Transportation & Travel

County Manager Recommends 40 New Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis

County Manager Barbara Donnellan has changed her mind and is now recommending the Arlington County Board approve licenses for 40 new, wheelchair accessible cabs. Donnellan said in a memorandum in July she would recommend issuing no new taxi licenses in the county. But when the Accessibility Subcommittee of the Transit Advisory Committee took up the issue in September, it found that there was a need the county had not adequately addressed. “[The subcommittee] that the low level of taxi complaints reported in the 2014 Certificate Determination Report was not a meaningful measure to determine the amount of accessible taxis needed,” Donnellan’s memorandum, issued earlier this month, states. “Since taxi dispatchers are informing callers that a three-hour wait is required for an accessible taxicab ride, customers are unlikely to complain to the County or request a same-day accessible taxi trip in the future.”

Halifax wheelchair user says some taxi drivers take advantage of disabled passengers

Accessible taxis are a blessing and a curse for Paul Vienneau. The wheelchair user says while he’s grateful for the drivers, some of them try to take advantage of him by showing up with the meter already running. “About a month ago, there were at least 3 times where this

Wheelchair user critiques South Bend and Mishawaka trails

I asked Richard Propes, a double amputee, to critique the riverside trails of South Bend and Mishawaka, and he immediately offered some constructive thoughts based on the 13-day tour he completed this month in his wheelchair from Hobart, Ind., to his Indianapolis hometown. He wrote about the trails’ signs and

Easy rider hits road in wheelchair — and customized motorcycle (with video)

A biker for nearly 30 years and a fixture at weekend motorcycle races, Gordon Cameron was heartbroken when he lost a portion of his right leg to diabetes in 2002. “I got mad at the world,” Cameron said, seated in a wheelchair outside his apartment in Edmonton. “I never thought

All public transport vehicles should have wheelchair access

Sharon Parsons contacted us and was rightly furious that a driver had not let her son James on the Number Four bus to Larwood. She was forced to take James out of his wheelchair by the side of the road – a situation which quite understandably left him distraught. Stagecoach

Uber Rolls Out Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

On Uber’s app, there’s now an option to request a WAV – a wheelchair-accessible vehicle: “There are a lot of paratransit vehicles that sit idle for a lot of the day after doing contract jobs,” says Uber Philadelphia general manager Jon Feldman. “These drivers are sitting around waiting for work

Damen Blue Line Station Overhaul Won’t Help Wicker Park Wheelchair Users

he CTA Blue Line train runs past Cody Denney’s apartment window, but the 28-year-old Wicker Park resident can’t use the station that is just a few hundred feet from his place. And, despite the upcoming overhaul of the Damen station beginning next month, the wheelchair user won’t be able to

Wheelchair cab service ‘not viable’

Traralgon Taxis has been forced to cut back on its wheelchair accessible cabs amid increasing financial pressures. The service will no longer offer wheelchair accessible taxis, often referred to as maxi taxis, on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday after 6pm. Traralgon Taxi owner Andrew Lane called it a “community service”

Faulty STM bus ramps anger wheelchair-user

Michel Nadeau says he is so fed up with STM buses having faulty wheelchair ramps that he may bring his complaint as far as the Human Rights Commission. Nadeau, 20, has cerebral palsy and has been using a wheelchair most of his life. Nadeau says every time he tries to

Wheelchair user from Barnstaple one of the first to pass advanced driving test

A WHEELCHAIR user from Barnstaple is one of the only disabled people in Devon to have passed her advanced driving test. Lyn Essery, 65, uses a power chair to get around after developing hip problems and a disease similar to Parkinsons around seven years ago. She has been driving since

Taming Our Fear of Flying

Traveling by air gets us where we need to go, but not without hassles, foul-ups, and sometimes, blatant discrimination. NEW MOBILITY decided to find out from you, our readers, which airlines are passing muster, which ones are failing us, and what we can do about it. More than 1,000 of

MV-1 wheelchair-access vehicle now available at 107 dealerships

More than 100 dealers are now prepared to offer their customers MV-1 wheelchair-accessible vehicles, Mobility Ventures said in a statement today. The MV-1 is the only American-manufactured vehicle completely purpose-built and designed for people who use wheelchairs. Mobility Ventures LLC, a unit of AM General LLC that designs and manufactures

Wheelchair accessibility is an issue in Luxembourg

Luxembourg needs to step up its game when it comes to assuring wheelchair access in shops and restaurants. This may not seem like an obvious problem to many, however it is one that affects over 20 percent of the European Union population. The fact that Luxembourg is a small country

Changes to taxi rules will put more wheelchair-accessible cabs on D.C. streets

Starting next month, hotels and other venues will be able to alert cab drivers when there is a surge in business; more wheelchair-accessible taxis will cruise city streets, and the time it take prospective drivers to become licensed will shorten dramatically. The changes, which take effect Oct. 1, are included

Wheelchair-bound passenger lost at airport

A trip to the East Coast to visit her daughter turned into a bit of a marathon for Alice Vaticano, 85. “I was just sitting all day in a wheelchair,” she said. Alice Vaticano’s daughter took her to the Newark airport, where a skycap promised to wheel her directly to

Towter Transporter is designed to make moving a wheelchair easier

When someone has a powered wheelchair that needs to be transported, the purchase of a wheelchair-accessible van is often required. Canadian inventor Len Wideman, however, doesn’t think that people should have to go to such an extreme. That’s why he created the Towter Transporter. It’s a climate-controlled trailer that’s designed

News

Wheelchair-using students get level playing field in Grand-Digue, N.B.

Physical education teacher Rhéal Hébert of Grande-Digue, N.B., has gone an extra step to see that all students get moving in his classes. When Hebert had two students with muscular dystrophy in his École Grande-Digue class — Renelle Belliveau and her older sister — he realized they weren’t getting as much physical activity as the other students. “They still had their everyday wheelchair,” said Hebert. “They were being pushed around by the teacher’s assistant, and that’s when it really hit me that we have to do something about that, because everybody’s moving and they’re not. And that’s not OK.” Hébert applied for a grant last year to purchase two wheelchairs designed for use in sports. They have a wide wheelbase and can turn on a dime. “From one day to the other, it was such a huge difference,” said Hébert. “I knew from that point we had to go further, and we had to explore

A wheelchair for places wheelchairs can’t go

Hand-cranked carts, made on the First Coast, are changing peoples’ lives around the world. Volunteers make carts for people in third world countries who have lost the use of their legs. Seun Oke is from Nigeria. The 26-year-old took the grand tour of The P.E.T. Place in Penney Farms, a

Suit: Kohl’s stores in Chicago, suburbs not wheelchair-accessible

A national non-profit is claiming Kohl’s stores in Chicago and six suburbs are violating disability standards by not being wheelchair accessible. The lawsuit was jointly filed Tuesday in federal court by Washington D.C.-based Equal Rights Center and six other people, including an Illinois resident who claims stores in Gleview, Arlington

Universal design lab — a dream home for user of wheelchair — to open for public tours

After living in their “laboratory” for more than two years, Rosemarie Rossetti and Mark Leder are ready to pronounce the experiment a success. The couple occupies the Universal Design Living Laboratory near Gahanna, possibly the most technologically sophisticated home in central Ohio. They built the home after Rossetti was paralyzed

Lawsuit targets DCU Center, garage over wheelchair accessibility

A Dracut man and a civil rights group of which he is a member are suing the city, alleging a host of violations of federal accessibility laws at the DCU Center and Major Taylor Garage, both of which are owned by the city. The federal lawsuit, filed by Dino N.

Wendy Davis’ “Justice” ad causing controversy

A new campaign ad from the Wendy Davis camp is going after her opponent, Greg Abbott, accusing him of hypocrisy, but it’s the image of an empty wheelchair that’s stirring controversy. The ad, called “Justice,” starts with the wheelchair, while the narrator says, “A tree fell on Greg Abbott. He

Feds Pony-Up $14.8 Mill for Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced $14,837,785 in grants to six states to improve employment opportunities for adults and youth with disabilities. The grants to California, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota and South Dakota are being awarded as part of the Disability Employment Initiative, funded by the department’s Employment and

National Veterans Wheelchair Games coming to Dallas in 2015

Dallas was named as the host city for the 2015 National Veterans Wheelchair Games, scheduled June 21-26. The theme of the games is “BIG City, BIG Wheels, BIG Heart.” The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is a sports and rehabilitation program for military service veterans, who use wheelchairs for sports competition

Groups roll out wheelchairs to address accessibility

Hannah Kenny expected that traveling in a wheelchair around campus would be challenging. “I knew going up MainStreet would be difficult, but going down was even harder,” she said. Kenny was one of many University of Cincinnati students to participate Friday in #UCWheels, an event sponsored by student group Alliance

Livermore man trains to be first to cross Sierra in wheelchair

A Livermore man hasn’t walked in 24 years but that hasn’t stopped him from undertaking the physical challenges he loves. Bob Coomber recently tried to become the first person to cross the Sierra in his wheelchair, and while he didn’t complete the journey he doesn’t consider it a defeat. KTVU

Disabled man fighting for wheelchair access on Llanelli estate

A WHEELCHAIR-BOUND Llwynhendy man is calling on the county council to make a footpath accessible for the disabled. Geoffrey Newcombe, 78, says a metal bar across the footpath on Caegar can only be negotiated by “limbo dancing under it”. With his nephew away serving with the British Army in Afghanistan,

Wheelchair Availability Given Boost At St Martins

Staff, supporters and friends of St Martin’s Hospital in Odd Down no longer need to fundraise for new wheelchairs, following a decision by management to purchase a new selection. The Sulis Unit, which offers stroke, rehabilitation and palliative care to adults living in Bath and North East Somerset, is run

Deal Reached On Tax-Free Disability Savings Accounts

Federal lawmakers say they’ve reached a deal to move forward on legislation that would establish a new way for people with disabilities to save money without jeopardizing their government benefits. Members of the U.S. Senate said Friday that they have an agreement that will allow the Achieving a Better Life

City: Cop ‘justified’ in shoving man in wheelchair

Although his actions drew widespread criticism and his eventual demotion, Lafayette police Officer Tom Davidson was “legally justified” in pushing a man in a wheelchair to the ground last year, the city argued in court documents filed this week. Responding to a federal lawsuit from the 25-year-old handicapped man, Nicholas

Wheelchair Regulation Changes, But Not Everyone’s Happy

Tonight the backlash in Dunkirk continues over some controversial wheelchair legislation. Last month 7 Eyewitness News first reported on the Dunkirk Police Department’s interpretation of state vehicle and traffic law, applying them to power wheelchairs. This law made the use of power wheelchairs illegal if the operator was under the

New wheelchair makes sports possible for boy

David Crosby, 11, spun around in his new wheelchair. “This is the greatest chair,” said David, who has spina bifida. “Now I get to play basketball.” David was given two wheelchairs recently by Wheelchairs for Kids in a surprise presentation that included World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Titus O’Neil, known outside

Sports

Melbourne sports company helps wheelchair-bound skiers

The Hesters have been avid water skiers for many years, but a chance meeting with a disabled woman in 1996 changed what had been a hobby into a heartfelt business venture. The result was LiquidAccess, a 17-year-old company that designs and manufactures water ski equipment for disabled individuals who otherwise would not be able to participate in the water sports that so many others enjoy and take for granted. Those involved in water sports for the disabled say the Hesters’ work has led to significantly more access across the world. “I would estimate that the number of disabled people doing water sports has grown tenfold since LiquidAccess started,” said Ann O’Brine-Satterfield, a two-time world champion and adaptive water skier based in Winter Haven. “And a lot of that has to do with them.” Will Speed, a disabled competitive wake boarder in Charlotte, N.C., said that LiquidAccess is at the forefront of developing water sports technology

Wheelchair tennis exhibition sets the stage for year-end championship in Mission Viejo

Leading up to the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Mission Viejo that starts Wednesday, an exhibition between two of the best professional wheelchair tennis players in the world will take place inside the Beverly Center mall in Beverly Hills on Monday. The 12:30 p.m. exhibition will feature world No. 1

Dreams closer to reality for wheelchair athlete

Tyler Hernandez is closer than ever to his goal of playing for the U.S. national wheelchair soccer team. Hernandez, a graduate of Jesuit High School, suffers from a neuromuscular disorder. Despite that, he is confident, with the voice of a young guy who has simply turned what many might have

Hawaiian surfer creates opportunity for wheelchair-bound to paddleboard

Hawaiian surfer Kawika Watt had a simple goal when he decided that he wanted to bring his love to the water for everyone, and make paddleboarding, a popular beach activity, just as accessible for those with disabilities. “I’m just a surfer,” Watt said. “I said, ‘Look brah, I wanna put

Amputee Ricky Chilton wins world wheelchair darts title

Ricky Chilton, who had his leg amputated because of bone cancer, has won the world wheelchair darts title. The 59-year-old from St Ives in Cornwall took the title in Hull seven years after losing his left leg by beating Manchester’s Phil Lees 3-2 at the Winmau World Masters. “I almost

Joshua George Wins Men’s Chicago Marathon Wheelchair Race

The University of Illinois’ Joshua George can now mark off four Bank of America Chicago Marathon wins on his resume. George won the men’s wheelchair race Sunday, sailing across the finish line among a tight pack of 15 competitors. “This is the biggest pack that we’ve ever had in Chicago,”

Marine Wheelchair Basketball Squad Tops Army

Powered by a strong second-half defensive performance yesterday, the Marine Corps wheelchair basketball team triumphed 42-21 over the Army squad during the 2014 Warrior Games at the United States Olympic Training Center.The win, the first for the Marines over Army, qualified the team to compete in the gold medal round.

Wheelchairs clash in the first basketball matches at Warrior Games

The first round of wheelchair basketball brought some fierce competition between the services during the 2014 Warrior Games at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Sept. 29. The Navy and Air Force teams met on the hardwood for the first game of the evening. The Navy

Power wheelchair soccer a hit

Anna Delp, of Mansfield, said her son Adison, 9, is learning the value of teamwork, practicing and working hard for something just like everyone else does who plays on a team. “Now he’s really part of a team where he’s working toward a goal of getting better, of being competitive,

Team Canada wheelchair curlers honoured

Fresh off a season during which Team Canada claimed its third consecutive Winter Paralympics gold medal, the national squad picked up two major awards at the Canadian Paralympic Committee 2014 Sport Awards Ceremony in Toronto. The national team, consisting of Jim Armstrong (Cambridge, Ont.), Ina Forrest (Armstrong, B.C.), Sonja Gaudet

Plymouth wheelchair rugby club membership doubles in a month after success of disability games

A PLYMOUTH-based wheelchair rugby club has seen membership double in just a month – with their youngest player hoping to one day represent his country at the paralympics. The West Country Hawks, who practice at Plymouth Life Centre, think word of mouth, social media and the recent Invictus Games have

CJ Takiari excelling in wheelchair basketball

A Ngāti Maniapoto descendant is excelling in the sport of wheelchair basketball. In recent years he was selected for the Waikato Senior Team and his mentor has witnessed his progression and development. CJ is only 16 years old. His accident occurred only three years ago, and since playing wheelchair basketball,

Wheelchair softball tournament at Citi Field shows heart, passion of adaptive sports

What a hit! A group of world-class wheelchair-bound athletes showed off their competitive spirit Thursday, taking over a parking lot at Citi Field during the 14th Annual Major League Wheelchair Softball Tournament. The event brought together four teams from New England, Chicago and the metropolitan area. And these eclectic mix

USA Team takes silver in wheelchair basketball

The U.S. fought hard in the wheelchair basketball finals, but fell 19-9 to Great Britain to take silver at the inaugural Invictus Games Sept. 13, in London. The building shook as USA Team and Team Britain played for gold in front of approximately 6,000 people. “We couldn’t hear each other

PTR Wheelchair Tennis Championships hit the Lowcountry

Top athletes from around the world came out to Hilton Head Island this weekend to compete in the PTR Wheelchair Tennis Championship Tournament. 95 disabled athletes from 14 different countries all came out to play and gain points to qualify for the Paralympic Games. Tournament Director, Julie Jilly, says “This

IndyCar’s Sam Schmidt Has Built A Small Motorsports Empire From His Wheelchair

At the dawn of the new millennium, January 6, 2000 wasn’t a particularly eventful day, but for race car driver Sam Schmidt it was life-changing. Schmidt was testing his Indy Racing League car at Walt Disney DIS +0.5% World Speedway, a 1-mile tri-oval track in Orlando, Florida, for a race

Columns

Ever Wonder How People in Wheelchairs Get Around the City?

One all-time-favorite New York City pastime is complaining about transit. The news site Vocativ’s video of Scotty Hard, a music producer in NYC who uses a wheelchair, trying for more than an hour to get a cab might put things in perspective for those commuters who don’t have to depend on the NYC subway system’s notoriously faulty elevators. So what’s a guy in a wheelchair to do when elevators break down? Access-a-Ride, the van service for disabled passengers, can take hours to show up and has to be scheduled in advance. Many people in wheelchairs take cabs, which shouldn’t be that hard but definitely is. Watching Hard wait and wait for a cab that can accommodate his wheelchair is a disturbing reminder of how inaccessible big cities can be. “Imagine that you’re strapped onto a chair that’s bolted onto the bottom of a rowboat, and someone just pushes you out into the river,” he says.

Mets fans make pinup history by voting for Longwood fan in wheelchair

Amanda Perla wanted to be a New York Mets FAN calendar girl, but she debated whether she was pinup material. If she’d listened to doctors, they might have said not to bother finding out. If she’d listened to herself, Perla might have never entered the contest. But she listened to

Working: Beating the Odds

Everyone is familiar with those dismal statistics showing full-time employment and severe disabilities don’t mix, especially for wheelchair users. But with preparation, perseverance, the right situation and a good helping of luck, you can still beat the odds. Renee Tyree, 49, knew what she wanted from an early age. Drawn

‘Halloween is his favorite holiday': Amazing wheelchair costumes will make you smile

On Halloweens past, 9-year-old Caleb McLelland has driven a backhoe with bright yellow wheels, flown through the clouds as Superman and sped into action in his Batmobile. He made all of those transformations in attention-grabbing costumes that incorporated his wheelchair. “His chair is very much a part of him,” Cassie

Ms. Wheelchair America: Disability Gives a New ‘Perspective on Life’

Samantha Schroth’s life suddenly changed in May 2013. While camping with friends, she was struck by a falling tree and left paralyzed from mid-chest down. “The chances of this changing are pretty minimal,” says Schroth, who suffered a complete spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair for mobility. According to

Wheelchair Bus Choreography

Dear Diary: I’m snuggled into my coveted singular seat on the Lexington Ave. M101 bus. I observe through the window, on this wearying humid day, in my air-conditioned personal space, that there is a long line of people waiting for the doors to open. The queue is orderly, and their

‘Wheelchair hug?’ Unique online friendship grows with meeting in Shamokin

The two women wheeled their wheelchairs toward each other with a mix of excitement and nervousness Saturday afternoon at Claude Kehler Memorial Park. “Wheelchair hug?” offered Alena Chesser, of Radcliffe, Ky. But 14-year-old Chloe Dale, of Coal Township, stood from her chair and threw her arms around Chesser. Dale was

Disabled Writer Pens Critical Open Letter To Kanye West About “Wheelchair Incident”

Kanye West found himself in the middle of another controversy this week when the G.O.O.D. Music boss told two fans in wheelchairs to stand up at a recent concert in Australia. Kanye apparently refused to continue his show until he had confirmation the concert goers were really handicapped.Ye later came

More Than Meets the Eye: When Perception and Spirit Outweigh Disability

It’s been said that perception is reality, that the hand is quicker than the eye. It’s also been said that fear of the unknown can make one do things they never thought possible. Time and time again, we’ve put these theories to the absolute test. The results ultimately change the

Cerebral Palsy and a Wheelchair: Two Things That Won’t Stop Andrew From Going to a Gay Club

When Andrew Morrison-Gurza, 19 at the time, was preparing to go to a gay bar for the first time, he did what most young gay men do: He had a friend over, talked about what to wear, and put on some pre-party music. Andrew recalls: [W]e made a bunch of

Dreams not Bound to Wheelchair

The jewellery by Preetha J displayed at Creant Art Gallery in Sasthamangalam has a story. Not the fact that glass, wooden and terracotta beads used to make it has been sourced from far-off places using a social networking site. But the story that the jewellery helps Preetha, a person bound

Getting a job as a wheelchair user

I remember one of the strangest job interviews I ever had, was not long after graduating from Law School at the University of Western Australia. I had a new suit, my hair was appropriately fastened in a “professional” looking bun and I made sure my wheelchair was nice and clean

Imagine Yourself in a Wheelchair

There is a very high probability that sometime soon, you or a loved one in your family will need to use a wheelchair to get around, either temporary or permanently. Right now, researchers estimate that about 2.2 million Americans use a wheelchair for mobility and that number is only going

Despicable Memes

There is an Internet meme I despise. It is a photograph of a woman struggling out of her wheelchair to fetch a bottle from a liquor store shelf. It always appears with a caption calling this a “miracle” and it always attracts a slew of “LMAO!!!!” comments about disabled people

When Wheelchairs Are Cool

LAST week, the celebrity gossip site TMZ posted pictures of Justin Bieber in a wheelchair. He was not at a hospital. He was at Disneyland. As everyone knows, Disney patrons in wheelchairs get to cut to the front of the lines. But as a dispute flared over whether this was

This Guy Crowd Surfing In A Wheelchair Is Exactly What Happiness Looks Like

While attempting a snowboarding stunt in 2009, Ryan Chen fell 35 feet to the ground and suffered a severe spinal cord injury. He was instantly paralyzed from the waist down. Now 25 years old, Chen uses a wheelchair to get around. But his physical limitations haven’t stopped him from living

Research

This Sleek Carbon Fiber Wheelchair Is What Professor X Would Use

Design options for wheelchairs seem stuck on a spectrum from boring to next-level boring. That’s what Andrew Slorance wants to change. The UK-based entrepreneur is in the process of getting his Carbon Black chairs FDA approved to bring the distinctly stylish chairs to the U.S. Made with lightweight, streamlined carbon fiber, the Carbon Black wheelchair was designed well: The sporty, minimalist look is so far removed from the metallic, sterile appearance of a traditional wheelchair that it looks like a foreign luxury sports car next to older chair models. It’s what I imagine Professor X would use if he had his pick today (although, of course, we’ve said that before). “It is designed to empower the user in the knowledge they are using a highly designed, high tech piece of kit not a medical device,” Slorance told me. “Highly designed” might be an understatement. Building a better wheelchair has been Slorance’s dream for years, ever

ASU entrepreneurs create elevating wheelchair

Four ASU seniors from different majors teamed up in fall 2012 to create UP — an elevating wheelchair that would simplify life for people with disabilities. Supply chain management alumnus Peter Georgiou graduated in 2013, as did two other team members. However, the team continues meeting weekly to design a

Omniwheels and mountain trikes: five visionary new wheelchair designs

Looking like what you might get if Apple turned its sleek, minimalist hand to wheelchair design, the Whill is the product of a new startup company formed by a group of former Nissan and Toyota designers and engineers, working in Tokyo and San Francisco. Its major innovation is the incorporation

Students design innovation for wheelchair

Eleven Dubuque high school students are semifinalists in a national competition for innovative inventions. The Wahlert Catholic High School team developed the Feltes One Way, a universal anti-rollback device for manual wheelchairs that prevents them from rolling backward on inclines. The invention has landed the students among the top 30

Inventor creates mind-controlled wheelchair which steers away from obstacles using an artificial intelligence system

WHEN Jordan Nguyen leapt off a wobbly diving board, hit his head on the bottom of the pool, and spent 24 hours paralysed, he vowed to focus his budding research career on helping people with disabilities. Eight years later, he has invented a mind-controlled wheelchair that can navigate via camera,

Stephen Hawking shows off Intel’s connected wheelchair

While Apple was announcing its latest iPhones, Intel was showing off a wheelchair. The chipset maker revealed its connected wheelchair on Tuesday, complete with endorsement from one of the world’s greatest living scientists, Dr. Stephen Hawking. The wheelchair is being created by Intel’s internet of things department, and is designed

Custom Wheelchair With Push Rowing Action Developed by Rice Students for Kid’s Unique Needs

Many people have to use wheelchairs for conditions other than lower body paralysis. A variety of muscle and joint disorders can make both arms and legs ineffective, and even operating traditional wheelchairs can be a challenge. For people like Pedro, a fifteen year old with arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that

Orangevale man invents ‘coolest’ wheelchair

Taking risks and living life to the extreme hasn’t changed for Trevor Snowden. The only difference – he’s doing it in a wheelchair. “In a lot of aspects, the life I led as an able bodied person, being fast, wild, obnoxious — I became humbled,” Snowden explained. Snowden was a

Innovations: Emerging Trends in the Wheelchair Market

Innovation doesn’t usually come in merely a single product, but at its best, it is an underswell of technology that eventually changes an entire marketplace. Such is the case with the wheelchair industry, where although innovation is sometimes traceable to a single origin, often it’s more of a widespread current

Eye-controlled wheelchair developed by Microsoft engineers

In late July a team at Microsoft were presented with a challenge by former New Orleans Saints star Steve Gleason: find a way to let him drive his wheelchair by using his eyes. Gleason suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. For Gleason that muscle-wasting disease in a

Former automotive engineer designs more user friendly wheelchair

A wheelchair designed by a former automotive engineer that promises to be more comfortable and easier to operate than conventional models is set to go on sale from September. The Whill wheelchair was designed by Satoshi Sugie, 32, who once worked as a designer at Nissan Motor Co. He eventually

Quad’s Thoughts Move Hand with Neurobridge

For the first time ever, a paralyzed man can move his fingers and hand with his own thoughts thanks to an innovative partnership between The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Battelle. Ian Burkhart, a 23-year-old quadriplegic from Dublin, Ohio, is the first person to use Neurobridge, an electronic

Techno trousers that give wheelchair users chance to walk again

They may be compared to Wallace and Gromit’s “Wrong Trousers” but the robotic legs made by Rex are giving wheelchair users the chance to walk. Almost fully encasing the bottom half, they hold the legs in place while they walk from place to place, controlled by a small joystick at

Rio Firefly handcycle turns any wheelchair into a power scooter

Walking the dog, popping out to the shops, going sightseeing … it’s not that wheelchair users can’t do these things, it’s just that they’re a pain in the butt. Or, more often, a pain in the shoulder or a case of carpal tunnel or RSI. Everything takes more planning when

Scientists Develop Eyetracking Wheelchair for Severely Disabled

Scientists in London are working to develop a wheelchair that can be maneuvered simply by looking in the direction in which the user wishes to travel. If the project succeeds, relatively inexpensive software could be used to provide better mobility to paralyzed people and people without arms. Most people suffering

Wheelchair art adds colour to Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre

What is the Mobile Painting Device? The device, which attaches to a wheelchair, allows someone with almost no mobility to create art. The device delivers a gravity-fed stream of paint to a roller that’s controlled by the wheelchair artist, who paints on a canvas laid out on the ground. “It

Issues

Austin high school student launches wheelchair challenge

Imagine being confined to a wheelchair and unable to open the door to your school. It’s an everyday occurrence for one Austin student. Now he’s trying to raise enough money to put in automatic doors. Austin High School was built in 1975. According to Disability Texas, the law currently doesn’t require these places to have automatic doors, but some schools put them in because it’s easier for those with a physical disability. Archer Hadley says it’s time for his school to have them installed and believes his project will raise the money to make it happen. Hadley’s day is spent rolling through the halls of Austin High. “Last year I got stuck in the rain on a balcony coming out of a 3rd floor elevator,” he said. He’s unable to get in and out of the building unless someone lends a hand. Now the teen with cerebral palsy is on a mission.

How wheelchair friendly is town centre?

Buckingham town councillor and former mayor, Chris Strain-Clark organised the event on Tuesday morning to give people a chance to see for themselves what it’s like trying to get around Buckingham if they’re in a wheelchair, or pushing one, on a mobility scooter or pushing a baby buggy. As well

‘Even sitting down, we can reach for the stars': Women in wheelchairs pose for empowering photo campaign celebrating ‘raw beauty’

Some were born with their disabilities, others were the victims of freak accidents, but all the women who star in the Raw Beauty Project of NYC campaign share a common goal. ‘We truly hope that we can challenge the unrealistic standard of beauty that exists today and demonstrate that there

Teenagers discover difficulties faced by wheelchair users to raise charity funds

Getting on the bus, trying to do your shopping, even taking the dogs out – all day-to-day tasks that can be a struggle for those who use a wheelchair. So two Stockton teenagers spent all weekend in a wheelchair to find out just how difficult it can be. Emily Dixon,

My life in a wheelchair is hard enough without London’s impossible transport system

You might have recently seen a video of a man racing the Tube from Mansion House to Cannon Street station, and winning. Since it was uploaded a couple of weeks ago, it went viral, and has been viewed almost 5m times. When I saw it, I decided to try the

Life in a wheelchair provides challenges from parking lot to closed door

Whether he’s looking for a job or at a college campus, Brandon Elliott looks at life from a different perspective. Elliott, who has spina bifida, has been in a wheelchair his entire life. A recent high school graduate, Elliott plans to attend college at Lake Area Technical Institute this winter,

Cook County’s inmates in wheelchairs face challenges and pose risks in jail

Inside the Cook County Jail, a wheelchair can be a weapon. An inmate in a wheelchair can remove a handrail and turn it into a club. A seat-adjustment handle can be fashioned into a shank. And a shank can be hidden in an inmate’s colostomy bag. These are facts everyone

Why new wheelchair icon is more than just a symbol

Over the past sev­eral years, scores of dis­ability rights activists have begun to ques­tion the effi­cacy of the ubiq­ui­tous wheel­chair symbol, arguing that the white-​​on-​​blue icon depicts people with dis­abil­i­ties as pas­sive, depen­dent, even mechanical. Kim­berly Izar, DMSB’16, is but one of the vocal critics of the Inter­na­tional Symbol of

Wheelchair user says basic human rights are being ignored in N.S.

Denise Fitzgerald was on vacation in St Lucia last July, when she started to get headaches and a stiff neck. She was admitted to hospital on her return to Nova Scotia and was diagnosed with Encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. The 42-year-old says she suffered significant cognitive impairment, forgetting

Stop Saying ‘Wheelchair-Bound’ And Other Outdated And Offensive Terms To People With Disabilities

Discussing disabilities may feel like trying to avoid metaphorical tripwires. One innocent misstep and an able-bodied person may receive a tongue lashing just for saying “handicap vehicle” instead of “wheelchair accessible vehicle.” To help you sidestep situations like the one above, note the following tips when discussing disabilities.

Leveling the Playing Field: My Lesson From Stella Young and the Dangers of “Inspiration Porn”

In 1913, Webster’s dictionary defined inspiration as “the act of power in exercising an elevating or stimulating influence upon the intellect or emotions — the result of such influence which quickens or stimulates.” That definition has clearly evolved as times have changed, changing what society considers inspirational. It’s manifested into

Will Merriam be the first Midwest city to adopt modern wheelchair access icon?

It’s time for signs to keep up with the times. That is the contention of two men who are working to make Merriam the first Midwest city to adopt a new, more active-looking symbol indicating a place is accessible to those who use wheelchairs. Finn Bullers of Prairie Village is

Lompoc native prepping for cross-country trek in wheelchair

During his teenage years, Hendrik “Eddie” Block likely turned a few heads when he would ride his wheelchair from his home in downtown Lompoc to Cabrillo High School in Vandenberg Village. As an athlete in his teens, he certainly drew attention from around the state when he claimed championships in

Stop Telling Me That I’m Pretty for a Girl in a Wheelchair: How Your Words Contribute to Violence Against Women with Disabilities

Women with disabilities experience the highest rate of personal violence of any group in our society. There are many factors that contribute to this and one factor is self-esteem. Imagine for a minute that you are the average woman – you are told daily by beauty magazines that your hair

Avoiding and Coping With Caregiver Stress

A caregiver, also known as a personal care attendant or PCA, is someone who helps a person with a disability with the activities of daily living that everyone engages in. These activities include bathing, dressing, cooking, housework and much more. A PCA can be anyone from a registered nurse to

Organization brings awareness of life in wheelchair

People often see a wheelchair as a negative, but Marblehead Veterans Middle School seventh-graders learned first-hand that it can also be a positive. “Without it I would be home sitting on my couch, I wouldn’t be here for similarity awareness,” said Chandler Bullard of Northeast Passage, an organization that shows

Books

Spinal Cord Injury and the Family: A New Guide

Spinal cord injury, or SCI, is frequently sudden and unexpected—through accident, disease, or violence, patients temporarily lose control of their bodies and, it seems, their lives. With rehabilitation, they can learn to navigate their world once more, retraining muscles and mind to compensate for paralyzed limbs and diminished strength. But as Dr. Michelle Alpert shows here, there is far more to recapturing full, independent lives than regaining movement. Central to long-term success is mending the family unit. Combining Dr. Alpert’s clinical experience with patients’ own stories, Spinal Cord Injury and the Family is for individuals and their families who must climb back from injury: for the young quad couple, both quadriplegic, who wish to conceive and raise a child; for the paraplegic dad who wants to teach his daughter to drive; for the couple wondering how they can regain the sexual spark in their relationship. The authors cover the causes of and prognosis for SCI

VIPs

SCI Superstar: Albert Llovera

Hailing from the principality of Andorra is the epic rally driver Albert Llovera. Known for his athletic abilities and his smoldering Spanish good looks, Albert is above all known for his tenacity in the face of some serious lifechangers. We won’t give it all away, but he went from a star Olympic alpine skier to a paraplegic in the blink of the eye. He knows exactly what it’s like to have everything in the world then have it all taken away. But his story isn’t about loss, it’s about self-reinvention. Why he’s fearless Growing up in Andorra, Albert’s life was picture perfect. He loved to ski and soon found himself on the competitive circuit in his teens. He had some serious talent on the slopes. Huge. And when he was 17, Albert was the youngest person to ever compete in the Winter Olympics, competing in the 1984 games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia. He had a good

SCI Superstar: Bert Burns

While he may be the founder and CEO of one of the largest urological supply companies in the United States, Bert Burns is not your regular businessmen with a spinal cord injury. Also a Paralympian, Bert carries on a passionate sports life outside of the office. And that’s just the

Inventor doesn’t let his wheelchair set limits

You can’t miss the sound of his trike pulling up, and Michael Maher hopes his message is just as loud. “Your only limitations are your imagination. You can do a lot of different things,” Maher said. Maher is a testament to that statement. The 53-year-old is in a wheelchair and

SCI Superstar: Kelley Kalafatich

A born and bred explorer and river rafter who’s even worked in Hollywood, Kelley Kalafatich is one of the world’s most talented female rafters. Having been all over the world exploring rivers, her carefree life was sidelined by something she couldn’t even see. Kelley has not only managed to move

SCI Superstar: Skydiver Jarrett Martin

In Jarrett Martin’s world, the place he loves to be the most is in the sky – free-falling at 100 miles an hour with the wind in his face. But after his injury five years ago, he feared the one thing he loved the most would no longer be possible.

SCI Superstar: Jordan Bone

Beauty comes in many forms and Jordan Bone, a C6 quad from Norfolk, UK, may be one of the best examples of this age old adage. Injured 10 years ago in a freak car accident when she was just 15, Jordan has gone on to become one of YouTube’s rising

William Peace: Scholar, Advocate

When President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law, he remarked that everyone with a disability could now pass through once-closed doors into a bright new era of equality. Meaningful changes have happened in the 24 years since, but the ADA’s intent hasn’t been fully

MS. WHEELCHAIR ILLINOIS FOCUSES ON ADVOCACY

The Ms. Wheelchair America pageant is not like traditional beauty competitions – it’s all about advocacy and achievements. The competition was held last month. Although she didn’t win, Ms. Wheelchair Illinois says it was an amazing experience. In March, 27-year-old Pearl Gannon was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Illinois. “My platform is

SCI Superstar: Tresa Honaker

Teresa “Tresa” Honaker, of Grass Valley, California may have only been paralyzed for 2 1/2 years, but she’s already made history as the first wheelchair aerialist. A lifelong dancer and gymnast who became passionate about aerial performing later in life, she founded the aerial group Air Aligned in 2002 to

A new Ms. Wheelchair New York

Five women waited patiently Saturday afternoon for their names to be called. After three hours of interviews, outfit changes and growing excitement at the Albany Marriott Hotel, the five pageant contestants wanted nothing more than an answer — who would go home with the crown? And upon emcee Denise DiNoto’s

SCI Superstar: Sam Schroth

Newly crowned Ms. Wheelchair America 2015 Sam Schroth, 22 years old from Appleton, Wisconsin, is new to the wheelchair game. She was injured less than two years ago in a freak accident just before she was about to move onto her secondary studies. But the thing about Sam – she’s

SCI Superstar: Claes Hulting

Considered by many as the Christopher Reeve of Sweden, Claes Hulting since his injury has dedicated his life to promoting enhanced rehabilitation and research of spinal cord injuries. And what he’s created, Spinalis, a cutting edge rehab facility in Sweden, is admired around the globe. Being the founder of an

Woman earns law degree, title of Ms. Wheelchair

It was 14 years ago that Rosa Angelica Colon’s life was forever changed. She was on her way to work on a group project with classmates at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover when her car flipped over on Interstate 93. Colon was left partially paralyzed and has used

Ms. Wheelchair Indiana to use title as platform

The Ms. Wheelchair Indiana contest doesn’t get a lot of attention. Perhaps that’s because there were only five entries in last year’s event and only three entries this year. Maybe it’s because the contest isn’t a beauty contest. Its purpose is to select an articulate, accomplished person who depends on

Winning for awareness: Ms. Wheelchair LA hopes her win will inspire others

Louisiana has a new Ms. Wheelchair Louisiana. Her name’s Leah Hoffpauir, and she wants to make a change. Leah entered just a week before the pageant. She said she’s not really the pageant type, but when she realized winning this pageant could help bring awareness, she felt like she had

Harrisville woman to compete in Ms. Wheelchair America

As Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2014, Butler County’s Jen Gilliland will compete against 29 other women for the national title of Ms. Wheelchair America in August in Long Beach, Calif. Regardless of the outcome, she is using the visibility from her state title to promote awareness of invisible disabilities: cystic fibrosis,