Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pimp My Wheelchair With UnderGlow

Pimp My Wheelchair

We have blogged before about how to pimp your wheelchair with wUnderGlow Wheelchair Light, the wheelchair light that can also be used to give your wheelchair a cool UnderGlow Effect. Now check out the underglow on this wheelchair with not one, but two wUnderGlow wheelchair lights flashing simultaneously. This is a very pimped wheelchair:




With two wUnderGlow wheelchair lights under your wheelchair, your wheelchairchair is going to get some serious attention. If you hear someone say: "Pimp My Wheelchair", send them a link to that video.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wheelchair Rental? Visit The Wheelchair Rental Directory


If you are a wheelchair user, chances are when you travel, you may consider whether to take your own wheelchair or to rent a wheelchair at your destination. While there is no one right answer for everyone, wheelchair rental is convenient at times.

However, in some destinations like Greece, it can be difficult or nearly impossible to find a wheelchair rental company. Therefore a new directory of wheelchair rental companies has been developed with the ambitious goal of becoming the largest directory for wheelchair and mobility equipment rental. The directory is called appropriately enough The Wheelchair Rental Directory.

It is still early days and The Wheelchair Rental Directory is just at the beginning. However if you have a wheelchair rental company and would like to get listed in the Wheelchair Rental directory, write to Info @ Wheelchair-hire.com

Friday, July 23, 2010

Will The Exoskeleton Replace The Wheelchair?

The idea of exoskeleton suits helping wheelchiar users to walk has been around for years. But although exoskeleton suits for wheelchair users have been under development it has seemed like they would never really be available for actual use.

But at least three companies which manufacture exoskelton suits for wheelchair users will have exoskeleton suits this on the market this year and several more are under development.

Rex the Robotic Exoskeleton has announced that their exoskeleton suit is already available for wheelchair users in New Zealand and will be available internationally in 2011. Rewalk from Argo Biosystems is promising that they will launch in 2010. CYBERDYNE is currently renting exoskeleton suits in Japan and is planning stages to launch in Europe.

Read more about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The First Motorcyle Designed For Wheelchairs

Take a look at the Conquest Wheelchair Motorcycle, the first wheelchair accessible motorcyle which is designed to be driven while the driver is still seated in the wheelchair, no transfer is required:



The Conquest Wheelchair Motorcyle is manufactured in Akron, OH to the original patented Martin Conquest design and BMW 1170cc motorcycle specifications. It accelerates from 0-60 MPH in 7.6 seconds, can reach a top speed of 105 mph and gets 45 mpg at 56 mph. The Conquest is available from nearly 50 dealers across the USA and retails for about $57,000.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Matt Eddy: Crossing The USA In A Wheelchair On Life Support

I love stories like this. Matt Eddy is cruising across American in his wheelchair this summer. Matt is not the first person to cross the USA in a wheelchair. But Matt Eddy is the first person to cross the USA in a wheelchair on life support.

Matt needs a ventilator to breath. He has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and can move two fingers. Matt is not going alone. He is traveling with a respiratory therapist. Why is Matt doing it? Listen to Matt Eddy yourself:





His trip will take approximately 120 days and will take him fr Lynn, Massachusetts on June 5, 2010 with a final destination of The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California sometime in October.

Find out where Matt is on his journey on this Tumblr site or visit his website to find out more about Matt Eddy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Journalists: Stop Writing "Wheelchair Bound"

Journalists are supposed to be professional wordsmiths. They are trained to write well and are paid to know what to say and what not to say.

So, why do I keep reading articles using the words "wheelchair bound" to describe a wheelchair user?

I am not so much interested in politically correct terminology. I slip up like everyone else from time to time.

But journalists should be held to a higher standard. Journalists should understand proper rules of grammar, writing and etiquette. However, if you do a search of Google News for recent articles using the term "Wheelchair Bound" you will find hundreds of recent articles using this out-dated terminology.

Six years ago Julia Kite complained to the editorial staff of her student newspaper about how the term "wheelchair bound" could get through the editorial process.

Julia wrote:

I assume that other writers, as well as the editors, looked over this piece before it went to press, yet am I to believe that not one of them wondered if referring to two students as "wheelchair-bound" would be both inaccurate and potentially offensive?

And

This newspaper would never dream of using the terms 'Negro' or 'Israelite'. Those words are just as outdated, and just as offensive, as 'wheelchair-bound'.

But even writers from so-called quality news sources still use this outdated expression, including journalists from Huffington Post, ABC News, Fox News, Time and BBC. This list could go on and on.

What is so wrong with the term? As Wikipedia clearly explains ""Wheelchair-bound" for someone who uses a wheelchair is unacceptable because of the word "bound" being used in it, which is akin to slavery's chains. "Wheelchair user" or "person who uses a wheelchair" is preferred, referring to the wheelchair as a tool rather than an entrapment."

A wheelchair user is not "bound" to their wheelchair. There are no chains or shackles binding the wheelchair user. A wheelchair gives freedom to a wheelchair user. A wheelchair gives mobility and allows many wheelchair users to live high quality lives. But most importantly, the term "wheelchair bound" is simply paternalistic. It is a way of talking down about a wheelchair user.

If society's professional writers can't get the message then what hope is there for the rest of us? Next time you read the term "wheelchair bound" in a news article, forward the journalist a link to this blog post. Maybe they will get the message.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Many Wheelchair Users Are There?

How many wheelchair users are there in the world? Probably many more than you imagine.

Would it surprise you to learn that there are nearly 3 million wheelchair users in the USA? Did you know that there are probably about 5 million wheelchair users in the European Union?

Approximately 1 in every 100 people use wheelchairs according to this recent article about wheelchair statistics.

BUT,

when you are out in public, how many people do you actually see in a wheelchair?

when you watch TV how many people do you see who use wheelchairs?

Most certainly less than 1 in 100.

Ask yourself why.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Update On Cory Miller

I have been in contact with Ruth Burgess Thompson, the new Executive Director of the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois. Ruth is one of the few who are standing up against the outrageous attacks on Cory Miller and the seemingly lack of interest by the local and state authorities in bringing the bullies to justice. Here is Ruth's outstanding open letter to Mayor Dale Roberts of Havana Illinios, which I am republishing with Ruth's consent:

I was outraged when I read the recent articles in the Peoria Journal Star and The State Journal-Register regarding the violent crimes being committed in Havana against a young man who has cerebral palsy. Cory Miller’s bravery in reporting these crimes and addressing a rally of supporters is in stark contrast to the cowardice of the thugs who have been perpetrating these ignorant and vile acts against him for the last two years.

Having worked in Havana in a number of capacities, my experience has been that the people of the community are hardworking, caring people with a great deal of civic pride. The support that the people of Havana have shown to Cory and his family is very much in keeping with what I believe to be the values of the community.

As the wife of a small-town mayor, I have no doubt that the authorities have a good idea who is responsible for the violence against Cory Miller. While I understand the need to fully investigate, I am deeply disappointed that after two years there has been no justice for him.

Mayor (Dale) Roberts, your citizens realize that if Cory Miller isn’t safe in Havana, neither are their children, their elderly parents, nor is anyone who is susceptible to bullying, violence or exploitation. I know that you don’t want these thugs to be preying on the people of your city.

Now is the time to put a stop to these hateful acts. I urge you, Mayor Roberts, to see that those who have repeatedly victimized Cory are held responsible for their actions. And I urge the people of Havana to continue to demand that their mayor and chief of police get these cowardly bullies off the streets of your city.

Ruth Burgess Thompson
Executive director
Coalition of Citizens
with Disabilities in Illinois
Springfield




I asked Ruth to tell us more about CCDI and what CCDI does. Ruth's response:

"Advocacy, advocacy and more advocacy! CCDI is dedicated to advocating for the rights of all people with all types of disabilities. Whether it be at the local, state or federal levels, CCDI strives to keep our members informed of the most current disability rights issues and the ways they can help advocate."

I also asked Ruth if she knows why so little has been done until now. Ruth says:

"I am the wife of a mayor of a city just about 30 miles from Havana, of a similar size (3,300) and I can assure you that in a town that size, the authorities have a very good idea who is responsible. Why haven’t the perpetrators been identified? I don’t know if the city doesn’t have the investigative resources, but if that is the case, they can certainly call on the State Police who do have vast resources. I don’t want to speculate about other reasons no action has been taken."

I applaud Ruth and her organization. I will be posting updates from Ruth and others who are helping to bring these bullies to justice.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Disablism In Havana, Illinois : Where Hate Crime Goes Unpunished

A 16 Year Old boy with Cerebral Palsy has been attacked three times in 2 years and the Sheriff of Havana, Illinois seems to be unable to do anything about it. So, the boy's stepmother has organized a rally to get the Sheriff to finally take some action. According to a local newspaper:

* In 2008 by a group of boys grabbed his backpack and glasses and kicked him in the groin.

* Several months later, three boys used a lighter to heat a spoon with white powder on it and put it in his mouth.

* On 3 July 2010 a group of juveniles sprayed him and then pushed his chair several blocks away into Riverfront Park. Once there, the group assaulted the boy in a park bathroom, unstrapped him from his chair and held his head under hot running water before leaving him.

How hard can it be to find the animals that did that? According to Wikipedia there are a total of 3,500 people in Havana living in 1,467 houses. It can not be a great mystery who did these disgusting acts. The mystery is why the city police or the at the minimum the state authorities are unable to put a stop to it and why they allow a disabled child to be repeatedly bullied?

The boy's stepmother Pauline Pierce has organized citizens to demonstrate against the fact that no charges were pursued and no punishments were handed out for the previous two crimes. Ms Pierce deserves credit for refusing to accept the apparent lack of interest by city and state officials in pursuing the matter.

Havana Police Chief Kevin Noble called it an "unfortunate, tragic incident". Someone should tell Police Chief Nobel that a car accident is an "unfortunate, tragic incident". This is a hate crime and what is unfortunate is that in a small town like Havana Illinois, hate crimes are allowed to go unpunished for so long.