What is Fragile X?



Today, July 22nd, is Fragile X Awareness Day. When this topic was assigned to me, I thought it sounded familiar but couldn’t immediately place why. So, I did what I always do and researched it. And then light dawned. My son was tested for Fragile X, which is defined by the National Fragile X Foundation as “a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges and various physical characteristics”. 


As part of my son’s work with his pediatrician, an occupational therapist, and speech therapist during Early Intervention for Asperger’s (on the Autism spectrum), it was mentioned that he should be tested for Fragile X. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t have it. Mainly, this was due to the following traits that he has/had, which are common in a male who has Fragile X:

  • Long face
  • Ear infections
  • Autism
  • Hand flapping
  • Poor eye contact
  • Sensory disorders

With all of that combined, I can see why we were referred to a neurologist by my son’s pediatrician, especially considering that Fragile X is the most common genetic cause of autism. However, post-CAT scan and neurologist assessment, it was determined that Fragile X was not the cause of my son’s autism and instead his long face comes from his parents (we both also have long faces) and ear infections were something I also battled whilst growing up.

I learned during the appointments that Fragile X happens more often in males, although it can affect females as well. Thankfully, I also found out (before learning that my son didn’t have Fragile X) that Fragile X doesn’t affect life expectancy at all as there aren’t any life-threatening disorders that go along with the syndrome.


- See more at: http://blog.nticentral.org/#sthash.kZFM8psE.dpuf
Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that converts. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great ghost novel.

First Special Olympics - 1968




Nearly fifty years ago today, the first International Special Olympics were held in Chicago on Soldier Field. About 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 26 U.S. states and Canada competed in track and field, swimming, and floor hockey.

That was how far we had come.

Yet, only one decade earlier in the 1950’s people with intellectual disabilities weren't being educated. But by 1968 they were participating in a national athletic event. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the creator of the Special Olympics, said, “through sports they can realize their potential for growth."


Today, over 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries participate in the Special Olympics! The potential for growth is undeniable. NTI is here to continue the movement. NTI believes the market for people with disabilities can grow and to find individuals with disabilities jobs. There is room for change and more opportunity then ever before. Be part of the change. NTI can help change your life with a job. If you are interested, feel free to sign up at www.nticentral.org/learnmore

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Note: Our Special Olympics picture was inspired by the works of famed artist Max Liebermann, who was born on this date back in 1847. View and like a larger picture of our image on Instagram here:  https://goo.gl/hYSkgo

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#specialolympics #realism #painting #olympics #kennedy #shriver #disability #disabilityawareness #chicago #soldierfield #athlete #goals #strength #track #swimming #hockey #compete #race #playunified #sports #beafan #trackside #specialolympics2016 #MaxLiebermann #artist #runners #impressionist #abstract #history

Press Release - People with Disabilities and Disabled Veteran’s Expo | NTI - New York City


July 15, 2016
10:00AM - 3:00PM
New York's Hotel Pennsylvania
401 Seventh Avenue (at 33rd St.)
New York, NY 10001

Press Release - People with Disabilities and Disabled Veteran’s Expo | NTI

For Release Wednesday, July 12, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

[Boston, MA] - NTI Exhibits at New York Career Expo for People with Disabilities
National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) will be an exhibitor at the CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine's  Career Expo for People with Disabilities at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania in New York, NY on Friday, July 15, 2016 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Career Expo brings together industry and government with Americans with disabilities who are entry level and professionals in all career disciplines.
Free and open to the public, this special event allows attendees to meet representatives from Fortune 500 companies, Government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including NTI, who want to help attendees find new jobs. Exhibitors at the Career Expo include L-3 Communications; Wells Fargo; Capital One; Deloitte; New York State Department of Civil Service; US Department of State; and so many more.
Attendance is free, but pre-registration is advised at http://www.eop.com/expo .
National Telecommuting Institute, NTI was founded in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NTI pursued a mission to identify and develop work-at-home jobs for home-based Americans who are physically disabled.
Since that time, NTI has provided trained work-at-home employees to some of the largest U.S. government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and to smaller businesses who want to outsource customer service and technical support operations in order to reduce costs.
Visit  www.nticentral.org/learnmore for more information about how NTI assists American veterans who are disabled in their job searches.

A.D.A. Celebration Day to be Celebrated at Boston City Hall Plaza


Press Release - ADA Celebration Day

For Release Monday July 11, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.


 [Boston, MA] - A.D.A. Celebration Day to be Celebrated at Boston City Hall Plaza
National Telecommuting Institute (NTI) is proud to be part of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Celebration Day this Wednesday, July 13, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Boston City Hall Plaza.
ADA Celebration Day is presented by the Boston Commission for Persons with Disabilities and the local disability community to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act.
Free and open to the public, this special event is for children, families and individuals of all abilities. ADA Celebration Day will include food, music, information, t-shirts, and fun.
This year, attendees will have an easier time attending ADA Celebration Day as the Government Center MBTA Station is now ADA compliant and open to the public.
The Boston Commission for Persons with Disabilities facilitates full and equal participation in all aspects of life by persons with disabilities in the City of Boston. They strive to reduce architectural, procedural, attitudinal, and communication barriers that affect persons with disabilities.
National Telecommuting Institute, NTI was founded in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, NTI pursued a mission to identify and develop work-at-home jobs for home-based Americans who are physically disabled.
Since that time, NTI has provided trained work-at-home employees to some of the largest U.S. government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and to smaller businesses who want to outsource customer service and technical support operations in order to reduce costs.
Visit  www.nticentral.org/learnmore for more information about how NTI assists Americans with disabilities in their job searches.

National Parks and Recreation Day


National Parks and Recreation Day


By Mary E. Hart
It’s July! The sun is shining (at least here in Massachusetts. Hope it is in your neck of the woods as well!) and it’s a long weekend for most, which makes it a perfect day to get out there and explore the great outdoors. And what better day to do so than National Parks and Recreation Day! 


No, that’s not a day to sit and watch Netflix or Hulu for Amy Poehler and friends on the “Parks and Recreation” series. Although I guess you could. It’s a great series, from what I’ve heard. Haven’t yet had a chance to watch it, but it’s on my to-watch list, which gets longer by the day. But we’d rather that you got outside, if you can, and go exploring our great nation’s parks.

Did you know that you can visit the national parks in the United States FOR FREE through an Access Pass for Americans with disabilities? You can find out more on the National Park Service page. All you have to do is scroll down to the “Access Pass” section three-quarters of the way down. There, you’ll find the following information:

  • The Access Pass is free for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities
  • The Access Pass may be obtained in person at a federal recreation site or through the mail using this application form.
  • NOTE: There is a $10 fee to process the application, but the pass itself is free.

Please visit the National Park Service site for further information. They also offer a free annual pass for the U.S. Military. If you’re not an American with disabilities nor a current U.S. military member, you could purchase an annual pass for visits.


Now get out there and go exploring.


BIO: Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that will help you reach the right people at the right time. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great ghost novel.

Top Job Interview Questions Revealed


Top Job Interview Questions Revealed


By Mary E. Hart


Welcome to July and Happy 4th of July weekend. July is “National Grilling Month” and typically, this post would be about BBQs and grilled steaks, burgers, and hot dogs. However, I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t really focus on BBQs much, except for grilled corn on the cob, grilled veggies, and grilled pizza -- all of which are delicious, by the way! -- so I’m going with a different spin on “grilling”. Let’s discuss the top interview questions that people are asked/grilled on during an interview.

I’m sure we all have a story about the most unique/bizarre question you’ve ever been asked during an interview, and I definitely do. I was on an interview for a technical marketing position years back and was asked the question “What is the worldwide market for Mother’s Day cards?”. Note: This was a technical marketing position and not for a greeting card company. I was stumped -- mainly because I’d never really given any thought to just how many people there are in the world (Spoiler alert: The last reported estimate was over 7 billion people. I’ll never forget that factoid.) -- and had no idea how to answer that question or even where to start due to my embarrassing lack of knowledge. The interviewer later told me he was asking just to see how my thought process worked, but I was so stuck on the actual number that I had no thought process besides just how horrified I was at myself.

When you’re interviewing, some of the more common questions you should be ready to answer include:

  • What did you like the most and didn’t like the most about your last position?
  • What made you apply for this job?
  • What kind of management style do you prefer?
  • What is the biggest challenge you’ve encountered at a job and what did you do?
  • What is the biggest success you’ve had at a job and why?

On the flip side, when an interviewer asks you if you have any questions for them, you really should have some ready. If you don’t ask any questions, the interviewer will think you’re not interested in learning more about the company and not interested in the job. Typically, I advise people to ask questions like these when they’re being interviewed for a job:

  • Why is this position available? Where is the person who used to hold this job? (You want to know if the person who used to have the job was promoted, fired, or quit, or if it is a brand new position.)
  • What are the qualities of someone who would fit in well with this team and, conversely, someone who would NOT fit in well?
  • Is there anything from our conversation that makes you think I’m not a good candidate for this position? (This gives you the chance to clear up any misunderstandings the interviewer may have from your discussion.)

Now: Tell me about some of the most unique/strange questions you’ve been asked in the comments below. 


BIO: Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that will help you reach the right people at the right time. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great ghost novel.

A Marathon of Hope



On this day, April 12th, back in 1980, Terry Fox started his “Marathon of Hope” with a plan to run east to west across Canada to raise awareness of cancer.

Three years prior to the run, at the age of 18, Fox was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, commonly referred to as bone cancer, in his right knee. He underwent an amputation followed by 16 months of chemotherapy and wore a prosthesis on his right leg.

Spurred on by an article he received the night before his amputation about Dick Traum, who was the first amputee to complete the New York City Marathon, Fox started 14 months of painful training during chemotherapy with a vision of spreading awareness about cancer. He told his family and most of his friends he was going to run a marathon, sharing his thoughts about running the length of Canada only with his friend, Doug Alward, until close to the beginning of his journey. 


Fox wrote to many companies about his quest, and received donations of a camper van from Ford Motor Company; fuel for the trek from Imperial Oil; and his running shoes from Adidas. Alward would drive the van and follow behind Fox on the trip across Canada.

With the Marathon of Hope, Fox wanted to inspire children who were his age or younger and had cancer; increase awareness of cancer; and hoped to raise donations that would equal one dollar for every Canadian, which would equal $24 million dollars.

Once Fox was ready to begin, he dipped his right leg into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 and hit the road with plans to run a marathon of 26 miles each and every day from Newfoundland across to Vancouver. He would get up in the morning, run 12 miles, rest and then run the daily remaining 14 miles before resting again for the night to begin the process over again the next day.

After Fox had run over 561 miles without much fanfare or interest, he arrived in Port aux Basques and was pleasantly surprised to find the 10,000 town residents waiting for him with a donation of over $10,000 towards cancer research.

When Fox reached Nova Scotia, his 17-year old brother, Darrell Fox, joined Fox and Alward on the journey, helping to drive the van and provide more support for Fox. 


Ontario was a turning point for Fox’s journey. As he arrived in Ontario at the end of June, he was greeted by a brass band and thousands of residents, who swarmed the streets just to see him and support him. Fox also performed a ceremonial kickoff at a Canadian Football League game in Ottawa in front of 16,000 fans, who gave him a standing ovation.

These moments -- including meeting Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Orr in southern Ontario -- helped Fox push through the pain he was feeling from his run to keep going. Fox’s Marathon of Hope sadly ended in Thunder Bay on September 1st, 1980. He had run 3,339 miles at that point, but asked to be taken to a hospital as he felt so terrible. Doctors checked out Fox and found that his cancer had progressed and there were now two tumors -- one in each of his lungs.



At that point, Fox put out an announcement that his Marathon of Hope had to be put on hold, but he did plan to finish it when he felt better. He then underwent more chemotherapy to try and treat the tumors.

After Fox’s news, the CTV Television Network put on an impromptu telethon in support of Fox and the Canadian Cancer Society. This telethon raised 10.5 million dollars.

Sadly, Fox was never able to return to his Marathon of Hope, and he died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22. In honor of Fox’s death, the Government of Canada ordered that flags be lowered to half mast, which was quite uncommon as this honor was typically reserved for statesmen.

A statue of Fox now stands in Thunder Bay to honor his Marathon of Hope and the inspiration he gave to so many on his journey and continues to do so today. 




Mary E. Hart is the Digital Communications Specialist for NTI. She is also a freelance writer, editor and content strategist, specializing in writing copy that will get stuck in your head like an earworm, prompting you to take action. Previously, she worked in Demand Generation marketing for UBM Tech and Ziff Davis Enterprise. In her spare time, Mary is working on the next great novel.





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