Welcome to New Mobility’s biweekly newsletter. To receive via email (mobile-friendly), subscribe here.
Disability advocates secured a big win for manual wheelchair users this December by getting congress to pass legislation that protects — and hopefully will improve — access to vital equipment like back rests, cushions and hand rims. Here’s a rundown of the changes and what to look for moving forward.
While a power chair mounted with dual, rapid-fire Nerf guns may seem like overkill for playing with the kids, this setup would be quite useful in a few situations — like for startling sidewalk-hoggers into getting out of the way or discouraging the guy on the bus who just has to tell you about the one time he spent two weeks in a wheelchair. Take a minute to watch this video, and I’m sure you could think of a few more.
From airing huge gaps on snowmobiles and electric mountain bikes, to surfing the gnarliest waves in the ocean and a whole lot more, today’s adaptive adrenaline junkies are performing at levels that would’ve seemed impossible just a few years ago. While the sports are extreme, the stories behind these athletes should be familiar to many wheelchair users — it’s all about getting back to what you love.
Since hearing about the secret $25,000 Amtrak fare that a wheelchair user in Chicago happened upon last month, Ian Ruder has been dreaming about the luxuries that must come with such an exorbitant price. “I’m expecting the lap of luxury: bottle service, caviar, massages — think first-class international travel, only fancier,” he writes.
It can be easy to get discouraged about accessibility issues, but as Steve Wright says, “You can work in a collaborative, non-combative way to get local officials on your side.” Here’s everything you need to know — from educating yourself, to getting in front of the right person, to modifying your approach when plan A doesn’t work — to get your city to remove barriers and promote progressive legislation for people with disabilities.