It’s Time to Travel

Traveling by plane, train or automobile can be a daunting task for people with disabilities. But, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring the world. A number of resources are available to make traveling a more enjoyable experience.

I came across a website that was shared by one of my Facebook friends that presents some of the best accessible tourist destinations. TravAbility advocates for inclusive tourism and works toward making the world accessible for all. Information is available for locations stateside, abroad and on cruise lines.

The Australian-based website also has tips for flying, which includes everything from making reservations to proper procedures for getting on and off the plane. It is definitely worth planning ahead when traveling with extra gear like a wheelchair or other devices.

If you have a disability or have family or friends with disabilities, share your experiences in the comments below. You can also post your travel photos on the Tuesday Talk With Alex Facebook page! I will share them on my blog in the coming weeks.

Happy traveling!

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A Positive Outlook on Recovery

Not sure if you watched the CBS Evening News last night, but their closing story showed the remarkable journey of former Olympic swimmer Amy Van Dyken Rouen. She was injured in an ATV accident over a month ago. However, her outlook on life is very encouraging.

Even though she has lost the ability to walk, she still has the motivation and determination to make the most out of her new way of living.

It’s important to note that everyone recovers at different rates. While it may seem that Amy’s recovery is going quickly, that should not discourage anyone from their own recovery process. Take your recovery one step at a time. The smallest steps toward recovery are worth the effort.

Check out Amy’s story and video below.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/amy-van-dyken-remains-positive-after-severe-spinal-injury/

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Playing Sports with Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Students

Continuing on my theme from last week’s post, I was able to get some exercise in on the tennis court yesterday. I was part of group of wheelchair athletes who demonstrated different sports that can be played from a wheelchair.

While on the tennis court, we showed them how to maneuver their manual chairs while holding on to the racquet. The same rules apply as in standing tennis except that wheelchair players can let the ball bounce twice before hitting it over the net.

This year’s students from MUSC’s Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs teamed up to play basketball, football, tennis and race hand cycles. As they rotated from station to station, the students realized how much effort was needed to play each game. But, the students really enjoyed the opportunity to see how the games are adapted for people with disabilities.

MUSC Physical Therapy Students

MUSC Physical Therapy Students

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Staying Active for a Healthier Lifestyle

David Quick, a reporter for Charleston’s Post and Courier, wrote an article last week talking about the inactivity of people with disabilities. According to a report released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “working-class adults with disabilities who do not get any aerobic physical activity are fifty percent more likely than their active peers to have a chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.”

Some people may read this news story and think that people with disabilities are too lazy to exercise, but several factors can play into why it’s challenging to stay active. Transportation is one of the most important obstacles that hinder mobility and independence. In the article, James Outlaw shows how determined to go the gym, especially when the cost of using Tel-A-Ride is more than his gym membership.

In addition to getting to the workout facility, there may be only a handful of machines that are accessible to people in wheelchairs. In James’ case, he can transfer to weight benches and other pieces of equipment. However, in my situation, I’d have to find equipment that I can use from my wheelchair.

Regardless of the reasons that may impede someone from exercising, you’ve got to find a way to get it done. Staying active is important for a better quality of life. Take a look at the story below and please share ways you stay active for a healthier lifestyle.

http://www.postandcourier.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20140623%2FPC1211%2F140629731%2Fcdc-inactive-people-with-disabilities-more-likely-to-develop-cancer-other-chronic-diseases#_=_

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Putting a Spin on Wheelchair Basketball

This past Saturday, the MUSC Department of Physical Therapy hosted its 3rd annual Shots With A Spin wheelchair basketball tournament.

Teams of able-bodied players participated in the games to help raise money for Achieving Wheelchair Equality (AWE), Charleston’s wheelchair sports organization. Faculty members from MUSC and area therapists were among some of the participants.

One of the biggest highlights of the day was watching the men’s basketball crosstown rivals, College of Charleston v. The Citadel, play against each other in wheelchairs. Several of the players mentioned how much harder it was playing from a chair. As a College of Charleston graduate, I’m proud to say that they won the game.

Later in the day, the “real-deal” wheelchair basketball players competed. The North Charleston Hurricanes played against the Fayetteville Flyers. It’s always exciting to see the athleticism of these players. The Flyers beat out the Hurricanes.

Shots With A Spin has given the Charleston community a chance to see what wheelchair basketball is all about. I can’t wait til next year!

To see photos from this year’s event, go to https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100842878162414.1073741841.21310342&type=1&l=f574818395

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Paraplegic Man Kicks Soccer Ball to Start World Cup

Would you have imagined that in 2014 the technology would be available to help a paralyzed man stand up and kick a soccer ball?

That’s exactly what happened at this year’s World Cup! Juliano Pinto, 29, was able to experience the ability to walk and kick the ball with the assistance of a robotic suit. The exoskeleton helped him stay balanced and take steps.

It took the Walk Again Project years of science and innovation to make this happen, but this robotic suit is simply one of the ways they are improving the lives of people with disabilities. No matter which team you’re cheering for, it’s great to see the strides being made to make the impossible possible.

Take a look at the video: 

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Jarae Anderson Hopes to Become Next Miss Wheelchair USA

Jarae Anderson is on her way to become the next Miss Wheelchair USA. She is currently representing South Carolina and her hometown of Beaufort, S.C.

When she was seven years old, Jarae was in a terrible car accident. The crash killed three of her family members. Three family members, including Jarae, were badly injured. Jarae has a spinal cord injury and is paralyzed from the waist down.

Jarae Anderson

Jarae Anderson

Even though the accident was difficult for the entire family, Jarae manages to keep a smile on her face and a flower in her hair.

The pageant is designed to showcase the successful stories of women who have overcome obstacles. To support Jarae, visit http://www.gofundme.com/8uling#

 

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