On July 4, 2008, I broke both feet in a freak accident that confined me in a wheelchair for six weeks. To say that was a humbling experience is an understatement. I got to experience first hand what millions of physically disabled (like my brother) contend with on a daily basis which included dealing with inconsiderate people who steal handicapped parking spaces, being stared at as I struggled, or just being treated less than human due to my “difference”. Losing a bit of my independence was also increasingly frustrating. I could go on and on but I digress. I actually want to focus on my mode of transportation, the wheelchair. While my rental wheelchair was relatively lightweight and the appropriate size for me, it still had its limits, which would soon test mine. Bald, non-inflatable tires made it nearly impossible to traverse smooth slopes without slipping. Although it was lightweight, it still required upper body strength to propel myself anywhere which was quite exhausting. I can’t complain too much, after all it was a rental. Thankfully new technology and design innovations are continuing to improve the quality of life for the disabled. Here are just some of those creations in place today.
I’m particularly interested in these modified Segways. They appear to be able to traverse a variety of terrain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYSBaHV7gGo