SCI Life

 Deborah Davis

Deborah Davis

Her Strength Lies Within Her
A woman who has lived a full life since becoming a C6-7 quadriplegic at 19, Deborah Davis’ has had a strong M.O. from the get-go, and as a result she has a ton of advice for the newbies. She has founded Travability.travel (she’s a worldwide traveler), PushLiving.com and PhotoAbility.net, but her proudest achievements by far are her two grown daughters, Alexandra and Hannah — one of whom is a burgeoning artist.

“I have lived a fully independent life thanks to the push by my parents in the early days,” she says. Davis, now 48, grew up living between Washington, D.C., and Florida. “After my car accident, I spent a short stint at home in Maryland, and then was shipped off to college — crying and screaming,” she says. “Mom put me on plane, and Dad picked me up at the airport in Miami.”

And while learning how to be strong at college, she also discovered a few things about dating as well. “People can be shy, possibly afraid or uncomfortable to approach you, even though they may really want to. Flirt, be bold and make the first move if necessary. I wonder how alone I may have been, had I not had the confidence to let someone know I was into them?”

And Davis recently discovered the thrill of traveling, and has been all over the globe. “I loved Sweden — clean, healthy food with many vegan options, happy children and flowers everywhere,” she says. “But Paris was the most difficult due to lack of decent uniform accessibility. The sidewalks are filthy, resulting in all my cute clothes being black by the end of day, and I never experienced this in any other country.”

Davis’ latest goal is to partner with other SCI-owned businesses. Visit her site, PushLiving.com, a “Conde Nast”-esque publication for people with SCI, for more information.

Leveraged Freedom
We’ve seen lever chairs before — a wheelchair that helps wheelers save their arms long term. Instead of pushing, you grab a lever on each side of the chair and pump it back and forth to propel forward. Now this technology is helping some wheelchair users scale previously impossible terrain.

Called the Leveraged Freedom Chair, the LFC was designed with a target price of $200 and is intended for wheelchair users in developing countries. Since 2008, the eponymous company has been conducting field tests for feedback, and what it has found is astounding. The chair is opening the independence flood gates. It’s helping people traverse terrain like never before, with many even getting their very first job because of having this chair.

Now a developed country version is in the works since others are wanting to try the LFC’s simple, effective design. Look for it soon. Learn more: gogrit.org/lfc.html

Drive Your Chair With Your Eyes?
Google Glasses, a computer built-in to a pair of hipster glasses, may offer wheelchair users what we’ve always dreamed of — driving without our hands. While it doesn’t offer us mind-powered driving capability, eye-powered driving certainly isn’t a shabby alternative. Hailed as Google’s most exciting invention of 2013, the projected price is a hefty $1,500.

Read more at www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-03/could-google-glass-allow-people-move-wheelchairs-their-eyes.

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