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Adaptive Training Foundation Empowers Veterans through Exercise

It has become tradition that the last player selected in the NFL draft jokingly earns the title of “Mr Irrelevant”, and in 2008 David Vobora earned this recognition while being selected 252nd to the then St Louis Rams. After spending five seasons playing professional football, David founded a gym to help train potential NFL athletes. In January of 2014 he met retired US Army Staff Sergeant Brian Aft, and both of their lives were changed forever.

On a January day almost four years ago, David noticed Brian travelling by wheelchair in downtown Dallas. He felt as if they needed to meet, so David stopped and introduced himself to the US Army Veteran. After finding out that he lost all four of his limbs to an IED while in Afghanistan, David invited Brian to come train at his gym. For the next three months Brian came every day and the two men worked on creating a workout plan for amputees and individuals with physical disabilities. This friendship caused David to change his life plan and just months later he founded the Adaptive Training Foundation.

Today, the Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF) has grown into the elite facility for paralyzed athletes. They offer two different training programs that are completely free thanks to generous donations. The REDEFINE program is designed to help improve quality of life and independence. They also provide free temporary housing for anyone that joins from outside of the Dallas area. Their REIGNITE program is a bit more intense, as they work with athletes preparing for competition. ATF has trained competitors for events such as the Paralympics, Warrior and Invictus Games.

Later this year the Adaptive Training Foundation will move into a gym that is almost four times the size of their current facility. REDEFINE Program Director Hunter Clark is very excited to be able to expand upon their mission.

“The new facility will allow us to expand upon the number of accepted athletes in each nine week program” Hunter stated, “We look forward to eventually expanding this program Nationwide”. Hunter explained, “There is nowhere else offering this type of intense, detailed oriented and very specific training program”.

It is safe to say that since the time he was drafted to the NFL, David Vobora has gone on to become everything but irrelevant!

To learn more about their program or how to get involved, please visit www.adaptivetrainingfoundation.org or check out the video below:

MobilityWorks Opens New Location Near Boston, Massachusetts

MobilityWorks is happy to announce that we have added our 71st location in Woburn, MA located just North of Boston. The brand new van showroom and service center is located at 299 Washington Street, Suite, H, Woburn MA 01801-2795 just south of the I-93 & I-95 Interchange. The store is open as of November 6th, 2017 and will be open from 8 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours from 8 AM to 12 noon.

“We very excited to announce our newest store opening in Woburn, which will serve the Greater Boston community,” said Andy Faraone, Northeast Regional Manager of MobilityWorks. “This will be our third store in Massachusetts that will be able to provide adaptive solutions for the unique needs of our clients.”

Roger Brown will be the General Manager of the Woburn location and is looking forward to joining the MobilityWorks family. “Many of our staff members are native to the Woburn area and have previously served in our military. The opportunity to give back to our local community, is a tremendous honor. We are excited for the chance to offer exceptional service to our friends and neighbors and look forward to seeing you at our new facility,” said Brown.

The general public is welcome to stop in at MobilityWorks in Woburn to ask questions and to view the many different types of vehicle options and mobility solutions that are available. Their inventory features Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Honda, and Toyota models as well as pre-owned vans.  Additional adaptive products including scooter lifts, turning seats and hand controls will also be available. 

Pre-scheduled appointments are recommended for arranging a free needs analysis. Please call our Client Care Center at 877-275-4907 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment.

Click Here to view all of our wheelchair vans for sale in Massachusetts. 

Top 5 Veteran’s Benefits You May Not Know About

As we honor and celebrate our Nation’s Veterans this week, MobilityWorks is proud to work with so many of these incredible heroes on a daily basis. With over 100 employed former members of the United States military working for MobilityWorks, we take great pride in providing accessible solutions for veteran’s and their families.

There are many resources, grants and organizations dedicated to helping these heroes when they return home from service, but it can be overwhelming to research all that is available. To assist you with this process, we have pulled together a list of the “Top 5 Veteran’s Benefits You May Not Know About”:

1)  Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants – Past and present military members who have sustained a service-connected disability may be eligible for a one time payment towards the purchase of an automobile. Click the following link to learn more: https://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/claims-special-auto-allowance.asp

2) Transferring GI Bill Credits – President Roosevelt signed the GI Bill into law in 1944, and since that time it has helped millions of young men and women returning from war continue their education. However, one fact that is not commonly known is that the benefits of the bill are now transferable to a veteran’s spouse or child.

3) Certification Programs – In a partnership with the American Red Cross, the VA has established “Community Learning Hubs” where veterans are able to attend free classes and become certified in mostly tech related topics. Some paid certifications may also be covered as part of the GI Bill mentioned above.

4) Free Tax Preparation – In recent years online tax software has become a popular way for many Americans to file their taxes. Companies like TurboTax and TaxSlayer both offer free editions to qualifying Veterans and active military.

5) Discounted Life Insurance – Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) is a program that allows veterans to continue life insurance coverage after their required service time has ended. The coverage amounts and premiums vary, but these options are much more affordable than private life insurance options.

For more information on veteran’s benefits available for adaptive equipment click the link below:

https://www.mobilityworks.com/financing/veteran-assistance.php

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!