PushNationFest.org | Push Nation Festival: People getting together in the paralysis community
Push Nation Fest is an event designed to bring the paralysis community together in one place, focused on pushing each other to learn, dream and achieve more than ever before. Featuring groundbreaking technology, captivating entertainment and hands-on workshops.
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innovation Tag

Apple Watch

Apple Watch Expected to be Wheelchair Compatible in the Near Future

By now, most of you have heard of Apple’s newest innovative creation, the Apple Watch. It’s a handy watch that has some capabilities of a phone like reading your messages, opening photos, and setting notifications, but what makes it stand out is its full capabilities of a fitness tracker! It encourages wearers to exercise and reminds them to stand up and walk around. It’s a pretty neat idea, except if you’re in a wheelchair you probably won’t be able to use the fitness tracker too much to your advantage.
Good thing Apple decided to change that. By fall of this year, the watch will get a new software update that will be compatible with wheelchair users. So instead of showing “time to stand” and getting up to walk around, the watch will show “time to roll” prompting to wheel or spin the wheelchair. And that’s not even the best part! According to Apple, the watch will also be able to track distance, speed and calories burned when you’re in a wheelchair just like if you were walking or running. Wheelchair specific workouts will also be included with the new update, which makes it easier for anyone to be a little bit healthier.
To pull this off, Apple couldn’t use the formulas used to track stand-alone fitness because new information needed to be calculated. They started from scratch and incorporated factors like different seat sizes, wheel heights, different surfaces the wheelchairs are used on, the different pushes to move a wheelchair up a ramp or through obstacles, and whether the disability was from a spinal-cord injury or muscular dystrophy. They were able to create the formulas by recruiting 300 people in wheelchairs and acquiring over 3,000 hours of activity research.
Now that the Apple Watch will be a fitness tracker for both stand-alone users and wheelchair users, it will definitely have an advantage to other fitness trackers such as Fitbit which only have stand-alone functions. This could also increase sales numbers for Apple, but Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, stated that the new update isn’t about market opportunities. “We want to make products that serve every walk of life,” said Williams in an interview with US News.


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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.