Monday, March 28, 2011

Italian Exoskeleton Website For Wheelchair Users

We are happy to announce our fourth Exoskeleton website has been launched, in Italian language. Earlier we announced the launch of the original English language exoskeleton site, then the launch of a French and Spanish translation. Now we are pleased to announce that our Italian language exoskeleton website is now live.

The new website is named Esoscheletro and like the other websites, Exoscheletro offers news, information and updates about exoskeletons for wheelchair users.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Wheelchair For Your Dog Or Cat?

You may have thought that wheelchairs were just for people. If you did, you would be wrong. Many dogs and cats become disabled, mostly due to being hit by cars. But diseases and other animals can cause disabilities as well.

Check out these dog wheelchairs.

Here is a home video of Toby the Dog:

And a tiny little Poodle in a wheelchair

But it is not just dogs that use wheelchairs. Check out this cat in a wheelchair:

Scooter the cat in her cat wheelchair

I think that this is great. However, I have seen alot of homemade wheelchairs and I am not sure that is the best approach. If you are going to put your animal in a wheelchair, try to get one which has been professionally made to fit an animal. There are several companies which make and distribute wheelchairs which have been professionally designed for a pet. A professionally made animal wheelchair will be made by someone who has made many wheelchairs before yours. They will know what works and how to fit your dog or cat. It is the humane thing to do.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Challenges of Returning To School At 25 And With A Disability

Today's post is the second from guest blogger Jennifer R. Resetar. In her first post, Jennifer told us about Born and Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy. Today she writes about;

The Challenges of Returning To School
At 25 And With A Disability

Most people graduate high school at the age of 18, give or take. I graduated at 18, but I did not receive the traditional High School Diploma. Due to issues with the math portion of the Florida Comprehension Assessment Test or FCAT for short, I graduated with something called a Certificate of Completion.

The following year, at the age of 19 and engaged to be married, I attempted the math FCAT one more time after taking a new math class at my high school. This was my seventh attempt and I failed. After that, I put passing any math test out of my mind for the next four years.

Then, on March 7, 2011, I started school at Mid Florida Tech. Now I am 25, have been married for over four years, and have recently left a job that I held for four and a half years at the employer’s request. My husband and mother began to encourage me to go back to school to earn my GED. I took the placement test at the end of February and found that my reading and writing scores were very high, but of course, my math computation score was very low.

Due to the low math score, I was directed to a math comprehension class taught by Ms. Marilyn Spence. By the end of my first week, Ms. Spence has told me I may only be in her class for a few more weeks. Once I complete her class, I will retake the placement test. If I score at a 9.0 or higher, I will move to a GED Prep class taught by an instructor named Mr. Edward Kite. He will then help me to prepare for the actual GED Test; the reading, writing, math, science and social studies sections. I am unsure at this point how long I will be in his class, Once I finish, I will then register and my mother-in-law will pay $70.00 for me to take the actual GED Test. If I pass this test, I will graduate with my GED and will hopefully go on to get my degree in Creative Writing by hopefully qualifying for grants.

The challenges that I face as a student at Mid Florida Tech, a technical college established in 1963 and kept well preserved through the years, are as a married woman, I feel awkward from time to time. Also, I am the only student with a disability in my particular class, but I am not the only disabled student at MFT. I have seen one student that uses Canadian crutches, another student that uses a wheelchair and several hearing impaired students. There are plenty of ramps and elevators around campus for the physically challenged students and plenty of American Sign Language interpreters for the hearing impaired students.

I am able to use the two stairwells in my two story building and I do not require any special assistance. A challenge I do face in class is as follows: my class is exactly three hours long and I have trouble keeping up energy on my own sometimes, so to remedy this, my instructor, Ms. Spence, has allowed me to bring bags of saltine crackers to class. If I feel hungry, I just have to let her know that I need to step out into the hallway and she realizes this means I need to eat to regain lost energy.

Another suggestion she made is knowing the pain that Cerebral palsy causes me, she allows me to get up and walk around when needed to alleviate some of that pain.

With the people at Mid Florida Tech, I feel well accepted and welcomed, a feeling I didn’t know existed for four and a half years of working for my previous employer. Going back to school has given me more confidence in myself and more determination to complete my future endeavors.

My advice for anyone that thinks they’re too old to go back to school or for anyone that thinks they can’t do it because of a disability, you are NOT too old to go back to school and your disability should NOT be a factor. Getting your education and moving forward in life to bigger and better things should outweigh any challenges you may face. A friend once told me that determination comes from self motivation. I believe that this means if you are a very self motivated person, you are very determined in life. I tend to be this type of person and I believe that in order to succeed in life, you need to have these traits in your personality.

As a married, disabled woman, going back to school does not have as many challenges for me as I once thought it would. It has more pros than cons for me and I am sincerely grateful that I took this step.

I owe a sincere thank you to my husband, my mother and my father for their undying support and encouragement.


If you would like to be a guest blogger, contact us: RehaDesign "AT" Gmail "Dot" com

Friday, March 18, 2011

Update on ReWalk Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users

Technion is the University from which ReWalk developer Amit Goffer obtained his BSc (Bachelors of Science Degree). It is also the oldest university in Israel. From the Technion Website "Technion graduates comprise the majority of Israeli-educated scientists and engineers, constituting over 70% of the country's founders and managers of high-tech industries".

Technion also is part of The Technion seed fund, which includes four different venture capital. The Technion seed fund partnered with Argo Medical, invested money and gave the embryonic company the facilities to develop ReWalk.
Barbara Frank from Technion has published an article which gives more details about the history of ReWalk and some hints about the future of ReWalk. For example, her article reveals that by the end of 2011, a personal use model of ReWalk exoskeleton will be launched and that ReWalk is already planning to develop an exoskeleton for Quads. Very good news indeed.

Read more about ReWalk Exoskeleton For Wheelchair Users.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wheelchair Safety Tips: What To Carry In Your Wheelchair Backpack

Many wheelchair users carry a wheelchair backpack. But what do you keep inside of your wheelchair backpack?

We have developed a checklist of things to consider including in your wheelchair backpack and perhaps more importantly, things to consider EXCLUDING from your wheelchair backpack.

See the article Wheelchair Safety Tips: What To Carry In Your Wheelchair Backpack.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hal Exoskeleton Helps Quadriplegic Wheelchair Users To Walk Again

Euronews presented an interesting video about a Japanese wheelchair user who regained the ability to walk by using the HAL exoskeleton.

As you will see in the video the wheelchair user, Masohero is a quadriplegic from a car accident 12 years ago. He says just after the accident he was completley paralyzed. Later, he was able to regain some movement in his right side, but his left side could not move at all. Last summer he started to exercize using HAL one hour per day.

After using HAL, there is hardly any difference between his left and right side. As you can see in the video, now he can walk without HAL by using only a walker. Pretty spectacular progress.

Notice that he is held up using a ceiling lift. This is because the HAL exoskeleton does not have the ability yet to hold itself.

Read more about HAL exoskeleton for wheelchair users on the Exoskeleton Website.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Wheelchair Backpack: Check Out This Cool New Design!

If you are looking for a new wheelchair backpack, check out the RehaDesign Wheelchair Backpack.

RehaDesign Wheelchair backpack was designed to look cool and be easy to use. RehaDesign Stash and Flash wheelchair backpack is made from a water resistant material to protect your gear incase you get caught in the rain. This wheelchair backpack fits any wheelchair with a backrest between 14 and 18 inches wide (35 - 46 cm) without rubbing against the wheels, no adjustment necessary. It does not matter if there are push handles or not.

There are netted pockets on the sides of the wheelchair backpack for easy access and zipped pockets for a bit more security. Finger loops on the zips will assist quads and those with less finger mobility to open the pockets. The finger loops can also be cut away if not needed.

Safety has not been forgotten. A subtle reflective strip has been built into all RehaDesign Stash and Flash Wheelchair Backpacks. Inconspicuous during daylight hours, the reflective strip will light up when a light shines on it. Want even more bling and safety? Order an optional reflective tribal design. Only with RehaDesign Stash and Flash Wheelchair Backpack, can you choose your wheelchair backpack with a cool reflective tribal dragon or tribal heart design.

So, if you are in the market for a cool new wheelchair backpack, check out the new RehaDesign Stash and Flash Wheelchair Backpack

Friday, March 4, 2011

Born and Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy

Today's post was written by guest blogger Jennifer R. Resetar

Born and Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy

On February 17, 1986, I was born to David and Sabrina Ysidron at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Throughout my life, I was told that my birth was a difficult one. I was also told that I’ve lost oxygen to my brain for a few minutes. At the time, I was not diagnosed with any birth conditions, but overtime, my adoptive parents, Dave and Jeannie Locklear, noticed I was not reaching certain milestones that other babies might have reached. In June of 1986, I was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy.

Most babies learn to walk within their first year. I learned to walk when I was three years old. Most parents have the great privilege of teaching their children how to walk whereas I was taught by the staff at the Tampa, Florida branch of the United Cerebral Palsy. I’ve been told by a family member that I did not learn how to talk until I was at least four or five years old. Now I am fluent in English, Spanish and basic French. I am also able to pick up on the other Latin based languages such as Italian and Portuguese. I can also speak a few words in Chinese with the help of a book that I have that labels the chapters in English and Chinese.

Once I was diagnosed with Cerebral palsy, I went to physical therapy quite often as a young child. This is where the United Cerebral palsy comes into my life. They helped me with everything from crawling to walking. To this day, I still communicate with the Central Florida Chapter of the UCP.

Having to learn things the hard way has taught me at a young age that very few things in life are easy. I’ve had to grow up at a young age and overtime, I have become sensitive to the trials of life and I understand when someone is going through a difficult time. Being born and diagnosed with Cerebral palsy has given me the natural ability to be able to help others and understand their feelings.

Thanks to Jennifer for this guest blog. If you would like to guest blog for, please contact Gene at RehaDesign "AT"