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New “Push Girls” Reality Show Features Four Hollywood Friends in Wheelchairs

Producers of the hit series “Little People, Big World” are working on a new reality show featuring four women in wheelchairs. Sexy, compelling, inspiring and ambitious are just a few of the words being used to describe the show. Aptly named Push Girls, it is scheduled to debut in April on the Sundance channel. The 14-episode, ½ hour series is being marketed as both a documentary and drama reality show. The cast includes Auti Angel, Mia Schaikewitz, Angela Rockwood and Tiphany Adams, all beautiful women of different backgrounds (now all close friends) who live with paralysis in the Hollywood area.

Push Girls reality show
“The common denominator with us is our wheelchairs... but it's not about the wheelchair. It's about our spirit, and how we just live life to the fullest.” — Angela Rockwood

The show documents the everyday challenges each women face, both physically and mentally. According to Sundance press, relationships are not off-limits — as details about the girls dating, able-bodied boyfriends and a failed marriage will also be shared with the world.

The Push Girls Cast

Auti Angel was in a severe auto accident in 1992 that resulted in a spinal cord injury. She was a dancer before being paralyzed and has since continued her passion for dancing. In 2003 she became one of the founding members of the Colours ‘n Motion Dance Crew (aka Team Colours*), known for their many appearances at Abilities Expos and other disability awareness event around the country.

Mia Schaikewitz is a former competitive swimmer who suffered a rare brain hemorrhage as a 15 year old teenager. She went on to graduate from the University of Florida before moving out to California. Mia joined Auti Angel as a Colours’ in Motion dancer in 2008. Mia is now 32 years old.

Angela Rockwood was an aspiring actress and engaged to actor Dustin Nguyen (21 Jump Street) when she was involved in a tragic car accident that left her a quadriplegic. She has continued her acting career and is now an ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. You may recognize Angela from her role in the 2001 hit movie The Fast and the Furious.

Tiphany Adams was a senior in high school when she and her friends were hit by a drunk driver. She was the lone survivor, but not until after the EMT’s had already declared her dead at the scene. Requiring a significant amount of work to stop internal bleeding and to rebuild her shattered bones, she is truly a miracle. She has been a voice against drunk driving, including an appearance on the Dr. Phil show. Tiphany was also featured on the cover of New Mobility Magazine in December 2010. Tiphany wrote on her web site the following: “I feel it is my God given purpose to become the story told that after tragedy lies hope and promise of brighter days.”

Whatever your feelings about the show and any unwarranted comparisons to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (on Wheels), one thing is clear: these are confident, spirited women who overcame their physical challenges and live life to the fullest. Long before the show was conceived, they were role models to countless young women who also found themselves in a wheelchair wondering whether life can still be meaningful. The Push Girls answer is yes. MobilityWorks wishes them and the show the very best.

Before they were stars... 'Push Girls' Mia Schaikewitz (center) and Auti Angel (right) on the Conquest Motorcycle.

*sponsored by Colours Wheelchair. Photo courtesy of The Sundance Channel

In-Service Training for Wheelchair Transport and Paramedic Ambulance Company

wheelchair transportation training session
Regional Service Manager Trevorr Jurgensen speaks to the Life Care drivers.

MobilityWorks was honored to participate this past weekend at an in-service training session with Life Care Ambulance Inc. in Elyria, Ohio.

Led by Regional Service Manager Trevorr Jurgensen, our Akron service staff spent this past Sunday at the Life Care training facility with their entire driver staff. This type of training event provides for driver education on wheelchair safety-related products and to make recommendations on correct usage of all their adaptive equipment. Also on the agenda was to discuss day-to-day checks and maintenance, strap operation and overall safety issues. It was received very well by the Life Care staff and the question and answer session was great dialog.

wheelchair lift inspection and service
Akron service staff perform safety inspections on vehicle wheelchair lifts and tie-down straps.

During this time, the team also performed vehicle, strap and lift inspections on 23 of their ambulette units. They performed simple maintenance, adjustments and lubrications to some slightly heavier repairs and were able to identify additional service and repair needs.

Our hats are off to the Akron service team and the drivers at Life Care to take the time on a Sunday to attend this in-service session. It is through this type of work that we develop a stronger working relationship with our Commercial clients who serve the disabled community and their local hospitals.

Our thanks to MobilityWorks’ Trevorr Jurgensen, Todd Slates, Joe Postlehwait, Tim Neal, Phil Pitcock and Rommie Carpenter  – who gave up their Sunday to assist with this educational event. 

About Life Care Ambulance, Inc.

ambulette vans are for non-emergency wheelchair transport
Vehicles in the Life Care fleet being lined up for inspection.

Life Care has trained paramedics on staff and many different types of vehicles needed to respond to emergency incidents, as well as provide for non-emergency transportation in the Cleveland/Lorain metro area. Their fleet includes 22 ambulances and 25 wheelchair vans (provided by MobilityWorks Commercial Division), in addition to other specialty vehicles. They are the primary 911 provider for an area that covers 100 sq. miles, including four cities and two townships. They also provide for paramedic services at high school sporting events and bike patrols for special events.

MobilityWorks to Host Mobility Expo and Vendor Fairs in Pittsburgh and Chicago

Mobility Expo
Last year's Mobility Expo in Pittsburgh, PA.

The MobilityWorks team is busy with preparations for hosting two Mobility Expos and Vendor Fairs this coming October.

Our three Chicago IL area stores are teaming up with industry suppliers and local advocacy groups to host their 1st Annual Mobility Expo at the MobilityWorks Villa Park location on October 6th from 11AM to 7PM.

The MobilityWorks of Pittsburgh team in Wall, PA (near Monroeville) is hosting their 5th Annual Mobility Expo event on Thursday, October 13th, also being held from 11-7PM.

The Pittsburgh location hosts the largest gathering of mobility vendors and disability-related organizations in Western Pennsylvania. This year’s expo will have a “Doo Wop of the 50s” theme, with invited guests encouraged to wear 50’s era costumes. Pittsburgh area musicians Chuck Blasko and The Vogues will play live doo wop music throughout the day. The event is well-known for its great food, fun, prizes, informative guests and the opportunity to socialize with old friends. Said Lance Alexander, General Manager at MobilityWorks, “The most fulfilling thing for me is hearing clients and friends talk about coming back again next year. They don’t want to miss it.”

Mobility Expos are a fun way to meet with other people in wheelchairs
Guests can learn about any type of mobility product or discuss disability issues with knowledgeable consultants.

More than 350 people are expected to attend in Pittsburgh along with 24 vendors and groups. Representatives will be on hand to answer questions about handicap vans, mobility issues, adaptive equipment, handicap driver education programs and home modifications.

The Chicago Mobility Expo will feature a full day’s lineup of speakers covering many different topics of interest:

Spinal Cord Injury of Illinois – Mercedes Raven – Tips for making life easier for caregivers and persons with disabilities

Rehab institute of Chicago- Life Center – Kristine Cichowski – Expanding your social network: strategies for developing an active lifestyle

Life’s Plan Inc, Pooled Trust – Scott Nixon – Special Needs Financial Planning

Jewish Child and Family Services  – Brenda Nemeth – Planning for the future for a family member with a disability

Cure MS Foundation – Kim Albin – Providing direct assistance for those with MS 

Law Elder Law – Rick Niksic – The elder Journey: who pays for what as you grow older and need assistance?

Laurus Foundation – Jim Dolan – Living with Traumatic Brain Injury

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Center: Driving Instruction – Anne Hegberg – Driving Evaluation

Barking Angels – Jack Giambrone – A look into service dogs

Paralyzed Veteran of America – Winston Woodard – VA Benefits, What you may be entitled to.

Pittsburgh Expo vendors/exhibitors include:

Aardvark Adaptive Modifications

Adaptive Driving Program/Center for Assistive Technology

B&D Independence

Blackburn’s

Brant’s Driving School

BraunAbility – co-sponsoring the appearance of The Vogues

Bruno independent Living Aid

Carnegie Library

Costa Law Offices

Freedom Mobility

Go Shichi

Home Evolutions

Keystone PVA

MobilityWorks – Host, organizer and co-sponsoring the appearance of The Vogues

Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Dept. of Labor

PATF

Rezk Medical

Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL)

UCP/CLASS

UCP/CLASS

Variety the Children’s Charity

Viewpoint Vision

VMI Vantage Mobility International – once again sponsoring the catering for the event!

Westmoreland County Disabilities Task Force

Redefining ‘Going Mobile’ – A 40 Year Retrospect

Wireless Providers Cloud the Use of ‘Mobility’ 
 

Pete Townshend and The WhoForty years ago this coming August, The Who came out with their ‘Who’s Next’ album featuring one of their all-time greatest hits ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’. Also on the album was another chart-topping favorite ‘Going Mobile’ written by Pete Townshend. His lyrics were about the ability to keep moving and living free. To go where you want to go, when you want to go:

I can pull up by the curb, I can make it on the road… goin’ mobile.
I can stop in any street, invitin’ people that we’d meet… goin’ mobile. Keep me moving!
Out in the woods or in the city, It’s all the same to me
When I’m drivin’ free the world’s my home… going mobile.

Pete Townshend and The WhoLittle did Townshend know back in 1971 the importance (and impact) the word ‘mobile’ would have on the world with the invention of the cellular phone and other ‘mobile devices’. A 70’s era Webster’s dictionary simply stated that mobile meant:  ‘capable of moving or being moved’. There was no mention of technology. The closest thing to a mobile device back then was a walkie-talkie two-way radio tranceiver, mostly used by the military.

Motorola Dyna-TacIt wasn’t until 1973 that the first prototype mobile phone was introduced (known as the Motorola Dyna-Tac). Today, pocket-size gadgets that can communicate across the globe have redefined its primary usage in the English language.

In the last two decades, the wireless technology industry has pretty much taken over the word mobile. By the time today’s child becomes an adult they will have heard the term ‘mobile’ thousands of times over – having little to do with one’s physical abilities. Its Latin origin ‘mobilis’ meant movable, but I doubt the early Greeks were thinking about smart phones and i-pads. Word meanings however can and do evolve. So they can use mobile, cell, cellular, apps, i-this, i-that and wireless infinitum. No problem. What is a little more troublesome is that they’ve also started to commandeer the word ‘mobility’.  Researching the etymology of mobility (vs. mobile), it is generally referred to as a condition of one’s movement and the ability to physically move.

Examples of this wordsmith takeover include Motorola changing its name to Motorola Mobility, Inc. (now trading on the NYSE as MMI).  Bell Cellular, a division of Bell Canada, changed its name to Bell Mobility. AT&T now offers ‘enterprise mobility services’ to help manage your business. That would be fine for a business with hundreds of wheelchairs and scooters.

The encroachment of ‘mobility’ by the wireless mega-corporations has providers of true mobility products and disability-related websites sharing space with them on the Internet. With billions of ad dollars spent each year by the ‘phone’ guys, Internet searches for ‘physical mobility’ issues and products can get a strange mix of irrelevant blurred results. And that’s not good for the disabled community. Mobility should be reserved for use in helping an individual to keep moving. A phone service provider shouldn’t be calling you to upgrade your mobility plan, as an example.

On the other hand, how long will it be before scooters have built-in Bluetooth devices?

So Pete — here’s to you and the anniversary of Going Mobile. If you were writing the song today, the lyrics may have been much different.

Note: Townshend recently provided the initial funding for a non-profit hearing advocacy group called H.E.A.R. He now suffers from severe hearing loss due to his extensive exposure to loud music over three decades of live concerts.

On the Move…

MobilityWorks Showroom in Albany New York Moving, New Location Announced for Pasadena California

MobilityWorks Albany NYThe MobilityWorks Albany NY service and showroom location (currently in Scotia NY) is ahead of schedule to move into its new location at 1615 Central Ave, Albany NY 12205. Originally scheduled for early June, it looks like they’ll be up and running as of this Monday, May 23rd! The new location will allow for an expansion of our service bays and van showroom area, in addition to being closer to more of our customers in the Capital Region.

NY residents will be receiving a postcard with the announcement and a coupon for discounts on new wheelchair vans and preventative maintenance. Clients can call General Manager Dean Pells or Mobility Consultant Bill LaChapelle at 518-346-9059 for details. Congratulations to Dean and the entire MobilityWorks team on this exciting move and expansion. Visit our Albany store page

Pasadena Here We Come!

MobilityWorks has begun preparation for our expansion in the Southern California market with a new Pasadena location scheduled to open in June. The new location will allow for us to better serve those customers living in the greater Los Angeles northeast area, complementing our Van Nuys CA store to the west.

Leading the Pasadena expansion with be Bill Brixon, a long-time MobilityWorks Certified Mobility Consultant working out of Van Nuys. The new showroom will be right off of the I-210 Foothill Freeway at 325 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena CA 91107. The local MobilityWorks phone number will be 626-584-8181. Congratulations to Bill on his new expanded role as General Manager in Pasadena!