Disability Representation in the Media

Over at Life at iLevel, our Q Roll Models and brand ambassadors share their day-to-day experiences as wheelchair users. Topics range from accessibility to mindset to education and everything in between. While we want to amplify the voices of those we serve, we agree that disability representation needs to extend beyond wheelchair manufacturers. Our Q Roll Models and brand ambassadors share their thoughts about past and present disability representation in the media.

Disability Representation and Caregiver Burnout
Tim Shin in his power wheelchair

Like most people, Tim Shin enjoys watching a good television show. His most recent series of choice is Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, which is an hour-long ensemble dramedy airing on NBC. Although disability isn’t the focus of the series, the writers and actors explore disability representation through Zoey’s father who has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a neighbor who has agoraphobia and a student who is deaf. One theme they touch upon is caregiver burnout, as experienced by Zoey’s mother. Tim says that Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist fills a unique space that addresses disability from an authentic perspective that he loves and appreciates.

Common Perceptions of People with Disabilities
Isabella Bullock elevated in her power wheelchair

For years, disabled characters on television and in movies were often played by people who were able-bodied, making the representation inauthentic. Isabella mentions that other disabled characters were shown as someone who needed to be cured of his or her disability to live a fulfilled life. Once again, this demonstrates the perception of how able-bodied individuals view disabilities and forgoes the true experiences of the disability community. One thing many viewers with disabilities can agree on is that although disability representation in the media has improved over the last few years, there’s still a long way to go. Isabella talks about the importance of disability representation for those who are watching television or playing with toys. She ends her article by asking questions about taking steps in the future to normalize people with disabilities in the media.

Heroes with Disabilities
Morgan Steward in his power wheelchair

Officer Morgan shares his experience growing up with characters with disabilities represented on television. Just like there are many types of disabilities, there are a variety of characters in the media that represent them. Morgan discusses characters with physical disabilities, mental disabilities and illnesses. His favorite character with disabilities is Professor X from X-Men. Read Morgan’s blog to learn more about Professor X, why Officer Morgan looks up to him and how he’s a relatable figure.

What are your thoughts on disability representation in the media?

Quantum Backup Camera Contest

Whoa, check out our contest! One lucky person will win a Quantum® backup camera. Here’s how to win!

If you own a Quantum Power Chair with a Q-Logic 3 controller, simply retweet (Twitter) or share (Facebook or Instagram) our social media post announcing the contest. Tag us and three of your friends in the tweet or post. Do this by November 30, 2020, to be included in a random drawing on December 2, 2020. The lucky winner gets a backup camera installed by Quantum. No purchase necessary. See the complete rules for each social media platform below.

NOTE: You only need to retweet or share the contest post on one social platform.

Twitter

  1. Retweet the contest post
  2. Tag us @QuantumRehab and tag three of your friends by Nov. 30
  3. You are automatically included in a random drawing, held on Dec. 2
  4. A winner will be randomly selected
  5. A Quantum representative near the winner’s location will install the backup camera onto their power chair
  6. All participants must own a Quantum Power Chair with the Q-Logic 3 controller

Facebook

  1. Share the contest post
  2. Tag us @QuantumRehab and tag three of your friends by Nov. 30
  3. You are automatically included in a random drawing, held on Dec. 2
  4. A winner will be randomly selected
  5. A Quantum representative near the winner’s location will install the backup camera onto their power chair
  6. All participants must own a Quantum Power Chair with the Q-Logic 3 controller

Instagram

  1. Share the contest post
  2. Tag us @quantum_rehab and tag three of your friends by Nov. 30
  3. You are automatically included in a random drawing, held on Dec. 2
  4. A winner will be randomly selected
  5. A Quantum representative near the winner’s location will install the backup camera onto their power chair
  6. All participants must own a Quantum Power Chair with the Q-Logic 3 controller

Bryson Foster: Taking on the World

Bryson Foster is many things: a lover of sports, full-time college student, brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®, to name a few. What is he most famous for? Bryson is the voice of Vex Robotics. What started as an after-school gig has turned into a passion over the last five years and Bryson has earned quite a reputation as an announcer. What gives him his edge? His Edge 3 Stretto® Power Chair!

Diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at age five, Bryson uses his Edge 3 Stretto Power Chair for mobility. With an overall width of 20.75 inches with 12-inch drive wheels, the Stretto is the narrowest, most maneuverable power wheelchair in America. Every other power chair is at least 2.5 inches wider! The Stretto is the perfect choice for a busy, active adult like Bryson. The Stretto Power Wheelchair keeps him moving independently throughout the day.

“My Stretto has given me more freedom,” Bryson said. “The narrower width fits easily through tight doorways at home and at school.”

Bryson Foster in his Stretto Narrow Wheelchair

Bryson is currently pursuing a degree in communications at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte. Small classrooms, narrow doorways and tight threshold ramps are no match for the Stretto’s narrower width. Plus, when it comes to uneven terrain on campus, the Edge 3 Stretto Narrow Wheelchair is equipped with independent SRS (Smooth Ride Suspension), which ensures a smooth and comfortable ride for Bryson.

“The Stretto’s suspension system makes the driving experience across campus safe and enjoyable,” Bryson said.

The Edge 3 Stretto is available with optional iLevel® technology, a power elevated seating system that raises the seat of Bryson’s narrow wheelchair up to 12 inches in height.

iLevel gives Bryson a better view of the action when announcing. It also helps him maintain a presence within the crowd and interact with parents and the teams that participate in Vex Robotics competitions.

“With iLevel on my Stretto Power Wheelchair, I can be eye-to-eye with others and I am not craning my neck to see what’s going on out in the field,” Bryson said.

With such a busy schedule, Bryson sometimes goes all day in his power wheelchair. It’s easy for him to stay connected with his friends and family thanks to the standard USB charger on the Stretto. It keeps his smart phone charged and ready. When traveling across campus, parking lots or busy streets, Bryson uses the front and rear LED fender lights to see and be safely seen at night.

With his Edge 3 Stretto and a can-do attitude, Bryson feels like he can take on anything!

Safety as a Wheelchair User During COVID-19

While there are many things out of our control during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are things you can do to increase your safety and wellbeing. These times can be even more stressful for wheelchair users as you may not be able to avoid contact with others or follow all CDC guidelines and recommendations perfectly. To reduce the stress of figuring out what you can do to stay safe, we have some resources for you.

Keeping Your Power Wheelchair Clean

Disinfecting frequently used surfaces regularly and washing your hands and your clothes often are common recommendations. What does that mean for your power wheelchair? Your wheelchair is an extension of you, and much like washing your hands or your clothes, your power chair should receive the same attention and care. We have the perfect article for you all about cleaning your motorized wheelchair that you can read for more information.

No-Contact Appointments
Interactive Assist offers convenient real-time chat

The CDC recommends staying at home whenever possible. To reduce contact with others, many people get their food and groceries delivered to their house. When it comes to doctor’s appointments, many offer online alternatives for meeting that are just as helpful and efficient as meeting in person. At Quantum Rehab®, we partner with our authorized dealers to provide you with safe options if you need technical service or have a question about your motorized wheelchair. The Interactive Assist app allows a technician from your Quantum dealer to obtain a direct, real-time connection to your power chair’s electronics to diagnose error codes and common issues with your power wheelchair.

Outdoor Safety

While indoor activities are complicated and limited because of COVID-19, there is no limit to going outside and enjoying nature. If you get creative, you can find several activities to do while social distancing or even on your own. We have an article all about spending time outside during COVID-19 that gives you some fun ideas.

Protecting Your Mind

Although you are protecting your body from COVID-19 by staying home, prolonged isolation and increased screen time can be detrimental to your mental health. With negative news stories, arguments on social media, and uncertainty becoming everyone’s default emotion, it can be hard to feel any hope or positivity. Part of self-care during the pandemic means protecting your mind. We have an article about disability and mindset during COVID-19 where our Q Roll Models and brand ambassadors give tips and insights from their lives throughout the pandemic.

Must-Read Disability Memoirs in 2020

You may be familiar with the phrase, “Nothing about us without us.” This refers to disability oppression and misrepresentation in media. Often, the disability community is misinterpreted by the able-bodied people who try to portray people with disabilities. This leads to further stereotypes about individuals with disabilities by able-bodied people. For an accurate, real, raw representation of disabilities, you must check out these four memoirs written by wheelchair users.

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body

Rebekah Taussig is an engaging writer, teacher and advocate. Rebekah has been paralyzed since receiving cancer treatments when she was three years old. Now an adult woman, she’s had 30 years of life experience, discovering her own strength and being a recipient of other’s perceptions of people with disabilities. She regularly shares personal essays on her website and social media. Her memoir, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body, is a collection of essays that reflects on topics such as the complications of kindness and charity, living both independently and dependently, experiencing intimacy, and more. You can find an excerpt from her memoir on Time.com.

Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century

Edited by activist Alice Wong, Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century brings together a collection of personal essays written by contemporary disabled writers. These essays range from blog posts and manifestos to eulogies and testimonies to Congress. This diverse compilation of original works shows the complexity of the disabled experience while also highlighting the passions, talents, and day-to-day life of the disabled community. Like Sitting Pretty, this memoir challenges those to question their own assumptions and understandings of individuals with disabilities.

Golem Girl

In Golem Girl, author and artist Riva Lehrer talks about her life growing up with spina bifida in the 1960s. Living during a time where different bodies were less accepted than they are today, Riva explores different subjects, such as dealing with those close to her viewing her as something to be fixed and limiting her in her beliefs of where she could go in life. In her adult years, Riva joins a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building disability  culture. As she paints the portraits of others, she transforms the myths others have engrained into her about people with disabilities while also discovering herself. If you love creativity, then this is the book for you!

If You Really Love Me, Throw Me Off the Mountain

Aerial dancer Erin Clark’s If You Really Love Me, Throw Me Off the Mountain, tells the adventure of her move to Spain to join a paragliding school after a series of dramatic events, including her wheelchair breaking, almost losing to a battle with sepsis, and the end of a marriage. Erin shares her experience mastering flying in a wheelchair and falling in love in the Andalusian mountains. Travel with Erin through her story as she goes from being grounded by others to soaring into a life of love and adventure.

Whether you are a wheelchair user and want to educate others on what it’s like to live with a disability or you want to enjoy an empowering read, these are some options to add to your reading list! For more first-person experiences of life as a wheelchair user, you can also check out our blog Life at iLevel.

World Kindness Day

On Friday, November 13, we celebrate World Kindness Day. Can you remember the last time you did something kind for someone else? Maybe you offered to pay for a stranger’s coffee or you let someone merge ahead of you on the interstate. Whatever it may be, a single act of kindness can truly impact a person’s life. Read on for some ideas of what you can do to pass kindness on to others.

What is World Kindness Day?

Started by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, the mission of World Kindness Day is to make kindness the norm. People can connect through kindness and kindness can be taught. Through a school curriculum, Random Acts of Kindness gives students the social and emotional skills needed to live more successful lives.  The foundation also offers a workplace kindness calendar to show companies how to integrate kind gestures into workplace culture. The year 2020 has been tough for many. Together, we can make the world a kinder place, one act at a time.

Kindness Through Volunteer Work

Josh in his Edge 3 Power Wheelchair

Ever since he was a kid, Quantum® brand ambassador and electric wheelchair user Josh McDermott has been taught by his parents about the importance of volunteering. Josh strives to donate his time and do good through volunteer work. He worked with at-risk youth as a teenager and has been an ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh also tries to spread kindness to others, whether it’s paying for someone’s meal or smiling at a complete stranger. Recently, Josh helped raise funds for veterans and his local VFW. Josh believes that if you give out good, good comes back to you.

Kindness Through Mentoring

Stephanie in her Edge 3 Power Wheelchair

Stephanie Woodward is a Quantum® brand ambassador who is actively involved in advocating for disability rights and the disability community. Like many individuals with disabilities, Stephanie uses an electric wheelchair. While attending school, she did not know that she had the right to ask for accessible accommodations. Disabled young women of today can truly benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of disability leaders in their community. Stephanie hopes that through mentoring others, she can bring a new generation of disabled women into the community to serve as role models and leaders.

What is Your Act of Kindness?

Thinking of volunteering for your local veterans’ organization? Do you want to mentor teens or help out at your local homeless shelter? Whatever you decide, choose an act of kindness to complete for #WorldKindnessDay.

Safety Features for Your Power Wheelchair

Your safety is our number one priority. Quantum Rehab® offers a variety of power wheelchair accessories that help keep users safe. Whether you’re looking for yourself or for a loved one, these power chair accessories are perfect for meeting the needs of those who use them.

Quantum® Backup Camera

The Quantum® backup camera is one camera with many uses. It promotes safety with a rear viewing angle of 170 degrees. Some of its features include multiple mounting options available for the camera, 3.5-inch display with protective case to prevent damage and infrared capabilities allow for use at night. You can choose between two modes: one is that the camera is always on and the other is that the camera turns on with a reverse command. The Quantum backup camera is available exclusively on Q-Logic 3, but will also be available on NE/NE+ in the future.

LED Fender Lights

LED fender lights come standard on the Edge 3 Stretto® and Edge® 3 power chairs, ensuring that you can see and be seen. The lights are mounted to the fender above the drive tire on each side of the power wheelchair, increasing visibility from a wide range of angles. They’re ultra-bright, long-lasting, slim, compact and durable. This lighting package includes white front lights and red rear tail lights and are operated at the touch of a switch. Read more about why lights are important on power wheelchairs.

SRS (Smooth Ride Suspension)

Suspension isn’t flashy or fancy but very necessary for your safety when operating your power wheelchair. Experiencing high amounts of vibration while riding can cause user fatigue and discomfort. With unprecedented comfort and ride quality, Smooth Ride Suspension (SRS) delivers exceptional driving performance over multiple terrains. Additionally, SRS adds stability to optional iLevel® Power Adjustable Seat Height. With iLevel® technology, you can elevate 12” on your Edge 3, making it easier to see and be seen.

Seatbelt

This last safety accessory comes standard on every power chair. Wearing a wheelchair seatbelt is important to ensure your safety. This seatbelt reaches across your lap and keeps you strapped in and secure as you navigate uneven terrain.

To learn more about Quantum accessories, go to the product dropdown menu on quantumrehab.com. There, you will find an option labeled “accessories.” Clicking it brings you to our Quantum accessories page where you can find information about our power wheelchair products.

Elevating His Career with Quantum: Dave Bertz

When Dave Bertz joined Quantum in 2015, he had one goal: to grow.

After 19 years of rehab industry success, Dave, known by many as “Bertz”, started at Quantum in 2015 as Director, Quantum Sales – Western America. Over the past five years, he has made a significant impact in the growth of Quantum and has grown personally as a professional.

We are pleased to announce the promotion of Dave to Vice President, Quantum Sales – Western America.

Dave has demonstrated exceptional leadership, team building, and customer relations skills. He has been instrumental in expanding our relationships with therapists in clinics and rehabilitation facilities, which are key sales generators. Dave built a strong team which helped us to gain market share in the western half of the United States. Dave also worked to help build Stealth sales. He added regionalized educational members to his team to focus on educating providers and therapists on Quantum and Stealth products. Dave’s combination of product knowledge, rehab application, and interpersonal skills has made him a leader in the rehab industry.

When he’s not working, Dave enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Susan, and two sons, Maddox and Landon. They enjoy hiking, lifting weights, and other exercises to stay healthy. Dave’s a diehard Lakers and Dodgers fan and was pumped that the Lakers won the NBA Championship and the Dodgers won the World Series, both in 2020.

Please join us in congratulating Dave on his well-earned promotion.

Quantum Power Wheelchair Backup Camera

As a power chair user, you understand the challenges you may face in different environments. Whether it’s driving down a sidewalk, navigating between parked cars or crossing the street, safety is a real concern for many individuals with disabilities. Over the years, Quantum Rehab® has developed a variety of power wheelchair technologies that address these safety concerns. iLevel® Power Adjustable Seat Height, for example, can raise a power chair user up to 12 inches in height, providing greater visibility and enhanced access. Front and rear LED fender lights on Quantum® Power Chairs help individuals see and be seen in low-light areas. Most recently, the line of Quantum wheelchair accessories has seen a new addition. Introducing the Quantum backup camera, a game changing device that has given power chair users the ability to see what’s behind them!

The Benefits of a Power Wheelchair Backup Camera

Backup camera and LCD display

It can be difficult for motorized wheelchair users to see what’s behind them when reversing their chair. Many wheelchair users have difficulties turning their heads and necks to see what’s around them. A power wheelchair backup camera takes the guesswork out of reversing, especially when operating a wheelchair for narrow doorways. Whether you are reversing out in public or in your own home, the Quantum backup camera promotes safety with a rear viewing angle of 170 degrees. Door frames, family pets and small children are now fully visible thanks to this power wheelchair backup camera.

Add a Backup Camera to Your Stretto Narrow Wheelchair

Edge 3 Stretto with backup camera

If you have the Edge 3 Stretto® Narrow Wheelchair for narrow doorways in your home, why not add the backup camera to make your power chair experience complete? The Quantum backup camera is available exclusively on Q-Logic 3 controllers but will be available on NE and NE+ controllers in the future. There are multiple mounting options available. The 3.5-inch LCD display can be mounted off the armrest or side rails for added convenience. It also includes a protective case to prevent damage. There are two modes for operating the camera. The camera can stay on at all times or it turns on with a reverse command. The backup camera also has infrared capabilities for use at night, perfect for reversing into the bathroom in the middle of the night.

Purchase Quantum® Wheelchair Accessories

Want to learn more about the power wheelchair backup camera? Are you ready to purchase? Contact your authorized Quantum dealer and let them know you wish to purchase it.

Look Behind You! Quantum® Launches Backup Camera

It began as a discussion, evolving into a reliable and durable product that changes the way our consumers see the world. Introducing the all-new Quantum® backup camera. This camera has many uses and promotes safety with a rear viewing angle of 170 degrees.

Quantum backup camera

The Quantum team is super passionate about our products. We strive to make products that are better and more affordable. This passion fueled many discussions about how we can help consumers be more aware of their surroundings. The answer? A backup camera! The Quantum backup camera helps consumers be more aware of what’s around them when backing up. Several consumers tested the backup camera on their chairs before launch, providing valuable feedback that was incorporated into the final product.

The backup camera offers two modes: the camera is on always or the camera turns on with a reverse command. The 3.5-inch LCD display comes with a protective case to prevent damage. Infrared capabilities allow for use at night and the camera can be retrofitted onto existing power chairs. This revolutionary accessory can be purchased through authorized Quantum providers.

John Storie, Vice President of Quantum Sales, Eastern U.S., expects the backup camera to become a very popular accessory based on the responses we have received from consumers, therapists and providers.

“When reversing, wheelchair users may not know where walls, furniture, pets and other obstacles are,” Storie said. “Cameras are now offered for many different uses in today’s world, and we want people who use Quantum Power Chairs to have the same technology available to them.”

It is our passion to enhance the user experience and to constantly bring new, innovative ideas to life. The Quantum backup camera is just one more tool in the arsenal of Quantum products to help consumers live full and active lives.