SCI Superstar Lenin Moreno

He may be no super hero, but up until a few months ago, Lenin Moreno was the most powerful person in the world with a spinal cord injury.

A paraplegic from a robbery shooting in 1998, Moreno went on to become the Vice President of Ecuador, holding the highest state office ever achieved by a paralyzed individual since well, FDR. Read this entry

How to move on after a spinal cord injury

Perhaps the most asked question to people with spinal cord injuries is, “How do you manage so well?” They want to know our secret (as if we have one).

Maybe we do and have no idea. I do know this though – going through a spinal cord injury can strengthen you like nothing else.

From quadriplegics on ventilators to walking paraplegics, we all cope in our own way, and I love how many of us have gone a step further- making videos sharing what we’ve learned with the world.

Here are three videos straight from real folks with spinal cord injuries, opening up their hearts and souls. Watch the videos

SCI Superstar: Tamara Mena

Stunning right? Tamara Mena, a paraplegic from California, is one of the most positive women you’ll ever meet.

She’s an ambassador for Esko Bionics, the cutting-edge biotech company that creates exoskeletons for people with paralysis, as well as a model and motivational speaker. Read this entry

10 Things to Never Say to a Person in a Wheelchair

Spend a week or a decade in a wheelchair, chances are you’ll be asked some pretty crazy things. And I get why – people are uncomfortable around things that are different, especially wheelchairs (even more so if they don’t know anyone who uses a wheelchair on a personal level).

Thoughtless ridiculous things tend to be said, and it they can be offensive, even if you didn’t mean it.

If you don’t want to make a fool of yourself the next time you’re around a wheelchair-user, read on for the top ten things to never dare say or ask to a wheelchair-user (unless you don’t mind us running over your toes then speeding off with sh#!-eating grins on our faces). Read this entry

Softball on wheels

Wheelchair softball first began in 1970 in Sioux Falls, SD. “Sioux Wheelers” was the team’s name, and I can only imagine how much fun this early ’70s wheelchair softball team had.

Since then, hundreds of teams have formed in the US, and even cooler, it’s growing around the world. The sport overall is quite similar to the AB-version except one difference – wheelchair softball is played on a paved diamond (better watch out for road rash).

If you’ve always wanted to give wc-softball a go but have kept putting it off, the time is now – spring is here and there are loads of awesome people involved. Read on for four of our favorite wheelchair softball videos! Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Michael Glen

Gravity is our worst enemy. Heavy legs, heavy chairs, heavy everything. Don’t you sometimes just want to float up, up and away?. This is why Michael Glen, rollingpilot here on SPINALpedia, went on to become the world’s only licensed paralyzed hot air balloon pilot after his injury.

From an upbringing that melded him into the solid man he is today to sharing his ballooning skills with others with disabilities, here is the fascinating back-story of the hot air balloon man, the man known as the “Rolling Pilot.” Read this entry

Learn to love your entire body with yoga

How can you not love something that’s a part of you? When you’re disabled, the overriding idea is to eschew parts of your body that don’t work and focus on the parts that do, but that can be detrimental to your emotional and mental health. And this is exactly why I’ve grown to love yoga.
Yoga is much more than just Downwards Dog and one upping everyone in the room, it’s about restoring the mind-body connection. Yoga embraces the idea that our bodies and our minds are intertwined physically and metaphysically, and nothing not even a disability can erase this.
A disability however does make it harder to tap into the mind body connection, and is exactly why adapted yoga is so needed. Read this entry

Amazing fishing adaptations you gotta see

Man has been fishing since the dawn of time, and it ain’t goin’ nowhere anytime soon. Adapted fishing too remains one of the great sports for people with disabilities. You can do it sitting, standing, even lying down. Heck, the fish don’t care. dress

From a quadriplegic showing off his leather arm sling for his rod to a tour of an accessible fishing boat with a lift for powerchairs (sweet!), here are three fishing videos showing that prove the fish have no chance (evil laughter). Read this entry



4 Must Have Features for Driving a Handicapped Accessible Van

Most of the time, consumer’s focus on the features and benefits of accessible vehicles so the wheelchair occupant can be better suited as a passenger. But there are just as many new handicapped accessible vans out there that have made strides to ensure individuals with disabilities can also drive in comfort.

Several manufacturers, like BraunAbility make improvements for the driver to operate an accessible van safely—and with little hassle. If you’re on the hunt for a van that allows this sort of freedom, make sure you look for these four must-have features when browsing wheelchair accessible vans for sale.

1) Lowered floors.

A partially lowered floor will allow more clearance for the driver to make the transition from wheelchair to the driver’s seat. This can be quite expensive, but the comfort and ease of access it provides is well worth the cost.

2) Wheelchair tie-downs.

It’s vital that the wheelchair is securely placed within the vehicle. A non-secured wheelchair is a hazard that can cause damage to the chair—and more importantly, injury to the occupant. There are a few options for securing the chair. Most people use traditional tie-downs and electronic tie down options. The EZ lock solution is being used by more and more people on a yearly basis as well, as it allows for quick and secure anchoring.

3) Custom controls.

Some handicapped accessible vans come with major modifications in the driver’s position. These range from simple steering tools to hand-operated controls that act as the accelerator and brakes. These controls are not only convenient, but also maximize safety.

4) Seat adjustments.

Many wheelchair accessible vehicles for drivers have seats that have been replaced with swivel seats. These are designed for a much easier transition from a wheelchair to the driver’s seat. There are other options to choose form as well, all based on providing the optimum space and comfort for both the driver and passengers.

Driving with a disability doesn’t have to be stressful. With the right modifications to a handicapped accessible van, you’ll be able to discover the freedom that comes with driving all over again.