The Braze Mobility Blog

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5 Social Distancing Tips for People Who Use Wheelchairs

08/26/2020

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a wealth of changes, challenges, and anxiety for everyone. While it may feel like we are all helpless in slowing and stopping the spread of the deadly disease, social distancing has been effective in “flattening the curve” of infection, and relieving the pressure on the already strained health care system. In these times, it feels good to know the simple act of maintaining 6 feet of distance from others and staying home is helping those we care about, and those fighting the disease at the front lines.  For those who have a disability or have challenges with mobility, staying 6 feet away from others is difficult, if not impossible to follow. Personal care requires contact with other people, and the use of mobility devices in crowded areas is already often a challenge to navigate safely without the added challenge of maintaining distance from others. The following list contains some ideas for social distancing while using a wheelchair, but we would love to hear how you are keeping safe during this pandemic. Leave a comment below! 1. Have help to monitor distance from others in your blind spots. Trying to navigate in tight spaces like hallways and...

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Professional Communication with Attendants & Nurturing Assistance during COVID-19

03/30/2020

Blog by: Terri-Lynn Langdon With the City of Toronto in a state of emergency due to the global COVID-19 crisis, these are especially challenging times for wheelchair users. As a wheelchair user and a sole-parent to an 18-month-old, my daughter and I both rely on Direct Funding for nurturing assistance and attendant care. As the situation worsened in Toronto, one of my attendants was worried about taking the the public transit. Another attendant had been traveling extensively and was required to self-isolate upon returning home. Since I have a limited amount of funding and hours support, and folks to support us, this predicament left my daughter and I in a tough spot. Having said that, I was able to plan to cover the shifts for the attendant in self-isolation, but not for the attendant who felt that taking public transit was not an option. Recent conversations with my friends and colleagues on social media revealed that we were not alone in this issue. As a result, I sent out a short note to our support team. Hopefully sharing this communication can help others plan how to handle attendant care disruption during this time. My email stated the following points: Attendant care is an essential service...

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Accessible Birthday Gift Ideas for People Who Use Wheelchairs!

07/04/2018

Finding the perfect gift is an art. It needs to be useful, unique and most importantly a personalized representation of your friendship. Choosing the right gift that your friend will actually use is challenging. Here is a list of ideas for gifts you can get for a friend who uses a wheelchair. For more ideas, check out our holiday gift guide here! Gifts For Under $10 Cup Holder for wheelchairs ($8.95) Show your friend you care by keeping them hydrated! This cup holder available on amazon.ca is a good low-cost option for your friends birthday! Consider ordering it ahead of time and decorating it with paint or stickers for that personalised touch! Patches to decorate backpack or side pouches! (<$1 each) Often, side pouches that are designed for use with a wheelchair are pretty boring (or an ideal backdrop for patches and pins!). You can find patches lots of different places on the internet, depending on what you are looking for. They are a low cost and highly personalised gift that symbolise important things in your friendship! Your friend can show their personality and friendship off to the world by rockin’ patches! If you are in Toronto, there is an entire...

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The Prevention of Wheelchair Collisions

07/01/2018

As we talked about in our previous blog post, wheelchair collisions are very common, and can be extremely costly. As a result, safety concerns are a major reason for limiting access to independent power mobility (Mihailidis et al., 2011). This is a problem, as access to power mobility increases independence and quality of life by enabling people to interact with their surroundings (Bourret et al., 2002). The goal of anyone who prescribes or operates a power mobility device is to limit the risks while ensuring the device continues to provide maximum independence and mobility. All strategies from this article are intended as ideas only, and should not replace the advice of a healthcare practitioner. If you are feel that some of these ideas could work for you, start a conversation with your therapist or doctor about ways you can reduce risk in driving! I would love to hear from you, about ways you have limited risks! Please comment below, or email me at madeleine.r@brazemobility.com! Have rules of the road or hallway In areas with many power wheelchair users, it is important that people’s actions are predictable to avoid collisions. Creating some rules of the hallways can ensure that safety is maintained. It could...

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Accessible things to do in Toronto this summer!

06/09/2018

The summer is finally upon us, and it is time to embrace the sunshine and check out all the fun things there are to do in your city! It’s my first summer in Toronto, and I am determined to be as thorough of a tourist as possible. I have been brainstorming fun things to do, and thought I’d share some ideas. I would love to hear from you, about your favourite things to do and see! Before we get started, check out some sites that track accessible locations in the city to ensure nothing gets in the way of your plans.  AccessTO is a great resource that can be used to determine if a place is accessible! And download the AccessNow app, for on-the-go information about accessibility! Go for a sail- Anchors away! The Disabled Sailing Association of Toronto can offers adaptable sailing to members and non members. A great way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, and learn a new skill! An annual membership costs $50. Members pay only $15, non-members $30 for an hour and a half of sailing. Hit the beach- Both Woodbine Beach and the Centre Island Beach have water wheelchairs available for rent, and...

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Wheelchair Safety Tips for Driving on Roads

06/05/2018

Upon investigating the prevalence of wheelchair collisions, the amount of vehicle collisions with pedestrians using wheelchairs was shocking. According to Kraemer & Benton (2015), people who use wheelchairs are 36% more likely to die in a collision with a vehicle than other pedestrians. Fatal vehicle accidents took the lives of sixty wheelchair users in the United States in 2009 (LaBan & Nabity, 2010). This tragic statistic makes it clear the need for improved road safety for wheelchair users. Here are some ideas of ways to improve safety for navigating roads in a wheelchair. 1. Increase Visibility The reason for the increased risk for pedestrians who use wheelchairs is speculated by Reuters (2015) to be due to decreased visibility of wheelchairs. This is supported by LaBan & Nabity (2010), who found that accidents between motor vehicles and wheelchairs were most likely to occur between dawn and dusk. Here are some easy (and low cost!) ways you can increase the visibility of your wheelchair: Flag Sitting in a wheelchair may place you out of the field of view of car drivers, increasing your risk of being in a collision. You can increase your visibility by using a flag that sticks up from your chair. This...

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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...

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