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5 Movies About People with Disabilities

05/29/2020

The world is starting to open back up after COVID-19, however we can all do our part to reduce the spread by staying home during this long weekend. No better way to motivate yourself to stay home than a Netflix-marathon! Here are some ideas for shows that have people with disabilities in them! What are you binging?

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

This movie is an incredible story about the plight of those on the forefront of the disability rights movement in the United States. From it’s beginnings at a hippy-run summer camp, to sit-ins and protests and the community and friendship that sustained the movement all along the way, this movie is both incredibly powerful, moving, inspiring, humorous and overall a must-watch. 

The trailer can be found here: Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution

The Fundamentals of Caring

This movie is a fun and witty watch! It is about a man named Ben who suffers a personal tragedy, and quits his job to become a caregiver for Trevor, a teen with Muscular Dystrophy. The two embark on a road trip and chaos ensues. While the story centers around the client-caregiver relationship, it emphasises the human-ness in the relationship and does not leverage Trevor’s disability for cheap tear-jerking in the way Hollywood typically does. 

The trailer can be found here: The Fundamentals of Caring

Raising Dion

In this super-hero show, Sammi Haney, a 9 years old who uses a wheelchair, plays the main character (Dion)’s friend Esperanza. She is his wise friend, who helps keep Dion out of trouble (as much as she can!). This show is fun for the whole family and definitely worth a watch!

The trailer can be found here: Raising Dion

Switched at Birth

Looking to brush up on your ASL? Look no further than Switched at Birth! This show is about girls who find out they were switched at birth. One character is hard of hearing, and played by an actress who is deaf. Much of the show is signed in ASL, and gives viewers a deeper understanding of the deaf community. 

The trailer can be found here: Switched at Birth

Breathe

The story of a man who is unable to breathe independently, but refuses to live in the confines of a hospital for his life. Him and his wife embrace the technological innovations available to them to be able to leave the hospital, and embrace life together. This movie shows the importance of technology to destroy the barriers facing people with disabilities from living independently. It shows how far adaptive technology has come. To learn more about adaptive technology and the importance of it to support independence, check out Braze Mobility Blind Spot Sensors for Wheelchairs

The trailer can be found here: Breathe

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Image of the wing of an airplane and the words accessible travel

Accessible Travel Ideas

01/28/2020

Everyone needs to get away and escape real life at some point, and no time is better than mid-winter to jet-set away! Travelling as a person with a disability can be difficult- the need to bring extra equipment and airlines who just can’t seem to figure out how to transport wheelchairs without breaking or losing them. The knowledge that your destination will not only be accessible, but fully inclusive makes it all worth it. We put together a list of accessible vacation spots that are fun for the whole family! All of these locations were designed specifically to meet the needs of people with various disabilities and fully include people of all abilities in the activities and fun!

Accessible Travel In North America
Accessible Travel In The United States

The Magical Bridge is an organization that builds accessible parks designed to match the needs of people of all abilities, where everyone has the chance to play and explore! The playgrounds are completely FREE to visit and are located in multiple cities in California, USA. They are rapidly expanding, so keep an eye open for a Magic Bridge opening near you!

In San Antonio TX, there is a fully inclusive theme park and water park called Morgan’s Wonderland and Morgan’s Inspiration Island. You can take a spin on the giant Ferris Wheel in your wheelchair, or splash around in a fully accessible pirate ship. The organization also offers discounts for nearby hotels with accessible rooms, so you can plan your trip stress-free! 

Accessible Travel in Canad

There are many options for summer camps in Canada that are fully accessible for people with disabilities! I have a special place in my heart for Easter Seals Camps, which have both individual sessions for campers aged 8-26, and family camps where the whole family can enjoy camp fun! Check out Easter Seals Camp Woodeden in London- you can climb the largest fully accessible high ropes course in North America, take a dip in the pool, make pottery, bake treats and have a camp out in the fully accessible yurts! 

There are Easter Seals Camps all over Canada- check out your local Easter Seals to learn more!

Alberta- Camp Horizon

BC- Camp Squamish

     – Camp Winfield

     – Camp Shawnigan

Nova Scotia- Camp Tidnish

Ontario – Camp Woodeden

             – Camp Merrywood

Newfoundland and Labrador – Camp Bumbleberry

Saskatchewan- Camp Easter Seal

At the Cold Water Ranch the Abilitas foundation offers a fully accessible vacation home for people with disabilities and their families to go to get a break from real life and have time to bond as a family! Set in the mountains of BC, 30 minutes west of Merritt you can experience the tranquility of a working ranch in a fully accessible lodge. You can stay for up to 4 days, with just a modest fee for booking and cleaning. 

Accessible Travel In Oceania
Accessible Travel in Australia

Sargood on Collaroy is a purpose built resort for people with a spinal cord injury. Located on the sunny shores of Sydney Australia, Sargood on Collaroy is a great place to escape everyday life, and try out all sorts of new things- surfing, sailing, snorkeling, golf, ceramics, fishing, gardening, kite flying- you name it! All of the activities are run by therapists who specialise in assisting people with spinal cord injury, and adaptive equipment is included! Sargood on Collaroy is a fully accessible location, and they supply most of the equipment you will need, so you can travel light. There are also attendants on site, who can assist you or you are welcome to bring your own carer! Some funding is available for a stay, although pricing is not available on their site.

Accessible Travel in Europe
Accessible Travel In Sweden

Sweden has made it a goal to be the most accessible place to travel. Check out their accessible travel website which includes a database of accessible locations. Some planning is required, however travelling Sweden with accessibility needs is made much more possible by the huge steps taken by the government and other organizations to improve accessibility and to clearly mark accessible locations. The database shows detailed pictures and descriptions of accessibility features and barriers, and could help plan a great vacation!

The Musholm Centre is a new fully accessible sports resort designed for people with disabilities, located 2 hours from Stockholm. The centre provides accessible activities for the whole family including power wheelchair hockey, rock climbing and many other sports and activities. They also provide equipment needed during your trip if you arrange ahead of time so you can pack light! You could tag a stay at the Musholm center onto a tour of Scandinavia, one of the most accessible areas of the world.

Accessible Travel In Asia
Accessible Travel in Japan

Japan has made big investments in increasing accessibility. Their Accessible Tourism Center provides resources and recommendations for planning a trip. They make recommendations for areas you can visit, including the accessibility requirements for businesses. 

Want to be safer while you travel? The Braze Mobility blind spot sensor systems provide many benefits to travellers who use wheelchairs! Sensors can alert you to pickpockets looking to get into the backpack on the back of your chair, and to navigate unfamiliar spaces! Check out the new Braze Sentina here!

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Image depicting the different symbols of holidays and accessibility

10 Accessible Holiday Gift Ideas for People Who Use Wheelchairs

11/29/2017

The temperatures are falling, and Christmas music is being played on repeat. This can only mean one thing- the holiday season is upon us, and with it, the pressure to find the perfect gift is building. Everyone is in pursuit of the perfect gift for their family members and friends- something that is fun, useful and shows how much they care. Easier said than done! Below is a list of accessible gifts- perfect for friends and family members who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices.

Give the gift of cozy ears, and hands free mobile device control. Voice controlled bluetooth technology, built-in speaker and microphone all in a fashionable and warm hat. Various designs available on Amazon.com, pictured hat available at: http://www.robotshop.com/ca/en/bluetooth-braid-beanie-fur-pom-pom-black.html

The Braze Sentina is a blind spot sensor system that can turn any wheelchair into a ‘smart’ wheelchair (cars have sensors, why can’t wheelchairs?!). These add-on devices are the first in the world that easily attach to any wheelchair and offer visual, audio, and vibrational feedback to wheelchair users regarding location and proximity of obstacles. They provide the freedom of improved maneuverability, increased spatial awareness, and increased safety (see testimonial video at https://youtu.be/j0EtXYNW–Q).

These products have been available for purchase mainly by institutions, but anyone in Canada or the U.S. can now get the Braze Sentina for only $750 USD. Click here to find out more!

Chairmelotte designs wheelchair couture, specifically designed to be comfortable and fashionable. Check out the Evening Collection and find the perfect outfit to work on New Year’s Eve! Available at: http://www.chairmelotte.com/ (pictured: Dress Sophia, € 248.00; Coat Roger, € 565.00)

Having cold hands is never fun, but driving a wheelchair with cold hands is worse. This device protects hands from the cold, and allows the user to still have the control and visibility they need. It also protects the control panel from snow! A less bulky alternative could be tight fitting gloves. If you are feeling crafty, a similar design could be made with crochet or knitting skills. Available at: https://www.activemobility.co.uk/m/prod_detail.php?products_id=1839

Homemade gifts are a great option, and truly show that you care. It also makes the gift customizable, and lets you show off your skills! This design for a water bottle holder is a quick, easy and practical gift. Available at: http://www.sewcando.com/2010/06/laminated-cotton-cupholder-tutorial.html  

For those feeling less crafty. Etsy has some different designs for bottle holders, and sidebags, with a variety of different designs, including this one, perfect for Harry Potter fans! Available at : https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/539304330/

No holiday is complete without adding to one’s cozy sock collection, and for people with limited lower body mobility, cozy socks are essential to keeping feet warm. Indigo sells many designs of reading socks, that keep feet and legs warm (https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/fashion/reading-socks/500027-cat.html)

For people who may find it difficult to get long socks on, check out these slippers (https://eglifarm.com/products/crocheted-slippers-adults) or a leg warmer designed for wheelchair users, available here!

This speaker provides hands-free control of smart appliances. It can also control the lights, and heating in your house- all handsfree! Plus, the google assistant can book appointments, set alarms, Google things for you and play music! This is the perfect device for someone who has limited upper body mobility, giving them hands-free control of the house! Available at: https://store.google.com/ca/product/google_home

Hands-free technology doesn’t have to be left behind when your friend/family member leaves their Google home system at home! The Tecla Shield connects with smart devices, providing hands-free control anywhere you go! Check it out at: http://www.asl-inc.com/products/product_detail.php?prod=183

As the days get shorter, a flashlight becomes more and more handy- no one can navigate in the dark! Pair this flashlight up with the Braze Sentina (gift #2) for the ultimate safe driving gift! This flashlight available on Amazon is designed to attach to mobility devices. Flashlight available at: https://www.amazon.com/Life-Mounts-Wheelchair-Patented-Universal/dp/B013MJD5NO/

Don’t let a curb stand in the way of your plans! The world is slowly becoming more accessible, and apps like accessnow (http://accessnow.me/) can be used to find accessible hang outs; unfortunately accessibility still has a long way to go. Bringing a ramp can help reduce the barriers faced during your adventures! Available at: http://www.wheelchairfriendlysolutions.ca/portable-wheelchair-access-ramps/

Thank you for reading about all of these gift ideas. Looking for more? Check out our birthday gift ideas here! Have any other suggestions? Please comment below! Have a very happy holiday!

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