Pride Power Chair @ Wal-Mart

 

To my amazement, Wal-Mart is selling a pride wheelchair for $1,500 now. I thought this may be of help to some of you because it takes so long to get one through insurance – weeks or even months. Granted, it is a basic one without any custom features, but it will work fine for some people. My hope is that if retail stores sell them, they will become more affordable. Any thoughts/comments about it? Pride is a well -known brand too.

Pride Mobility GO-CHAIR Go-Chair - Blue

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pride-Mobility-GO-CHAIR-Go-Chair-Blue/552009207?sourceid=dsn_fb_e54b23dd-c0b6-456e-bac2-7146663107b9&veh=dsn&wmlspartner=dsn_fb_e54b23dd-c0b6-456e-bac2-7146663107b9&cn=FY20-EnP-DABA-Minimum-ROAS_pr_dps_dsn_soc_f

Wheelchair Accessible Swing

I saw this on FB this morning and my spirits soared. This swing is a dream come true for many children who are confined to wheelchairs. My wish is that all cities and towns will have a park with a swing like this one day. I hope that you watch the video and see the pure and utter joy on this boy’s face. https://5newsonline.com/2018/03/26/creekmore-park-wheelchair-swing-gaining-attention-on-social-media

 

Dad and me

This swing was the best one that I had access to in the as baby and young child.  However, I became too big to for the swing by second grade or so.

An Update Concerning My Life’s Journey

Before I get started on this update, may I take a moment to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a happy and blessed holiday season for those who celebrate Hanukah or have some other wonderful tradition!

Part of the reason that I started this blog is share my experiences as a woman with disabilities. For those who do not know, I graduated last year with a degree with a BA degree in Human Services with a major emphasis on Gerontology, older people, and people with disabilities.  I have Cerebral Palsy.  in my case, means that I am confined to a power chair. My thought/plan was that I would go to work as a social worker in a skilled nursing facility – a nursing home. I did not know that almost all human service jobs require both a driver’s license and the ability to perform CPR and other first aid. Although I have requested accommodation for these, it has not resulted in a long-term job.  I have had 2 very short-term jobs, one at an adult family home and another as a fingerprinting clerk. Neither job gave me much of a chance to succeed at it. I worked with the older ladies for four shifts. They were more happy watching T.V., than having me there. However, the youngest client was 87 years young; they felt as though I was bugging them. As for the fingerprinting job, the powers that be felt that I was not fast enough to keep up. These experiences caused me to re-think my plans. I am now enrolled in a Master’s program for Marriage & Family Therapy. So far, I have maintained an “A” average for my Master’s classes. In February, I will begin classes through NAMI, The National Alliance of Mental Illness for peer to peer support.

This program allows people who have successfully dealt with mental illness e.g. depression, anxiety etc. to help someone that is new to the behavioral/mental health system. I will act as mentor to them. Ten weeks of training will be required, but I am looking forward to this opportunity very much. I have always wanted a job/career that I would be able help people improve the quality of life of others. It is a great feeling to know that I made lives better in these difficult times.

As you see, there is still much work to do before people with disabilities get the employment opportunities as others. I think of it like the Olympics, we must be outstanding at the job to get the same opportunity to work. Yes, there are anti-discrimination laws in place, BUT, there is something called “At Will Employment.” Simply put, this means that a boss in 49 out of 50 states has the right to terminate anyone with or without cause, something that I have learned because of my years in school.Getting ready for graduation 2016

Know your Rights – My Story

air-plane-22436028

Last December, I flew back with my husband and daughter for Christmas to see our family in California. Everything went fine on the day we arrived. It was December 23rd. So near to Christmas, I had prepared myself for challenges and delays that day. However, except for the TV not working in our motel room everything worked out fine. Even that problem worked out to our benefit because we were upgraded to bigger room for no extra cost! Kudos to Super 8!

Before I go any further, let me explain some of the major challenges I have flying anywhere! This is why I have taken to the friendly skies only five times in my 51 years! I need assistance to board and deplane the aircraft. You all know how incredibly narrow the aisle is on the plane. I cannot afford first class, so I have to plan  every detail of the trip well in advance. I can’t book a seat with a site such as Priceline either because I am required to make arrangements through my chosen airline. On a 737, aisle 6 is just behind first class; these seats have a bit of extra leg room, and I don’t have to be in that aisle chair too long. I also have the worry that that my $22,000 power chair is being treated with care because that chair has become a part of me, for it is my independence. Without it, I am stuck in bed! I have seem how the luggage is treated, so that is a major concern.

On the return trip, things begin to go wrong. We had a layover in Seattle before we caught our much shorter flight home, but our connecting flight was delayed. OK, I had a sense of foreboding, but I said a prayer and tried to put it out of my mind. We were also informed that we had been moved from aisle 6 to 13. I should have followed my instinct and insisted on my original seat. Not wishing to make a scene, I did not say much, in spite of my growing sense of unease. Getting into my seat was a good deal more difficult this time. I had to fight off an anxiety attack as my pants kept catching on the arms of the seats. However, I just kept thinking that I would be home soon.

We landed about an hour late, so it was 11, not 10 PM. Deplaning was a complete nightmare! They had a skeleton crew left to assist me, and they had no idea how to work together. I kept telling them that I was not seated on the chair well. My right pant leg was hanging up on each seat as went by at a snail’s pace. As they tried, unsuccessfully, to adjust me in the chair, they were talking to me as though I was a 5-year-old, without my mommy. Their cheer leading did nothing to keep my pants up, my underwear from showing or my frazzled nerves in check. It took over an hour to get me off the plane. I didn’t quite fall, my socks slid off my feet as they dragged on the tarmac. I was glad that my husband had the blanket ready for me. I needed to regain some degree of modesty, and I needed its warmth because it was literally freezing outside.

I will give them credit, my chair was there and intact, for the most part. I should have advocated for myself!  But I wanted to tell all of you that each airline are required to assist any person who requires it.

The Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel and requires air carriers to accommodate the needs of passengers with disabilities. In 1990 The Department of Transportation issued a rule defining the rights of passengers and the obligations of air carriers under this law. The following is a summary of the main points of the DOT rule (Title 14 CFR, Part 382). For more detailed information, here is the site:

http://www.disabilitytravel.com/airlines/air_carrier_act.htm

 

 

The Argonault

The very name of this chair sounds very space age; we are getting closer and closer to Star Trek and Jetsonian technology daily. This new  chair for is called the Argonault. It is only in the prototype stage. However, I can tell you that sitting in a chair usually makes makes a person much shorter than the average adult. It would be fantastic to have a chair that could raise up to a freezer or a high shelf. From the prototype animation, it also looks like you can roll onto it from the bed; this makes it much easier for the person with a disability  and/or the caregiver A Hoyer lift may not be necessary!  Arguably,  the most jaw dropping feature is the base that acts as its own ramp! You have to see it to believe it! I don’t have a photo to show all of you, but there are links  for you to look at below:  http://www.argonault.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik286spRM1w

With people living longer, the cost of the assistive technology just has to come down. It is a quality 0f life issue. Study after study shows that people, if given a choice, people overwelmingly feel that a higher quality of life means more than longevity of life!