Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nurse's Error Leaves Wheelchair User Brain Damaged

A Nurse turned off the life support for a wheelchair user "by mistake". Jamie Merrett had been injured in an automobile accident. He used an oxygen ventilator as life support and was able to get around using a wheelchair and to talk via a voice activated technology.

In spite of his disability, he lead a relatively active life. That is, until a poorly trained nurse who was taking care of him accidentily shut off his life support and did not know how to restart it. Merrett was left without oxygen for so long, he became brain damaged.

No one supplied information about what happened until the information was "leaked" to the BBC nearly two years later.

According to this follow up article, no charges will be filed against the nurse.

I find this unbelievable.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Berkeley Bionics: eLEGS Exoskeleton Begins Trials

Berkeley Bionics announced that their new exoskeleton, named eLegs (exoskeleton lower extremity gait system) for wheelchair users will enter clinical trials in early 2011. eLEGS will have a limited release during the second half of 2011 which will include several rehabilitation facilities in the USA.

eLEGS will be the fourth exoskeleton for wheelchair users to come to market in a very fast succession. Three other exoskeletons for wheelchair users are to be launched in 2010. Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.

Friday, October 22, 2010

RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves Available in Australia!

If you have been thinking that the selection of wheelchair gloves on the Australian market was limited, you would be right. Until now. RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves are now available in Australia.

What makes RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves special? RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves are not a "one wheelchair glove for all" approach. RehaDesign Wheelchair gloves currently come in four unique styles. There are full finger, leather wheelchair gloves, half finger leather wheelchair gloves, Gel-Palm Wheelchair gloves for comfort and Flexi-Fit Neoprene Wheelchair gloves for people with limited hand mobility. Each RehaDesign Wheelchair glove has its unique properties and special target group.

So, how can an Australian Wheelchair User purchase RehaDesign Wheelchair gloves? There are two options to get RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves in Australia:

* First, RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves are available for worldwide delivery from the Wheelchair Website. Worldwide shipping by registered post, including all destinations in Australia, is covered by the purchase price. Read more about RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves.

* Second, Request to be put into contact with an authorised Australian dealer of RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves. Visit the website and click "contact us".

Monday, October 18, 2010

Worldwide Wheelchair And Mobility Equipment Rental

When people with disabilities travel, it can be difficult to know what to do about special needs equipment. Do you take your wheelchair along and risk damaging it? Should you rent a mobility scooter? If you rent, where can you get what you need?

In some locations, it is quite easy to find rental equipment. In other locations, you will have huge difficulties finding rental equipment. I recently learned about an organization which rents mobility and medical equipment worldwide---Special Needs Group. Until I discovered Special Needs Group, I was not aware that such an organization exists. I asked Andrew J. Garnett, founder & CEO of The Special Needs Group for an interview to learn more about worldwide wheelchair and scooter rental and also about cruising with a disability.
Gene: Can you give an indication of the size of your operations? Approximately how many employees do you have? Where are your warehouses located?

Andrew: We are a tightly run company with worldwide reach. We have a core staff of 12 employees at our offices in Fort Lauderdale with associates, partners and service providers at 55 locations in 20 countries around the world.

Gene: Please give a general idea about where you can and can not deliver medical and mobility equipment?

Andrew: The short answer is, we can deliver wheelchairs, scooters and other special needs equipment directly to your cruise ship stateroom, hotel, or resort in any major embarkation port city in the United States, Europe, Asia or South America.

We have delivery and pick-up, and can accommodate one-way rentals in key travel destinations around the world.

We have not yet delivered to Antarctica or the Poles – but given enough notice – we’re not canceling this out.

Gene: You rent mobility and medical equipment to people who are taking cruises or just traveling. Yet, when I read your blog, it seems to be focused on the cruise industry. Why is that? This gives me the impression that most of your business is renting to people who are taking cruises, is that right? Is it unusual to get a non-cruise related order?

Andrew: Like any service, we follow demand. And because cruises are so accommodating for travelers with special needs, there are simply more people taking this type of vacation, so that’s where the demand is now. Special Needs Group has worked closely with the cruise lines for many years. They refer their passengers to us, as do the travel agents who specialize in cruises. We assist cruisers with their pre and post cruise hotel stays and excursions.
We frequently receive requests from land travelers and deliver wheelchairs and other equipment to their hotel rooms, resorts, convention centers and other venues around the globe. The requests can include hospital beds and baby cribs for children with special needs. Our sand beach chairs are popular for families staying in a resort. We certainly welcome requests from land travelers.

Gene: Can you give an estimate of costs? Let’s say I would like to rent a manual wheelchair for a week to be delivered to my hotel in Seattle or Fort Lauderdale. How much would that cost, with everything included?

Andrew: As with any rental service, our rates vary according to location, type of equipment needed, length of rental and the availability of equipment requested. At this time, a standard wheelchair rental for seven days in Seattle or Fort Lauderdale is $75.
Gene: How much would it cost to rent a mobility scooter for a one week cruise?

Andrew: Again, prices vary depending on city, whether it is a one-way or round-trip rental, and of course, the type of scooter. But as an example, a standard scooter out of Miami or Fort Lauderdale for seven days is $175.

Gene: Do you get most of your business via travel agents, cruise lines or customers?

Andrew: It’s a good mix of all three. Travel agents frequently place orders on behalf of their clients and travelers often call us directly. Additionally, Special Needs Group is a preferred accessibility supplier for almost all of the major cruise lines. So when someone is planning a cruise, the cruise line will refer us to the travel agent or cruise passenger – and then the agent or passenger will book directly through us. We are also the first and only Preferred Accessibility Partner for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the cruise industry’s largest professional organization. Cruise lines often purchase items through us such as wheelchairs for embarkation and debarkation, Braille printing, portable hearing impaired kits, and more.


Andrew J. Garnett, is CEO of Special Needs Group. Special Needs Group is the leading global provider for special needs travel around the world. They offer a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase and rental including wheelchairs, scooters and power chairs, oxygen, specialized mobility equipment, hearing impaired equipment, and more. Recommended by all the world’s major cruise lines, Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts and convention centers. Andrew has over ten years of leadership within the Special Needs industry, as an advocate, educator, consultant and service provider. Known worldwide for his expertise, Andrew helps shape industry policy vessel design for the cruise industry. An advocate for the disabled and with a vision to “dissolve travel barriers”, Andrew founded Special Needs Group / Special Needs at Sea in 2007, creating a company that quickly became the category leader.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Take Action Against Wheelchair Inaccessible Hotels and Motels

Attorney David Otto is interested hearing from wheelchair users, or any persons with disabilities about access problems, or disability discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) at fast food restaurants, theaters, transit systems, streets and sidewalks, hotels, motels, casinos, and other areas of 'public accommodation.' Which is to say, access discrimination against wheelchair users and other people with disabilities by any business open to the public - the ADA applies to certain 'architectural features" doors, toilets, counters, ramps, etc. in businesses which are in buildings constructed or substantially renovated since 1993.

Some of the problems that many wheelchair users have experienced are hotel or motel doors that are too narrow,

throughout the Hotel not just the so-called disabled accessible rooms - all rooms in hotels-motels built or substantially renovated since 1993 must have doors at least 32 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs ,lacking paddle type door hardware "knobs",

not enough disabled access rooms, so-called accessible rooms without 'roll in showers', without faucet access (too far from the bench to be safe and convenient) without benches in the showers, window blinds that can't be reached, kitchenettes with poor access such as stoves where burners have to be 'reached across" to access the knobs, no knee room under sinks and counters, hotel-motels in excess of two floors without elevators, rooms where it is difficult or impossible to enter, move around the bed or other areas. If you have experienced any problems such as these, contact David Otto to see if there is a compliance issue.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Cool Wheelchair Bags Add Style To Your Wheelchair

Tired of boring wheelchair bags? Looking for a wheelchair bag to add style and functionality to your wheelchair? Check out RehaDesign Wheelchair Bags. RehaDesign Wheelchair bags, are both practical and cool. Why are they cool? RehaDesign Wheelchair bags have built in reflective strip, which is not noticable during the daytime, but at night time, help to improve your visibility. But that is not all. You can order RehaDesign Wheelchair Bags with an optional reflective tribal design, either a heart or a dragon, for a cool look that also improves safety. RehaDesign Wheelchair bags are made with a water resistant material to help protection your gear incase you are caught in the rain. RehaDesign Wheelchair bags have especially designed straps to fit wheelchair backrests between 14-18 inches without rubbing the wheels. All this in a wheelchair bag that comes with front zip pockets and side netted pockets to make it easy to store your gear. Put RehaDesign Wheelchair Bags on your Christmas Gift Wish List.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Josh Sundquist: Author, Speaker, Paralympian and Rapper?

Ready for a laugh? Watch this amazing "Amputee Rap" by Josh Sundquist:

But don't stop there, Josh is not just about rapping. This guy has more layers than an onion. Check out Josh's channel of hilarious videos, most of which seem to be featured on Josh's Blog. For example, in one video he talks about an embarrassing experience where he accidentally ran into a girl he called "T.O" who had just cancelled a date with him, probably to go out with someone else. In another, Josh talks about how a construction worker stopped traffic on a busy street for him, then he realized that it was a funeral procession that had been stopped so that Josh could cross illegally. Trust me, my retelling of Josh's stories aren't as funny as Josh's delivery. Watch Josh's videos and you could spend hours there.

Josh is also the author of a best selling book Just Don't Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain

Josh also launched an online social network for amputees called Less Than Four.

On top of all of that Josh had a career as a Paralympic skier. Wow! Where did he find time for all of that? Josh is only 26 years old!

This guy is going places. Josh, if you ever read this, let me tell you that you can do ALOT better than T.O. And believe me; You will!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Air Tran Fined For Discriminating Against Wheelchair Users

While the US Airlne Air Trans was finded $500'000 for discriminating against wheelchair users, the UK's Airline EasyJet is discriminating agains wheelchair users and getting away with it.

AirTrans was fined for violating:

rules governing assistance given to passengers during boarding, and that it frequently failed to provide an adequate written response to passenger complaints. The airline also failed to properly categorize disability complaints in reports it filed with the government.

EasyJet, on the otherhand, refuses to take a wheelchair over 60kg, if it can not be disassembled.

'EasyJet welcomes more than a quarter of a million passengers with reduced mobility every year and we regularly carry powered wheelchairs, provided they can be collapsed into separate parts weighing less than 60kg each.

'EasyJet welcomes more than a quarter of a million passengers with reduced mobility every year and we regularly carry powered wheelchairs, provided they can be collapsed into separate parts weighing less than 60kg each. An EasyJet Spokesman says:

EasyJet welcomes more than a quarter of a
million passengers with reduced mobility every year and we regularly
carry powered wheelchairs, provided they can be collapsed into separate
parts weighing less than 60kg each.

Most power wheelchairs and mobility scooters weigh over 60kg and only some can be disassembled. Most airlines accomodate all wheelchairs regardless of weight.