Can you hear me?

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One of my sponsors is a company called CastleOS that created a system that allows people to control almost everything in their home using their voice. CastleOS recently created a new CastleHUB that will make the implementation of the system even simpler.

From the very beginning I thought that CastleOS was an ideal product for persons with disabilities. Christopher Cicchitelli the Chief Executive Officer of CastleOS thought so as well. CastleOS is certified with the Veterans Administration as a home environmental controller which allows disabled veterans in some cases to get CastleOS at no cost.

To take their desire to help support persons with disabilities one step further CastleOS created a buy one give one program as part of their CastleHub Kickstarter CampaignCastleOS is offering backers that pledge $999 or more the option to not only buy a CastleHUB for themselves, but to buy one for a person with a disability as well. Check out this program and the other ways CastleOS is supporting persons with disabilities by visiting their CastleHub Kickstarter Campaign.

Supporting Others

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This Sunday I volunteered as the Activities and Entertainment Lead for the 2015 National Multiple Sclerosis Society Aventura Walk. Many people tend to assume that since I am volunteering I have Multiple Sclerosis, but I do not. If you wondering I have a neuromuscular disorder that I was born with. I feel that if we are able to support another we should. A few years ago a friend of mine who worked for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society asked me to help. At the time I did not know anyone who had Multiple Sclerosis, but I was thrilled to help. Today years later I am still helping and now know several people that are affected by Multiple Sclerosis. I am not saying you have to volunteer, give money, or support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or any cause for that matter. I am just saying that it is very rewarding even if you do not have a direct relationship with the cause.

If you would like to contribute to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society please click here. Please share your volunteer stories in the comments section below.

Just Dance

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I recently read a story about veteran Sergeant Joey Johnson who after returning from Afghanistan in 2012 suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. To help cope with this he took up motorcycle riding. A short time later he met his future wife Michelle. Shortly after meeting her he was in accident and became paralyzed.

Michelle and Joey recently got married. Joey and his friends secretly developed a special harness that allowed him to dance with Michelle at their wedding. I encourage you to watch this touching video below and read more about it on The Huffington Post.

Custom Accessible Vehicles

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One of my goals for a long time is to drive. I know I can do it and I am planning to restart my driving lessons again in the near future. I have been looking at alternatives to the typical minivan or full-size van. So far I have found a few which include pickup trucks and suburbans. There were a few that are no longer being made which were the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Scion xB, and Honda Element. The other option is the MV-1, but this is not configured for a wheelchair driver and has quite a few issues. Last a few small cars are going into production, but their top speeds are 25 miles per hour which I feel is not practical.

Here are a couple cars I found that are very inspiring. One is a Chevrolet Corvair and the other is a Ford Explorer. I am still confused on how they did the Chevrolet Corvair. As I have mentioned I am working on a website about building the most accessible home. In the near future I would like to start another website and project about building the most accessible vehicle. I already have a bunch of ideas, but need assistance making it happen. I hope you enjoy these videos and please let me if you are interested in helping me create the most accessible vehicle. If you have seen a vehicle designed for a person in wheelchair please share it in the comments.

One Step Closer

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I have noticed that many people have become very cynical thinking that there are a lot less nice people in the world. This blog has taught me that is just not true. The amount of feedback and sponsorships I have received in the short time I have been writing this blog is outstanding.

Yesterday, I had the amazing opportunity to meet with some of Florida International University’s Computer Engineering students. I am a graduate of Florida International University and continue to work there as an IT and Marketing Coordinator. These five students Jorge Aguilar, Jose Perez, Oscar Ortiz, Anthony Lama, and Adrian Casanova are working together to help me to design, build, and implement an accessible kitchen. Most people who are able-bodied take for granted something as simple as using a refrigerator or accessing their kitchen cabinets. These students are helping me to reduce my limitations and make my dream of living on my own a reality. I will be posting updates on the progress of this project.

You guys rock and thank you again.

 

Duncan The Two-Legged Pup

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When I was about three years I old I had surgery on both of my hips which gave me the ability to walk until I was about nine years old. I began walking sooner after surgery than expected. When my parents asked my orthopedic surgeon how this was possible he explained no one told me I could not walk. I think this is the same for Duncan.

It isn’t American Idol, but I still need votes.

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I have recently entered the 3rd Annual National Mobility Awareness Month Local Hero Contest which is run by the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. The winner of the contest can win a new accessible vehicle one of which is a MV-1 the first American vehicle designed from the ground up for persons with disabilities. I am not sure if I will win or not, but I only have a chance if people vote. Please vote each day through May 9th, 2014 and remember to answer the bonus question. To vote click on the “Get Started” button below which will take you to my profile page and to find out the answers to the bonus questions follow me on Twitter @zkylet.

If you build it…

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Over the next few weeks I will begin construction and implementing a lot of technology that will give me the freedom and independence to live alone. In order to make everything accessible I will be making a lot of custom items to support my special needs that I broke down into several categories.

First is the kitchen which consists of developing an accessible refrigerator, accessible cabinetry, and accessible pantry, The second is creating an accessible coffee table that can change height. The next is my bedroom which includes an accessible pocket door, a height adjustable bed, a hidden cabinet system to conceal my medical equipment that I use for sleeping, and an accessible desk that will allow me to work by myself. The last project is a tray system for my wheelchair.

In order to accomplish this I will be using a lot of linear actuators. Below is an amazing project showing how linear actuators can make things accessible.

If you are interested in helping me with my project please fill out the following form.












Million Dollar Contractor Meets a Titan

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This afternoon I attended the Home Design and Remodeling Show where I got to meet Stephen Fanuka the host of Million Dollar Contractor on HGTV and the DIY Network. He spoke for about forty minutes about picking the right contractor and I did learn quite a bit. After I got the chance to meet him and I think he was just as excited to meet me as I was to meet him. He signed a picture for me, but after asking some questions he signed another one calling me a titan. He was very excited that I watched his show. I asked him some questions about some design elements he has featured that I hope to incorporate in my Most Accessible Home project. It should not be to much longer until mostaccessiblehome.com is fully launched. Keep checking back for more updates.

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Thank You Mom & Dad

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I really like this video and think it is very inspiring, but it applies to not only moms, but dads too.

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