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Target Launches Adaptive Apparel Line

Target

Target, the second largest discount store retailer in the United States, recently unveiled their new line of adaptive clothing. Last year Target announced their new clothing line for kids called “Cat and Jack” that was originally designed to be sensory friendly for children with autism. The new “Cat and Jack” adaptive clothes will feature 40 accessible friendly items ranging from pajamas to jackets.

The design team from Target worked with children and parents to help develop a line of clothing that would be both comfortable and functional. All of the shirts are tagless to help prevent irritation and have flat seams for added comfort. The clothing is also made from extra-soft, comfortable and durable cotton knits. Some of the accessible features that will make getting dressed easier include:

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Muscular Dystrophy Does Not Hold Jack Back!

You will be hard pressed to find a high school student with more drive and determination than Jack Wolf, a Senior at Brecksville/Broadview Heights High School, just south of Cleveland, Ohio. Just a few years ago, Jack earned the prestigious honor of Eagle Scout, he was a state ambassador for Muscular Dystrophy and most recently he and his service dog “Tommy” have gained national media attention as part of their school marching band.

In 2005, Jack was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, but that has never stopped him from chasing his dreams. Jack has been playing the euphonium, a baritone brass horn similar to the tuba, since he was in 5th grade. During his Freshman year, Jack approached his parents about joining the marching band with all of his best friends. His father Brian Wolf designed a contraption out of PVC to hold Jack’s instrument in place, and added a controller to the left side of the wheelchair so Jack would be able to steer and play at the same time. Then all that was left to do was learn all of the songs and marching formations.

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Happy Halloween from MobilityWorks: Magic Wheelchair Edition

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/magicwheelchair/photos

In celebration of Halloween, we thought that it would be the perfect time to catch up with one of the great organizations we have wrote about in the past, Magic Wheelchair. A few years ago we wrote a story about Magic Wheelchair, a non profit organization dedicated to making the most incredible costumes for kids in wheelchairs. Since that time, founders Ryan and Lana Weimer have worked with volunteers all across the country to create some of the coolest costumes we have ever seen!

Earlier this year, six different children reached out to Magic Wheelchair to inquire about having popular super hero costumes created. In grand fashion, Magic Wheelchair delivered by designing and building costumes for the entire “Justice League”. Over the summer, the new friends showed off their super hero suits at the 2017 Comic Con in San Diego, California. The costumes were presented to the children and their families with the help of Adam Savage, former co-host of MythBusters and editor-in-chief of the website Tested.

Check out the video below to see Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Batman, Super Girl, The Flash and Aquagirl in action:

This year is Magic Wheelchair’s third Halloween and with the help of generous donations and volunteers they have gone above and beyond! You can visit the Magic Wheelchair Facebook page to view videos of costume reveals from across the country.

Magic Wheelchair is always accepting applications for costumes and are happy to build costumes for occasions outside of Halloween. Kids, with their parents permission, can submit a 1-3 minute video at www.magicwheelchair.org and they will pair as many children as possible with their volunteers.

Please click here if you would like to donate, or visit www.magicwheelchair.org/volunteers if you are interested in volunteering to lead a build.

6 Tips for a Safe and Accessible Halloween

Every October millions of children participate in neighborhood “Trick or Treating” across the country. Most communities do a fantastic job of providing additional safety and resources, however one thing that is often overlooked is the issue of accessibility. Here are 6 helpful tips that can help improve your child’s Halloween experience:

1) Look for Community Events – Travelling through neighborhoods can be difficult, especially when the weather is bad and people sit inside their homes with steps up to a door or front porch. Often times local churches or organizations will host indoor events or parking lot trick or treats where accessibility is easier. If your community doesn’t offer these type of events, now is a great time to start the conversation for next year.

2) Find the Best Route – Plan out the right route for you. Find familiar areas that you know have proper street lighting and bigger sidewalks that can accommodate your needs. Apartments and condominiums will sometimes have their own hours for handing out candy, and often times they will have better accessibility than private homes.

3) Be Safe – Every year safety is at the top of every parent’s mind. Here are few reminders to help keep everyone safe:

  •  Add lights, reflective tape, flashlights or glow sticks to costumes so drivers can see you at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for vehicles backing up and look both ways when crossing the street. 
  • Park in safe, well lighted areas that allow you to remove your wheelchair easily. 
  • As a driver, slow down and be on alert during Trick or Treating hours. Build in extra time to get to your destination and anticipate heavy pedestrian traffic.

4) Plan with Your Neighbors – If you live in a large neighborhood there is a good chance that people either won’t know or may forget that there is a possibility their home may be visited Halloween evening by a child in a wheelchair. By just spreading the word your neighbors will be mindful and accommodating.

5) Have your Own Party – For anyone who is really feeling ambitious throwing your own Halloween get together is one of the best options. There are countless ideas online for games, decorations and themed recipes. This also gives the adults a chance to get together and have some fun!

 6) Raise the Issue – If you notice that your community is not doing enough to provide inclusive, family-friendly events, Halloween is a great opportunity to speak up. Often times places like pumpkin patches and haunted houses overlook the need for ramps and accessible options. Contacting owners and organizers can go a long way in improving accessibility in your community when it comes to other events throughout the year.

We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween!

Mary’s Magical Place

Photo from Mary’s Magical Place: https://www.facebook.com/Marys-Magical-Place-819307848185951/

Mary Elizabeth McAuley was a very special young woman who touched the lives of many in the town of Hendersonville, Tennessee. People all over the Northeast suburb of Nashville knew Mary for her radiant smile and positive attitude that was so strong, it was practically contagious. Due to complications at birth, Mary was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Unfortunately, Mary passed away in 2015, but in honor of her memory her family is raising funds to construct a state-of-the-art inclusive playground where all of Mary’s friends can play.

Mary’s parents Tommy and Rachel have been very creative when it comes to fundraising by hosting several events and working with local businesses. They have partnered with Middle Tennessee Audiology, who is donating $5 from every hearing test towards the playground. In addition, the family has organized a half-marathon, started a memorial brick drive and have secured sponsorship from several local companies. One of their biggest contributions for the playground came from winning the USA Today’s “A Community Thrives” grant contest. The $50,000 award helped put Mary’s Magical Place fundraising above their initial goal.

The playground will feature several wheelchair accessible pieces of equipment including a swing that doesn’t require children to transfer from their manual or power wheelchair, a roundabout style “Ability Whril” and a “Sway Fun Glider”. Other thoughtful inclusive features at Mary’s Magical Place include a musical instrument display, sign language mural, braille boards and sensory items for children with autism.

The city of Hendersonville has already set aside several acres of land in Veterans Park for the inclusive playground and has agreed to keep up with maintenance after construction is completed. The city will bid out the project later this year and hope to have the playground completed by May of 2018.

If you are interested in learning more about Mary’s Magical Place and keeping up-to-date with their progress please visit www.marysmagicalplace.org They are also still accepting memorial brick donations starting at $125.