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Google Honors Disability Advocate Ed Roberts

Google Ed Roberts

Have you ever noticed the “Google Doodle” drawing above the search bar that changes almost every day? Sometimes they change it to match the season or holiday, or a major event happening in the world. Today, January 23, the artwork honors world-renowned disability activist Ed Roberts on what would have been his 78th birthday. Referred to as the father of the independent living movement, Mr. Roberts was at the forefront in fighting for the rights of students with disabilities to be able to attend college.

At the age of 14, Ed contracted Polio just two years before the vaccine was released. After spending 18 months in the hospital, Ed was finally released, but was paralyzed from the neck down except for two fingers on one hand. After his release, Ed returned to High School learning to deal with his new challenges. When it came time to graduate, he was given a hard time by the administration for not completing the necessary physical education and driving requirements.  After petitioning and finally receiving his diploma, Ed was accepted to the University of California Berkeley.

Ed Roberts is known for being one of the first college students in America with a severe physical disability. He created the first Physically Disabled Students Program in the nation which ultimately led to others enrolling at UC Berkeley.  Ed graduated with his Masters in Political Science and later returned to the University to lead their Center for Independent Living.

In 1976 Roberts became the Director of the California’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.  Ed passed away in 1995, but since then has been recognized and honored for all of his accomplishments. Some of these recognitions include: his wheelchair being displayed at the National Museum of American History, a building named after him at UC Berkeley, induction to the California Hall of Fame  — as well as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declaring January 23rd of ever year a day of special significance.

 

Be There – Blair Chirdon

Blair_BlogWhen Blair Chirdon was born, the doctors told her parents that she wouldn’t be able to do many things due to being diagnosed with Congenital Cervical Myopathy. It’s a rare birth defect that limits one’s range of motion. One thing they didn’t know was that she was born with more determination than the average person. Now, 27 years later, she is still proving those doctors wrong! Blair currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and family, drives her own car and has a successful career in customer service.

At the age of 21, she decided that to become more independent she wanted to learn how to drive. Blair enrolled at Brants Driving School in Johnstown, PA. Her driving instructor Bryan helped change her life and is still a friend to this day. She recalls that the first day was a bit challenging and even scary, but on the second day of driving Blair was loving it! She now drives a Ford Focus that is fitted with high-tech, touch screen hand controls, an adapted steering wheel and even some pink pinstripes for style. Blair enjoys being able to pick up her nephew from school and go anywhere she wants around town.

One place Blair does not have to drive to is work. She is able to do that from home thanks to National Telecommuting Institute. NTI was founded in 1995 to help find physically disabled individuals work-from-home jobs. They provide training and support through online courses and will continue to work with someone even after they are placed with an organization.  Currently Blair is working with the IRS. She stumbled across NTI while on the social security website and within one day they were working to find Blair a new career.

If you are interested in getting back on the road, or learning to drive for the first time feel free to contact us. Our Certified Mobility Consultants will help you find a trusted instructor in your area that specializes in using hand controls and start working on the right solution for your vehicle. You may also want to read our blog on Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS).

Drew’s Journey to Improve the World

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When Drew Richard was only six months old, his parents noticed that his twin brother Bryce had started crawling but Drew had not. His parents took him to their pediatrician who diagnosed him with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Today, Drew is a very passionate college student who loves music and traveling. Unfortunately, his accessible van is on its last leg. He is now raising money through GoFundMe to get back on the road!

Drew is currently finishing up his senior year at the University of Illinois and plans to enroll in grad school next fall. He is seeking a Master’s in Public Policy with a career path in environmental protection.  Ideally, Drew plans to specialize in water management  with the goal of improving the world’s water efficiency issues.

When he is not working hard at school, Drew loves to travel. He has been fortunate enough to travel between the beaches of Florida and the mountains of Colorado. The first trip he would like to take in his new van is to the Northwest to visit states like Montana, Oregon and Washington. Their unique culture, cuisine and dedication to the conservation of the earth are some of the reasons he would like to visit.

GoFundMe Advice from Drew

So far, Drew has been able to raise over $21,000 towards his goal of $45,000!  His advice to anyone starting a GoFundMe  is, “Put your heart and  soul into what you love, what you care for, and most importantly what you will stand up for, and people will support you. As long as you plan to do good and promote positive things with the money others have worked hard to earn and set aside, I believe anyone is capable of raising funds for a good cause.”

Click Here to support Drew’s campaign and learn more about his story.

About Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 babies, however as high as 1 in 50 Americans may be carriers. SMA blocks  the motor neuron gene from producing a protein that is critical to nerves responsible for controlling muscles. Although, this is Drew’s diagnosis, he has never let it define him!

MobilityWorks Adds Three New Texas Locations

MobilityWorks Announces Acquisition of Advanced Mobility Systems of Texas

We are excited to announce the addition of three new MobilityWorks locations in Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin metro areas of Texas. This now makes four showrooms in the state of Texas with our existing Waco service center. The team from Advanced Mobility Systems has been serving customers for 30 years and we are very happy to have them join the MobilityWorks family.

The two companies have always shared a passion for helping people in wheelchairs to be more independent by allowing them to travel in a vehicle of their choosing. “We are extremely pleased with becoming part of the MobilityWorks family, said Guy Tucker, President of Advanced Mobility Systems. “I’ve known their leadership team for many years and we share the same views on providing great customer service. For me, that was one of the most important aspects of this transition.”

For clients of Advanced Mobility Systems, we invite you and your family to stop by their local showroom as we transition the locations to MobilityWorks. Contact us today if you have any questions or concerns about your vehicle, recent purchase or planned purchase. You can also contact us at 1-877-275-4907 to schedule a free needs analysis with a Certified Mobility Consultant.

View PRWeb release here.

As the largest dealer of accessible vehicles in the USA, MobilityWorks offers:

  • Over 850 new and used wheelchair accessible vehicles to choose from
  • 64 showroom and service center locations from Maine to California
  • The most experienced staff of mobility consultants and technicians in the industry
  • Current savings promotion on CertifiedWorks™ pre-owned vehicles
  • Financing, trade-in estimates, and extended warranty programs
  • Mechanical hand controls and hi-tech electronic driving equipment
  • Wheelchair and scooter lifts for nearly every type of car, truck or SUV
  • ProtectionWorks™ roadside assistance, including wheelchair accessible transportation
  • MobilityRewards™ membership and special discount offers
  • Accessible van rentals by the day, week, or longer
    MW Texas Map
    MobilityWorks will now have four Texas locations serving “Lone Star” clients with accessible van sales, adaptive equipment installation and van rentals.

Ohio Company Donates Mobility Van

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Matt of MobilityWorks with Will’s parents and the EverDry team.

Since 1986, EverDry in Toledo has waterproofed over 80,000 basements throughout Ohio and Michigan. Owner Ken Rusk has been in the industry for almost 30 years, and believes deeply in local charities and continues to drive his company in the direction of giving back and making a difference in people’s lives. They have worked with The Make-A-Wish Foundation to help send local children to Disney, and even funded a humanitarian trip to Haiti where their friend Shane visited several orphanages. EverDry also works with several local charities that provide food and shelter to children in need.

Most recently, EverDry met and started raising funds for Will Jonsson. Will is just like any other 9 year old boy. He loves to ride horses, go swimming, and play baseball, but unlike most boys, Will suffered a brain injury during delivery and now lives with cerebral palsy. One of the biggest challenges for his parents was being able to transfer him in and out of their car. They started a fundraising campaign for a new accessible van and when EverDry caught wind of it they knew they could help!

They generously agreed to match any funds raised by the community, with an end goal of $22,000. Last month EverDry reached out to MobilityWorks of Toledo, and Certified Mobility Consultant Matt Roeder was able to help find the perfect vehicle for the Jonsson’s needs. After meeting with the family, Matt said, “It was definitely one of those moments that really showed me why I do, what I do every day.”

If you would like to donate to the Jonsson’s or any other of EverDry’s charitable causes, click here.