Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scooter and Wheelchair Batteries : Becareful Which Type You Buy

When you replace your mobility scooter battery or power wheelchair battery, becareful which type you buy. All mobility scooter batteries are NOT created equal.

For example, some people will go for cheap and try to replace their mobility scooter battery or wheelchair battery with a battery meant for a car or a motorcycle. This simply does not work, as the batteries for cars and motorcyles are designed for short, strong bursts of power to start the ignition, rather than long-term operation of a scooter or a wheelchair. You might intend to save a few dollars, but in the long term, it will cost you in performance and the additional expense of buying a new mobility scooter battery.

Also, if you plan to travel by plane, by all means get a sealed mobility scooter battery, such as a sealed Gel mobility scooter battery. Airline personel understand that sealed gel mobility scooter batteries are safe and will require less dismanteling for flight. For example, see Delta Airlines battery policy. "Dry-cell and gel-cell batteries are considered non-spillable and have fewer requirements for handling". It specifically mentions "Gel-Cell batteries. Other types of mobility scooter batteries such as AGM batteries may be similarly safe, but all airline personel may not know that and may want to completely disconnect everything. The more the disconnection they do, the more of a hassel to get everything reconnected before you can use your wheelchair or scooter again.

For the moment, avoid Lithium Ion Batteries in your wheelchair or mobility scooter. Why? Airlines are not required to carry them.

Read more about mobility scooter batteries on the Mobility Scooter website.

Monday, March 29, 2010

How To Find A Sport For Your Disability

Are you interested in finding a sport that would work for someone with your level of disability? You might be interested in the SELF ASSESSMENT WIZARD on Parasport a British Paralympics website.

It is very easy to use. You put in your disability (e.g. Spinal Cord Injury). Then give more information (for example Quadriplegic or paraplegic). The Wizard then suggests sports which you might want to consider.

Keep in mind, however that recomendations are limited to Paralympic sports and there are only 20+ of them. There are alot more disability sports around which are not listed there.

If you are looking for a sport which might work for you, it is a good place to start. Another possibility is to simply watch wheelchair sport videos and find one that looks good to you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Encouraging Reviews of This Blog

It is always nice to be given a compliment and recently this blog received a few positive reviews:

* A blog called Four Eyes One Internet recently stated "This is quite the blog it's more than just about mobility and the tech surrounding it it's about the people interacting with it. I took a look at some of the articles on the site and found them to be very well written.".

* Wheelchair Pride has been selected for inclusion into Medipedia Health News.

* Wheelchair Pride was selected as an Editor's Choice Blog by Blogville, an honor bestowed on less than 1% of submitted blogs.

* Wheelchair Pride was selected to appear in Technorati.

* Wheelchair Pride is one of 9 blogs by Best Of the Webs Blogs for its disability section.

This blog is still young, in existence for almost one year. Yet the reviews have been encouraging.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mobility Scooter Review

Thinking about buying a mobility scooter? Not sure what to look for in a mobility scooter? Looking for advice on the best type of mobility scooter for your needs? A new website, Mobility Scooter features useful information about mobility scooters and mobility scooter accessories. Find articles about mobility scooters such how to buy a used mobility scooter and what to look for in a mobility scooter ramp.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paralympic Roundup : Winners and Losers of the 2010 Winter Paralympics

As in the 2006 Paralympics Russia, Germany and Ukraine were big winners in the 2010 Paralympics. The main difference from 2006 was Canada which nearly doubled their gold medals in 2010 from 5 to 9. This is no surprise, however, as it is quite common for the home country to win a large number of medals.

There were a few surprises in 2010. Tiny Slovakia won more gold than giant competitors USA, France, Great Britain, Italy and Australia combined!! (Actually Great Britain, Italy and Australia won no gold at all). Slovakia which was not a major player at all in 2006, taking no gold and only 2 total medals, was the biggest surprise of 2010 taking 6 gold and 11 total medals. France which took 7 gold medals and 15 total medals in 2006, was also a surprise taking only 1 gold and 6 total medals in 2010.

The biggest winners, however, were people with disabilities from Argentina, Romania, Bosnia and Herzagovina and Serbia because their countries participated for the first time in the Paralympics. Congratulations to those people and their countries!!

The biggest losers were people with disabilities from the USA and the UK. That is because NBC/ Universal TV and BBC which broadcast the 2010 Olympics and the 2006 Paralympics refused to broadcast the 2010 Paralympics.

Hopefully these media giants will come to understand that, in the USA at least people with disabilities represent the 3rd largest minority. The media has a long way to go in their acceptance of people with disabilities. Members of the media, politicians and the local disability communities have the responsibility to do as much as possible to see that media executives make wiser decisions in the future.

Read more about winter paralympics

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photos of the 2010 Winter Paralympic Opening Ceremonies

Ruth Kozak from Planet Eye Traveler attended the 2010 Winter Paralympic opening ceremonies and sent photos and her observations for the blog

Celebrate the Flame and the Power of One. One mind, body and spirit!” This chant filled the BC Place Stadium last Friday night at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The Flame, the symbol of the Games and the ‘power of one” recognizes the achievement of the individual Paralympic athletes as they compete in these Games, the first held in Canada.

It was truly an inspirational night. The gala evening was celebrated with music and entertainment provided by musicians, dancers and performers many of them disabled. It was very much a family affair, with many children participating as well as in the audience.

Man in Motion Paralympic athlete Rich Hansen made a special guest appearance and there was a moving tribute to Terry Fox, both athletic heroes from B.C. who have inspired so many millions of people around the world. There was a lot of tears when Terry’s parents, Betty and Rolly, carried in the torch. 40 torch bearers formed a ring around the cauldron which was lit by a 15 year old aspiring Paralympian from Delta , Zach Beaumont.

Here are 40 other quality photos from the 2010 winter paralympics.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Exclusive Interview With Marty Mayberry

In the week before the Paralympics, most of the skiiers were in Aspen at the world cup. Marty Mayberry a young skiier from Australia took gold there. Although preparing for his second Paralympic competition, Marty Mayberry kindly agreed to a brief interview. Read this exclusive interview with Marty Mayberry.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Exclusive Interview With Martin Braxenthaler

Martin Braxenthaler has been called "the most successful mono-skier in the history of the Paralympic movement". Only halfway through the 2010 Paralympics Martin Braxenthaler has already won two gold medals bringing his life-time total to nine gold medals.

I contacted Martin Braxenthaler while he was in Canada and asked him for an interview. Braxenthaler kindly agreed. Read this EXCLUSIVE interview with Martin Braxenthaler.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Exclusive Interview with Kees-Jan van der Klooster : The ONLY Dutch Participant at The 2010 Paralympics

Kees-Jan van der Klooster is the only Dutch Participant at the Paralympics. Although that might seem odd, it actually represents progress. In the 2006 Winter Paralympics there were no Dutch participants. In 2002, there were four Dutch participants, but none in Alpine Skiing. Kees-Jan van der Klooster is the first Dutch Alpine skiier this decade and this century! A very important guy for The Netherlands.

I know K-J and asked him for an interview. K-J is a relaxed and friendly guy. Very nice to spend time with. Although just a few days before the Paralympics, K-J kindly agreed to a short interview. Read our interview with Kees-Jan van der Klooster. You can also watch K-J and the rest of the Paralympics LIVE for free on Paralympic Sport TV. See a schedule of live broadcast of the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games.

Paralympic Spotlight on Martin Braxenthaler

Martin Braxenthaler is a German Alpine skiing powerhouse. He has participated in 3 previous Paralympics and has won medels in all of them, including a total of 7 gold medals. Martin is expected by many to be the one to beat in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Only one year after an accident in 1994 which left him paralyzed, Braxenthaler took a monoski course. Two years later, he was a member of the German National Team. One year later he took a bronze medal in the 1998 Winter Paralympics. This is the determination of a champion.

Tomorrow, 11 March 2010, the day before the start of the Paralympics will be Martin Braxenthaler's 38th birthday. Be sure to wish him happy birthday ( Zum Geburtstag viel Glück) and good luck on the Paralympics. You can leave a comment on his his blog documenting his path to the Vancouver Paralympics. Although his blog is only in German, click where it says "Kommentare" and leave a birthday greeting.

Also, watch the video below by Paralympic Sport TV about the impressive Martin Braxenthaler:

Watch Martin Braxenthaler and the rest of the Paralympics LIVE on Paralympic Sport TV. For more information and a schedule of live broadcasts, see this article about the Winter Paralympic Games.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Paralympics Spotlight on Joe Howard Team US Ice Sled Hockey

I am really looking forward to the Paralympic Sledge or Sled Ice Hockey Games. Sledge Ice Hockey is a fast moving contact sport, very rough and tumble as you can see in this video of a USA vs Canada Ice Sled Hockey Game:

So you would think it would a young man's game. Joe Howard can prove otherwise. At the Paralympics, Joe Howard will be 2 months shy of his 44th birthday. No longer a young man myself, I appreciate the efforts of Joe to go out and represent the rest of us.

Joe Howard is from Massachusetts and lives and breathes Hockey. Joe's First Paralympics was in 1998 where he scored a record 6 goals in one game. Joe has been in three paralympic games and has earned medals in two of them, a gold and a bronze.

Here is the part I like best: The day before winning the gold medal, Joe proposed to his girlfriend Carol in the center of the rink. Perhaps on the center of the ice, Carol had no choice but to say yes?

Joe says, "I think that this may be my last Paralympics. I am looking to go out with a gold medal". Best of luck to you Joe. I will be watching and rooting for you!

Read more about Joe Howard in this interview with Joe Howard.

Watch the Paralympics LIVE on Paralympic Sport TV. For more information and a schedule of live broadcasts, see this article about the Winter Paralympic Games.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My 2010 Paralympic Article Referenced by Wikipedia!

I made a intensive research to put together a comprehensive guide to the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games together with a schedule of live broadcast coverage.

I found it quite flattering that Wikipedia has referenced my guide in their article about 2010 Winter Paralympics. You will see it listed in the footnotes under reference #28.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Confirmed: No Live, Free TV Coverage of Paralympics in USA or UK

As reported on this blog last week, there will be NO live, free TV coverage of the Paralympics by the public broadcast media in the USA or the UK. The Paralympics will however, be shown live for free on the internet. See the schedule of live coverage of the Paralympics.

This was confirmed by a press release from the Paralympic Committee last Tuesday. According to the Press release:

In the USA, NBC agreed to broadcast on the NBC Television Network a programme related to the Opening Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and a highlights programme of the Vancouver Paralympics, which will be published after the Games. In addition, NBC Universal Sports intends to broadcast a daily programme related to competition at the 2010 Paralympics. Universal Sports also has the intention to feature coverage of the Games on in the form of on-demand re-airs of its Universal Sports Television Network coverage, plus full-length event "rewinds".

The UK was not mentioned in the press release, however, on 8 Feb Lewis Wiltshire, BBC sports editor wrote, in the comments section of his blog wrote: "There are provisional plans in place to stream the curling live through the BBC Sport website and BBC Red Button if the GB team make the medal rounds and we will also be broadcasting a one hour highlights programme on Monday 22 March on BBC TWO. We will not be broadcasting any other live coverage due to budget restrictions and the time zone factor."

In addition, the press release notes: "The Europe-wide broadcaster Eurosport will broadcast more than 14 hours live from the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Additionally, there is a camera crew on site to for interviews, portraits and reports"

However, Paralympic Sport TV will offer approximately 5 hours of live broadcast coverage everyday for free on the internet. See a schedule of live coverage offered by Paralympic Sport TV.

Aaron Fotheringham To Tour Australia With Nitro Circus

Aaron Fotheringham has just sent me this message "I will be touring with Nitro Circus across Australia for over a month hitting the 5 major cities. for info about the tour,"

I had a look and the group will be touring Australia from 7 May until 5 June, hitting Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. They will have a 50 foot high (about 15 meters if you are metric) Mega-Ramp.

I have seen Aaron do his backflip before and it is very cool to watch. If you are in one of those cities, go out and give Aaron your support. If you are not in one of those cities, follow Aaron on his website Aaron Fotheringham. If Aaron updates me, I will update you.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vasi Stoica: California to Chile By Wheelchair!!

Vasi Stoica is a wheelchair user who loves to travel. But Vasi does not travel the conventional way, by train or airplane. Vasi travels by pushing himself in his wheelchair. In 2006 Vasi pushed his wheelchair from Romania to Spain, a journey of over 5'000 km completely by hand. At the time, I did an interview with Vasi Stoica.

Vasi was born in Romania with a congenital paraplegia. He was a crawler, because as a child he had no wheelchair and moved using only his hands. In 1991 Vasi became an athlete and started to do long distance touring in his wheelchair. Vasi has completed several long distance tours and broke the Guinness World Record for covering the longest distance in a wheelchair in 24 hours.

Now Vasi has announced his greatest challenge challenge. In May 2010 Vasi will travel from California to Chile by wheelchair. You can see Vasi's route in the map above. Vasi will cross 12 countries in an adventure which will take him 12'000 km (approximately 8,000 miles).

For that journey, Vasi will need more than $18'000. He is determined to make the trip and is looking for Sponsors. Any interested sponsor can contact Vasi directly via Vasi's Website or contact me (RehaDesign AT and I will be happy to put you in contact.

I am hoping that Vasi will report in from time to time during his journey so we can follow Vasi's adventures on this blog. Go Vasi Go! See a video below about Vasi Stoica

Monday, March 1, 2010

Watch Aaron Fotheringham on the GIANT Nitro Circus Ramp

I am one of Aaron Fotheringham's biggest and earliest fans. I did the first interview with Aaron Fotherinham, when he was 14 years old just after he hit the backflip. I edited and posted his now famous video on YouTube which became viral and has been seen nearly 800,000 times with over 1,000 comments. I helped write an article about Aaron for Wikipedia. I was also part of a group of people that helped to make sure that Aaron was able to perform at RehaCare in Germany in 2008, even though it was arranged at the last minute. While at RehaCare I got to meet Aaron in person for the first time and got to see him do the backflip four times. Needless to say, that was the highlight of RehaCare for me.

So, I will blog about just about anything that has to do with Aaron Fotheringham. However, this video of Aaron on a GIANT ramp preparing for the Nitro Circus is absolutely incredible!!! You can almost feel like you are plummeting down the ramp together with him:

Check out Aaron Fotheringham website. Like Aaron, It ROCKS!