About Michael Collins

Since his C5-7 spinal cord injury in 1988, Michael Collins has been bringing information about disability and accessibility to the mainstream and disability communities. Mike began writing for New Mobility in 1991 and is currently the author of two NM columns — Everyday Advocacy and Motorvation (as “Uncle Mike”). Besides writing, Collins has served as executive director of both the California State Independent Living Council and the National Council on Disability. He attributes much of his success to an ability to convert frustration into actions necessary to achieve change, and he strives to share that information in his writing.

December 2017

Safe Disposal of Unwanted Items

By | 2017-11-27T14:40:28+00:00 December 1st, 2017|

Q. Recently, I’ve been prescribed a number of different medications, which left me with a three-month supply of the “unsuccessful” ones that now need proper, safe disposal. Additionally, I have accumulated outdated wheelchairs and a variety of unneeded medical supplies. There are probably people somewhere in the world who could benefit from having access to them. Are there other avenues that I might investigate?

October 2017

Moving On to Flatter Terrain

By | 2017-11-01T10:03:00+00:00 October 2nd, 2017|

Q. I have owned a home located on a steep hill, but changes caused by my quadriplegia now make it more difficult for me to travel locally. The steep grade on nearby streets and sidewalks also makes it dangerous to travel in my wheelchair. I want to move to more level ground.

September 2017

August 2017

Paying for Home Access Modifications

By | 2017-09-01T09:29:15+00:00 August 1st, 2017|

I use a power wheelchair and had saved up money for the down payment on a mortgage. There will be several modifications needed to make this home accessible. One of the first places I turned for assistance was a government agency but was disappointed to learn that I have accumulated too much money and that my salary alone surpasses their limitation. Are there other resources available to people like me so that we can make access improvements or repairs?

June 2017

The Real Fear of Flying

By | 2017-07-10T12:12:36+00:00 June 1st, 2017|

Q. My niece is getting married on the opposite side of the country and I use a power wheelchair. Despite flying in the past, I now question my ability to do so safely. We hear reports about flights that were canceled, delayed extensively, or people being removed from departing flights for no apparent reason. I cannot imagine what it would be like ...

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

December 2016

Forced to Pay Wheelchair Rental?

By | 2017-01-13T20:41:12+00:00 December 1st, 2016|

Q. The electric wheelchair I’ve been using the last 10 years is beyond repair, and my vendor says replacement parts are unavailable. My need for the wheelchair is critical. Now I have learned that my level of disability does not allow me to have a chair with the same features. I have been “demoted” to a standard power wheelchair.

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