If you’re disenchanted with the lack of stylish accessories for your wheelchair or mobility device, Ffora may have a solution. Launched at the end of July, Ffora is a new lifestyle and accessories brand created for the disability community by two graduates of Parsons School of Design.
At the heart of Ffora’s line is a simple yet elegant attachment system that users can clip around any tubing on their mobility device and then secure using a provided key. The two-piece system costs $49, comes in three finishes, and allows you to select the type of chair you use to ensure you get the proper fit. Once attached, the system makes it easy to slide in any of Ffora’s other accessories. The company has already launched a cupholder for $25 and a small “Essentials” bag for $108, each available in different colors.
“People shouldn’t have to settle for function over aesthetic,” says co-creator Lucy Jones. Learn more about Ffora at liveffora.com and keep an eye out for new accessories later this year.
Behind the Music
Ever since Bob Ness started the Quad Podcast, he searched for a fellow quad musician to have on as a guest. It took a little over three years and 32 episodes, but Ness’ latest podcast with Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter Gabriel Rodreick proved worth the wait.
Ness, a C6 quad, and Rodreick, a C5 quad, share a mutual passion for music that’s evident in their hour-long conversation on episode 33 of the Quad Podcast. In addition to discussing the difficulty of playing an instrument with quad hands to simply rediscovering the love of music after an injury, Ness and Rodreick cover a wide range of topics that anyone with a spinal cord injury or disorder will be able to identify with.
Ness’ background in editing is evident in the polished production, as he mixes clips of Rodreick’s soulful voice and what he appropriately describes as “whiskey-drinking music.” By the end of the hour, the two seem like close friends rather than strangers who just met for the first time.
“It’s a grounding experience to be around people who understand what you’re going through,” says Rodreick. “That was my second experience meeting another musician who is a quad. Just being able to hang out and share war stories and express all our desires around music and what we love about music is a really cool experience.” Listen to the pod-cast at: soundcloud.com/user-648338245. For the latest on Rodreick’s music and performances, follow @freaquedom on Instagram.
Queer Eye for the Wheeled Guy
On July 19, Netflix released the fourth season of its hit makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and social media immediately critiqued an episode that focused on helping a person with a disability. Titled “Disabled But Not Really,” the episode centered on 30-year-old Kansas City resident Wesley Hamilton, a paraplegic who founded a nonprofit from which the episode borrowed its name.
The Queer Eye team furnished Hamilton with a new wardrobe, redesigned and refurbished his home to make it more accessible, helped him with healthy meal prep, and even arranged a meeting with the man who shot him years ago. Hamilton was arguing with his ex-girlfriend when her ex-boyfriend showed up with a gun.
Online discussion of the episode debated whether the show did a disservice to disability representation by framing disability as something negative that needs fixing. Quartz.com’s Alex Haagaard and Liz Jackson wrote that the show missed “a rare opportunity to engage a huge audience in important discussions about access, design and the roles and experiences of disability communities in society” and in doing so “essentially disavowed” the disability community. On Rewire.news, Imani Barbarin acknowledged the episode’s shortcomings, but contextualized the controversial title of Hamilton’s organization (and the episode) with the complex history of racial politics and disability. Her takeaway: The show’s depiction of Hamilton “felt like a step in the right direction for better representations of the diversity of disabled people.” Read Barbarin’s article at rewirenews.link/2SIMSQJ and Haagaard and Jackson’s article at qz.com/1671776. The episode is currently streaming on Netflix.
Get Involved With Research
With just a few minutes out of your busy internet browsing time you can help guide the future direction of SCI research. The North American SCI Consortium wants to hear what the SCI community’s priorities are so it can tell researchers where to focus. Take its short survey here: surveymonkey.com/r/SCIneeds.
If the survey whets your appetite, or if you are simply looking to get more involved with research efforts, NASCIC is also looking for advisors on SCI-related projects. People living with SCI, their family members and caregivers are all welcome to apply. If you are interested in participating in these projects, complete this: nascic.wufoo.com/forms/nascic-project-engagement-database.
Wine on Wheels Portland a Success
The first-ever Wine on Wheels Portland lived up to its billing as the hottest event in town Aug. 1, thanks to a huge turnout and an unseasonably warm day. Over 150 attendees, including more than 40 wheelchair users, celebrated the 30th anniversary of NEW MOBILITY and raised money for the magazine and New York-based nonprofit Wheeling Forward.
Former NM editor Tim Gilmer received a lifetime achievement award, and attendees sampled a rich mix of wines from the Northwest and beyond. Check NM’s Facebook page for more pictures, and visit wineonwheels.org for more information about future events.
On Top of the World
Tired of looking up at the trees? A stunning new installation in Denmark allows people of all abilities a breathtakingly unique perspective on nature. Camp Adventure Tower is a 148-foot-tall steel observation tower erected in the middle of a forest about an hour south of Copenhagen. With a 2,130-foot spiraling ramp leading to 360-degree panoramic views from well-atop the trees, it’s safe to say there is nothing else like it.
The design, which includes a 3,000-foot boardwalk through the forest leading to the tower, won multiple design awards prior to construction beginning in May 2018. The tower is part of Camp Adventure, Denmark’s largest adventure park and the home of Northern Europe’s longest zipline. For more info, visit campadventure.dk/en.