Open Road

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I have many goals in life. One is almost done and that is to have my own home. Another big goal of mine is to start driving. The redesign of my new home will give me significantly more independence, but that comes at a cost. That cost is not having my family always around to give me a ride in my wheelchair accessible minivan. My new home is walking or rolling distance to many places. It also has an accessible community shuttle, but it is very slow.

I believe that there are very few alternatives for true independence other than being able to drive. I have looked at many different driving systems currently on the market and I believe the Paravan Space II Drive-By-Wire System is the best for me. It is available in three steering options which include a joystick, mini-steering wheel, and a rotational steering device. After doing a lot of research I believe that the rotational steering device is the best for my specific needs.

The main issue is that very few to no one in my area train people to use the Paravan Space II Drive-By-Wire System with a rotational steering device. The second issue which is huge is that it costs around $70,000 which does not include the cost of the modified vehicle. Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for this in most cases, but I am not most cases. Vocational Rehabilitation will pay for things if you are working or looking to work, but I cannot work as I cannot afford to lose my Medicaid Long Term Care as I mentioned in I might be in a wheelchair, but I don’t just sit on my ass. I am not giving up on this next dream. I even bought the website domain www.mostaccessiblevehicle.com so I can share my process with others. If anyone has any ideas of how I can make this a reality or knows someone at Paravan please comment or contact me.

Queen of ? Robots

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I have recently become of big fan Simone Giertz who is the Queen of ? Robots. I would highly recommend you check out her YouTube channel, but I warn you that most of her content may not be suited for young children. Simone invents robots that do not really work, but they are supposed to do normal tasks that we as disabled persons refer to activities of daily living. I am hoping that her ideas can lead to inspire to be more creative projects that can the disability community. For example, she created a robot to pour milk in cereal and a robot that can brush teeth. These idea might sound very silly, but this can help a person with a disability live a much more independent life. I have recently reached out to Simone about possibly helping with a new secret project that I will share soon. I hope you like her videos and they inspire you to create something even if it is useless.

Getting Creative

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Have you done anything creative lately? I am looking to see how I get creative and make some new things to improve my life. I have been looking at all types of technology that include 3D printing, CNC machines, metal working, wood working, Arduinos, microcomputers, and more. The maker movement is a rapidly growing movement and can have real benefits for persons with disabilities. If you look on the internet there are countless stories of 3D printing being used for making prosthetics. It is no longer necessary to invest huge amounts of money in research and development to create something custom. This is extremely beneficial as products that can support a person with disability can be created to fit a unique set of needs.

I am looking to make attachments for my wheelchair that can help me do things easier. I have been lucky enough to be sponsored by Bottle Cutting CompanyDewalt, and Kreg Tool Company. I am now looking to get my hands on more tools and devices that can help me make my ideas come to fruition. I am constantly doing research on YouTubeAdafruit, ThingiverseMy Mini Factory, and Instructables.

If you would like to help me build something, have an idea for something, or you have built something please share it in the comments section below. If you would like to sponsor me with tool, technology, or product please click here.

Speaking Up

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I recently decided to start speaking about physical disabilities to groups, organizations, and businesses. I have some experience doing this as I have spoken many times to classes when I worked at Florida International University. I also worked with a colleague to do a presentation about disabilities to Florida International University’s Division of Student Affairs. I am now looking to help people and businesses have a better awareness of how to help clients with physical disabilities. It is amazing how many sales people do not even try and sell me, which sometimes is not a bad thing. I guess either they are ignorant or they really do not want my money. The truth is many persons with disabilities work and make an income. Our money is just as good as anyone else’s.

If you are interested in having me speak or coach your team please feel free to reach out.

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