“I was told that what’s going to happen is going to happen, and there’s no point in trying to prevent anything.”
Amanda Geier said this was the medical advice she received regarding her daughter Samantha, who has spina bifida. After hearing the medical opinion, Geier took on a different attitude than what had been suggested. She says, “You learn to fight for your kid to be able to do things she wants to do.”
Samantha Geier has a condition known as spina bifida, which happens when the spinal cord or the vertebrae surrounding it do not correctly or completely form, which results in damaged nerves and muscle weakness. Samantha received her first operation when she was just six weeks old at the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Now she is 16 years old and has had a number of surgeries.
Just over a year ago, Aimee Copeland captured the world’s attention after a zip-lining accident left her with a deep gash and a flesh-eating bacteria. To save her life, the University of West Georgia graduate student underwent multiple amputations to stop the infection. Now, thanks to the help of the latest technology in prosthetics, she can chop vegetables, pick up Skittles and fix her hair on her own.
The “i-limb ultra revolution” bionic hands are made by Touch Bionics, and run a hefty $120,000 each. The hands can be controlled remotely with an iPad application and a blue-tooth connection. According to a spokesperson for the company, the “bioism” software can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPod, as well.
Up until the present day, the typical design of the wheelchair models used by persons with disabilities has generally followed a somewhat dedicated commitment to function over form. From the introduction of the first lightweight, steel, folding, portable wheelchair in 1933 — a model known as the ‘X-brace’ — advances in the design and technology of newer machines have come periodically.
Factors in the advancement of wheelchair models — including propulsion method, control mechanism, and technology — are generally influenced by purpose and price. Newer wheelchair model categories include manual self-propelled, single-arm drive, reclining, standing, sports, and all-terrain designs that serve to enhance mobility freedom for their users.
As the focus on improving the mobility and lifestyles of persons with disabilities continue to garner attention, newer technologies and evolved creativity are responsible for four truly unique wheelchair models. Our post today highlights some remarkable wheelchairs — and how these designs enhance the mobility freedom of the people who use them. Continue reading
When 12-year-old Alexander Knoll saw a man in a wheelchair struggle to get through a heavy door in his hometown of Post Falls, Idaho, he was struck with an ingenious idea. What if there were an app or website that could communicate to persons with disabilities which stores in the area had automatic doors? And from that simple consideration, an adaptable solution was born.
The young entrepreneur went to work, developing the Ability App — a free accessibility application akin to Yelp which helps people with disabilities navigate public spaces by providing information about wheelchair ramps, disabled parking, braille menus and more. One visit to the Ellen DeGeneres show and a check from Shutterfly for $25,000 later, Alex’s idea is on its way to completion.
In fact, mobile apps for Android and iOS smartphones are rapidly helping people with disabilities to find their way around the world much better — and helping to live better lives in the process. From travelling guidance to accessibility hacks — even personal dating — here are the top 8 mobile apps for persons with disabilities. Continue reading