Monthly Archives: August 2019
“It’s different being on court, smashing each other, and then going off to the library and telling people to keep it down.”
Librarian by day, wheelchair rugby player by night. Impressive, right? If that’s not enough, Shae Graham became the first female athlete to represent Australia in wheelchair rugby at the beginning of this year, and now, she’s working hard towards her next goal: The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games in one year’s time.
In singles and doubles, there’s no one quite like this 28-year-old from Australia.
Wheel the World has unveiled a new online travel marketplace to provide accessible travel to those living with disabilities.
Backed by Booking.com, the accessible travel start-up has created a one-stop-shop for travellers with disabilities offering accessible tours and experiences, including accommodations and transportation by partnering with curated local tour operators who are trained and certified Wheel the World team members.
Through an extensive research process, Wheel the World identifies necessary accessibility requirements and equipment and trains its operators to develop inclusive trips designed to accommodate those with disabilities.
From multi-day trips with outdoor activities, such as hiking, scuba diving and kayaking, to single day activities like ziplining in Costa Rica and handbiking across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or through Central Park in New York, the start-up currently offers more than 30 travel destinations through its platform, including accommodations, activities and transportation.
Destinations include Patagonia, Maui, Easter Island, Machu Picchu, Santiago, Mexico, and Costa Rica, with plans to have 150 destinations and tour packages by the end of 2020.
The idea for Wheel the World came from the personal journey of two best friends, determined to see the world together. Co-founders Álvaro Silberstein and Camilo Navarro, both from Chile, embarked on the challenge of completing the W Circuit in Patagonia, with Silberstein, a quadriplegic, in a hiking wheelchair.
“We truly believe adventure is for all and that’s why we are committed to creating inclusive tourism and eliminate the barriers that keep people from travelling,” said Álvaro.
“While people might not think they have the opportunity to travel like this, we believe we can help everyone enjoy our amazing world without limits.
“We started promoting trips to isolated places like our original trip to Patagonia. However, we realised that people with disabilities still struggle to find even more traditional travel experiences that are designed to be accessible. So, we expanded to all types of travel including cultural, leisure, vacation and city explorations.”
Last year, Silberstein became the first quadriplegic to traverse an 11-kilometre section of the Inka trail. You can read more about that here.
With funding from the Department of Defense, research facilities in Ohio and New Jersey will conduct a multi-site study of transcranial stimulation for recovery of upper limb function in individuals with chronic spinal cord injury
East Hanover, NJ. August 26, 2019. Kessler Foundation is one of three sites participating in a study of noninvasive brain stimulation to improve upper limb function
The worldwide popularity of adaptive sports is on the up and we are certainly seeing the positive consequences of major sporting events, such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, opening their doors to athletes with disabilities for the first time many decades ago.
A lot has changed since the inaugural Paralympic Games in Rome in 1960, which was the first time that the event allowed disabled athletes to compete who were not war veterans. Since then, inclusivity has constantly risen in the sporting world, and stigmas related to disability have dramatically reduced throughout all aspects of life.
University of Alberta research team receives $3.3 million to create open-source database for international spinal cord injury research
The University of Alberta and the University of California, San Francisco are teaming up to launch the world’s first Open Data Commons for preclinical Spinal Cord Injury research (ODC-SCI). A consortium of international organizations will be providing $3.3 million CAD to help fund the initiative. The ODC-SCI will improve spinal cord injury research and treatment worldwide by reducing data bias and equipping scientists by making data more accessible, enhancing research and translational efforts.
Severe spinal cord injuries (SCIs) — often called complete injuries by clinicians — are ones where no readable signal from the brain reaches the spinal cord beneath the trauma, resulting in total paralysis. The possibility that a patient with this type of severe injury might regain movement was once considered so remote that rehab has traditionally seemed a waste of time.
And yet, in a handful of patients spanning multiple levels of severity, movement is being regained.
Recent surgical trials have bestowed new life on quadriplegics who can now return to activities they never thought they’d be able to do again, thanks to an innovative surgery that relocates nerves.
A dirt bike accident in 2015 left Australian Paul Robinson, now in his 30s, paralyzed from the chest down. Robinson landed on his head and broke one of the vertebrae in his neck, leaving him confined to a wheelchair and rarely able to leave his home. He was one of 16 people participating in a medical trial at Austin Health in Melbourne that used nerve transfers to re-enervate paralyzed muscles in quadriplegic patients.
University of Louisville researchers are finding ways to help those who suffer catastrophic spinal cord injuries battle other health problems related to their injury.
EAST CANYON RESERVOIR — Like any sailor, Derek Sundquist soaked in the sights, smells and sensations of sailing on a breezy, sunny summer morning.
But unlike most sailors, the 52-year-old’s exuberance had as much to do with the fact that he was in control as it did the joy of the sport.