The Swiss Take on Stair-Climbing
Stair-climbing wheelchairs are far from a new concept. We’ve all heard of the iBot, the stair-climbing wheelchair sold by Johnson & Johnson from the 1990s. Now a completely new design has been created by students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.
Called Scewo, their stair-climbing wheelchair balances on two wheels much like the iBot, but what makes their version different is that it has two treaded rubber tracks mounted on the bottom of the chair, giving the chair much needed stability as it climbs. Thanks to these and its wide base, it can even climb spiral staircases. The tracks can even be used at ground-level for snow and sand.
While the chair is still in prototype-mode, the students have teamed up with a manufacturer with the goal of mass producing the Scewo by the end of 2018. Keep track of the latest Scewo updates here: scewo.ch.
Vlogging to Help the World
China Dixon is not your average YouTube vlogger. Reluctant for years to share her life publicly, Dixon, named after Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips and raised by her grandma, is a C4-5 quadriplegic and social butterfly from North Platte, Nebraska, who finally decided to start her own a YouTube channel earlier this year.
Dixon was a freshman in high school when her injury occurred in 2005. She crashed her car on a country road less than two miles from home. “I was thrown out of the vehicle and found in a field by a neighbor.”
She returned home after four months at Craig Hospital and finished high school. Since graduation, Dixon has been working towards her associate’s degree in addition to working with organizations such as Disability Rights Nebraska for career assistance.
But no matter where she ends up working, Dixon believes her calling is to educate others about spinal cord injuries. “I was injured for a reason. I really want to help anyone who is struggling. Motivational speaking is my eventual goal … I wanted to reach a bigger audience with my story,” she adds, which is exactly why she finally started to record and share her life.
So far, Dixon has posted a variety of videos on topics like going back to school, experiencing vertigo, life goals, her injury story and more. “What I really want is to share my life with a spinal cord injury. I want to share progress on goals I’m working toward, self-feeding videos, physical therapy, standing and Q-and-As. I also want to document having fun and going out.”
“In the end, I just want to reach anyone who feels like they can’t overcome their hardships and to let them know that they can,” she says. “With baby steps, things do get better.”
Watch Dixon’s videos: youtube.com/channel/UCC2ymCenR_UBu8LtOIR3yuA/feed
A Podcast Worth Queuing
Choosing the next podcast you’re going to listen to can be a big decision. Let us help. Check out The Overcome Podcast, hosted by Humberto Gurmilán, an Emmy-award winning journalist and quadriplegic. Gurmilán, who was injured in a surfing accident, interviews people with spinal cord injuries in captivating 50-minute candid interviews.
Listen at humbertogurmilan.com/overcome/