SCI Superstar: Lex Frieden

When it comes to one of the brightest SCI Superstars we could profile, you can’t get more significant or note-worthy – heck this guy will have a chapter on him in history books one day – than Lex Frieden.

One of the architects of the ADA and a big time policy-maker, Lex Frieden is dedicated to helping people with SCI and other disabilities live as independently as possible. A college professor, husband and a dog-lover too, read on to learn about one of the most important figures in American disability history. Read this entry

Retro and Awesome Wheelchair Exercise Videos

Getting in shape and staying that way is one of the hardest things to do when you can’t walk. Diet modification can only do so much. We can try…eating low-cal foods, swearing off regular soda, no more eating past 8am, but that can only do so much.

If you’re really serious about really getting in shape, adding a workout regimen to your weekly schedule is key, but sometimes…….it can be hard figuring out what to do. That’s where the videos below come in. Read on for three intense videos of wheelchair exercises created by tough-willed people with a spinal cord injury. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Ann Yoshida

Maybe it was the energy of the Hawaiian islands that permeated her bones, or maybe she can take a cue from Lady Gaga and simply say she was born this way, but wherever it came from – Ann Yoshida has one unstoppable spirit, and her spirit definitely has an inclination for the physical side of things.

Ann Yoshida, 34, is a woman to get on your radar. She’s the #1 female adapted paddler in the US and the newest member of the 2013 USA Canoe/Kayak National Team; already cleared for the Paralympic trials with her eyes set firmly on Brazil 2016.

And she’s traveled throughout Asia, exposing villagers to adaptive athletics and documenting it on video. Really awesome stuff. Read on to learn all about this Hawaiian lady who is the very definition of fierce. Read this entry

Accessible Amtrak Trains For All

For anyone who really doesn’t like flying as a wheelchair-user (it can be pretty bad, especially when the baggage handlers break your chair), taking an accessible train is a fantastic alternative. Tickets cost about the same, sometimes even cheaper, and some stretches of tracks even let the trains go as fast as 150 mph.

And the best part of riding a train – you don’t have to leave your wheelchair in the care of untrained monkeys a.k.a. baggage handlers. Win infinity. Read on for three awesome videos dedicated to the impressiveness of Amtrak accessible trains. Read this entry

SCI Superstar: Rob Summers

In an alternate universe, Rob Summers would’ve been playing a major league baseball right now. Most likely practicing as we speak. That was where his life was headed. After turning down the MLB draft in high school and wanting to go to college first, he helped Oregon State University win the College World Series.

And in 2006 he was ready to move onto the next phase of his life – major league baseball. But a hit and run accident on July 21st, 2006 changed everything in an instant, breaking his neck and paralyzing him from the chest down. Baseball was no longer in the cards, but Rob Summers wasn’t about to accept his injury as permanent, even if he wouldn’t never again be able to compete in baseball at a competitive level.

Here’s how Rob Summers made history becoming the first person to receive a groundbreaking spinal cord electrical stimulation implant. Read this entry

10 Correct Ways to Interact with People with Disabilities

It’s no secret a lot of people in the world aren’t comfortable around people with disabilities, despite the fact that 1 in 5 people have some kind of disability (or a “limiting permanent physical condition” for those who can’t refer to themselves as disabled yet).

It can take time getting comfortable with the idea of being disabled, and it can take even longer for people to get comfortable around us. If you’ve never gotten to know someone with a disability before, or maybe you’re meeting a person with a disability and are worried you might make a fool of yourself, here are 10 must-know tips on interacting with people with disabilities. Read this entry

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

‘Handicapped Parking’ Wars

It’s a fight out there trying to park your bad self. The idea of handicapped parking may have been thought of years ago (still hate that word), yet people still can’t seem to help themselves from our choice spots. Seriously, it has happened in every city, every day of the week, for decades on end, and people still don’t seem to get it.

One of the worst is when the last handicapped parking spot is taken right before your eyes (by an AB no less), but let’s not forget the unending fun when a vehicle parks too close to you, blocking you in. Does handicapped drama happen in your life too? Check out three videos on this touchy subject

SCI Superstar: Amanda Boxtel

“Hope and acceptance can co-exist” – my favorite quote from Amanda Boxtel, the first ambassador for Ekso, makers of the cutting-edge robotic walking suit, and co-founder of Challenge Aspen, an adapted skiing organization.

Amanda has no problem intertwining two different ways of dealing with disability – moving on AND hoping for a “cure,” proving you don’t have to choose a side. Read on for a peek into the life of Amanda Boxtel –  an ambassador, motivational speaker and accomplished mono-skiier. Read entry

SCI Superstar: Michael Johnson

The only paralyzed driver to be sanctioned to drive in the IndyCar series, Michael Johnson at 20 years old is one of the most interesting and soon-to-be famous race car drivers in the world.

He’s actually almost there, and if the wins the Indy 500 (his ultimate goal), or gets close, you watch – his name will become as household as Danica Patrick.  If you’ve ever wanted to gaze at someone with undying strength, read on, because you can’t get any stronger than Michael Johnson. Read this entry