Adaptive products and adaptive lifestyles go hand in hand. Our annual Consumer Guide shows you the tech — and the techniques — for living fully on wheels.
ADAPTATIONS, TOOLS & TECH
Gear Hacks: Invent your way to greater independence with some simple home solutions.
Beat Bedrest: Maximize your time spent in bed with these products and ideas.
Freedom Bed: For people worried about skin issues and turning, the Freedom Bed could live up to its name.
Video Doorbells: Reviews of the latest from Nest and Ring.
HEALTH & HYGIENE
Me and Mu Obi: The true story of a man and his handy feeding robot.
Food & Mood: Avoid depression with these simple diet ideas.
FITNESS & SPORTS
Para Karate: A passion rediscovered, a purpose found. No kicks needed.
Muscle Stim Made Easy: Powerdot is changing the e-stim game.
MOBILITY & SEATING
Mount This: Stay active with the latest options for mounting products to your chair.
Mobility Roundup: Chairs, seats, wheels — see what’s new, cool and on the market.
Citizen Science: Play a fun, integral role helping scientists and researchers solve the world’s problems.
Employment: The American Association of People with Disabilities unveils the best places to work, and BraunAbility launches its Drive for Inclusion.
SCITrials.org: Finding an SCI clinical trial that’s right for you has never been easier.
Live the #Vanlife: What you need to live on the road.
NMEDA’s Dealer Locator: A useful tool if you’re looking to purchase a modified vehicle or equipment to modify your own.
Submerged: A look behind the scenes of a new film documenting one woman’s quest to find herself after SCI.
UNTANGLING SPINAL CORD COMPLICATIONS
No one wants to worry about the possibility of losing more function or suffering from increased pain, but scar tissue and cysts in and on the spinal cord can cause just that for a small percentage of people with SCI. Ali Ingersoll went to China because she feared a cyst would destroy her quality of life. She shares the good, the bad and the weird that came from her sojourn abroad. Tim Gilmer talks with Ingersoll and other wheelers dealing with these unfortunate circumstances to learn how to handle spinal cord complications. Gilmer also interviews Dr. Wise Young and Dr. David Darrow to better understand how researchers are working to restore function.
Bob Vogel chronicles the long road to recovery for four people who underwent surgery to repair their rotator cuffs. He and Tim Gilmer cover what you can do to make your rehab less stressful.
The disability community lost one of its best when longtime activist and advocate Marca Bristo passed Sept. 8. Mike Ervin looks back at what made her so powerful.
Who needs an aerie when you’ve got a wheelchair? Bob Vogel tests his mettle handling birds of prey.
THE BIG IDEAS ISSUE
Engineers and designers are getting people with disabilities involved on the ground level of product design, and the results are promising.
The future of transportation is being built now, and if the disability community can hold the industry to its promises, the revolution might just be accessible.
People with disabilities are more visible in mainstream society than ever, but the battle for full integration rages on.
The more accessible our built environment is, the more autonomously everyone can go about their business.
There’s no miracle cure on the horizon, but there is a lot to be excited about when it comes to regaining function after SCI.
THE INSPIRATION CONUNDRUM
Living life with a disability almost inevitably involves a delicate, and often frustrating, dance with the rest of society’s (mis)conceptions of inspiration. Emily Ladau writes about the rise of inspiration porn, wherein people with disabilities are reduced to tokens, and what we can do to fight back. Gary Karp taps into his years as a professional speaker to look into the fine line speakers with disabilities must roll to deliver their messages and not be seen as inspirational for the wrong reasons.
Tourists come from all over to soak up Sedona, Arizona’s majestic red rock hills and stunning sunsets, but Ashley Lyn Olson reports there is also much to recommend in terms of access.
STRIKING FOR ALL ABILITIES
When Bill Miller rolls into the bowling alley, heads inevitably turn, but it’s not because the C1-2 quad is bowling while using his ventilator. It’s because of the high scores he racks up. Kenny Salvini profiles the man behind the device that opened up the lanes to people of all abilities — the IKAN Bowler.
DEMYSTIFYING CBD FOR SCI
Are the purported medical benefits of CBD for SCI too good to be true? Jessica Farthing investigates to see what science, the medical world and people from the SCI community say.
THE IBOT IS BACK. IS THE SECOND TIME THE CHARM?
Twenty years after Dean Kamen revealed his stair-climbing wonder chair on national TV, the iBOT is poised to take center stage again with a new and improved model. The original iBOT built a loyal following but never found a wide user base because of a number of issues, including its high cost. Bob Vogel tested the new model and talked with the team members behind it to see what they learned from the original’s struggles and how they are working to make iBOT 2.0 a success.
BAJA OR BUST
Everybody told Kirk Williams he was crazy to drive to Baja California and live and work out of his converted Sprinter van. “It’s not safe!” “You’re a quad!” Luckily, Williams didn’t listen.
In his basement workshop, Christian Bagg designed an off-road mountain trike that offers functionality and fun unlike anything we’ve seen before. Seth McBride reports on the Bowhead Reach.
THE WHEELCHAIR JUNKIE
Longtime NM contributor Mark Smith was more than a writer — he was a father, a husband, a friend, a product rep and of course, THE Wheelchair Junkie. Smith passed late last year, but his eloquent writing keeps him with us. We’ve collected a sample as a tribute.
FROM WYOMING WITH LOVE
What started as a simple inquiry about a potential profile developed into a beautiful correspondence between two longtime wheelchair users about life on the ranch. Tim Gilmer and Henry Poling wax poetic about everything from what kind of moms cows make to being stranded 17 miles from home to surviving a cold winter and much more.
ROLL ON CAPITOL HILL PREVIEW
Aaron Broverman introduces four of the advocates planning to attend this year’s Roll on Capitol Hill and shares what they hope to accomplish at United Spinal Association’s annual signature event.
TRIP PLANNING TIPS
Lilly Longshore takes us through Germany and Austria, sharing ideas, resources and tactics to help you plan the international trip of your dreams without breaking the bank.
There’s more to politics than knocking on doors and posting on social media. Abe Munder looks at the many ways you can get involved and find your political voice.
THE MAN BEHIND AIRBNB’S ACCESS PUSH
As the head of Airbnb’s push for accessibility and inclusion, Srin Madipalli is overseeing the $35 billion peer-to-peer rental giant’s efforts to make travel more accessible. With rentals in almost 200 countries and over 150 million users, the company could be a game changer. But is that what it wants? Ian Ruder profiles Madipalli and reports on his “once in a lifetime” opportunity to change the global conversations on disability and access.
DREAMING AFTER SCI
Brook McCall talks with other wheelers about how they see their disabilities in their dreams to figure out what, if anything, our nocturnal adventures are telling us.
ZAPPOS’ FASHION REVOLUTION
For one night in March, the future of adaptive fashion strutted down a runway in Vegas. Brook McCall reports on the headturning collaboration between Zappos and Runway of Dreams.
WHEELS OF JUSTICE
Kate Matelan profiles Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren DeBruicker and finds out how she “packs a punch with an iron
fist in a velvet glove” to fight for the rights of all Americans.
THE M WORD
There is no escaping menopause, so Paula Larson investigates how women living with SCI/D can mitigate its impact.
NURSES ON WHEELS FIGHT BACK
In the second installment of our look at how wheelchair users are changing the medical field from the inside, Tim Gilmer shifts his focus from doctors to nurses. Despite facing many of the same barriers, stereotypes and blatant discrimination that wheelchair-using doctors encounter, a growing army of nurses on wheels is fighting the system and advocating for changes that will benefit everyone, with and without disabilities
SAY IT WITH A SMILE OR A FIST
How do you convey all the subtleties of nonverbal communication when you don’t have full use of your body? Brook McCall shares strategies for overcoming the obstacles.
THE ACCESSIBLE GALÁPAGOS
The islands and animals that inspired Charles Darwin can now inspire you, no matter your abilities. Max Woodbury reports on the spectacular sights, including tortoises — lots of tortoises.
Everyone agrees that #AbledsAreWeird. Thankfully Regan Linton has some advice on how to best handle annoying ABs.
DOES THE STING EVER GO AWAY?
Finding a silver lining amidst pain, unwanted health issues and society’s cruel eye is a lot for anyone to handle. Richard Holicky talks with wheelers to see how they cope with SCI.
CHANGING THE MEDICAL SYSTEM FROM WITHIN
Wheelchair users are making it through medical school and rolling into emergency rooms, operating rooms and private practices with greater frequency. Tim Gilmer reports on how their presence is beginning to move their field in directions that promise to benefit everyone who seeks medical treatment.
THE JOYS OF ADAPTIVE ROWING
Teal Sherer found adaptive rowing to be the perfect physical outlet when she moved across the country. She reports that the growing sport may be just what you’ve been looking for.
PUSHING THE EDGE OF FUNCTION
Patience. Stubbornness. Creative thinking. These might not be the traits most associated with independence, but Seth McBride discovers they may be even more important than physicality when it comes to maximizing your function.
RAPPER, ADVOCATE … MAYOR?
Kalyn Heffernan made a name for herself as the rapping frontwoman for the band Wheelchair Sports Camp, but now she’s got even bigger things on her plate, including a run for Denver’s mayorship. Regan Linton goes behind the music with the colorful rising star.
THE NM GUIDE TO ONLINE DATING
Rejected. Frustrated. Ghosted. Finding true love online as a wheelchair user can be a lot more complicated than simply swiping left or right. We surveyed hundreds of readers, and Seth McBride followed up with many of them to find out what works, what doesn’t and what to watch out for when dating by app. Plus: Next-gen sexuality videos for post-SCI pleasure.
THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE
A pressure sore almost cost Tim Gilmer his independence. He spins a tale of his frustrating, humorous and ultimately successful quest to get back on the road.
KEYS TO KIDNEY HEALTH
One out of three American adults is at risk for kidney disease, and using a wheelchair can boost those odds. Bethany Hoppe shares how healthy living helped her kidneys and may help yours, too.
INDONESIA’S DOYEN OF DISABILITY
Emily Rose Yates writes about Indonesia’s Risna Utami and her fight for disability and gender rights as a newly-elected member of the Committee on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities.
5 PRODUCTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Toyota says its Mobility Unlimited Challenge supports radical improvements in mobility and independence. Josie Byzek reports.
PERSON OF THE YEAR
Cory Lee Woodard has become the face of accessible travel, having appeared on segments for Lonely Planet and CBS, written for National Geographic and won the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award for best travel blog. The only continent he hasn’t visited — yet — is Antarctica. And now he has another honor to add to his growing list: New Mobility’s 2018 Person of the Year.
Several wheelchair users ran for office in the November elections. Seth McBride checks in with three winning candidates to see what put them over the top.
SURVIVING THE FIRES
Climate change is producing the worst fire seasons in recent history. Alex Ghenis reports on how the devastation is impacting wheelchair users in California and what they are doing to stay safe.
TAKE TO THE SKIES
After years of being out of production and hard to find, hand controls for general aviation are on their way back.