Posts

How I Roll: Wheelchair How-to Site

A Site for ‘Green’ Paraplegics

The brainchild of Jacob, a 30 year old paraplegic and lifer resident from West Palm Beach, Florida, HowIRoll.com, founded in 2011, may be in the running for one of the coolest wheelchair how-to sites ever. If you’re a paraplegic and have always wanted to learn more “real life” mobility skills, HowIRoll.com is where you need to look first. Read more

Video Blog Episode 03: Directing Your Own Care

Directing your own care.

Life in a wheelchair isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. We are a few decades into the American with Disability Act (ADA) and society has adapted to the wheelchair world. This wasn’t possible without people speaking their minds and we shouldn’t stop advocating for ourselves. Directing your own care is the most important thing a wheelchair user can do to make life easier and safer.

People don’t know your personal ability level so if you need help over a curb, upstairs or transferring use your voice. This is something I learned during my rehabilitation and took it home with me. We aren’t super heroes so reading your mind isn’t going to happen. Direct your own care.

man sentenced to paralysis or pay a fine

How much would you pay not to be paralyzed?

My 30th anniversary of the accident that left me a paraplegic is coming up this April. On my anniversaries, I often ponder how life would have been if I had not taken that last drive of the night on my motorcycle. I do know this, the 30 years in a chair have been as full as anybody’s who is walking. I have no doubt that I finished college, played on championship sports teams, had a wonderful career that allowed me to travel to 30 plus countries and all of the states mostly because of being paralyzed. Sounds rosy? It is. You would think I would be hard pressed to give up all I’ve accomplished, but honestly, I would do it in a heartbeat. Why? Living in a wheelchair is not an easy life and the older you get, the harder it gets. Read more

Annette Hormozian

Podcast 96: Annette Hormozian

In podcast 96, Tiffiny is joined by Annette Hormozian, a wheelchair ballroom dancer from California who’s been dancing her entire life, both pre and post injury (she was injured 24 years ago when the car she was riding in went off a cliff). Annette grew up belly dancing and doing traditional Assyrian dance, but transitioned to ballroom dance a couple years ago. Read more

baby car

Modified Toy Race Cars for Babies With Disabilities

Mobility and socialization. These are the two things on the mind of Professor Cole Galloway, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware, who’s passionate about helping babies with disabilities get mobile. And he’s using some incredible entertainment-inspired technology to make it happen. I first wrote about Prof. Galloway in 2011 (when his “babies driving mini-robots” research debuted). He created what was essentially a mini power chair for babies; proving that babies have the capacity to operate a piece of machinery for mobility. Really amazing stuff. Read more

Without my Wheelchair Friends, I’d Be No Where

They say dog is a man’s best friend, but since I’ve had my disability, I’ve found my best friends are the disabled ones. There’s nothing like having a friend who knows exactly where you’re coming from and the road you’re on. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this immediately. I avoided anyone in a wheelchair, in fact. I felt like I didn’t belong to that “group” of people. Little did I know that such a great thing was before me, if I would only give it a chance.

My first friend in a wheelchair was Andrea. We went to high school together. It was weird, before my injury, I was so uncomfortable around her. I never knew what to say to her because she was the only person I knew in a wheelchair. After my injury though, and going back to high school, it was so weird to now be like her.

But after feeling strange about it, I decided to befriend her. I knew she would be one of the few people I went to school with who could understand what I was going through – trying to find a table in the cafeteria, getting stuck in the snow, dating and all the weird wheelchair elements that went with it. And I was right, even though she had CP, she accepted me like no other person in my school.

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Airport Wheelchair Travel

Travelling Blues

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Germany for a distributor meeting and an exhibition, and ran into some problems at the Dusseldorf airport. I have been lobbying (thanks Marty Ball) ever since to get them to change their ways before RehaCare next week. It is the only airport, that I know of, that still automatically sends a wheelchair down to the baggage claim (regardless of how you have it tagged) and forces you to get into an airport wheelchair when departing the plane. As a fairly independent person and wheelchair user, I find it a bit demoralizing to have to be pushed down to the baggage claim. To top off the incident, our wheelchairs took 45 minutes to arrive at baggage. There were three of us waiting.
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Accessible travel for wheelchair users

Chairless in Arizona

It has been a busier travel season this spring and my luck ran out on my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. My colleague Mark and I were going to the National Seating and Mobility (NSM) annual sales meeting to show our products to all the Rehab Technology Suppliers (RTS) and educate them on the finer details about standing. I picked Mark up at his home and headed to the airport on such a nice day that it was a shame to leave Minnesota.

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Accessible Fuel Stations - Pumping Gas For Wheelchair Users

Get Your Motor Runnin’

I guess you could say that I‘ve taken a different tack when it comes to getting my fuel pumped. In my 28 years in a wheelchair and the ten plus different places I have lived, my modus operandi has been to pick a place near my home and another near where I work and get to know the owners and employees. In the days before cell phones I relied on them recognizing my car, but now I keep their phone numbers in my phone and call them while I pull up to the pump. In reality, they often notice my car and are on their way out the door to fill my tank before I even have the chance call them.

Away from home and away from my routines, I usually do one of two things to get my tank filled. Read more