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On the Blog

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New Adaptoys by Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and 360i

The Reeve Foundation and 360i have partnered to build a new kind of toy accessible for people with disabilities. These toys are intended for adults, such as parents and family members, who are living with paralysis to be able to play with the children in their life. The Reeve Foundation wants to make sure that all family members are able to join in on the fun and create meaningful moments with their families.

The toys will be owned and licensed by digital marketing agency 360i, who is crowdfunding to create Adaptoys. The Adaptoys will be donated to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis.

There will be an Adaptoy Race Car that runs on sip-and-puff technology that allows the user to suck or blow air through a straw to move it forwards or backwards and make it turn left or right with a tilt of the head using motion sensors attached to a headset. Another Adaptoy in the works will be a voice-activated pitching system that will pitch a ball by simply saying “pitch.” If the initial fundraising goal of 100 Adaptoy Race Cars is met, the Reeve Foundation will select individuals living with paralysis to receive the Adaptoy for free! Individuals can easily register for this opportunity by registering online at adaptoys.org.

Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who is now paralyzed after his 2010 game, and Donna Lowich, a grandmother of three, have the chance to test the toys out and talk about what it means to be able to play with their loved ones again. In an interview with PEOPLE magazine LeGrand says “Playtime is more than just toys. It’s the memories of having fun with your family.”

So many people and even companies are unaware of the restrictions and challenges that exist as a result of paralysis.  Everyone deserves to be a part of playtime, and this is an incredible opportunity to raise awareness on this issue and help everyone play without limits. The Reeve Foundation hopes to inspire others with this campaign and that they will join them in producing Adaptoys on a larger scale.

If the goal for the initial 100 Adaptoy R/C Race Cars isn’t met, all funds will be donated to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. All contributions will still have an important and tangible impact to improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis.







What You Should Know About Air Travel and Accessibility

The Miami Herald recently published an article on the hassle air travel can be for wheelchair users. Although the government passed the Air Carrier Access Act, to prevent any discrimination on the basis of disability in air travel, there are still many limitations to the law that apply on aircrafts.
Take Malcolm Cumming, who cares for his wife, Deborah Livesey, who has multiple sclerosis and has been in a wheelchair for twenty years. In his interview with the Miami Herald, Cumming explained that about two years ago he accidentally broke his wife’s arm trying to get her into a lavatory that was not accessible during a flight to San Antonio, even though the symbol was on the door. He thought it would be safe to help Livesey in by holding her under her arms and pulling her in backward. However, the entrance was too narrow and her arm bone subsequently cracked as a result.
The Department of Transportation explained that aircrafts with more than one aisle are used for longer flights and transport the greatest number of people. They believe that disabled passengers will be more likely to need an accessible lavatory. Even then, most domestic flights, even across the country, are in a single-aisle aircraft. Unlike disabled-accessible bathrooms in buildings, which must have a diameter of at least 60 inches, airplane lavatories do not have to meet specific dimension requirements.
Wheelchair user and executive director of the Disability Resource Agency for Independent Living Barry Smith explained to the Miami Herald he’s been on flights lasting more than eight hours and most have been on a single-aisle aircraft. Smith uses a catheter when he travels and said that even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t be able to access the lavatories on an aircraft.
Fortunately, it seems that changes could be in the works. Earlier this month, the Department of Transportation announced its intention to establish a committee to negotiate proposed amendments to disability regulations. The department spokeswoman, Caitlin Harvey said the committee will consider three issues, including whether to require an accessible lavatory on single-aisle aircraft over a certain size.
Sources: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article73733637.html


Meet Our Sponsors: United Spinal Association

We are proud to welcome the United Spinal Association as a sponsor of Push Nation Fest 2016! United Spinal Association is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including veterans, and providing support and information to loved ones, care providers and professionals. Since 1946, their goal has been to offer people living with SCI/D programs and services that maximize their independence and enable them to remain active in their communities. They believe no person should be excluded from opportunity on the basis of their disability.

Stop by their booth at Push Nation Fest on April 22nd & 23rd to meet the people behind United Spinal Association and find out more about what they can do!


Get moving with adaptive sports at Push Nation Fest!

Ever wondered what it’s like to try an adaptive sport? Well this might be your chance! Push Nation Fest is glad to welcome various adaptive athletes to show their talent and even teach attendees a thing or two.

Arielle Rausin, or “Racin Rausin”, is all about racing (in case you couldn’t tell). Atfer she was paralyzed in a car accident at the age of ten her mother, K. D. Rausin, taught her to chase her dreams, wheelchair or no wheelchair, and that her strength comes from within. In seventh grade, Arielle completed her first 5k with her school track team. When she wanted to continue racing for her high school team, she was told she wasn’t allowed due to her condition.

At that time, the Florida High School Athletic Association did not recognize adaptive sports, but that didn’t stop Arielle from chasing her dreams of racing. Arielle advocated for herself and with the help of the community, Loretta Purish and Lew Friedland, the FHSAA developed an adaptive track program in 2010 for high school athletes across Florida. Arielle is now a student athlete at the University of Illinois with the wheelchair racing team.

Don’t miss this courageous racer’s knowledge! She’ll be providing attendees with the ins and outs of wheelchair track racing.





Exciting news for the Camargo Family and Stay In Step!

Wheels for Warriors, will be donating a Dodge Power Master Work Van to the Camargo family and Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center, April 23 at the Push Nation Fest. It’s such a great honor to have such amazing organizations come together for a great cause at our event!

­Wheels for Warriors­ is a program through Operation Support Our Troops, Inc. that strives to provide wounded soldiers and their families with adaptive vehicles. Since it was founded in 2006, Wheels for Warriors has presented 33 adaptive vehicles to wounded soldiers.

Wheel for Warriors won’t be the only one with adaptive vehicles at our event. The Mobility Van Store will also be showcasing a few of their adaptive vehicles throughout the Push Nation Fest weekend. So don’t forget to stop by and take a look!

Stay In Steps’ Journey

Rumolo “Romy” Camargo was in the Special Forces touring Afghanistan when he was injured; a bullet hit the back of his neck and left him paralyzed from the neck down in 2008. Despite the doctors’ expectations and his battle to live, Romy was able to make an impressive recovery. When he returned home, he became unstoppable. He didn’t let his paralysis stop him from raising money for charities, delivering inspirational speeches, and even traveling to Project Walk in Orlando for therapy throughout the week. With the support and help of his wife Gaby Camargo, now Founder and Director of Stay In Step, they envisioned a facility that was more accessible for them and others like them in Tampa. “A center that you can go and guarantee your rehab and at the same time giving the same opportunity to the rest of the community living with spinal cord injury.” Gaby remembers saying.

On June 20th 2015, Stay In Step Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center opened its doors to military and civilian SCI patients thanks to the donation from Toyota Motor North America. The non-profit recovery center provides state of the art recovery equipment to SCI patients in the Tampa, FL community and surrounding areas. Stay In Step has also received generous donations from Haley VA Medical Center and The University of South Florida. Stay In Step has combined the Civilian and Veteran community’s with injuries and the people that care for them through a combination of physical therapy, close-knit support groups, and mental strength-training. The 4500 sq. ft. recovery center is the only one of its kind in Tampa.


Get ready to laugh with Comedian Bill Zapf

You definitely don’t want to miss out on non-stop laughs during this year’s comedy show with Rolling Comic Bill Zapf at the annual Push Nation Fest.

Bill has always had a love for comedy and making people laugh his entire life! After his hockey accident, he didn’t let that stop him from continuing to do one of the things he loved. He’s won numerous comedy competitions including Tampa Improv’s 2014 “Clash if the Comics” and worked with other great comedians such as Jim Breuer, Josh Blue, and Carl Labove. He even became Rosie O’Donnell’s opener when she came down to the Sunshine State! And you’ve probably heard him on SiriusXM Radio before.

“I see things a little differently,” he says. His material ranges from his edgy approach towards his disability and his life as a father of 5 as well as a husband. He’ll even answer all those questions you were too scared to ask, but are dying to hear! So don’t miss out this rolling comic’s performance’s at the Push Nation Fest April 22, 2016 at 6pm!