Halo Restaurant (blue-green shirts) played against Department of Physical Therapy (yellow shirts)
I think it’s fair to say that we had a blast at the second annual Shots With A Spin wheelchair basketball tournament this past weekend! Several local businesses created teams to play in the tournament and take a shot at wheelchair basketball. All of the proceeds benefited Achieving Wheelchair Equality (AWE), which helps build ramps and provides accessible sporting activities for people with disabilities.
In addition to shooting hoops, the informational fair provided attendees an opportunity to meet representatives from many organizations including Palmetto Animal Assistance and Life Services (PAALS), Floyd Brace Company, Limbs Without Limits and the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association.
Marka Danielle having fun using the quad grip to play tennis
Wheelchair tennis demonstrations were held along with an auto show featuring the greatest in adapted driving controls. An obstacle course was set up to help individuals without disabilities understand how to maneuver wheelchairs through doorways and navigating ramps.
Shots With A Spin would not have been possible without the dedication of the MUSC Department of Physical Therapy Class of 2014. Physical therapy student, Wade Harrell, said, “it’s been a pleasure to work with the members of AWE to make this event possible. The services they provide to the Charleston community are incredibly important. There is no doubt that my experiences with AWE have made me a better student, and will make me a better physical therapist in the future!”
As a native Charlestonian, it’s exciting to hear of travels by tourists to my home town. It iseven more enjoyable to hear about Ashley’s visit to this historic city. Ashley uses a wheelchair and writes a blog called Wheelchair Traveling.
She gives an in-depth description of what Charleston has to offer, including walking tours, carriage rides and harbor tours. Even with a disability, Ashley shows that there is nothing that will stop her from exploring the old-world charm of Charleston – the “Disneyland of History” – as she calls it.
Even with some of the cobblestoned streets and narrow sidewalks, she was able to experience the sights and sounds of the city. Ashley has done more on her visit to Charleston than I’ve done as a local. To read the Charleston, SC Wheelchair Travel Guide, see http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/charleston-south-carolina-wheelchair-travel-guide/.
Here is Ashley’s video of Charleston. She attached a camera to her chair as she toured the town.
Are you ready for some wheelchair basketball? The MUSC Department of Physical Therapy students are putting a twist on the game. Shots With A Spin allows able-bodied players to experience playing basketball from a wheelchair. It’s exciting to see the players push their chairs down the court, dribble the ball, shoot and score!
For the second year, the tournament serves as a fundraiser for Achieving Wheelchair Equality, a nonprofit group that provides equal access to recreational activities for people with disabilities. The event will be held Saturday, June 15 at 9 a.m. at Deas Hall on The Citadel campus in Charleston.
In addition to watching the games, there will be an informational fair featuring many organizations from around the state that provide products and services to the disability community. An adaptive auto show will be on display showcasing a variety of hand-controlled driving systems. I will have my van in the show to show off the joystick driving controls.
For more info about Shots With A Spin, see the event flyer!
I hope everyone had a fun, safe Memorial Day weekend. Let us remember to recognize and honor the brave men and women of our military, past and present, not just on Memorial Day, but every day!
Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer and it’s the time of year where people begin to have fun in the sun. Achieving Wheelchair Equality, Charleston’s adapted sporting group, and the Department of Physical Therapy from MUSC host the Adapted Water Ski Clinic.
Adapted Water Skiing Chair
If you haven’t seen adapted water skiing before, it’s one of the most exciting activities to do on the water. There is a ski chair that allows the rider to sit while being pulled by the boat. Physical therapists are on-hand to assist with the swim safety test and transferring to and from the skis.
Preparing to get into the water with assistance from physical therapy students
I attempted to ski last year, but didn’t have enough strength to flip myself on my back as part of the ski safety training. I may give it a try again this year. Even if I don’t ski, it will be fun just to be in the water.
There will be two clinics held this summer: June 8 and July 20. Both events will take place at Lion’s Beach in Moncks Corner, SC. To register for either clinic, download the participant or volunteer forms. Today is the last day to register for the June 8 clinic.
It’s never too early to educate children about disability awareness. I had the opportunity to talk with students from Meeting Street Academy in Charleston, S.C.
Speaking to students at Meeting Street Academy.
Ranging in age from three to nine years old, the student’s curious minds were eager to learn about my wheelchair and how I live my life with a disability. I showed them videos of how I drive my van and how I went wall climbing. Many of them asked questions about how I was injured and how I get in to the bath tub. It was exciting to see them think about what is required for me to get ready each day.
Near the end of my presentation, one little boy asked, “How fast does your wheelchair go?” I was hoping someone would ask that question, and, of course, I had to demonstrate the top speed of my chair.
It felt as if I was on a drag racing strip! I started at one end of the cafeteria and went full throttle until I reached the other end. The students clapped with excitement as I came to a stop.
It was really rewarding to share my story of living with a disability. I am thankful to Lori LeFevre, my tennis instructor, and the other teachers of Meeting Street Academy for inviting me to share my story of living with a disability.
I wrapped up another semester of graduate school last week at College of Charleston. I’m on my way to earning a Master of Arts in Communication and I have one year left before graduation. This semester was exciting and I want to share a little bit about how I combined my passion for disability advocacy with the coursework for the class.
The course that I completed was Classical Rhetoric where we studied the theories and ancient philosophies of Aristotle, Plato and Quintilian. Using modern examples of disability advocacy, I showed how ancient rhetoric and oratory can be used to educate the community on disability issues including inclusion in the workforce and accessible parking.
In one of my papers, I used the Photovoice project that I participated in a few years ago as a case study to describe disability advocacy in action. The Photovoice project allowed for members of the spinal cord injury to photograph barriers that impede our mobility including steps, buildings without ramps and sidewalks without curb cuts. We also took pictures of elevators, chair lifts and other facilitators we encounter on a daily basis.
Using Quintilian’s five offices of rhetoric, which include invention, arrangement, style and presentation, memory and delivery, it was a unique way to show how photography can be used as a tool to promote awareness of accessibility and equality. The pictures are worth a thousand words and allowed us to use our voices to be advocates for the disability community.
To read more about the Photovoice project, go to http://tuesdaytalkwithalex.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words/?preview=true&preview_id=58&preview_nonce=fd8e532007.
Voting ends May 10 for the National Mobility Equipment Dealer Association. Rob has 813 votes and he needs your assistance to help him win a new van.
Rob enjoys coaching the North Charleston Hurricanes wheelchair basketball team. He took over as head coach after his mentor, John Friend, passed away last year. Rob has continued to lead the team to be a major competitor in the Carolina Wheelchair Basketball Conference.
When not on the basketball court, Rob participates in many activities with Achieving Wheelchair Equality – Lowcountry Wheelchair Sports. Some of the sports include adaptive water skiing, archery and tennis. Rob has also been part of the off-shore fishing team.
Rob works for the Center for Spinal Cord Injury and serves as an advocate for individuals who have spinal cord injuries. He appreciates being able to show others that a lot can be accomplished while living with a disability.
To vote for Rob, go to http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com/entrant/rob-duckworth-goose-creek-sc/.
Here is a video from last year featuring the wheelchair basketball team and a tribute to Coach John: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNpcGMXfCiY