Power-Assist Virgin Diaries Saga 1: Tailwind Power Assist

Power-Assist Virgin Diaries Saga 1: Tailwind Power Assist

For any quadriplegics out there wondering what it’s like to finally try a power assist tech on a manual wheelchair after years of using a power wheelchair, this blog post is for you. I have been using a power chair for over 20 years and am looking into getting a power assist manual wheelchair. The time is nigh to finally add better mobility to my life. Read more

Summer Shenanigans Survival Guide

Summer Shenanigans Survival Guide

“Something struck me,” my friend said recently when I brought up an inaccessible music venue. “We have the privilege of not worrying about accessibility.” I never thought about it that way before, but being an abled-bodied person, she was right. I talk about ableism so much, but I’ve never considered how my friends blank on accessibility since they don’t have to worry about it. For the most part, I always find a way around inaccessibility though. When it comes to navigating shows and concert venues I’d like to think I have it down to a science. Read more

The Quest for Power Assist

The Quest for Power Assist

A new wheelchair accessory has been buzzing in popularity around wheelchair-users for a few years now, and it’s one of the coolest wheelchair accessories to ever come out in the history wheelchairs – the Max Mobility SmartDrive. This one-wheel device can turn a manual wheelchair into a power wheelchair, and it’s changing lives around the world. Read more

Casual Ableism and Good Will

Casual Ableism and Good Will

There is such a thing as causal ableism. It’s insidious, such as someone offering me up a prayer and leaving me perplexed as to why they are praying for me. It’s someone telling me “If I were you, I’d probably wear sweatpants all day because I could get away with it.” It’s forgetting when a venue or restaurant has stairs. For the most part, I know there’s no ill will, but unless we confront it when it’s encountered, microaggressions and all, we will not get anywhere. Read more

Accessibility vs Ableism

Accessibility vs Ableism

What is accessibility in public? I’m headed to Target with my family and we’re shopping for clothes for the little ones. Handicapped parking? Yes, we found a space. My wife is wearing the new peanut in a wrap. Big girl Tater tot is secured in my lap.  Bella is lost in her own world listening to the Biebs on her iPod, because parents suck, holding mom’s hand as we make our make our way to the door through the most dangerous parking lot known to man. Curb ramp. Check, we have succeeded in entering hell. Read more

Wheelchair Driving Dangers: When the Floor Lock Breaks

Wheelchair Driving Dangers: When the Floor Lock Breaks

Whenever I stop at the gas station and call for assistance with pumping my gas, explaining of course that I’m a wheelchair-user, I often get a barrage of questions from the gas station attendant when they come out. When they see that I’m driving my van while still in my powerchair, they can’t help but ask away. Read more

Save Some Tears for Laughing With

Save Some Tears for Laughing With

I’m talking with two of my friends about sneakers the other day when E points at my Adidas Stan Smiths and asks, “Hey are those comfortable?”

S and I glance at each other. As a paraplegic, my ability to feel anything from chest down is severely impaired. 

I shrug at E. “I’d tell you if I knew.” Read more

All I'm Askin' Is for a Little Respect

All I’m Askin’ Is for a Little Respect (Just a Little Bit, That’s All)

If there’s one thing I hate about going to my doctor, it’s getting to her office.  Read more

4 Ways to Chop Veggies When You Can’t Move Your Fingers

4 Ways to Chop Veggies When You Can’t Move Your Fingers

“But but…what about the chopping part?” I asked my OT nervously as I sat in the rehab kitchen while an inpatient at rehab 18 years ago. She didn’t have a ton of options to give me back then, except to use a quad cuff (a sturdy piece of plastic that Velcros to the hand) to insert a “normal” knife or, or to use my tenodesis splint (see here for more). Ug. Read more

Paralyzed by My Paralysis to Travel Overseas

Paralyzed by My Paralysis to Travel Overseas

Humans are naturally afraid of change. We’re afraid of trying something new and we’re afraid of encountering new things…most of us are anyways, and this is especially true for all of us living with paralysis. There are so many things that we cannot do that we become rigid in our ways. It’s like a big protective the turtle shell. Read more