Call me why don’t ya?

You can ring my bell, oh yes you can. Cell phones are one of the best things to happen to people with disabilities. They give us a lifeline, they are the givers of independence. Just think, how many times has your cell phone saved you from a possibly dangerous situation?

But using a cell phone isn’t easy if you have a high level spinal cord injury.  From hitting the keys to holding the phone, all of this can be incredibly hard for people with quadriplegia.

Even if you’re a paraplegic, it can be tricky to find a safe spot to store your phone.  Check out these three phone-inspired videos showing cool phone adaptations and tricks for using the keys. Read this entry

Man pushing his racing wheelchair at a triathalon.

Your disability photos can make you money

Why let your photos sit on your hard drive when they can make you money? A new photo site is aiming to do just that. PhotoAbility is a stock imagery site searching for the best in disability images, and there’s no other site like it out there. It’s founded by Deborah Davis (a really nice gal), an incomplete C7 quad from Florida.

The concept behind how the site works is simple: Submit a photo (they’re looking for all kinds of disability images), if it’s approved, they’ll add it to their archive. Once a reputable business or advertiser is interested in using your image (for advertising or marketing materials), they’ll buy the rights from PhotoAbility, and you receive a 30% cut. Not too shabby for something that would otherwise not be sitting there collecting dust, right?

I really think this concept is cool. I have a handful of images from my 19+ years of being paralyzed that could definitely have a higher purpose, and I love the site’s goal, which is to put positive imagery into the world (vs the negative stuff we see so often). How many times have you seen a sad picture of a so-called disabled person used in some mainstream ad? This definitely needs to change. Read the rest of my entry for my blog Spin 2.0 for New Mobility magazine

Photo courtesy of _rickola

Chrome shower controls and nozzle hose.

Taking on the shower

showerI look forward to my shower almost as much as my first cup of coffee, but when I was first paralyzed this was so not the case. I could never warm up afterwards, and it never felt like it used to feel.

But now, just feeling just the hot water on my neck and shoulders is enough to make showering one of my favorite things to do now. I finally saw the light.

How do you use of the shower if you can’t walk?  That’s one of the first things kids always ask me. And well, it’s not just a matter of just jumping in the shower now. Things are a bit more complicated. And the answer? By either using a shower chair, a shower bench or maybe taking a bath.

But getting into these contraptions (transfers and the like) is the hard part. Here’s a look at some of the best how to videos what it comes to getting into the shower safely and securely, and some tricks of the trade too. Read this entry

Featured photo via Flickr member miriamwilcox // Creative Commons


SCI Superstar: Chuck Close

Paralyzed in ’88 from a freak spinal artery collapse (leaving him a quad), Chuck Close does giant photorealism portraits and is considered one of America’s greatest contemporary artists.

From being a world-renowned artist since ’69 to rocking his guest visit on The Colbert Report in 2010, here’s everything you need to know about this brilliant man. Read this entry

Wheelchairs climbing stairs

Stairs? Pffft…no problemo.

Watch wheelchair-users hoist themselves up and down stairs using the Railing Side Wheel Control method and an overhead bar installed in the home (strong arms and a lightweight wheelchair required).

And check out the RUSSIAN-made power stair-climbing wheelchair, the Observer Maximus! Read this entry

The ultimate forest riders

How do you like your forest experience? Smooth and easy or rough and dirty?  If you use a wheelchair, there are dozens of mobility devices get that get us out in the woods.

All it takes is some money (definitely some money) and patience while you wait for your order (it’ll be like Christmas when it arrives!).

And don’t think these devices all run on batteries. No siree.  If you’re a paraplegic and love doing as much of the work as you can, just wait till you see the MKII, a super fast off-road mountain trike wheelchair

A double amputee invented the device in the first video, a modification for a Segway that puts a lowered seat on it, allowing people to sit instead of having to stand up to use it.  Watch him take it high speed on forest trails…read this entry