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2017 People of the Year

Alex Elegudin and Yannick Benjamin met in rehab 15 years ago and forged a bond over a commitment to improve support systems for people with SCI. With innovative programs and services, their nonprofit, Wheeling Forward, has done just that for residents of New York City and beyond. In recognition of their contributions to the disability community, we are proud to honor Elegudin and Benjamin as New Mobility’s 2017 People of the Year.


How the Tax Overhaul Could Affect the Disability Community

Remember that sweeping tax overhaul legislation that Congress passed on Dec. 20, right before Christmas? Well, it could have some serious effects on those with disabilities. We talk with the policy experts at United Spinal Association to give a full breakdown of how this confusing yet massively impactful legislation is likely to affect health insurance, your tax bills, and key accessibility programs across the country. The short of it? The new tax law isn’t as bad as it could have been for our community, but it still isn’t good.


Leaning Into the Ogo

A viral sensation that actually lives up to the hype, this intuitively controlled personal mobility device hit the U.S. market last year and is quickly gaining traction among wheelers because of its cool design and functionality. All movement — accelerating, decelerating, turning and reversing — can be done entirely via leaning, and the Ogo can take you over far rougher ground than a typical power wheelchair. All it takes is a demo to have many users grinning from ear to ear.

Research Matters: Stem Cell Reality Check

Research Matters — one of several new columns in NM — will delve into the latest in paralysis research, shining a clear light into an often opaque world. This month, Kate Willette explains the hype and the science behind a viral video from 2017 showing a quad who regained significant upper-body function from a stem cell treatment. The verdict on the video? It involves some cutting-edge cell replacement techniques that may actually improve function … if you have a brand new injury.

The SAM Car: Driving Into Our Future
A 192 mph Z06 Corvette with the accelerator attached to a sip-and-puff controller is damn cool — just ask Sam Schmidt, the former race car driver and C3-4-5 quad who’s piloted the semi-autonomous rocket ship. But the company that developed the technology, Arrow Electronics, is looking far beyond the race track to provide employment opportunities — perhaps as shuttle, farm-equipment, or forklift operators — for people with limited upper-body function.

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