0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Wheelchairs Now

    Google.org Awarded $20 Million to Better the World for the Disabled

    Google.org recenlty awarded 29 nonprofits to build transformative technologies for the disabled.  Google.org is the philanthropy division of Google that has just set out to help the 15% of the world's population with disabilities. That's 1 out of every 7 people, and 50% of the disabled people can't afford healthcare. 

    Here is the list of the 29 nonprofits and a little information about what they do:

     e-Nable is a global community of volunteers that designs and creates 3D printed prosthetics.

    • World Wide Hearing is developing an inexpensive tool for health workers anywhere to screen for hearing loss.

    • Mission Arm | exiii are working together to make affordable prosthetics accessible for everyone.

    • Royal National Institute for Blind People | Smart Glasses is developing smart glasses to help people with sight loss regain their independence and confidence.

    • J’accede is building a community of advocates to map accessible locations around the world using a mobile app.

    • Wheelmap is creating a global dataset of accessible locations for people with disabilities.

    • My Human Kit is launching an online platform to connect people in need of prosthetics to low-cost, open-source 3D printed models.

    • The Arc is building a search and recommendation tool to help people with cognitive disabilities find the right technology to reach their goals.

    • Motivation is testing customizable postural support designs to provide better fitting wheelchairs to users around the world.

    • Royal London Society for Blind People / Wayfindr is developing technology that delivers audio-based directions to users’ smartphones, providing a more independent lifestyle to the visually impaired.

    • The Center for Discovery is developing an open-source power add on to quickly convert any manual wheelchair into a power chair.

    • UCP Wheels for Humanity is collecting data on wheelchair usage in developing countries to ensure everyone has access to the chair that best suits their needs.

    • Ezer Mizion | Click2Speak are piloting an onscreen keyboard to help people with low mobility and high cognitive function better communicate.

    • DAISY Consortium is developing a suite of industry-standard accessibility tools for publishers to ensure that every book is accessible to people with disabilities when printed.

     Benetech is scaling access to their library and content conversion process to make more books accessible to the visually impaired.

    • Dan Marino Foundation is developing software that uses interactive avatars to help young people with autism train for job interviews.

    • Miraclefeet is augmenting clubfoot treatment by providing monitoring, engagement, and training software to keep providers and patients on track.

    • Perkins School for the Blind is using crowdsourced data from sighted individuals to develop technology that helps the visually impaired to navigate the gap between GPS and the real world.

     Inclusion without Borders | Livox’s nonprofit arm is helping people with limited speech ability participate in conversation more fully by making assistive communication technology more intuitive and responsive.

    • Beit Issie Shapiro | TOM are creating a template for “Makeathon-in-a-box,” which connects makers with people with disabilities to develop new accessibility solutions.

    • Neil Squire Society is developing a mouth-operated controller that will allow individuals with limited use of their arms to interact with a mobile device.

     TDI is developing software to make live captioning services more affordable and more available for the deaf and hard of hearing.

    • ProPortion is developing and distributing a device that quickly and easily produces high-quality prosthetic sockets in developing countries.

    • Leprosy Mission Trust India is producing 3D-printed custom footwear that allows people with leprosy to maintain the ability to walk.

    • Ratna Nidhi Charitable Trust is working to bring comfortable, easy-to-produce prosthetic sockets to rural areas of India using 3D scanning and printing.

    • Nia Technologies is training prosthetic technicians to use 3D scanning and printing to produce prosthetic sockets more quickly.

     APAE Brasil is developing an SMS messaging system to support families who have children with developmental disabilities.

    • Beit Issie Shapiro | Sesame are partnering to pilot a solution that allows people with limited mobility to operate smartphones by moving their head.

    • Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled | University of Washington are creating a platform that tracks data about the supply and distribution of assistive technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa to expose gaps in availability and spur further adoption.

    The programs fall into one of five categories of disabilities. They are mobility, education, communication, independence, and employment.  The average amount they'll each receive is $750,000, with six of the grant winners getting more than $1 million.  $20 million dollars is probably a drop in the bucket for Google, but it's not always the amount you spend, its how you spend it.  We hope that all these projects succeed and make the lives of people in need a little better.  

    Layer's 3D Printed Wheelchair Design

    Layer Go Wheelchair

    Layer is the evolution of leading design agency Benjamin Hubert Ltd.  It is set to launch the world's first 3D printed consumer wheelchair during Clerkenwell Design Week at Clerkenwell-London on the 24th of May.  Layer has partnered with well known global brands such as Aesop, BMW, Braun, Cappellini, Herman Miller, Nike, Samsung, Panasonic, Oral-B, and Fritz Hansen to forge engaging, high-performance products that push the boundaries of possibility.  It can take up to 8 weeks to make a custom wheelchair, but Layer says they can do it in about two weeks.  The GO wheelchair prototype is the first project under Layer's new research division, LayerLAB, and has been created in collaboration with Materialise, world leaders in 3D-printed software and solutions. LayerLAB is a new inhouse division of Layer that facilitates experimentation and research into the future of physical and digital products.

    The company has just made a prototype 3D-printed wheelchair, and it is designed to be more comfortable for its users.  The comfort comes from taking the user’s measurements and building a custom seat.  Materialise and Layer have been working on this wheelchair for the past six months, consulting with the patients and doctors to help create a wheelchair perfectly sculpted to suit the user’s body.

    Specifically, there are 2 custom made pieces, the seat and the foot bay, which are built to accurately fit the user's body shape, weight and their disability.  The company maps the user's biometric information, ensuring that each chair is a good fit. The seat is printed from a semi-transparent resin combined with thermoplastic polyurethane for elasticity. Its exact placement is also adjusted based on the body mapping data, ensuring that the center of gravity is correct.  The geometry of the 3D-printed foot bay, which is constructed from titanium, is built to fit the user's leg length, sitting position and foot shape, and features an anti-slip finish.  The frame of the chair is built from titanium, with a simple design that cuts down the number of struts to a minimum, lowering the visual weight of the chair. The wheels are also lightweight, with carbon fiber spokes and molded push grip rims. The company will also make gloves designed specifically for the chair, featuring a surface that's designed to easily lock in to the push-grip rims, making it easier for users to self-propel.  Color selection and optional extras (transfer bars, push bars and wheel guards) are selected via an app designed by the company, through which the final order is placed.

    There's no word yet on exactly how much the GO wheelchair will cost, or when the first units will ship. Expect to hear more when the product is launched later this month at the Clerkenwell Design Week in London.

    WHILL Model A in Batman VS Superman

    Batman VS Superman

    Spoiler Alert!  If you're planning on watching the Batman vs. Superman Movie, Don't Read This Yet!

    We're fans of the WHILL model A, here at EZ Lite Cruiser. We even wrote about their mobility aid a few months back.  We were pleasantly surprised to see it have some what of a significant role in the blockbuster film, Batman VS Superman. You can hardly see it in the picture above, but this is all we able to use at this point in the movie’s release. You can clearly see the tops of the armrests on the chair.  You see a clear shot of it when it is gifted to Bruce Wayne's employee, Wallace Keefe (played by Scoot McNairy) by Alexander Luthor Jr (played by Jesse Eisenberg).  Wallace Keefe is the Wayne Enterprises employee who wrote "You let your family die" and sent it to Bruce Wayne seen in the movie's trailers. 

    Batman VS Superman

    The critics have taken Batman VS Superman to the woodshed.  Its hard to find decent reviews and a lot of the scathing reviews are down right exaggerated.  We find it suspect that critics rate this movie a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes while the Audience score sits around 70%.  IMBD also rates it at a 7.2 out of 10.  The movie has grossed over $867 million world wide.  That is an astounding achievement but its being overshadowed by all the negative reviews.  Maybe it's all a marketing stunt to pull in the die hard fans BACK into the theaters for its R rated director's cut

    Batman VS Superman

    We are excited that WHILL was in a major block buster movie and we hope to see it again on the big screens. Till then, the EZ Lite Cruiser will soon be on one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world.  More developments on this to come, stay tuned!

    Wheelchair Theft is on the Rise & It's Absolutely Deplaurable

    Many people would be confused as to why someone would ever steal a wheelchair. People with disabilities need their wheelchairs to live and do every day activities.  They depend on their chairs like most of us depend on our legs, something that I'm sure we take for granted. So most of us can't even comprehend why someone would do this but it happens all the time.  Here are a few instances of this crime....

    Take for example a recent theft of Matt Farmen's custom $20,000 electric powered wheelchair that was stolen in Denver, Colorado.  Farmen has been in a wheelchair since the age of 11, when he broke his back in a sledding accident.   But the custom wheelchair he had recently bought let him forget that he ever sat in one.  The custom wheelchair had let him enjoy his one of his favorite hobbies, golfing.  The chair had allowed him to stand up fully and interact as if he wasn't in a wheelchair.  Farmen had taken out a $20,000 loan to buy the recreational wheelchair and he had said it was "worth every dime.  it means freedom."   There were no leads in the case but while the interview was being filmed below, something very odd happened.  The apartment's security staff approached him and told him they had found his stolen wheelchair. 

    This second story of a stolen wheelchair ended in tragedy.  15 year old Tristin Hurley of Reno, Nevada, was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, commonly referred to as brittle bone disease.  It was the same disease that Samuel L Jackson's character, Elijah Price, had in the movie Unbreakable.  Tristin's wheelchair was stolen outside of his mother's apartment on Feb 29th 2016.  Days after his wheelchair was stolen, Tristin fell and broke his hip and arm, which required surgery.  A day after surgery, he died at home.   His home town has proclaimed April 28th, Pay It Forward Day in his honor.  Check out the video below of Tristin just days after his chair was stolen. 

    The third comes from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Roman Castillo was left paralyzed after being shot during a 2005 home invasion.  After cleaning his $20,000 custom wheelchair, he left it outside by his garage to dry for a few hours Wednesday, March 9th 2016, morning. The wheelchair was stolen right from his driveway.  “We realized that it was gone and the first thing that came to my mind was, somebody stole my legs,” Castillo explained.  Castillo is worried that a kid might have taken his chair for a joyride and could end up hurt and permanently in a wheelchair themselves. He is offering a reward for return of his chair, no questions asked.  Check out the video of Castillo below. 

    If you own a very expensive wheelchair, whether it is a manually wheelchair or an electric wheelchair (which can sometimes cost as much as a car), it might be a worth the investment to buy a GPS locator.  You might have to recharge them every few days but it could be better than spending another $20,000 or more to replace it.  Here is a GPS locator that might work with your custom electric powered wheelchair.  

    Car versus Wheelchair

    It seems 2015 was one of the deadliest traffic years since 2007.  Part of the reason was the lower gas prices and the improving economy, people were spending more time on the road than in previous years.  With the advent of text messaging and drunk driving trending higher in 2015 compared to 2014, the streets are getting more and more dangerous. The daily news reports about car fatalities have become common and ubiquitous, to the point where most of us don't even give it a second thought.  We would like to take this time to remind everyone to drive safer.  There are people out there that need a little more time in the crosswalk and we have to be mindful of it.

    Here are some recent tragedies that could have been avoided:

    Harold Smith, 75 of Raleigh (North Carolina), was struck by a car on Easter morning while driving his motorized scooter to the Save-A-Lot grocery store nine blocks from his house.  He had just bought food for the holiday cookout.  He was an elderly fixture in the neighborhood, and his death to one reporter was... "the saddest deaths so far this year: a man who had had a stroke, who used a wheelchair to get around, who was run down on the holiest day of the Christian Calendar." Harold Smith was traveling east to west, outside of the crosswalk. The car that struck him did not brake before impact, and police said the driver had a clear view.  No charges have been filed as the investigation continues.

    Richard Barley, 85 of Kingstree (South Carolina), was in his power wheelchair and crossing the Highway 52 and Longstreet, which is just north of Kingstree, SC.  That's when a 1992 Honda Accord hit him while on his electric wheelchair. Troopers say no charges will be filed against the driver of the car, since the person in the wheelchair was illegally crossing the road.  Although it may be seemingly the fault of the power wheelchair driver, the driver of the Honda Accord is equally to blame for this horrific accident.

    John Carter, 45 of North Dallas (Texas), in his electric wheelchair, was on his way home from dinner and drinks at around 2:16 a.m. when he headed towards the Belt Line Village.  A suspected drunk driver hit him as he was crossing the street in his custom $25,000.00 motorized wheelchair, sending him to the hospital with serious injuries.  Carter is wheelchair bound and has no arms and legs.  Carter is recovering at the Presbyterian hospital from broken ribs & lacerations. What's worse---His prosthetic legs valued at 10-thousand dollars were crushed.  His wheelchair, which doctors believed absorbed the brunt of the crash & may have saved Carter's life, was also destroyed.  Check out the new story in the video below. 

    It should be common sense that disabled people, especially ones in wheelchairs are less capable of dodging a speeding automobile than an able bodied person.  A Georgetown University Medical Center investigation into how often wheelchair users are killed in car-pedestrian crashes finds they are a third more likely to die than non-wheelchair users; more than half of those deaths occur at intersections.  No matter who is at fault in an accident, we all need to drive safer. It's our civil duty to be safer for our neighbors and for ourselves.