Lightweight Folding Power Wheelchair Arena

The Best Online Resource for the Disabled

Disability.gov is the federal government website for comprehensive information about disability-related programs, services, policies, laws and regulations.  The website is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, in collaboration with 21 federal agency partners.  The site links to thousands of resources from many different federal government agencies, as well as state and local governments and nonprofit organizations across the country.  If you're disabled, have recently become disabled, or need to help a loved one who is disabled, check out these important links from Disability.gov.  

Financial Support:

1.  Disability.gov career planning and job training page
2.  SocialSecurity.gov qualifying for Social Security Disability Benefits
 

Housing:

3.  Hud.gov U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Multifamily Inventory of Units for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities

Healthcare:

4.  Healthcare.gov Medicare, a federal health insurance program for Americans age 65 and older and people under age 65 with certain disabilities

Community Life:

5.  Disability.gov Sports, Travel & Leisure Activities

Transportation:

6.  Disability.gov Guide to Transportation

 

The list above consists of the necessary resources one would need, but here are some other useful resources.  

1.  DMV.org Disability Plates and Placards for all 50 States and Washington D.C.
2.  NHTSA.govU.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Adapting motor vehicles for people with disabilities and transporting your electric powered wheelchair
 

 There are tons of resources out there to help people with disabilities.  We hope you're utilizing them. 

EZ Lite Cruiser Sponsors Limbitless Solutions

Limbitless Solutions is a non-profit organization devoted to bringing volunteers and technology to the kids who need it most.  They're building a generation of innovators who use their skills and passion to improve the world around them.  Limbitless uses additive manufacturing to advance personalized bionics and solutions for disabilities.  They believe that no family should have to pay for their child to receive an arm. They want to lead by example and encourage communities to innovate with compassion.

You might remember hearing or reading about Limbitless in the news not too long ago.  Robert Downey Jr, Microsoft, and Limbitless Solutions teamed up to surprise 7 year old, Alex Pring, with a new 3D-printed "Bionic Iron Man Arm".  

Robert Downey Jr Bionic Arm

Limbitless Solutions and students at the University of Central Florida have recently teamed up to build hands-free controls for mobility devices.  EZ Lite Cruiser was honored to be able to sponsor their endeavor and they recently sent us this video (see below) of the progress they've made so far.  As you'll notice, Christian from Limbitless Solutions is not using his hands to control the EZ Lite Cruiser Standard Model but instead has electrodes on his temples. We're not going to give away exactly how these electrodes work, but you can clearly see that he's using them to control the chair.

We're very excited to see how far technology has come and the potential of where it can go, it is truly limitless.

5 Great Holiday Gifts Ideas for Wheelchair Users

 

Having trouble figuring out what gift to get a loved one in a wheelchair?  Need gift ideas for your wheelchair bound friend?  We have some ideas that could be memorable and life changing.  Besides the typical holiday gift you can get anyone, including people in wheelchairs, this list is meant for unique gift ideas that are focused on people who are disabled. 

1. The gift of flying.  Specifically, gliders that have hand-controls which replaced foot pedal rudders.  Rides and introductory lessons have a price range of about $100 to $200.  There is also a non profit organization called, Freedom's Wings International, who offer free introductory rides for people with disabilities. 

2. Adaptive Skiing.  Depending on your level of disability, there are several ways you can ski using different types of adaptive equipment.  Most of the major ski resorts have adaptive skin programs but you have to make your reservations as early as possible.  This is to ensure you have the appropriate coach and necessary equipment.  Here is a great resource for adaptive skiing and sports.

3. Handicapped Scuba Diving.  Currently, training programs for disabled people have a high margin of safety.  Techniques which have been developed from more than 30 years, through continuous research and feedback have produced a very safe atmosphere for people with disabilities. The Handicapped Scuba Association can help their disabled students get certified. 

4. Assistive Eating Utensils.  Liftware is a stabilizing handle and a selection of attachments that include a soup spoon, everyday spoon, and fork. Liftware is designed to help people with hand tremor eat more easily. Place Liftware in its storage pouch, and bring it with you where you go. A full battery charge can last you through several meals, so you don’t always have to worry about bringing the charger along.

5. Folding Shower Seat. The ideal shower seat! This elegant fold down shower seat would be at home in any spa. Made of Brazilian Walnut which is up to 3 times stronger than teak, it is naturally resistant to moisture, mildew and decay. When folded it is only 3 inches thick so it is not in the way when not needed. A beautiful solution when there is little space for a permanent shower chair or for when seated is only occasionally needed. Its concealed wall mount brackets maximize the contact area and spread the weight bearing giving the SerenaSeat a 500 pound capacity! The removable back rest allows for easy cleaning. 

When dealing with a physical disabilities or even a chronic illness, don't count out your loved ones in activities.  They might actually enjoy and appreciate it more than the average person. Whether or not this list includes something they might be interested in or find helpful for you or your loved one, there’s still many more activities and products to explore at these websites and through a simple online search. We hope you find what you're looking for :)

Power Wheelchair

Don't call WHILL a "wheelchair"!

 Whill Models in White and Black

Imagine meeting a man in a wheelchair and having that man tell you that he no longer wish to go to the grocery store because of the way people looked at him.  What person wouldn't be overwhelmed with empathy and compassion, but what would you do? Most people would feel sorry for that man but they would move on with their day.  

Satoshi Sugie isn't like most people.  A former engineer at Nissan, he was the one who met that man in the wheelchair.  Overwhelmed with a sense of duty, he developed a mobility device that would could possibly remove the negative stigma that disabled people are so used to.  With the help of his two friends, Junpei Naito, a product engineer with Sony, and Muneaki Fukuoka, an engineer with Olympus.  The three came up with WHILL.  It's a chair with wheels but don't call it a "wheelchair".  The company says they build "omnidirectional four-wheeled-drive mobility device".  Their WHILL Model A is also not considered to be a medical device and has not been submitted to the FDA for review or clearance, but this hasn't stopped the investors. WHILL has already raised over $12.85 million in funding.

 

Although not covered by insurance, the company has taken about 50 preorders at a price of $9,500 per chair.  Their Model A chair can reach speeds of up to 5.5 miles per hour and travel up to 12 miles per battery charge.  The four-wheel drive enables the device to maneuver rough terrain that most other wheelchairs couldn't.  What makes WHILL so unique are the front wheels, which WHILL calls "omni-wheels" or "gliding wheels".  The front wheels are comprised of a main wheel, which are wrapped by 24 small tires that turn independently, and gives the device a tight turning radius by being able to glide sideways.  

While the Model Type-A is considered to be a non-medical device (which means it is not FDA-cleared), WHILL plans to have their future models cleared as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be eligible for insurance coverage, such as Medicare/Medicaid. To increase production, the company is currently talking with their original equipment manufacturers in Mexico and Taiwan. They've also added a smart phone app that lets you remote control your WHILL.

So the question is will people shell out close to 5 figures for a mobility device?  Bill Meehan loves the portability of the EZ Lite Cruiser, but also has a WHILL. He had told us about his recent interview with CNN to discuss his WHILL. 

EZ Lite Cruiser sponsors Marco Dispaltro

Marco Dispaltro

EZ Lite Cruiser was a proud sponsor of Marco Dispaltro for the 2015 Parapan Am Games held in Toronto, Canada. Close to 1,600 Athletes and 250,000 visitors from around the world converged on Toronto for the Pam Am/Parapan Am Games from August 7th to the 15th. Marco holds a #1 world ranking in his classification before entering the 2015 season, while being almost twice the age of most of his competitors.  Some in the boccia ball circuit even call him the "Intimidator", being that he is a world champion and likely the most resented man in wheelchair boccia.  

Dispaltro actually got his start in sports with wheelchair rugby and tennis, but his Becker Muscular Dystrophy (diagnosed at age 14) sidelined those activities.  It's a degenerative condition that has taken away his triceps, biceps, abdominal, shoulder and leg muscles.  Nothing, though, has taken his competitiveness and will to win.  The 47 year-old started boccia in 2010 and won the silver in singles at the 2011 Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara Mexico.  He then won a bronze medal at the London 2012 Paralympics in the mixed pairs category.  

Watch Marco being named Canada's flag-bearer for the 2015 Pam Am/Parapan Am Games

The Opening Ceremony was held on August 7th, 2015 at the CIBC Pan Am / Parapan Am Athletics Stadium at York University, the same stadium where the track and field events occurred.  24 Nations in total competed at this year's games. A colourful and energetic Opening Ceremony, celebrating the unity of cultures of the continent, the flag of the host country was raised by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police. Canada’s heritage was on show throughout the duration of the event, celebrating the country’s four ancestral nations - The Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat First Nation, the Six Nations of the Grand River and the Métis Nation of Ontario.

Check out Dispalto bearing the Canadian flag during the opening ceremony on his EZ Lite Cruiser.

 Marco Dispaltro Leading Team Canada

Marco went onto win the silver medal in the mixed pairs group for Boccia Ball.  Canada finished 2nd overall for Boccia Ball, and also finished second overall in the Parapan Am Games with 168 Medals (50 Gold, 63 Silver, and 55 Bronze).

Check out 17 astonishing shots from the 2015 Parapan Am Games