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The future is (almost) here. Toyota recently announced the $500,000 finalist award recipients for its Mobility Unlimited Challenge. The five cutting-edge products include an autonomous mobility vehicle rental fleet, a next-gen exoskeleton, a slick standing power wheelchair, an advanced FES leg sleeve and our favorite: a smart-technology infused manual wheelchair complete with AI-controlled center of gravity, automatic braking and an integrated power-assist. Right now they’re just concepts, but prototypes are due in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. We can’t wait.
In the age of hot takes and talking heads who give more consideration to volume than content, this six-minute Daily Show clip is a bit of an outlier. In it, Trevor Noah delves into the latest controversy surrounding a nondisabled actor playing a disabled character. With near a million views on Youtube already, it’s showing that a thoughtful, nuanced discussion of disability representation can draw eyeballs.
GETTING IT RIGHT
Teal Sherer reports on a new play that does what we wish Hollywood did — feature complex characters played by performers with disabilities. “The play takes us on a 90-minute ride through Roseland High School, where Richard, a power-hungry 17-year-old with cerebral palsy, threatens to overthrow anyone in his way to becoming senior class president,” writes Sherer in her review of “Teenage Dick,” a darkly hilarious modern retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III.’
In the latest edition of her popular multimedia column, Reveca Torres looks at her own journey of acceptance after a long period of not wanting friends who use wheelchairs because she didn’t want to feel like “one of them.” Now, Torres says, “My resistance to wheeled companions has disappeared (I wish it hadn’t taken so long), and I have befriended some of the most resilient, beautiful, comedic, creative and determined beings.”
While the e-scooter bonanza sweeping cities across the world has many wheelchair users crying foul, Seth McBride caught up with a few who are figuring out how to take back the streets by turning e-scooters into their own adaptive mobility devices. Whether popping your footplate onto a standard rental option, creating a bolt-on attachment for long-distance cruising or using a three-wheeled scooter to have some fun getting your lean on, these DIYers show that maybe e-scooters aren’t such a bad idea.
For those living with paralysis, numerous challenges — whether chronic pain, transportation access or limited upper extremity function — can make it difficult to buy and prepare fresh, quality food on a regular basis. But one-pan dinners can simplify every part of a home-cooked meal, from prep to cooking to cleanup, and make well-balanced nutrition an achievable resolution for wheelchair users.