Tag Archives: disabilities

The New Mattel Hot Wheel Is a Wheelchair Model Die-Cast Car

father and son playing with The New Mattel Hot Wheel Is a Wheelchair Model Die-Cast Car

For over 50 years, Mattel’s Hot Wheels die-cast cars have been a smashing success with children of all ages. Many kids grow up to collect classic cars and newer models hitting the marketplace.

Brief Hot Wheel History

The first set of die-cast Hot Wheel cars came out in 1968 in a lineup called “Sweet 16”. The original set included custom designs based on hot rods available in the real world reflecting California’s custom car culture. Some of the beloved automobiles available during initial release were customized versions of the Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang, and Volkswagen Beetle.

Mattel’s co-founder, Elliot Handler, envisioned tiny hot rods while playing with his children in 1966. At the time, he realized die-cast cars were lackluster in their performance and not very agile. Indeed, there was a lack of variety of models and variations. After his first prototype rolled off the production line, Handler exclaimed, “Those are some hot wheels!” So the title for the new toys was born and the rest, as they say, is history.

The Wheelie HW Ride-On Chair

Over a half-century after the first Hot Wheel, the creative minds at Mattel dreamt up a new design called the Wheelie Chair. The model resembles the actual wheelchair ridden in real life by Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. For those unaware, Fotheringham is an extreme wheelchair athlete. The BMX-inspired, skateboard-related stunts are nothing short of spectacular.

It was Aaron who coined the phrase, “It’s a wheelchair, not a prison” and you can check out a video of him performing tricks and taking flight in one of his many online videos. Fotheringham is an inspiration to many people regardless of their abilities and reminds us all to live our best self and not to let obstacles stand in the way of our success.

Miniaturized Riders

A wheelchair needs a rider so Mattel partnered with the Lego brand of building blocks to equip their Wheelie chairs with an operator from their miniature figurine MegaBloks collection. Any of the Lego minifigs will snap into place on the specially designed ride-on chairs as their hands can clip onto the rail that extends from one side, across the rear, and onto the other side as well. The figurines are also able to grasp part of the base that extends past the footrest.

To emulate Aaron’s, the chair is lime green with bright orange wheels. Further, it comes with licensed decor from the daredevil. Fotheringham’s image and signature are on the packaging.

Perfect Pairing

Hot Wheels paired with Aaron Fotheringham and the Danish Lego toymaker makes a fun addition to Mattel’s kid-friendly products. It was the brainchild of Mattel Designer Alvin Chan as part of the 2019 Hot Wheels “C” case assortment. Children of all abilities request this particular addition. Then, purchased by collectors looking to add to their beloved inventory of Hot Wheels.

Learn More About the New Mattel Hot Wheel

When you’re in the market for an actual, full-sized vehicle capable of transporting a wheelchair and its real-life occupant, check out our inventory of handicapped accessible vans. We’ve got hundreds of these specially designed vehicles available.

An Introduction to 5 Sports Organizations for People With Disabilities

Disabled basketball player bouncing the ball for sports

Dribbling a basketball on the court.

A physical disability doesn’t have to keep you out of the game. Indeed, several organizations provide people with disabilities an opportunity to show their abilities through sports.

Disabled Sports USA

This organization helps people with permanent disabilities increase their independence and confidence through adaptive sports. The organization serves youth and adults via its network of 140 chapters spread over 42 states. Disabled Sports USA offers more than 50 sports. Thus, here is a sample of the sports available.

  • Archery
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Power soccer
  • Rock climbing
  • Sailing
  • Scuba
  • Sled hockey
  • Snowboarding
  • Surfing
  • Water skiing
  • Wheelchair basketball

Each year, the organization hosts the Hartford Ski Spectacular, a winter sports festival for people with disabilities. Indeed, the week-long event attracts over 800 participants to Breckenridge, Colorado.

Disabled Sports USA was founded in 1967 to assist veterans wounded in the Vietnam War. Today, the organization’s Warfighter Sports program gives severely wounded warriors opportunities to participate in adaptive sports at no cost to these military veterans.

National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD)

The Colorado-based NSCD was launched nearly 50 years ago to teach skiing to children with amputations. However, in the intervening years, the organization has expanded to serve youth and adults with any disability. Now, NSCD’s programming includes adaptive lessons for airgun training, archery, alpine skiing, snowboarding, ski biking, canoeing, kayaking, cross country skiing, rock climbing, river rafting, snowshoeing, and horseback riding.

In addition, the organization offers a variety of camping experiences. Some camps are designed for a specific population. For example, there’s a weekend camp for women with physical disabilities. Other camps, like the Basketball Clinic, help the participants sharpen a skill.

Although disabled military veterans may participate in any program, NSCD has designed these programs for them.

  • Ski and Snowboard Program for Military Veterans
  • Veterans Camp
  • Family Camp
  • Paralympic Experience
  • Rocky Mountain Adventure

International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS)

The organization bills itself as the “Founder of the Original Paralympic Games”. IWAS provides competitive opportunities for athletes with physical disabilities. Further, this is accomplished through two signature events: IWAS World Games and IWAS Youth World Games.

Both are held every other year. The host country decides which Paralympic sports will be part of the games. Further, host countries may choose from archery, athletics, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair rugby, table tennis, and volleyball.

IWAS Youth World Games, formerly known as the IWAS World Junior Games, introduce young people to the thrill of international competition. Each competition is divided by age group. The classes are under 23, under 20, and under 17.

IWAS is also the governing body for powerchair hockey and wheelchair fencing.

National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA)

“Roll With Us”. That’s the motto of the NWBA. Further, the invitation is open to anyone with a qualified physical disability. Also, many men, women, and youth have accepted their invitation. The NWBA has a network of over 200 wheelchair basketball teams in 22 conferences.

In the Junior Prep Division, players aged 13 and under can develop their skills by shooting hoops into a basket that 8.5 feet high. However, youth with more advanced skills may play in the Junior 10′ (Varsity) Division. The Adult Divisions are:

  • Division I
  • II
  • III
  • Women’s
  • Intercollegiate Women’s
  • Intercollegiate Men’s

The NWBA hosts an annual national tournament. Indeed, the best teams for each division play for their division’s national title.

American Wheelchair Bowling Association (AWBA)

AWBA hosts 8 to 12 tournaments for wheelchair bowlers each year. In fact, the competitions are held around the country. There’s a national tournament that has a different host city each June. Then, bowlers compete in one of four divisions according to their skill level. Lastly, the divisions range from Novice Division to the elite Scratch Division.

Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Disabled Persons

celebrating the new year by making new year resolutions

Happy family celebrating with sparklers on New Year’s Eve.

One of the ways disabled persons achieve the greatest happiness in life is by living as normally as possible despite the disadvantages they may face. They will often do whatever it takes to do perform the same functions and even achieve similar goals as those who are not limited in their abilities. In this light, from this recent list of Top 10 New Year Resolutions for Success and Happiness, the most popular propositions are just as easily accomplished by anyone regardless of the challenges they may have in life.

  1. Diet or eat healthy (71%)
  2. Exercise more (65%)
  3. Lose weight (54%)
  4. Save more and spend less (32%)
  5. Learn a new skill or hobby (26%)
  6. Quit Smoking (21%)
  7. Read more (17%)
  8. Find another or different job (16%)
  9. Drink less alcohol (15%)
  10. Spend more time with family and friends (13%)

For the first three new year resolutions, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any type of diet or exercise regime depending upon your unique conditions or circumstances. Together you’ll put together a program that will work best for you.

Saving Money and Spending Less

One of the easiest ways to save money is to sign up for an automatic withdrawal from your primary banking account for deposit into savings, retirement or another type of account. This way you’re saving money without even thinking about it and it happens regularly.

If you don’t already have one in place, set up a budget and stick to it to spend less money in the New Year. There are plenty of online options available to create one of these worksheets. Providers like NerdWallet suggest using the 50/30/20 rule where:

  • 50% of income goes towards necessities
  • 30% of earnings are meant for wants
  • 20% of income goes into savings and debt reduction

Reduce your budget and spend less by trimming from the 30% category and limit items you want by sticking with more necessities.

Learn a New Skill or Hobby

Here the possibilities are practically endless and could include anything from reading more as suggested in the roster above to taking on a new crafting project or learning to play a musical instrument. But don’t limit your choices to sedentary activities as suggested in this list of hobbies as suggested in this roster from Very Well Health.

Quitting Smoking and Drinking Less Alcohol

Often these two unhealthy habits go hand in hand. Thus, quitting might make both tasks easier when combined for new year resolutions. As everyone who has attempted or successfully stopped drinking or smoking knows, making this transition is difficult at best.

Be sure to reach out for assistance and use resources available to help conquer these addictions. This is another avenue where your physician should be able to help you with medications to make quitting easier and therefore more successful in the long run.

Finding a New or Different Job

Sign up for automatic job postings that arrive in your email inbox at sites like Indeed to find a new or different source of employment. At this particular website, users have the ability to perform refined searches for job opportunities available in their area according to different parameters that meet your experience and skills. Upload your resume and you could have potential employers searching for you instead.

With a rise in the trend of more people telecommuting, working from home is becoming more popular than ever. Stay at home jobs are also available from many of these providers and your new line of employment could find you working in your pajamas from the comfort of your domicile.

Reading More

If you’ve signed up to receive regular job updates, you’ve filled two needs with one deed when perusing these posts. With the world-wide-web available at nearly everyone’s fingertips, finding more content to read is easier than ever before. Perform a search online for “free novels to read now” and you’ll find a plethora of platforms offering these books at no charge. What an easy way to complete new year resolutions.

Spending More Time With Friends and Family

If mobility is an issue when it comes to transportation to see more of your family and friends, please check out our inventory of new and used handicapped and wheelchair accessible vans for sale. There are hundreds of vehicles available for purchase and come in a variety of makes and models.

Find More New Year Resolutions

From everyone here at AMS, here’s wishing you and yours the happiest and most prosperous New Year.

happy black woman in wheelchair wheeling down the sidewalk in a red shirt

Disability Awareness Tips to Make Public Environments Inclusive

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to discuss how to make the workplace and other public environments more inclusive. According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 61 million adults with disabilities are in the United States. Since people with disabilities form such a large segment of the country’s population, being inclusive is good for business and, simply the right thing to do.

Whether your organization is looking to hire or currently employs people with disabilities, or if you serve the general public, some disability awareness and etiquette can go a long way. In fact, you can become part of the solution by doing your part to making our world more inclusive for all.

Use Appropriate Language

The language we use can become habit, and often we underestimate the power of words. Many people with disabilities prefer inclusive language that puts the person first, versus the disability. Examples of person-first language include:

  • a person with a disability
  • a person who uses a wheelchair
  • the individual has a disability

Terms that convey pity such as “handicapped”, “crippled”, “wheelchair-bound”, “suffers from”, and “the disabled” are considered outdated and offensive to some individuals. Others may use these words themselves, but it helps to be sensitive.

Be Aware of the Physical Environmentlong wheelchair ramp

Being ADA-compliant is not enough to qualify a physical environment as inclusive. Careless placement of trash cans and boxes can block wheelchair-accessible entrances or make corridors too narrow for a wheelchair to pass. Common items need to be located where everyone can reach them. For instance, in the workplace, office supplies should be stored where an employee who uses a wheelchair can get them independently.

Ramps are great, but be sure to check thresholds to ensure they’re smooth, and also check electric door openers from time to time to make sure they’re functioning properly.

 

Model Proper Social Interaction

When you’re communicating with an adult with a disability, always address the person with a disability directly. You want to avoid speaking through a caregiver. If your communication is through an interpreter, you should still direct your comments to the person with a disability.

When you meet someone with a disability for the first time, you should offer to shake hands as you would with anyone else. A person who is not able to shake with the right hand may extend the left hand. When a handshake isn’t possible with either hand, a fist bump could be an acceptable substitute. Learn more about greeting someone with limited upper-mobility here.

close up of a fist pound in an office setting

 

When you don’t know someone well, asking questions an individual’s disability is considered poor taste. An individual with a disability wants to be seen as a person, not as a disability. Plus, the details of someone’s disability could be sensitive or difficult to discuss. Respect for other people’s privacy includes the privacy of people with disabilities.

Ask Before Helping

You should never assume that a person with a disability has limitations that require your help without asking first. If you try to help without asking, it’s possible to do more harm than good. For example, suddenly helping a person who is pushing their wheelchair up a ramp can cause them to lose their balance. Or, you could accidentally touch a part of the wheelchair that could

Like most people, a person with a disability values their independence and will usually let you know when he or she needs assistance. 

A good rule of thumb is to help a person with a disability in the same way you would help any other person. If you would open the door for anyone, go ahead and do the same for someone with a disability. And, again, if it looks like someone needs help, but you’re not sure – just ask!

Don’t Touch Service Animals

In public environments, a service animal is there to work. That’s true even if the animal is not wearing a harness that asks you not to pet it. It’s never acceptable to touch or to interact with a service animal without permission. Keep in mind, too, that there are several types of service animals; not just dogs. It’s more rare, but miniature ponies, Capuchin monkeys and even potbelly pigs can assist individuals with disabilities.

service dog sniffing its master who is swimming in a pool

 

Accessible Transportation is an Important Part of Inclusivity

If your organization offers any sort of transportation to the public, even occasionally for specific clients, it’s important that that service is accessible, too. At AMS Vans, we offer a large selection of wheelchair accessible vehicles for purchase and rental (short- and long-term) with nationwide delivery!

To learn more, contact one of our knowledgable mobility specialists at 800-775-8267 or visit us online at www.amsvans.com

Remember the Golden Rule

You can summarize all of these tips with the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. As you encounter people with disabilities, just remember they want independence and respect just like you and everyone else.

As public environments become inclusive, individuals with disabilities can be more involved in their communities. That’s a win for everyone!