Paralinks: Worlds Wheelchair Culture
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February 2003 

Entrepreneurs on Wheels
The folks listed on this page have created/or operate their own business...
They all use wheelchairs.

Scott T. Duffy: Artist  In 1980, when he was sixteen, broke his neck while bodysurfing. He was permanently paralyzed.  He proceeded to get his GED, started classes at Suffolk County Community College and then in a year decided to go to a trade school where he could concentrate all his energies on one field of endeavor. Island Drafting and Technical Institute provided the format he needed in mechanical drafting and computer aided drafting. After graduating in 1987 he started working for a company called Linotype, designing letter faces and logos on computer. He started painting as a hobby in 1991 and although his hands and half the muscles in his arms are paralyzed, he uses a splint to hold a paint brush and uses tape on the canvas to help make straight lines and different shapes.

We are Handi Signs; a home-based business run by a man, his wheelchair, and his wife... Steve Hill was 18 years old one week before the accident which left him with a T11-T12 Spinal Cord Injury.  After years of struggling with lower abdominal pain, he was in another accident that left him with a C6-C7 Spinal Cord Injury.   Although Steve has a Bachelors degree in Computer Programming from Goodwill Industries, he was not able to find a job, even though he had sent out over 300 resumes.  At that point Steve and his wife Heather began their own business; Handi Signs.  With Steve's computer and Graphic experience and Heathers business sense, they started this business in the year 2000. Since then, they have made signs for clients like you in many states!

Krazy Ken Graffix My name is Kenneth Anglen, I’m thirty-three years old; in 1993 I was involved a motorcycle accident leaving me a C6 level quadriplegic. After a yearlong stay in different hospitals, undergoing several operations and completing rehabilitation, I felt the need to attend college and learn a new skill in order to return to the working population. In 1999 I graduated from Metropolitan Community College with an Associate Degree in Electronic Imaging and Graphics. 

After attempting to obtain employment, unsuccessfully due to lack of experience, I launched Krazy Ken Graffix.  A Free-Lance graphics house where I individually work with clients, on a personal level, to create artwork, logo designs and web site layout. --  We specialize in creating high-quality, weather-proof stickers from your photos of pets, family, friends or even computer graphics that you upload or email us. Whether you want to make just one or two stickers or create thousands to distribute, we can service your needs! Steve & Heather Hill

Pie* Medical Corp. Roy Abell,  Chairman/Founder. Roy is a quadriplegic and out of his personal needs created the PIE* System and founded PIE* Medical Corp. This educational site is prepared for the Medical Professional, yet...  we have kept in mind the individuals with chronic bowels problems.

Onsight "This site is designed to help you understand the issue of cumulative trauma, and to make informed decisions about your relationship to computing. Most people are not as comfortable as they can be, wasting energy, and putting up with sore necks and shoulders. Some are getting seriously injured. It doesn't have to happen." Onsight founder, Gary Karp, has used a wheelchair since 1973 when, at the age of 18, he fell from a tree and sustained a spinal cord injury. Gary's two books, "Choosing A Wheelchair" and "Life On Wheels" have been published. Life on Wheels is a must read for new SCI's and their families.  

Randy Rogers My name is Randy, I live in a small south Georgia town near Valdosta Georgia.   I'm 32, divorced.  I injured my spinal cord 7 years ago that left   me paralyzed.  I'm lucky in that I am able to live pretty much independantly.  I got my first computer 5 years ago.  It basically changed my life in that it gave me the chance to do things Ive never imagined.  When I built my first web-page I was hooked.  I wanted to learn more and more about webpage design, and still do.  So its an ongoing learning experiance for me.   Ive built numerous personal and business websites, if I can help you in any way, by all means, email me.

Mobilizr torso support system  "A Dream Come True" An Idaho company dedicated to the development of safety and assistive products that give the Disabled community of the world a new rudiment of independence, while creating jobs for the Challenged. Rick Williams, a paraplegic, inventor, was a ship-fitter/welder prior to his accident in 1985. Since his recovery he has operated Williams Welding Co. an R&D, welding and wheelchair repair shop. Rick developed the Mobilizr out of a need to have more control and freedom of movement from his own wheelchair. 

Service Dogs Training School Debbie uses a wheelchair due to True failed lumbar spine surgery and scar tissue in the nerve root. She has formed the school which is a non-profit society. "We train dogs for use by folks with disabilities. The person who will be using the dog never pays the cost of the dog, but they do pay an application fee (Usually about 100.00 to 150.00) and the cost of the dogs vest, collar, leashes, backpacks. Assistance dogs, or mobility dogs, are trained to aid in things like opening doors closing doors, opening cupboards, turn on and off lights, pick up things that are dropped, take off shoes and socks, pull up covers or pull them down, as well as alot of other things". -Debbie

The Cripper  Quadriplegic John Sutherland has designed and patented an innovative tool for quads with wrist movement. This tool may make life a little better for quadriplegics who have use of their tenodesis muscle in the forearm which pulls the hand back.  This movement is common in quads with spinal cord injury at cervical vertebra 5th, 6th, or 7th level.  No grip or finger movement is needed to use this gripper tool, which John designed for himself and uses each day.

HANDIFLEX  FDA approved   has been recognized to be the most comprehensive Physical Therapy Exercise Equipment available today for every man woman and child with SCI or related trauma. Handiflex was developed and engineered with scientific precision by Bruno Roman, a Paraplegic. Handiflex meets the therapeutic needs and demands of Physical Therapy at Home and in Rehabilitation and Fitness Centers.

Global Access Travel. An Australian company that is about telling you, the disabled traveller, how to access Sydney, one of the world's greatest cities. "I am a Sydney sider who has been living in this Harbour City since I began university in 1989. It so happens that I am confined to an electric wheelchair. However, Sydney is a very accessible city and what with the Olympic and Paralympic Games being hosted by us in the Year 2000 everyone is pulling together to make Sydney even more accessible." --Matt Laffan, Managing Director

Mouth Drawn Christmas Cards by Jimmy McCoy "I am 57 years old. I was involved in an automobile accident 42 years ago when I was only 15 years old. Since that time I have been a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down. I am currently living at home with my parents who are in their '80s. I have been drawing by mouth for over 20 years."

Les Menard...inventor, an artist,  illustrator, and a quadriplegic. "The Kane Easel was designed and patented by Les Menard for handicapped people seeking to find a way to read, write as well as do their art.   From a wheelchair, table or a bed the Kane Easel is versatile and durable.  It can also be adjusted in many positions and is a great tool to help pursue your dreams and goals."  

New Halls Wheels So, how do we find new information? How do we locate what we need/would like? What necessary tools and/or equipment are out there that we've never even heard of? Here is an example. I just saw in the March 'Wired' Magazine 'fetish' section, the superlight 'Defiant' handcycle from Halls Wheels. A fine cycle for cruising at 18 mph with your arms. Then I checked Halls site above so I could grab a gif and show it to you; it isn't even listed yet! If you're interested in such a machine, e-mail New Halls Wheels. Tell them Paralinks sent you.

Saratoga Access & Fitness, Inc "...Several years ago, I designed and built the first Saratoga Cycle for myself because I wanted aerobic exercise. I wanted equipment that was accessible to me...that I could use whenever I wanted to, probably without asking for setup help. As a C 5/6 quad, I hadn't exercised since rehab, almost 20 years. I worked out for just 10 minutes that first time...and felt great!" -Al DeGraff, Saratoga President

TEFTEC Jim Finch, VP of engineering for  TeftecCorporation OmegaTrac® is a c-1  quad. He has spent most of his time since 1990 designing the OmegaTrac ® power wheelchair. A Texas corporation was formed to manufacture this expertly designed product. It has been called the best powered wheelchair in the world, even by persons high up in competitive organizations. Jim, and his father Tom Finch,  have several patents on the unique features of the OmegaTrac®.

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