Monday, March 20, 2017

Movin' On Up with Upsee

The Upsee is a mobility device with which a child goes through the motions of walking while attached to an adult's legs. This helps children with neuromuscular disorders practice weight-bearing. Sold by Firefly, the $499 Upsee kit includes a child harness (four sizes from which to choose), an adult waist belt, child and adult sandals, and a therapy booklet. Firefly will give a full refund to dissatisfied parents if the kit is returned in its original condition within 42 days. For more information and photos of kids using the Upsee, go to

A girl using the Upsee

Monday, March 13, 2017

Travis Roy: Changed in 11 Seconds

Travis Roy became paralyzed from the neck down by cracking his fourth and fifth cervical vertebra after crashing into the side of the Boston University rink 11 seconds into his first college hockey game on October 20, 1995. Less a year later, Roy returned to Boston University from which he graduated with a public relations degree in 2000. With help from E.M. Swift of Sports Illustrated, Roy wrote his autobiography Eleven Seconds in 1997. He also established the Travis Roy Foundation, which focuses on finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and provides grants to survivors in need. Today, Roy is a motivational speaker; he was the opening ceremony speaker at the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Chicago earlier this month. For more information on Roy, go to

Image result for hockey

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Time in Durham, North Carolina

Last week, I spent a few days with my dad's side of the family in Durham, North Carolina. On the way to and from Durham, my parents and I stayed overnight at the Holiday Inn Express in Hardeeville, South Carolina. I was impressed with our room because it appeared to be designed for a wheelchair user. The thermostat, outlets, microwave, and refrigerator were all at a height I could reach. As common with accessible hotel rooms, there was a grab bar by the toilet in the bathroom and ample room for me to maneuver in my power chair.

While in Durham, my parents and I stayed in an accessible room at SpringHill Suites by Marriott. The tables in the breakfast area contained middle posts, making it difficult for me to sit underneath them with my wheelchair. This was also the case at the Holiday Inn Express. Our first night in Durham, my family and I had dinner in nearby Cary at Tribeca Tavern, which I had to enter through the back door because the front entrance wasn't accessible. I also had to go through the back door to get to the elevator in my uncle's apartment building. My family and I visited the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, which was very interesting. The entrance ramp and elevator enabled me to see all three floors of the museum.

The ADA compliance in the establishments I visited made my North Carolina trip more enjoyable. Traveling is possible with a wheelchair.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Butterfly Dreams

Butterfly Dreams is a children's book by Leslie Montali in which a girl who uses a wheelchair is able to do whatever she wants in her dreams. The book was inspired by the author's 13-year-old daughter Ashtyn, who has cerebral palsy. Butterfly Dreams is also the name of the non-profit organization that Leslie and her husband Adam founded to provide equipment and financial assistance to children with special needs and their families. For more information, including how to order a copy of Butterfly Dreams, go to

Monday, February 20, 2017


Five years ago, Matia Robotics began selling a mobility platform called Tek RMD for people with paraplegia and other walking disabilities. Tek RMD, which stands for Robotic Mobilization Device, makes it possible for its user to go from a sitting position to standing on his or her two feet and then move around indoors. The battery-operated device comes with a remote control to aid movement and belts that wrap around the user. A significant amount of hand and arm strength are necessary to use Tek RMD. For more information and to watch videos of how Tek RMD works, go to

Friday, February 17, 2017

Peaceful Fruits

Peaceful Fruits is a social good company that sells fruit strips. These fruit strips are unique in that each of them is made of more than 25 acai berries harvested in the Amazon rainforest and mixed with other fruits such as apple or pineapple. The fruit strips are made, packaged, and shipped by a team of people with developmental and other disabilities in Akron, Ohio. Peaceful Fruits founder and CEO Evan Delahanty, a former Peace Corps volunteer, presented his product on Shark Tank a week ago. Even though none of the Sharks made an investment in his company, Delahanty should be commended for his efforts. To learn more about this company and order some fruit strips, go to

Image result for acai 
Acai berries

Monday, February 13, 2017

Glimmer: A Dating App for People with Disabilities

Glimmer ( is a dating and friendship app intended to make people with disabilities feel more comfortable about revealing their handicaps. They have the option to select their disability from a list and have it included in their profile. Entrepreneur Geoffrey Anderson was inspired by his brother (who has a cognitive impairment) to create Glimmer, which people without disabilities can use as well. For more information on Glimmer, go to