Project Walk

firststepsHooray! Project Walk will soon be in Canada!

By Kuen Tang, B.Ed

Great news to Canadians living with SCI: Project Walk has teamed up with First Steps Spinal Cord Injury Wellness Center in Regina, Saskatchewan to bring Project Walk to Canada.

What is Project Walk?

Project Walk is an intense exercise-based recovery center specifically designed for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Understanding the uniqueness of each spinal cord injury affects the rate at which the individual recovers function. Project Walk creates programs that are specific for the individual, the injury level, and current rate of recovery. They focus on targeting the areas of the body most affected by the injury. Continue reading

MAGICWHEELS®

It’s always great to try new and exciting products that can better my life. My name is Kuen Tang and I’m a C6/7 quadriplegic. I am tired of using my power chair all the time. I’ve always wished that I would be able to push up ramps or hills all by myself, but sadly after 9 years of trying, I was not successful… that is until I trialed these Magic Wheels. Continue reading

The Crip Club Jumpers, journey of trying something new, SCI style… part 1

As I drive towards Spirit River, Alberta on a beautiful Friday morning, my heart is calm like the weather before a major storm, but my mind is racing 100 miles per hour, full of excitement.

I am a C 6/7 quadriplegic and I have always been afraid of heights, but I have “jumped” at the challenge that our Peer Event Coordinator, Brian, has given to me. All my friends think I am crazy, but, yes, I have agreed to go skydiving!

As I get closer and closer to Spirit River, my heart starts to race as fast as my mind … my excitement turns into determination … my fear turns into eagerness. Having my sister and my nieces on the journey with me really helps.

As I pull into the airport, I see a parked plane … and then it hits me …“I am about to face my biggest fear; I’m about to do something that I would not even do when I was able-bodied … I’M ABOUT TO JUMP OUT OF A PLANE AT 10,000 feet!” But there is no time to waste and no chance to back out; this is a once in a lifetime experience. I put on my best smile and bravely join the rest of my group, 5 guys with spinal cord injuries and all just as crazy as me. Thus, “the Crip Club Jumpers” are born.

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Assistive Technology

Ironman (the comic book character) had a disabled heart; he created an arc reactor device to enable him to live.  Using this high tech pacemaker, Ironman was able to not only survive but achieve great accomplishments and help all of humanity.  Assistive devices come in many forms and shapes and help people of all abilities.

What is Assistive Technology?

Assistive technology (AT) is a generic term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish or had great difficulty accomplishing. Continue reading

ACCSE

Winter, winter in Alberta especially, often creates hazard for people with mobility disabilities and feeling of isolation due to the inability to access out doors. We have a solution; the Canadian Paraplegic Association (AB) partnered with Cross Country Alberta, Ability Lodge Society (AALS), The Edmonton Nordic Ski Club, Alberta Sports, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation and community volunteers and created a program called Adapted Cross Country Skiing Edmonton (ACCSE). No matter what your ability level is or how much functions you have in your upper body, you can enjoy the Alberta winter again through cross country skiing.

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A great lose for students with disabilities…

I met Marion 9 years ago when I decided to return to University of Alberta to finish my Education degree after my accident, which left me a C6/7 quadriplegic. I remember the first time I wheeled into Specialized Support & Disability Services (SSDS) at the Student Union building at the U of A, I was greeted by laughter from Marion Vosahlo and Pat Sears bouncing ideas off each other on how to help the students with disabilities. My fear and worries disappeared quickly at that moment because I met two very passionate people whom I had a feeling that would take good care of my educational needs. Pat Sears became my counselor then Joanne Yardley in my years at the University… all with very close support from Marion (whom I found out later was the founding Director of SSDS). When I became the first Quadriplegic female to earn an Elementary Education degree in 2006, Marion and SSDS was right there to cheer me on. I credit my success partly to the services provided to me by SSDS and wonderful supporters such as Marion, Pat, Joanne and many more because they took the stress of having a disability and took care of the “how to’s” such as adaptive equipment, exam accommodations, funding applications etc away and allowed me to focus on my education. I’m only 1 example of the many students with disabilities that have graduated the U of A due to the support from SSDS in the past 30 years… thanks to great leadership from passionate people and advocate such as Marion.

Marion Beate (Ati) Vosahlo, at the age of 64, lost battle to Lupus on March 24, 2011. Over 150 friends, colleagues and students attended the celebrate Marion’s life gathering at the University of Alberta Faculty Club on April 7th, 2011.