Quiz Answer – it’s an adaptive dog leash!

Originally used for a bike - clever leash adapts to a wheelchair as well

screen-shot-2016-12-29-at-3-55-27-pmThe bike tow leash began as a bike leash for running and exercising a dog safely. The popular leash quickly found its way to being used on wheelchairs also. The stiff yet flexible design keeps the leash from getting tangled — and the dog from getting too close or in front of the individual. The leash keeps both the rider and the dog safe. It makes an outing with a dog pleasurable, hands-free and fun! Continue reading

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Answer – It’s an adaptive shampoo tray!

Water and soap drain away while sitting up

There’s nothing like clean hair to help someone feel refreshed.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-9-56-13-amThis shampoo tray aid is designed to remain and fit comfortably while allowing the individual to have their hair shampooed when sitting upright in any chair. The device has the ability to conform over and around any chair and should be placed between the back of the individual’s head and the shampoo sink behind them. It allows the individual to remain upright in a comfortable seated position — and is helpful to the hairdresser or caregiver because it can reduce the risk of back strain. Continue reading

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Quiz Answer – It’s an adaptive toilet transfer board

The Personal-Aide Wheelchair to Toilet Transfer Board is made for tight spaces in just the right places.

Transfer boards are used to aid mobility when the feet and legs are fully or partially impaired. This one was made especially with the toilet in mind. The board has curved notches that will securely hug certain areas of a locked-down wheelchair and can gently screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-3-27-09-pmhook to the curves of a toilet seat.

This model has a shorter chair-end, which may make transfers easier for some users with certain types of mobility issues.

These transfer boards have been designed in cooperation with clinicians to optimize the strength-to-weight capacity and have been shaped for specific tasks. All boards are made as thin and light as possible using durable, multi-ply Baltic Birch finished with a non-marring, Continue reading

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Quiz Answer – It’s a Dressing Aid!

Bra Angel assists wth putting on a bra

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-1-08-40-pm The “Bra Angel” was designed by an occupational therapist to aid women who find it difficult to bring both ends of a brassiere together when dressing. It’s especially helpful if hand weakness is an issue. That’s because the clasping mechanism can be further adapted to assist making bra closure and application simpler and easier.

The clever tool can be used with most brassiere type as the telescopic action adjusts easily for size. screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-1-08-28-pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Bra Angel” is durable, latex free and lightweight.

One size fits all. You can see one online here.

You can see and hear a lot more about getting dressed with a spinal cord injury by looking here. screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-1-15-31-pm

 

 

 

 

Thank you for playing – please leave your comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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BLOG – Expecting The Unexpected after

Spinal Cord Injury

FacingDisability.com has nearly 2,000 videos of family members answering real-life questions about how they cope with a spinal cord injury.

1-smallestOne of the more unexpected findings we discovered during the hundreds of interviews we videotaped over the years, was that the life changes caused by the injury could ultimately be quite positive. Here’s what we found:

 

 

 

The achievements after their injury were often greater than if they were never hurt at all

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-56-11-pmPatricio, injured at age 24 – “I was either going to jail (before injury) or six feet under.”

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-56-26-pmMichelle, injured at age 21 – “I found a new career!”

 

Ginger, injured at age 44 “I was forced to examine my values and screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-55-26-pmpriorities.”

 

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-56-45-pm Tony, injured at age 27 “I became a father.”

 

 

For parents – it’s just another beginning

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-58-17-pm Clarissa; son injured at age 19  – “I became interested in disabilities rights.”

 

Mary; daughter injured at age 22 “…gradually letting go of that and screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-58-01-pmjust experiencing your new life was the best part.”

 

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-3-58-09-pmCarol Ann; son injured at age 20 “him going to Harvard Business School; that’s been such an experience for the whole family.”

 

 

For siblings – spinal cord injury can add jealousy, anger ad guilt — but not forever.

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-00-39-pmJavier; sister injured at age 7 “Growing up, there was more attention coming to her. And when I was younger, I was kind of mad about it. But now…I mean, it happened, and obviously, she’s going to need more attention, more help, and my parents need my help.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-00-58-pmEunice; sister injured at age 7 “I was the oldest one, I was already 14 and I was about to turn 15. I didn’t understand the gravity of it all until several months passed.”

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-01-04-pmJennifer; brother injured at age 23 “I felt many times that I wish I had done something that night that would have changed the course of his evening. It was the week before Christmas — maybe if I had just called to ask about what some of his holiday plans were, maybe it would have offset the night five minutes or so; that would have changed it.”

 

And for children with a parent facing a new or established injury…

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-16-05-pmElizabeth; father became paraplegic before she was born “My dad being the way he is has given me a direction in my life because I’ve always participated in and been curious to learn about the wheelchair, to ask about the disability.”

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-15-50-pmJennifer; mother injured when she was 14 “I understood it on one level, but it was also very frustrating, I sort of felt like I have all these questions, and I’m a teenager, and I don’t understand, I don’t understand why it’s not about me. It was hard.”

 

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-4-15-58-pmSean; mother injured he was in his 20’s “I think a lot of the unknown…I’d never known anyone close, that had that sort of condition.”

Keeping an open mind and keeping up with therapies associated with spinal cord injury can make a huge difference in quality-of-life down the road. Many individuals are happy and living fulfilled lives with all levels of injury.

How has your life or the life of a loved-one changed as a result of paralysis? Feel free to leave your comments and insights.

 

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Quiz Answer – It’s an adaptive knife!

A kitchen tool with added grip
screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-11-25-26-amReaching for this handy adaptive knife is simple because it has an easy-grip rubber semi-circular handle. It can be adapted even further for someone with hand and arm weakness. It comes with a matching cover to conceal the blade and to protect hands and fingers when not in use. It’s great for several kitchen slicing needs especially for chopping herbs, chocolate, and dried fruit and even to cut a pizza.
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Quiz Answer – It’s an adaptive finger-loop

For holding your phone
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Ungrip – in use

This clever loop, called Ungrip, helps solve the problem of securely holding the increasingly bigger and slimmer smartphones on the market. Even with hand and arm weakness, keeping the phone close at all times becomes quick and simple.

  • EXTREMELY COMFORTABLE: Unlike metal or plastic rings, the fabric is comfortable for the fingers.
  • HIGHLY FLEXIBLE: Ungrip‘s design allows you to hold the phone in dozens of ways!

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BLOG – Learning to Fly

The ups and downs of traveling with a wheelchair

By: Cindy Kolbe

Note from the editor:
Cindy’s Kolbe’s daughter, Beth, became a competitive quadriplegic swimmer, during her sophomore year in high school. It required traveling by air to swimming meets – internationally and in the US – which meant they had to figure out how to handle flying with a wheelchair. 
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My family had rarely traveled before my daughter Beth’s C6-7 spinal cord injury. From our small hometown in Ohio, she had been on a plane once, to Orlando, Florida.

Two years after Beth’s injury, she happened to meet a Paralympic coach, who encouraged her to try competitive swimming. She registered for the USA Swimming Disability Championships while she finished 10th grade. I was clueless, completely unaware of the details of traveling with a wheelchair.

We decided to order a manual wheelchair, instead of a power chair, during Beth’s inpatient stay in rehab during the summer of 2000, even though she could barely push it. With no thoughts of travel, Beth and I had no way of knowing that her new manual chair would be the key to simplifying the many flights in her future. That’s because a power chair is more vulnerable to significant damage, and may not work at all after a trip in the cargo hold of a plane.

Beth and her swim coach, Peggy

On our very first flight to Seattle, I transferred Beth to an airport wheelchair and innocently handed over her manual chair at check-in. At the gate, she had to transfer again to a narrow “aisle chair” to be carried on to the plane. I helped with transfers and tamed the leg spasms that followed. There were three seats together in our row. With my daughter on the aisle, the window seat passenger had to crawl over Beth before I followed him to sit in the middle. Her wheelchair survived under the luggage pile with only a bent brake lever, a stroke of luck.

A year after that Seattle trip, Beth was invited to Alberta, Canada with the U.S. Paralympic National Swim Team. At the airport, she wheeled her own chair to the gate. We left the side guards on her gate-checked chair and ended up losing one, but she earned her first stamps in her brand-new passport.

After graduating from high school, Beth’s first flight on her own took her to the National Youth Leadership Network conference in Washington, DC. I carefully packed her suitcase, and she carried my list of important phone numbers and a health card in her wallet.

“It was my first independent flight,” Beth said. “I’m not sure why, probably just something new and being nervous, but I got teary when Mom left me at security.”

Lifted into an aisle chair to board the plane, she asked flight personnel to wait with her while she calmed her leg spasms. At home in Ohio, I watched the clock and waited. When the plane landed in DC, she called me, reclaimed her wheelchair, and made her way to the conference.

Through her college years, she flew across the country and around the world with the U.S. Paralympic National Swim Team. She often traveled on her own, and getting to the airport was a challenge at first. Accessible taxis worked with early reservations, but after one was late picking her up, she experimented with the subway, friends with cars, and taxis—which rarely stopped for a young woman in a wheelchair.

Temple-of-Heaven in China with a friend

In Montreal for a swim meet, Beth had a flat tire on a Sunday during a snowstorm. Miraculously, I found an open bike shop with the right inner-tube. She has used foam-filled tires ever since!

Beth competed at England’s first Paralympic World Cup in 2005. At the hotel, her bed was too high. She asked another swimmer to put her mattress along the wall. Beth slept on the box springs because she would not ask for help to get into bed. At her next World Cup, two years later at the same hotel, her coach moved the box springs along the wall instead of the mattress. Continue reading

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Quiz Answer – It’s an adaptive handle for the car!

Tool provides a 'leg-up' plus a lot more

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-1-38-24-pmThe HandyBar is an automotive safety tool that allows the user to assist themselves in safe wheelchair transfers while entering or exiting a vehicle. It offers leverage and support and helps protect from falls. It fits securely into either the outside passenger or driver side doors of almost all types of vehicles.

Even for those with hand and arm weakness, the HandyBar can provide needed stability. Continue reading

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Blog – ‘You-Tuber’ with Quadriplegia is not a Cyborg

And other gadgets his adaptive technology has been compared to

We have shown you his videos before. Dan, a young man with quadriplegia from the YouTube channel, Just Happened To Be has done it again.

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VIDEO “Being Human” or: A Thing About Wheelchairs, Robots, and Evolution

He has created something new to show others – able-bodied or not – what living with paralysis actually means. And how it hasn’t changed him that much as a person.

 

The three-plus minute video is cleverly written and produced, comparing Dan’s adaptive devices to particular points in the evolution of the world and its creatures. If that sounds like a stretch, it is not. Continue reading

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