting their customers’ every need with a highly personal touch.