Road Trip

A Wheelchair-User’s Bucket List

It’s not very often a wheelchair-user gets the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone to experience the excitement and adventure of an activity just like everyone else. There are a lucky handful who make this a daily occurrence, but for most of the wheelchair-users of this world, it just isn’t that easy to do.
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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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Successful Vent Dependent Quad that Uses Standing Frame

Podcast #85: A vent? No big

In episode #85 of No Free Rides, I’m joined by Jenni Taylor, a positively fabulous woman from Minnesota, who’s a C1-C2 vent-dependent quadriplegic and the former Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011. At 25, she’s had more deeper life experiences than anyone I’ve ever had on the show. Read more

College Life - Studying Abroad With A Disability

Can’t Study Abroad? Make A Documentary

Having your dreams of studying abroad dashed is something many college wheelchair-users have had to go through (myself included), but it has finally happened to the wrong dude. Reid Davenport, a senior at George Washington University (GWU) with cerebral palsy, is channeling his anger into something constructive, and thanks to Kickstarter, will be leaving for Europe for three weeks where he will document the real heart of the issue – rampant inaccessibility in Europe. Read more

Jennifer Longdon - Disability Advocate

Podcast – Jennifer Longdon, An Advocate With Heart

In episode #81 of No Free Rides, I am joined by Jennifer Longdon, a fighter of a paraplegic. Hear her take on everything from accessible realty and passe attitudes toward disabilities, to bringing diversity to Project Runway. Read more

Disability Podcast Deep Sea Diving

No Free Rides Podcast: Under The Sea With Disabled Diver Brian Walker

In episode #79 of disability podcast No Free Rides, I am joined by C5-6 quadriplegic diver Brian Walker, an ex-US Air Force man who’s been on over 40 dives in the past two years. Read more

accessible bathroom

Making Hotel Bathrooms Safe for Transfers

I was sitting in the lobby of the hotel waiting for a taxi when Bob, the General Manager of Freedom Designs (a sister company) asked whether the hotel room was accessible and fit my needs. Bob and I are often at the same tradeshows and he has come to understand my needs due to long hours together at various industry events. I told him that I wished it had a tub instead of a roll-in shower for safety reasons. He immediately mentioned that he thought it would be the exact opposite. I explained that the greatest danger to someone in a wheelchair is water. If your wheelchair is sitting in water it will slide and make the transfer dangerous. In a bathtub, the water is contained and the tub is secured and will not slip away.

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International Travel for Wheelchair Users

Craig and I are lucky to have visited several wonderful international destinations, but our wish list is long and we’re still newbies at accessible international travel ourselves! We’ve been to several cities in Mexico, Scotland and England together, and apart we’ve covered at least another ten countries on top of that. Our expertise and knowledge is mostly in the 50 United States (yes we’ve been to all of them, and love those two off-continent states dearly!), so when discussing international travel we rely on our huge network of friends in the industry that we’ve met over the years, and thankfully this number is great thanks to several expos and networking groups we’ve been a part of. Of greatest note is our friends at S.A.T.H, Overall SATH is a great network for international travel, and they’ve been paving the way in the industry for us in both advocacy and access for something like 30 years. Join their membership if you’re a traveler and want news or a travel agent and want networking. Another great network is tourwatch, created by our friend Scott Rains at to network over 600 businesses and individuals together to share information, advice and expertise. Read more