Category Archives: personalizing

Independence with a splash of colour

 

Ruth nearly ran me over recently she was going so fast. A speed demon at 91, Ruth told me when she had to give up her car – “they tested my eyes and right there on the spot told me to hand in my license – ha!” – she got herself a scooter to stay independent. Ruth obviously enjoys colour and has some rockin’ style. She crocheted her seat cover herself – “it’s pretty isn’t it?”

1 Comment

Filed under Accessibility, Design, DIY, I Like Your Ride!, Mobility Aids, personalizing

Dude, dog and device

“Dude, dog and device.” Nicely done!

Leave a comment

Filed under Accessibility, DIY, I Like Your Ride!, personalizing

Huey

Huey and his buddies fish most days on the Luddington Pier in Michigan. Instead of carrying all their gear most of them use their bikes and tow buggies. Huey told me he spent less than $200 to have his ride pimped up with a motor. SWEET!

1 Comment

Filed under I Like Your Ride!, personalizing

Now you see me! Product promotes safety while elevating cool status!

It is estimated that 7,500 cyclists are seriously injured in Canada each year and one-third of cyclist deaths occur during the night. What if there was a way to make yourself more visible on the road? Volvo’s got you covered!

Volvo recently released a video promoting their new product – LifePaint – a unique reflective safety spray designed to make it hard to miss riders on the road at night. This spray is invisible during the day and glows brightly in the glare of car headlights at night making the invisible, visible. The added bonus is that it washes off, doesn’t alter fabric colours or surfaces, and lasts up to one week after application.

LifePaintCyclists aren’t the only ones in danger on the road.  LifePaint can be used on ANY mobility device including kids scooters, skateboards, motorized scooters, and wheelchairs. The goal is to make road safety accessible for everyone – and this seems like a really fun way to do that! You can buy this product at any Volvo Cars retailer.

Leave a comment

Filed under Accessibility, DIY, invention, Mobility Aids, personalizing, Posts, Videos

The “coolest” mobility device

Spotted on Toronto Island - renovations to this old ice cream cart make this one of the "coolest" (smiley face) mobility devices I've seen in awhile!

Spotted on Toronto Island – renovations to this old ice cream cart make this one of the “coolest” (smiley face) mobility devices I’ve seen in awhile!

1 Comment

April 7, 2016 · 3:41 pm

Pimped out plow!

Meet Justin Anderson.

This Iraq war veteran is giving back to his community in an incredible way. After coming up with the clever idea of attaching a snow blade onto his wheelchair, Justin hit the nearby streets to help make the sidewalks safer for his neighbourhood during the winter.

“I had about half a dozen people stop me and ask if they could take a picture because they had never seen … a chair like this before.”

What’s particularly awesome about his pimped out ride is the way that it challenges other people’s typical perceptions of individuals using mobility aids and devices. Instead of Justin being dependent on others, the members of his community become dependent on him to perform this service. Way to go!

2 Comments

Filed under Accessibility, Design, Inspirational, Personal Stories, personalizing, Posts, Videos, Wheelchairs

IRIS APFEL and MOBILITY – UNCONSIDERED or UNACCEPTABLE?

“I don’t dress to be stared at. I dress for myself.” – Iris Apfel

Iris

Meet Iris Apfel.

Iris is a highly successful and eccentric 94-year-young American businesswoman, interior designer, and fashion icon who has recently gained celebrity fame. Iris is also the founder of Old World Weavers, a textile company that she launched with her late husband Carl Apfel. Through their textile business, they travelled around the world and participated in unique design restoration processes, including work on the White House for several presidents. Her bold approach to layering big jewelry and her oversized round glasses make a lasting iconic impression that landed her a star role in a documentary by Albert Maysles about her incredible life and career.

I recently watched this delightful documentary – Iris – which included several segments of Iris using mobility devices including a cane, walker and wheelchair.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 11.27.31 AM 1429780509464.cached copy

What struck me immediately when viewing these segments was the stark contrast between Iris’s  ‘over the top’ accessorizing – on herself, her house and even her husband and the mobility aids that were left completely untouched! Not a splash of colour, not a jewel or bead, nothing… I have to admit I was disappointed… and couldn’t help thinking, “REALLY?! IRIS?!! You of all the people would have the know how to “pimp your ride”!

Unconsidered OR Unacceptable?

I believe one of two things are going on here. Either,

  1. These devices are ‘unconsidered’ – i.e., it doesn’t occur to Iris (or those around her) that it’s even an option to accessorize these devices…or, and I imagine more likely…
  2. The devices are ‘unacceptable’ – meaning Iris (like others) just can’t reconcile herself with these medicalized impersonal machines and as such wants to distance herself from them. The way these devices look, feel and are understood in our culture in other words, is completely unacceptable to Iris and as such she does not want them to – in any way- be a part of her.

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.” – Iris Apfel

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Mobility Aids, personalizing, Posts

Hung Ho

Hung Ho, a retired computer programmer, ingeniously reinvented his wheelchair! Equipped with a basket, welded bicycle tire, handlebars, and a headlight, Hung is cruising the city streets like no other.

Hung Ho, a retired computer programmer, ingeniously reinvented his wheelchair! Equipped with a basket, welded bicycle tire, handlebars, and a headlight, Hung is cruising the city streets like no other.

 

Leave a comment

July 23, 2015 · 4:51 pm

Dr. Who, Halloween, and the most awesome wheelchair costumes!

How does all this fit together?

1. It’s the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who! The long running BBC science fiction tv series about the adventures of a time-traveling humanoid alien known as the Doctor. My brother and I seriously loved this show when we were kids – it has great characters and some seriously creative low-tech special effects!

2. Dr. Who travels in this super cool ship – the TARDIS – a time machine that is bigger on the inside than the outside.

The TARDIS used from 2005 to 2010

The TARDIS used from 2005 to 2010

3. It was Halloween a few weeks ago and I’ve started to notice an awesome trend toward Wheelchair Costumes (what a great idea!).  There are lots of great ones out there, but one of my all time favourites is from the UK of Dr. Who and his TARDIS!

Leave a comment

Filed under Design, DIY, Inspirational, Mobility Aids, Personal Stories, personalizing, Photos, Posts, Recreation, Uncategorized

Personalized Prosthetics – What’s your fancy?

Video: Woman builds prosthetic leg out of Lego - The Globe and Mail

Occupational therapist Christina Stephens designed and built her own lego leg – Cool! You can watch how she does this in her time-lapse video that went viral this past summer –

Personalized prosthetics serve many purposes beyond function – not only can they get people where they need to go, they do so with style, with fun, with flare, and yes with FASHION. Check out the ‘alternative limb project’ where consumers are participants in the design process selecting pieces that either “blend in with the body or stand out as unique pieces of art, reflecting the wearers imagination, personality, and interests”.

Floral SocketChrystalized LegPersonalized prosthetics, like personalized mobility devices, not only delight the eye, they help to break down social barriers by promoting conversation, admiration and interest. 

1 Comment

Filed under Articles, Barriers, Design, DIY, Inspirational, Personal Stories, personalizing, Photos, Posts, Projects, Uncategorized, Videos