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Meet “Able”: The Future Service Dog

Last fall, you voted and helped us name “Able”, a puppy at Canine Partners for Life. For over 29 years, their organization has placed over 700 service and companion dogs across the country. Able is a sweet yellow Labrador who was born in February and has begun training to become a specialized service animal.

Labrador retrievers make great service dogs due to their loyalty, trainability, and size. They are also extremely adaptable to many different lifestyles. Their steady temperament prepares them to handle obstacles and crisis with a calm demeanor and reliable response.

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Meet 2019 Ms. Wheelchair America – Karen Roy

For the next 12 months, Karen Roy from Baton Rouge, Louisiana will hold the title of Ms. Wheelchair America. Karen won the 47th annual competition earlier this month in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From July 30th through August 5th, women from 26 states gathered for this year’s Ms. Wheelchair America pageant. During the crowning ceremony hosted by actress and advocate Jennifer Kumiyama, this year’s contestants presented their powerful platforms. Over the next few weeks, we are honored to share their stories with you. Below is Karen’s inspiring story. 

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Vehicle Shopping with a Twist

Below is an article originally written by Fran Joyce for her blog This Awful-Awesome Life where she discusses her wheelchair van buying experience with our MobilityWorks team in Pittsburgh.

By Fran Joyce
Getting a new car is exciting. After 14 years of nursing my adapted minivan along, it was time for a new one. For anyone who is physically challenged or lives with a physically challenged family member, the decision to buy a vehicle or replace an existing one can seem daunting. I’m using the term “handicapped” in this article because I will be discussing parking and other considerations for purchasing a vehicle. I dislike labels, and I apologize to anyone who may be offended.

The type of conversion you need is dependent on whether the person with physical challenges will be a driver or passenger.

In my case, I have a son in a power wheelchair who will be a passenger not a driver. With a power chair, there are height requirements for the converted vehicle that may not apply to manual chairs. Head room is a safety issue when entering and exiting the vehicle. For this reason, a manual ramp which is least expensive might not be the best option.

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Kate is Living the Dream

Kate Mellor is an incredibly ambitious young woman, who recently fulfilled her dream of traveling across the United States. She flew from London to Los Angeles, where Kate rented an accessible vehicle from MobilityWorks and drove all the way to New York City!

When Kate was 11 years old she watched the show “Friends” for the first time and immediately knew she wanted to visit America. From that day, it became her dream to travel to the United States and for the next 12 years she planned and researched. Late in 2016, Kate started a GoFundMe that ultimately reached her goal of 10,000 euros to help cover the cost of her adventure.

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Nothing Can Slow Down Holly Koester

Holly Koester has been in a wheelchair since 1990, but that has never slowed her down. She was the first person in a wheelchair to finish a marathon in all 50 states, was recently inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, and even made it on the front of a Cheerios box!

Holly is positive, determined, and passionate. She was a softball payer in her younger days and decided to give adaptive sports a shot. At first, Holly tried wheelchair basketball and tennis, but it wasn’t the right fit for her. While attending an adaptive sports expo in Texas, Holly had her first exposure to wheelchair racing.

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