RSSAuthor Archive for Jean Dobbs

As editorial director of New Mobility, Jean Dobbs oversees the editorial team, guiding the magazine’s mission and design. She is also responsible for developing new departments and related projects, such as Life in Action magazine. With a master’s degree in journalism, she was previously NM’s executive editor and managing editor and has written for the magazine since 1991. She has interviewed many distinguished members of the disability community, including advocate Justin Dart, disability-culture scholar Carol Gill and entertainment photographer Christopher Voelker. She is editor of the book Kids on Wheels and publisher of Spinal Network: The Total Wheelchair Book. She works from home in North Carolina.

Vote on the First Set of New Mobility Covers!

Vote on the First Set of New Mobility Covers!

We have lots of plans for celebrating our 25th anniversary, starting with an ongoing survey of your favorite New Mobility covers from 1989 to the present. Cast your vote today for the best cover from 1989-1992, when we were still called Spinal Network Extra. For the next six months, we will provide covers to vote […]

Records Shattered at 2013 Ironman

Records Shattered at 2013 Ironman

Records and barriers were shattered in the racing chair/handcycle division of this year’s Ironman World Triathlon Championships held in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 12. Arguably one of the toughest one-day endurance events in the world, the race consists of a 2.4 mile ocean swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon. Each year, more […]

Jamboxx: Making Music Just a Breath Away

Jamboxx: Making Music Just a Breath Away

Tobias Koslowski lost the ability to play music five years ago, due to muscular dystrophy, but today he’s writing and performing saxophone with the help of the Jamboxx, a breath-driven musical instrument. The device and accompanying software allows novices and professional musicians alike to play 200-plus sounds — from electric guitar to oboe — right […]

Past Due: Quad Moms Talk About Pregnancy

(Originally published in 1995; updated in 2009) In 2008, the Discovery Channel aired a documentary “Paralyzed and Pregnant,” the story of Michelle Carston, a C5 quad who delivered a healthy son, Pierce, after a difficult pregnancy. Carston spent eight and a half months on bed rest, so many potential moms with spinal cord injuries wondered: […]

Why Does Facebook Matter?

Why Does Facebook Matter?

I remember feeling a surge of hope when I read last year that social networking sites had surpassed porn in terms of Internet traffic. Good news, I thought — maybe we aren’t doomed to the hedonistic demise predicted by cultural historians. Perhaps this increasingly seductive technology could even deliver us to a finer place: a world […]

Christopher Voelker: Image Maker

Christopher Voelker: Image Maker

Christopher Voelker’s photography shatters stereotypes. Since 1994, Voelker has shot 21 covers for New Mobility, including several provocative images for the annual “Sex, Wheels and Relationships” issue. The NM photographs are important — they show that people with disabilities are vibrant, sexual, funny, whole — but Voelker is also changing the way people view disability […]

Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm

The lucky ones got out alive. Whether they executed personal evacuation plans with friends or family or relied on public transportation and shelters, most wheelchair users living in the path of Hurricane Katrina survived. But what happened next made them feel anything but lucky. A huge number of people were evacuated without their wheelchairs, stashed […]

One Last Yellow Dog Story

One Last Yellow Dog Story

One of the things I love most about Barry is his running dialogue with the yellow dog. He was more prone to these conversations when disability socked him with a pressure sore, a digestive indignity, or some other assault on his mobility or independence. Although duly informed–”You’re my dog, not my shrink”–the yellow dog tended […]

Pleasure Principles

Researchers and women with spinal cord injuries build a better understanding of sexual satisfaction (Updated April 2011) Loren Serano* enjoyed a great sex life with her boyfriend before her C3-4 spinal cord injury. After her accident, the prospect of resurrecting that intimacy was daunting. “When I first got out of rehab,” she says, “it would […]

John Fields loves his Magic Bullet (see "Love Your Bowels" below).

10 Ways to Stay Healthy

Disability can be a bully. And it’s so in-your-face with bladder infections and bowel accidents and pressure sores that you may not be aware of subtler damage that paralysis visits on your lungs, heart, metabolism and other underlying structures. Think you know it all? Recent research is creating options in treatment and prevention that may […]