Tag Archives: spinal cord Injury

New England Disabled Sports: Winter Activities

About New England Disabled Sports
New England DisAbled Sports is a national recognized program which provides year round adaptive sport instruction to adults and children with physical and cognitive disAbilities.

Their programs allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy a boundary-free environment, enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family, as well as provide access to equipment and instruction that might otherwise be unavailable.

Their Mission:
The Mission of New England Disabled Sports is, through sports, to change lives affected by disabilities. Download New England Disabled Sports brochure

Their Vision:
They envision a world where disabilities are not barriers.

Their Values:

  • They embrace volunteerism
  • They foster community
  • They strive for excellence
  • They listen to and learn from everyone
  • They nurture personal development through high-quality training and instruction
  • They strive for diversity

Winter Activities

Alpine Skiing

Mono skiing
The mono ski is a device used mainly by people with limited use (or absence) of the lower extremities. A mono ski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern mono skis interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a “ski foot,” a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski’s binding. A mono skier use outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a mono ski; advanced mono skiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

Bi-skiing
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance. People with these impairments might bi-ski:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputees
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Spinal bifida
  • Severe balance impairment

Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance.

3-Track & 4-Track skiing
3 track skiing is defined as skiing on one ski with outriggers to maintain balance. The student is able to stand on one ski and maintain dynamic balance with the assistance of outriggers (poles). 4 track skiing is very similar to 3 track but the skier has 2 feet on skies, rather than one.

Visually Impaired
Alpine (downhill) skiing is one of the rare opportunities available that allows the blind individual to move freely at speed through time and space. It provides the opportunity to embrace and commune with the primal force of gravity, thus experiencing the sheer exhilaration of controlled mass in motion, in a physically independent setting.

For those with Visual Impairment, a sighted Guide is needed. For lesser impairment the guide may simply need to ski a short distance in front of the skier to show the way. Skiers with greater vision loss or who are totally blind will generally ski using a headset arrangement to give audible instruction.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding has become very popular with New England DisAbled Sports students. People with cognitive or physical disAbilities are able to participate and experience the thrills of riding the mountain. The number of snowboarding lessons increases each year as the sport grows in popularity within our community. New England DisAbled Sports offers ski and snowboard lessons daily throughout the winter season.

Snowshoeing
Come explore the snow trails and fresh air of the mountains covered in snow while snowshoeing. Enjoy a winter hike in the woods from the more stable base of snowshoes. Take in peaceful scenery while working to improve your physical fitness level, balance and spatial awareness. You’ll love it!

Winter Biathlon
A seemingly unlikely combination of events – one is an aerobic activity (skiing or running) which requires strength, speed and endurance; the other is a passive activity (shooting) which requires concentration and a steady hand (difficult after you’ve been skiing, running or walking all out!).

New England DisAbled Sports: Winter Activities

New Englands Disabled Sports- Winter Activities

About New England DisAbled Sports
New England DisAbled Sports is a national recognized program which provides year round adaptive sport instruction to adults and children with physical and cognitive disAbilities.

Their programs allow individuals with disAbilities to enjoy a boundary-free environment, enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family, as well as provide access to equipment and instruction that might otherwise be unavailable.

Their Mission:
The Mission of New England DisAbled Sports is, through sports, to change lives affected by disAbilities. Download New England DisAbled Sports brochure

Their Vision:
They envision a world where disAbilities are not barriers.

Their Values:

  • They embrace volunteerism
  • They foster community
  • They strive for excellence
  • They listen to and learn from everyone
  • They nurture personal development through high-quality training and instruction
  • They strive for diversity

Winter Activities

Alpine Skiing

Mono skiing
The mono ski is a device used mainly by people with limited use (or absence) of the lower extremities. A mono ski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern mono skis interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a “ski foot,” a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski’s binding. A mono skier use outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a mono ski; advanced mono skiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

Bi-skiing
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance. People with these impairments might bi-ski:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputees
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Spinal bifida
  • Severe balance impairment

Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance.

3-Track & 4-Track skiing
3 track skiing is defined as skiing on one ski with outriggers to maintain balance. The student is able to stand on one ski and maintain dynamic balance with the assistance of outriggers (poles). 4 track skiing is very similar to 3 track but the skier has 2 feet on skies, rather than one.

Visually Impaired
Alpine (downhill) skiing is one of the rare opportunities available that allows the blind individual to move freely at speed through time and space. It provides the opportunity to embrace and commune with the primal force of gravity, thus experiencing the sheer exhilaration of controlled mass in motion, in a physically independent setting.

For those with Visual Impairment, a sighted Guide is needed. For lesser impairment the guide may simply need to ski a short distance in front of the skier to show the way. Skiers with greater vision loss or who are totally blind will generally ski using a headset arrangement to give audible instruction.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding has become very popular with New England DisAbled Sports students. People with cognitive or physical disAbilities are able to participate and experience the thrills of riding the mountain. The number of snowboarding lessons increases each year as the sport grows in popularity within our community. New England DisAbled Sports offers ski and snowboard lessons daily throughout the winter season.

Snowshoeing
Come explore the snow trails and fresh air of the mountains covered in snow while snowshoeing. Enjoy a winter hike in the woods from the more stable base of snowshoes. Take in peaceful scenery while working to improve your physical fitness level, balance and spatial awareness. You’ll love it!

Winter Biathlon
A seemingly unlikely combination of events – one is an aerobic activity (skiing or running) which requires strength, speed and endurance; the other is a passive activity (shooting) which requires concentration and a steady hand (difficult after you’ve been skiing, running or walking all out!).

 

Keep Newey Mobile!

Join us at our Mobility Center this Saturday to help Keep Newey Mobile

Keep Newey Mobile - VMi New England

This event – a Craft and Vendor Fair is being held by the Bridgewater Community Lions Club to benefit the Keep Newey Mobile Campaign.

The Keep Newey Mobile Campaign is a fundraising effort for Josh Newey of Bridgewater, MA. This was created to raise funds to replace his current mobility van; a rusty and unreliable ’99 Caravan with 210,000 miles! We welcome your participation by attending this event, and/or through online donations.


Bridgewater Lions Club
When:
Saturday, October 19, 2013
10 AM -3 PM

Where:
VMi New England Mobility Center
1000 Main Street
Bridgewater, MA


Vendors:

Silpada, Tastefully Simple, Mary Kay, Lia Sophia, Thirty- One, Pampered Chef, and Scentsy.
There will also be various crafters.

_________________________________________________

Josh’s Story

Growing up in a rural town in western Massachusetts, Josh always loved adventure and the outdoors. He was an active member of the Boy Scouts and a motorsports enthusiast. Josh couldn’t get enough of go-karts, snowmobiles, dirt-bikes, radio controlled toys, tractors, trucks, and anything else with a motor! Some of Josh’s favorite projects as a child and teen included rebuilding small engines and restoring snowmobiles. Josh attended a vocational-agricultural high school and was planning a career in equipment operation, maintenance and repair.

January 11th 1997 is the day Josh describes as the “best and worst day of his life”. Josh was 19 years old and in northern Vermont doing one of his favorite activities, snowmobiling with friends. As nighttime approached and the weather turned poor, visibility was low. Unfamiliar with the trails, and trying to maintain pace with the others in the group Josh came to a bend in the trail and was not able to make the turn quickly enough. He went off the trail and his head collided with a tree branch, breaking his neck and compromising his spinal cord. Josh also suffered a severe compound leg fracture. Josh’s accident was far out in the woods and although he never lost consciousness, it was only because of exhausting efforts by some of the others he was riding with that his life was saved. They knocked on doors seeking a phone to call for emergency help while others stayed behind to stabilize Josh. With the help of good Samaritan locals using a ladder as a backboard, he was carried to the back of a pickup truck, and transported to a location where an ambulance could finally take him to the hospital.

After being diagnosed with a C5/6 incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI), Josh was left a quadriplegic. He has paralysis from the chest down, with limited use of his arms and hands. He spent 4 months in acute rehabilitation learning to care for himself, transfer to and from his wheelchair, and how to embrace this new lifestyle. He moved to the South Shore of MA to live with his father so he could be closer to the medical resources he needed including outpatient therapy. The next several years were spent striving towards living an independent life again. After 3 years and some generous donations, Josh was physically as well as financially ready to drive again with the use of an accessible van and hand controls. The very same van we’re trying to replace with this campaign. (After 13 years & 206,000 miles it has served him well but it is used up!)

Josh attended Bridgewater State College and graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. He was a member of the Peer Leadership Program, the Public Relations Student Society of America, and he managed the swim team. He later returned to school for a post-baccalaureate certificate in Graphic and Web Design.

Today,  36-year-old Josh lives on his own in Bridgewater MA., works part-time as a marketing specialist, and strives to lead an active, healthy lifestyle. He is completely independent and a social creature by nature. Josh enjoys live music, traveling, visiting with friends and family, and anything related to motorsports!

Josh is an amazing human being who has overcome so many obstacles while maintaining a positive, upbeat attitude. He takes every day as it comes and his favorite expression is “Let the Good Times Roll”.

National Disability Employment Awareness Timeline

National Disability Employment Awareness Month TimelineThis year’s theme is “Because We are EQUAL to the Task.” This theme mirrors the reality that people with disabilities have the talent, education, desire, training, and experience to be successful in the workplace.

Spinal Cord Injury Information – Will You Stand For Those Who Can’t?

Spinal Cord Injury Facts & Statistics

Who Do Spinal Cord Injuries Affect in the United States?
  • 250,000 Americans are spinal cord injured.
  • 52% of spinal cord injured individuals are considered paraplegic and 47% quadriplegic.
  • Approximately 11,000 new injuries occur each year.
  • 82% are male.
  • 56% of injuries occur between the ages of 16 and 30.
  • The average age of spinal cord injured person is 31.
  • SCI injuries are most commonly caused by:
    • Vehicular accidents 37%
    • Violence 28%
    • Falls 21%
    • Sports-related 6%
    • Other 8%
  • The most rapidly increasing cause of injuries is due to violence; vehicular accident injuries are decreasing in number.
  • 89% of all SCI individuals are discharged from hospitals to a private home, 4.3% are discharged to nursing homes.
  • Only 52% of SCI individuals are covered by private health insurance at time of injury.

What Do Spinal Cord Injuries Really Cost?
  • Length of initial hospitalization following injury in acute care units: 15 days
  • Average stay in rehabilitation unit: 44 days
  • Initial hospitalization costs following injury: $140,000
  • Average first year expenses for a SCI injury (all groups): $198,000
  • First year expenses for paraplegics: $152,000
  • First year expenses for quadriplegics: $417,000
  • Average lifetime costs for paraplegics, age of injury 25: $428,000
  • Average lifetime costs for quadriplegics, age of injury 25: $1.35 million
  • Percentage of SCI individuals who are covered by private health insurance at time of injury 52%
  • Percentage of SCI individuals unemployed eight years after injury 63%. (Note: unemployment rate when this article was written was 4.7%)
 Source: The University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center – March 2002

Number of New Injuries Per Year
32 injuries per million population or 7800 injuries in the US each year

Most researchers feel that these numbers represent significant under- reporting. Injuries not recorded include cases where the patient instantaneously or soon after the injury, cases with little or no remaining neurological deficit, and people who have neurologic problems secondary to trauma, but are not classified as SCI. Researchers estimate that an additional 20 cases per million (4860 per year) die before reaching the hospital.

Total Number of People with SCI
  • 82% male, 18% female
  • Highest per capita rate of injury occurs between ages 16-30
  • Average age at injury – 33.4
  • Median age at injury – 26
  • Mode (most frequent) age at injury 19
  • Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCI (44%), followed by acts of violence (24%),falls (22%) and sports (8%), other (2%)
  • 2/3 of sports injuries are from diving
  • Falls overtake motor vehicles as leading cause after age 45
  • Acts of violence and sports cause less injuries as age increases
  • Acts of violence have overtaken falls as the second most common source of spinal cord injury
  • Marital status at injury:
    • Single 53%
    • Married 31%
    • Divorced 9%
    • Other 7%
  • 5 years post-injury:
    • 88% of single people with SCI were still single vs. 65% of the non-SCI population
    • 81% of married people with SCI were still married vs. 89% of the non-SCI population
  • Employment status among persons between 16 and 59 years of age at injury:
    • Employed 58.8%
    • Unemployed 41.2%
      (includes: students, retired, and homemakers)
  • Employed 8 years post-injury:
    • Paraplegic 34.4%
    • Quadriplegic 24.3%

People who return to work in the first year post-injury usually return to the same job for the same employer. People who return to work after the first year post-injury either worked for different employers or were students who found work.

How are spinal injuries caused?
Until the most recent figures were released by NSCIA in August, 1995, these were considered as the major causes of spinal cord injuries. See Answer to # 4 and Dr. Wise Youngís statistics in Section 2 for all the most recent demographics. One of the most surprising findings is that acts of violence have now overtaken falls as the second most common source of spinal cord injury,  as of the 1995 findings.

Previous To 1995:

  • Motor vehicles 48%
  • Falls 21%
  • Sports 14% (66% of which are caused in diving accidents)
  • Violence 15%
  • Other 2%

The Injury

Since 1988, 45% of all injuries have been complete, 55% incomplete. Complete injuries result in total loss of sensation and function below the injury level. Incomplete injuries result in partial loss. “Complete” does not necessarily mean the cord has been severed. Each of the above categories can occur in paraplegia and quadriplegia.

Except for the incomplete-Preserved motor (functional), no more than 0.9% fully recover, although all can improve from the initial diagnosis.

Overall, slightly more than 1/2 of all injuries result in quadriplegia. However, the proportion of quadriplegics increase markedly after age 45, comprising 2/3 of all injuries after age 60 and 87% of all injuries after age 75.

92% of all sports injuries result in quadriplegia.

Most people with neurologically complete lesions above C-3 die before receiving medical treatment. Those who survive are usually dependent on mechanical respirators to breathe.

50% of all cases have other injuries associated with the spinal cord injury.

Most Frequent Neurological Category
Quadriplegia, incomplete 31.2%
Paraplegia, complete 28.2%
Paraplegia, incomplete 23.1%
Quadriplegia, complete 17.5%

 

Hospitalization
(Important: This section applies only to individuals who were admitted to one of the hospitals designated as “Model” SCI centers by the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research.)

Over 37% of all cases admitted to the Spinal Cord Injury System sponsored by the NIDRR arrive within 24 hours of injury. The mean time between injury and admission is 6 days.

Only 10-15% of all people with injuries are admitted to the NIDRR SCI system. The remainder go to CARF facilities or to general hospitals in their local community.

It is now known that the length of stay and hospital charges for acute care and initial rehabilitation are higher for cases where admission to the SCI system is delayed beyond 24 hours. Average length of stay (1992):
Quadriplegics 95 days
Paraplegics 67 days
All 79 days

Average charges (1990 dollars) Note: Specific cases are considerably higher.
Quadriplegics $118,900
Paraplegics $ 85,100
All $ 99,553

Source of payment acute care:
Private Insurance 53%
Medicaid 25%
Self-pay 1%
Vocational Rehab 14%
Worker’s Comp 12%
Medicare 5%
Other 2%

Ongoing medical care: (Many people have more than one source of payment.)
Private Insurance 43%
Medicare 25%
Self-pay 2%
Medicaid 31%
Worker’s Compensation 11%
Vocational Rehab 16%

After the Hospital
Residence at discharge
Private Residence 92%
Nursing Home 4%
Other Hospital 2%
Group Home 2%

There is no apparent relationship between severity of injury and nursing home admission, indicating that admission is caused by other factors (i.e. family can’t take care of person, medical complications, etc.) Nursing home admission is more common among elderly persons.

Each year 1/3 to 1/2 of all people with SCI are re-admitted to the hospital. There is no difference in the rate of re-admissions between persons with paraplegia and quadriplegia, but there is a difference between the rate for those with complete and incomplete injuries.


Survival
Overall, 85% of SCI patients who survive the first 24 hours are still alive 10 years later, compared with 98% of the non-SCI population given similar age and sex.

Causes of Death
The most common cause of death is respiratory ailment, whereas, in the past it was renal failure. An increasing number of people with SCI are dying of unrelated causes such as cancer or cardiovascular disease, similar to that of the general population. Mortality rates are significantly higher during the first year after injury than during subsequent years.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Every 48 minutes someone in the U.S. is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury.  Millions worldwide are living with paralysis as a result and living with the knowledge that there is currently no cure for their injury.

In an effort to raise awareness about the critical need for better treatments and preventive measures, September has been designated National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month by the U.S. Senate, the result of a resolution co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).  To bolster the resolution’s message, we are launching an awareness campaign lasting the entire month of September.

The goal of the campaign is to ask “Will You Stand Up For Those Who Can’t?”  The intent is to create a national conversation about the devastation of paralysis, and to bring this condition to the forefront of public awareness.

“Paralysis does not discriminate.  People need to realize that paralysis can happen to anyone at any time,” said Nick Buoniconti.  “But the reality of today’s statistics can’t be disputed.  Every 48 minutes another person in the U.S. will become paralyzed. That is simply unacceptable. Each of us must do what we can to make a difference.  I am personally asking you, will you stand up for those who can’t and do one or more of the following?”

We are asking our friends and supporters to:

Make a donation in honor of a loved one, caregiver, scientist or organization who is working to improve the life of those injured.  If you would like to host a small fundraising party at your house, please email bfinfo@med.miami.edu and we will send you more information.

“The inspiring work of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has touched the lives of millions of young athletes, accident victims and troops in harm’s way and I commend them for it,” said Sen. Rubio. “By designating September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, I hope we can further educate the public about how crippling accidents can be prevented while promoting the important work being done to help victims walk again.”

September has been designated by Congress as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

september has been designated by congress as national spinal cord injury awareness month newenglandwheelchairvan.com

September has been designated by Congress as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month. Sponsored by Sen. Mark Rubio of Florida, the resolution notes:

  • the estimated 1,275,000 individuals in the United States who live with a spinal cord injury (SCI) cost society billions of dollars in health-care costs and lost wages;
  • an estimated 100,000 of those individuals are veterans who suffered the spinal cord injury while serving as members of the United States Armed Forces;
  • every 48 minutes a person will become paralyzed, underscoring the urgent need to develop new neuroprotection, pharmacological, and regeneration treatments to reduce, prevent, and reverse paralysis; and
  • increased education and investment in research are key factors in improving outcomes for victims of spinal cord injuries, improving the quality of life of victims, and ultimately curing paralysis.

“Paralyzed Veterans of America is passionate about its commitment to increasing awareness, supporting research to find a cure and advocating for exceptional quality of care for patients with spinal cord injury/disorders

Research into treating or finding a way to reverse paralysis from spinal cord injury is often expensive and hard to come by, involving specialized equipment and staff that many hospitals and research centers cannot afford. Government funding and support, as well as that of the private sector, will be crucial in the search for a treatment for paralysis.

Paralyzed Veterans of America has since its inception supported research in spinal cord science as well as educational initiatives to improve the lives of individuals with spinal cord injury—more than $100 million into research that promises new therapies, treatments and potential cures for paralysis. Top researchers supported by Paralyzed Veterans now confidently speak of a cure.

Abilities Expo Boston September 20-22

Abilities Expo  Boston September 20-22

boston abilities expo event for people with abilities september-20-22 vminnewengland.com

BOSTON, August 24, 2013 /VMiNewswire/ — VMi New England’s community of people with disabilities—which also includes families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and healthcare professionals—welcomes the much-anticipated return of the Abilities Expo Boston on September 20-22, 2013 at The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Admission is free.

Abilities Expo Boston will take place in Boston, United States Of America for three consecutive days. In this international trade show latest and advanced disAbility products and services will be given supreme importance. The main purpose of this expo is to make the  people aware of the developmental changes which are taking place in this sector. At the same time this event will provide relevant and useful information to the disabled and senior individuals.
Abilities Expo Boston is a must attend event for the caregivers, healthcare professionals and the eminent experts related to this field. In this event they will get a chance to share their knowledge and experience with each other in this trade show.

Boston Abilities Expo September 20-22 2013

Boston Abilities Expo September 20-22

boston abilities expo event for people with abilities september-20-22 vminnewengland.com

For almost as long as we’ve been servicing and selling wheelchair vans , The Abilities Expo has been improving the lives of Americans with disAbilities, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals. This unique forum features three days of cutting-edge products and services, compelling workshops, fun-for-the-whole-family activities and has become the leading event for the community of people with disabilities (PWDs).

Abilities Expo reaches out to all ages and all sectors of the Community including wounded veterans, persons recovering from immobilizing accidents, seniors with age-related health concerns, children with disabilities, individuals with mobility and spinal issues, people who have vision and hearing impairments, people with developmental disabilities and many more. Whether your challenges are mild or severe, this is your event.

Exhibitor Profile

Automobiles, van/conversions – Assistive technologies – Bathroom equipment – Beds, furnishings & accessories – Chairs & accessories – Clothing & apparel – Daily living aids – Durable medical equipment – Exercise, recreational, sports equipment & services – Home medical equipment & services – Incontinence products – Insurance & insurance services – Legal services – Publications – Ramps/lifts – Rehabilitative care/services – Residential programs – Seating/positioning systems & accessories – Travel & hospitality services – Wheelchairs, scooters & walkers

Boston Abilities Expo– Event for People with Abilities–Makes Boston Debut September 20-22

Abilities Expo–the Nation’s Leading Event for People with Abilities–Boston September 20-22

boston abilities expo event for people with abilities september-20-22 vminnewengland.com

BOSTON, August 22, 2013 /VMiNewswire/ — VMi New England’s community of people with disabilities—which also includes families, caregivers, seniors, wounded veterans and healthcare professionals—welcomes the much-anticipated return of the Abilities Expo Boston on September 20-22, 2013 at The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Admission is free.

Abilities Expo has enjoyed tremendous success in bringing life-enhancing products and services, education, resources and fun to people with disabilities in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta and San Jose each year.

The Abilities Expo Boston will feature an impressive line-up of exhibits, celebrities, workshops, events and activities to appeal to people of all ages with the full spectrum of disabilities—including physical, learning, developmental and sensory disabilities.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring Abilities Expo to Boston,” said David Korse, president and CEO of Abilities Expo. “We can’t wait help people explore the possibilities and open their eyes to all the things they can do.”

The Latest Products and Services
Attendees will experience cutting-edge products and services for people with a wide range of disabilities. They will find mobility products, devices for people with developmental disabilities, medical equipment, home accessories, essential services, low-cost daily living aids, products for people with sensory impairments and much more.

Relevant Workshops
A series of compelling workshops which address pressing disability issues will be offered free-of-charge to all attendees. Sessions will focus on travel, emergency preparedness, therapeutic recreation, thriving as a parent of a unique child, home accessibility, finding the correct mobility device and that is just for starters.

Sports, Instruction, Dancing and More!
Abilities Expo does not merely inform, it engages and it entertains. Attendees of all levels of ability will learn the latest hip hop dance moves and play a host of adaptive sports like rowing, power soccer and more. And the kids will love the face painting!

Meet the Animals
Animals have become an intrinsic part of the community of people with disabilities. Some are essential to the healing process, while others help their human partners become more independent. Expo-goers will enjoy assistance dog demos, and learn how service monkeys can help people with special needs.

Celebrity Encounters
Meet Chelsie Hill, co-founder of the dance sensation Team Hotwheelz and one of the dynamic divas of Push Girls, Sundance Channel’s award-winning, boundary-breaking docu-series that traces the lives of four women in Hollywood who happen to be in wheelchairs.

Jennifer French, silver medalist for Sailing at the 2012 Paralympian Games and the 2013 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, will conduct a workshop and book signing for her new autobiography, On My Feet Again.

Come to VMi New England’s Mobility Center were every day is a Ability Expo

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

WILL YOU STAND UP FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T?

September is National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

september is national spinal cord injury awareness month newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Every 48 minutes someone in the U.S. is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury.  Millions worldwide are living with paralysis as a result and living with the knowledge that there is currently no cure for their injury.

In an effort to raise awareness about the critical need for better treatments and preventive measures, September has been designated National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month by the U.S. Senate, the result of a resolution co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).  To bolster the resolution’s message, we are launching an awareness campaign lasting the entire month of September.

The goal of the campaign is to ask “Will You Stand Up For Those Who Can’t?”  The intent is to create a national conversation about the devastation of paralysis, and to bring this condition to the forefront of public awareness.

“Paralysis does not discriminate.  People need to realize that paralysis can happen to anyone at any time,” said Nick Buoniconti.  “But the reality of today’s statistics can’t be disputed.  Every 48 minutes another person in the U.S. will become paralyzed. That is simply unacceptable. Each of us must do what we can to make a difference.  I am personally asking you, will you stand up for those who can’t and do one or more of the following?”

We are asking our friends and supporters to:

Make a donation in honor of a loved one, caregiver, scientist or organization who is working to improve the life of those injured.  If you would like to host a small fundraising party at your house, please email bfinfo@med.miami.edu and we will send you more information.

“The inspiring work of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has touched the lives of millions of young athletes, accident victims and troops in harm’s way and I commend them for it,” said Sen. Rubio. “By designating September as National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month, I hope we can further educate the public about how crippling accidents can be prevented while promoting the important work being done to help victims walk again.”

cinemAbility disAbility, film, and changing society

If art is a reflection of life, than we should look to film to examine the progress we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned about inclusion.

CinemAbility   Disability, Film, and Changing Society newenglandwheelchairvan.com

 

That’s exactly what a new documentary titled CinemAbility, which premiered in Los Angeles last week, seeks to do. The film, sponsored by BraunAbility and produced and directed by Jenni Gold, a longtime friend and customer, takes a detailed look at the evolution of disability in entertainment. As a wheelchair user who lives with muscular dystrophy, she was the perfect catalyst to set the project in motion.

She brought a few well-known friends along for help, including celebrities like Jamie Foxx, William H. Macy, Ben Affleck and Beau Bridges. All shared their experiences with disability in film or television and any pre-conceived notions they had about playing such a character.

Unbeknownst to each, the actors and actresses were asked the same question: What is the first portrayal of a disability that you remember in entertainment? Answers ranged from a blind Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark to Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot to Tom Cruise in Born on the 4th of July.

CinemAbility   Disability, Film, and Changing Society newenglandwheelchairvan.com

The common theme among each interview: we need more. We’ve come a long way from the days of black and white Charlie Chaplin films when people with physical disabilities were portrayed as carnival freak show entertainment. Hollywood doesn’t always get it right, however, and many of the industry’s notable actors, actresses and directors are intentionally seeking to change that.

CinemAbility premiered Friday, July 26th, which was, appropriately, the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. For a list of cities that will show the film on its national tour, visit www.cinemability.com or follow CinemAbility on Facebook.

 

Able Flight Brings Wheelchair user to the Sky

able flight brings wheelchair user to the sky boston newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Humanity has always seen flight as one of the most sublime images of freedom in motion. It seems almost unfair that our feathered friends get to move about so quickly to wherever they may please. It seems to be nothing short of magical. Piloting an aircraft was a pipedream for wheelchair users for many a year; that is, until 2006.

Charles Stites founded the non-profit group, Able Flight, for the sole purpose of giving those accustomed to wheels a new pair of wings. Able Flight works to give scholarships to people who have physical disabilities for the purpose of obtaining a Sport Pilot license. Some of the group’s funding goes to purchasing special modified aircraft for people with differing needs to have a plane to fly.

Nothing says it better than the mission statement used by foundation: Able Flight’s mission is to offer people with disabilities a unique way to challenge themselves through flight training, and by doing so, to gain greater self-confidence and self-reliance.

The program received a special boon in 2010 when a partnership with the premiere Purdue University Department of Aviation Technology took place. Able Flight offers a range of scholarships for students to go learn from the world-class flight instructors at Purdue.

Most flight instruction takes place during the months of May and June, for a total of 5 to 6 weeks. This time covers ground-based classwork and in-flight training, all leading up to the check ride tests. Most flight training is now conducted with Able Flight’s joint training program at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Career training can take place at a number of locations.

The scholarship types range from a full-ride scholarship for those looking to obtain a Sport Pilot license, to those seeking training for a career working on and with Light Sport Aircraft in either maintenance or dispatching. Another scholarship is made available for those who had a pilot’s license and are seeking to get back in the air after an injury.

To see pictures of students in training, and in flight, click here.

The requirements are basic as well. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen seventeen years or older with a disability. Recipients have had disabilities ranging from lost limbs and SCI to congenital birth disorders.

Leonardo Da Vinci captured a strong sentiment for those who admire the sky, Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

Thanks to Purdue University and Able Flight, being in a wheelchair doesn’t mean just looking into the sky any longer.

spinal cord injury rehabilitation program new england

spinal cord injury rehabilitation program new england http://newenglandwheelchairvan.com/

Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program

Early rehabilitation treatment is critical to help patients achieve their fullest potential following a spinal cord injury. At New England Rehabilitation Hospital patients learn how to adapt and return to a normal life. Patients learn how to avoid complications and increase independence. New England Rehabilitation Hospital is pleased to offer a primary care practice for individuals with spinal cord injuries. This program provides individuals with spinal cord injury a community based physician that has the expertise and commitment to care for their special needs on an ongoing and proactive basis.

The Spinal Cord Injury Team of experienced clinicians at New England Rehabilitation Hospital may include some or all of the following professionals dependent on the patient’s individual needs:

The Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Team Consists of:

New England Rehabilitation Hospital’s Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program is designed to help individuals maximize their functional abilities so they can successfully return to the community. This goal is accomplished through development of an individualized treatment plan for each patient by the interdisciplinary staff. New England Rehabilitation Hospital advocates for involvement of the family in all aspects of care, and ensures patient/family education, support and participation in life care planning. New England Rehabilitation Hospital is fortunate to have the Greater Boston Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association at the hospital. The chapter is an invaluable asset in the rehabilitation and support of individuals with spinal cord injury.

  • Physiatrist (a physician who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation) Board Certified in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine
  • Psychiatrist
  • Nurses specializing in 24-Hour Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Speech Language Pathologist
  • Case Manager
  • Benefits specialist
  • Dietician
  • Other medical specialties to include;
    • Neurologist
    • Neuropsychologist
    • ENT
    • Oncologist
    • Pulmonologist
    • Infectious Disease Specialist
    • Wound Specialist

Program Components

The Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program components include:

  • 24-Hour Rehabilitation nursing to address wound management, pain management, reinforce acquired functional skills, to assist with education of the patient and family.
  • Intensive and Individualized, goal-oriented treatment plans
  • Functional Approach to Activities of Daily Living and Community Re-entry
  • Availability of State-of-the-Art rehabilitation technology to include:
    • AutoAmbulator (partial weight support treadmill training)
    • Bioness H200 (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
    • Bioness L300 (Functional Electrical Stimulation)
    • Adaptive equipment for phone, computer and other aspects of communication.
  • Specialized insurance benefits coordination and management
  • Family conferences, education and support
  • Comprehensive case management discharge planning
  • Nutritional management
  • Daily Living Skills Training
  • Community Re-Entry Program
  • Splinting and Orthotics
  • Sexual Counseling
  • Educational Series
  • Driving Evaluation Program, as well as referrals to vendors for access and training to adaptive driving equipment.
  • Therapeutic Pool (Woburn only, 96 degrees)
  • Comprehensive Outpatient Services/Clinics including access to a physiatrist who specialize in the care of individuals with spinal cord injury.

Benefits Management and Coordination

An illness or injury may affect a person’s capacity for returning to work. If one of our patients is likely to be unable to return to work for a short or extended period, New England Rehabilitation Hospital offers the services of a Benefits Specialist to help the patient and family with practical matters of income replacement and health insurance concerns. The Benefits Specialist addresses such matters as: filing for Family and Medical Leave, Short Term Disability, Long Term Disability, Social Security Disability, MassHealth and COBRA assistance. The Benefits Specialist is also able to address social concerns of emergency aid for those persons who may not have worked prior to the injury or illness.

New England Rehabilitation Hospital recognizes the importance of assisting patients back to their homes, communities and places of work. The benefits service is dedicated to achieving those goals by helping patients and families navigate through disability benefits systems and by providing support to patients and families as they go through this often difficult and confusing process. Many patients have commented that they would not have known “where to begin” and that this service completes their overall rehabilitation.

New England Rehab Offers Elder Assist Clinic

New England Rehabilitation Hospital in conjunction with the Senior Resource Center (SRC) now offers complimentary, weekly Elder Assist Clinics in Woburn. These pre-registered private appointments with SRC’s Eldercare Nurse Attorneys help patients and their families with important issues, to include:

  • How to pay for current and long term health care needs
  • How to protect your home and your hard assets
  • Advice on estate planning

These clinics serve as a bridge in helping New England Rehabilitation Hospital patients and their families deal with transition needs for a safe and timely discharge home, to a skilled nursing facility, or an assisted living facility.

Senior Resource Center, Inc. is a full-service eldercare planning advisory group, supporting seniors and their families throughout Massachusetts, and southern New Hampshire.

spinal cord Injury and driving in new england

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Spinal Cord Injury
After a spinal cord injury has occurred, a person is no longer able to drive an automobile in the normal manner. However, there are several types of adaptive mobility equipment and vehicle modifications that can allow an individual with a spinal cord injury to drive. Depending on the level of injury and functional ability, either a sedan or van may be an appropriate vehicle choice.The following are considerations for selecting a vehicle:

Driving a sedan: When considering the use of a sedan, the individual must be able to do the following:

  • Lock and Unlock the door
  • Open and close the door
  • Transfer to and from the wheelchair
  • Store and retrieve the wheelchair (either independently or with a wheelchair loading device)

Since characteristics and dimensions of vehicles vary, it is important that the individual performs these functions in the vehicle being considered prior to purchase. A driver rehabilitation specialist can provide recommendations for sedan selection.

Driving a van: If an individual is unable to drive a sedan, there are several options available for driving a van. Specialized modifications can allow a person to transfer to the driver seat or to drive from the wheelchair.

There are several levels of driving control technology to compensate for the loss of strength and/or range of motion. Some of these include:

Adaptive mobility equipment and vehicle modifications for wheelchair access are available for some full-size and mini vans; however, all vans are not suitable for modifications. We can assist in making the correct van choice and can provide a comprehensive evaluation to determine a persons ability to drive.

If you or those that drive with you notice any of the above warning signs and need a driving evaluation, give us a call at 508-697-6006 and we can, help you with with knowledge about medical conditions, and help with a comprehensive evaluation and determine your ability to drive. 

  • Visual Perception
  • Functional Ability
  • Reaction Time
  • Behind-the-wheel evaluation