SCI Life February 2013

Giving Life 100 Percent
SCI213_1Hints of Frida Kahlo exude from Reveca Torres, a fashion designer turned nonprofit founder. Torres, 31, is an artistic soul who thrives on experiencing new things, including traveling. It was while traveling — a car accident while on a family vacation to Mexico at age 13 — that she became a C5-7 quad.

Torres, who lives in Portland, Ore., says that although her family was vital to her after her injury, she made sure she was there for them, too. “Our whole family was affected by the car accident, and we all became united and much closer because of it. I feel like I was very positive, and tried to stay positive because I felt like if I didn’t, my parents and family might fall apart. We were all strong and took care of each other.”

And as an artist, Torres made sure to not let go of her dream. “In high school I was introduced to a sewing machine I could operate with my hands, not my feet. I knew then I would be able to sew and pursue what I was interested in — fashion design,” which Torres went on to study in Illinois.

While at a fashion show, Torres got the idea to found BACKBONES. “The show turned out to be a benefit that paired up cancer fighters and survivors. I immediately thought, “Wow! If I would have had someone at the age of 13, how great would that have been!” BACKBONES’ main goals are to connect, create events and spread awareness about spinal cord injuries.

BACKBONES has been up and running for over a year now, and Torres couldn’t be happier. “I’m such a sap, but really I usually have tears of joy when I make a connection or have a successful event … I know, I’m a big nerd!”

Visit  her brainchild at www.backbonesonline.com.

Access Advocates to the Rescue
Have you always wanted to do something about that building in town that isn’t wheelchair accessible, but didn’t know where to start? Access Advocates is the group to call. They exist for one reason only, and that is to provide people with disabilities the necessary tools to make non-accessible buildings ADA compliant.

They are a one-stop-shop for everything you need to make stubborn businesses complete the ADA upgrades they’ve been avoiding for years. Founded by architects with years of ADA experience and others providing legal counsel and information on attorney costs, Access Advocates provides the business you want to see become ADA compliant with a plan check and an accessibility audit — a drafted plan (along with a quote) on the architectural changes that need to be made.

With over 10,000 plan checks under their belt and 2,500 audits, Access Advocates has also never lost a case.

Go to: www.accessadvocates.com.

Sci-Fi Screwdriver
Motion-sensor technology has found a higher calling than bringing realistic video game play to the masses. Black & Decker has infused this technology into a powered screwdriver, and the end result is the “Gyro.” This tool automatically starts screwing with a flick of the wrist. Minimal grip is required to activate it. Cost is $40.

See www.blackanddecker.com/gyro.

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