Featured

The 2020 Word of the Year

Pandemic. It’s a word that has dominated our lives this year. The COVID-19 pandemic has truly impacted everyone’s life in one way or another, so it’s no surprise that Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com have declared “pandemic” the Word of the Year.

For electric wheelchair users and individuals with disabilities, the pandemic has changed many aspects of their daily lives. Working from home has suddenly become the norm. Accessibility has expanded in ways never thought possible. Masks are worn in all public spaces and for electric wheelchair users, cleaning and disinfecting power wheelchairs has become a lot more involved.

Working from Home in a Pandemic

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been mandated that any individuals who can work from home should do so. This is a great step forward for the disability community. Individuals with chronic illnesses, disabilities or narrow electric wheelchair users often request remote work due to transportation barriers, medical appointments or other health reasons. Unfortunately, people with disabilities have often struggled to win the reasonable accommodation to work remotely. No longer! Today, everyone is encouraged to work remotely and it has proven that people are able to be productive when working from home. Furthermore, it has demonstrated that working from home can occur on a long-term basis.

Wheelchair Accessibility Problems Turn into Solutions

Because the pandemic requires all individuals to stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19, this mandate has solved many accessibility problems for narrow electric wheelchair users or people with disabilities. In terms of socializing, we utilize video chat programs such as Zoom or FaceTime to connect with loved ones. This new way of socializing has taken a lot of the stress off narrow electric wheelchair users, who don’t have to worry about accessibility when going to a friend or family member’s house or eating out at a restaurant. For many states, mail-in voting has become the norm due to the pandemic, and individuals with transportation barriers or chronic illnesses can exercise their right to vote easily with a mail-in ballot. These are just a few examples of how wheelchair accessibility problems have become solutions in 2020.

Disinfecting Wheelchairs and Wheelchair Cleaning Checklist

Due to the coronavirus, narrow electric wheelchair users must take greater precautions beyond washing their hands for twenty seconds. As an extension of their bodies, individuals should clean and disinfect their power wheelchairs daily. When disinfecting power wheelchairs, individuals should use EPA-approved wipes that contain an alcohol solution of at least 70 percent. If you don’t have wipes, the CDC recommends a spray bottle with one quart of water and four teaspoons of bleach. For electronic components on your power chair, we recommend silicon-based cleaners to avoid causing damage to the electronics. Check out our wheelchair cleaning checklist for more tips. While all this extra cleaning has certainly been challenging, it’s necessary to make sure that individuals with power chairs stay safe.

Featured

Wheelchair Accessories for the New Year

As the year 2020 winds down, everyone is looking toward 2021 with anticipation and hope. A new year means new year resolutions and new possibilities. As a narrow electric wheelchair user, you might consider making some important purchases for your narrow electric wheelchair. There are many motorized wheelchair accessories available: from storage options to LED lighting. Get the lowdown on each and decide whether you need some motorized wheelchair accessories to make 2021 the best year yet!

Power Wheelchair Backpack

Power Wheelchair Backpack

Quantum Rehab® knows the importance of having plenty of storage space available. Wheelchair storage bags are a great choice. If you have a Quantum® Power Chair with TRU-Balance® 3 Power Positioning Systems, consider purchasing the Quantum glove box, which attaches easily to the arm of your power chair. The personal item hook is another storage option and a great way to keep your purse or backpack within easy reach.

Speaking of backpacks, have you seen the new Quantum power wheelchair backpack? Made from extremely durable material, this backpack offers an insulated cooler pouch and plenty of volume to store all your possessions that you need to take with you when on the go. Each zipper on this backpack is equipped with a pull hook, perfect for individuals who have limited dexterity.

Wheelchair Safety Lights

Wheelchair Safety Lights

Why not light up the new year with some front and rear LED fender lights on your narrow electric wheelchair? Each switch-operated LED light is mounted to the fender above the drive tire on each side of the power chair. Quantum’s LED lights are ultra slim, delivering excellent compactness and durability. Seeing and being seen has never been easier. Now you can travel around at night with peace of mind and know that cars, pedestrians and cyclists will see you coming.

Motorized Wheelchair Backup Camera

Motorized Wheelchair Backup Camera

Many narrow electric wheelchair users understand the struggle of seeing what’s behind them when reversing. The motorized wheelchair backup camera from Quantum removes the guesswork! Whether you are reversing in your kitchen or at the mall, the Quantum backup camera promotes safety with a rear viewing angle of 170 degrees. Never worry about hitting door frames, small children or family pets. You can see what’s behind you with the 3.5-inch display that can be mounted on the armrest or the side rails for total convenience. Best of all, the backup camera from Quantum offers infrared capabilities for use at night.

Ready to Purchase?

Ready to purchase some motorized wheelchair accessories for the new year? Just reach out to your Quantum dealer today and let them know you wish to purchase some power wheelchair accessories. They can assist you!

Concerts, Ice Cream and More! My Summer Bucket List

Can you believe it is already summer? I know summer does not officially until June 20 but in my book, summer starts June 1. Fall may be my favorite season, but summer has some of my favorite things to do. Due to the pandemic over the last two years, summers have not been the same. I compiled a list of things I would like to do now that things are opening back up. Here is my bucket list for summer 2022.

Concerts

I am always up for a concert, but outdoor concerts are my favorite. I love the music, the atmosphere, and the people. And of course, having iLevel on my power wheelchair makes concerts even better. I can elevate to see the stage and hear the music better. There is something about a group of people being in the same place to share their mutual enjoyment of an artist. In snowy Michigan, an outdoor concert is the number one sign that summer has arrived.

Bonfires and Swimming

During summer nights, bonfires are my go-to activity. I love being with friends and having late night chats around the fire. Bonfires are good for being with large groups or being by myself while cozying up with a good book. Also, who does not love a perfectly cooked s’more?

If I have learned anything in the past year, it is that I LOVE being in the water. When I am in the pool, I feel a sense of freedom. I can move freely in the water and take several independent steps. When I get the chance to swim, I am in the pool for hours and if I could swim every day, I would swim like a fish.

Carnival and Fireworks

low angle photo of fireworks
Photo by rovenimages.com on Pexels.com

Another thing on my to do list this summer is go to a carnival that has fireworks. In Michigan, it is not uncommon to see a fireworks show on the last day of the carnival. It is like getting a two-for-one deal. You can enjoy yummy food, games, and rides during the day and see pretty fireworks at night.

Ice Cream Dates

On a hot summer day, what better way to cool off than with a scoop of ice cream? I do not need it to be summer for to enjoy ice cream but having it in the summer is a nice perk.

About Isabella Bullock: Isabella, or Izzie for short, is an employment specialist for the Center of Independent Living. She is an iced coffee enthusiast who enjoys getting lost in a good book. Click here to learn more about Isabella.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

New Rule to Address Lack of Accessible Bathrooms on Airplanes

During the early part of my career, I was very blessed and fortunate to travel across the country. Typically, I was on the road for over 250 days out of the year. It was very strenuous and taxing, especially with having a disability and everything involved with traveling. One of the things I was always mindful of was my flight schedule. I had to watch what I ate before going on a flight, from 12 to 24 hours beforehand. The reason for this is because airplanes do not have wheelchair-accessible bathrooms.

New Rule from the Department of Transportation

Recently, the Department of Transportation announced that a proposed rule that would improve the accessibility of laboratories for people with disabilities traveling on single aisle aircraft. The proposed rule states that airlines must make at least one lavatory on new, single-aisle aircraft accessible so that a passenger with a disability can approach, enter and maneuver inside the lavatory. It would be a huge game changer for the disability community and wheelchair users.

silhouette of airplane in golden hour
Photo by Marina Hinic on Pexels.com

The Challenges of Flying with a Disability

When I fly, there are two things I worry about: damage to my power wheelchair and whether I will need to use the bathroom during the flight, especially when flying between New York and California. Five hours is a very long time to not eat, drink or go to the bathroom. This law would really put the disability community at ease when flying.

Positive Change on the Horizon

Although flying with a power wheelchair will never be fully risk free, this law is definitely a step in the right direction. Personally, I would resume going on flights if I knew I didn’t have to worry about using the bathroom on an aircraft. Not only does this law benefit individuals with disabilities, it benefits the airlines as well, as more people will travel.

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

Using iLevel Technology in My Herb Garden

One of the things I enjoy doing is gardening. My mom has a very big flower garden in our backyard with a water fountain and a gazebo. There’s even a special area with a couple of birdfeeders where you can sit and watch the birds. For the past five years, I have been tending a little area where I grow herbs. My elevated herb garden is raised off the ground so it’s fully accessible to me in my power wheelchair.

Growing Herbs in my Elevated Garden

close up photo of assorted herbs
Photo by alleksana on Pexels.com

When I first started my herb garden, I just grew mint, so that I could make mint tea. Then, I branched out with parsley, thyme and oregano. With each new year, I try to add a new herb to my garden. I ended up adding basil and rosemary. To be honest, the basil was the best thing to grow. If you eat a lot of Italian food like chicken parmesan or spaghetti and meatballs, I highly recommend growing basil. Just take one or two fresh basil leaves and add it to a jar of regular tomato sauce. It really is a complete game changer.

The most challenging part about the herb garden is knowing when to pick the herbs, especially the mint. If you wait too long to pick the mint, it goes bad on you and then you can’t use it once it turns. The only good thing is that mint grows quickly. I can pick a few leaves and make tea with them. Within a week or two weeks, the mint grows back to its full capacity.

Using My iLevel Power Wheelchair

When I need to water my herbs, it’s great to have iLevel® technology on my Edge® 3 Power Wheelchair. I can elevate my power wheelchair seat 12 inches so I am above the plants, which watering and harvesting super easy. It also helps when I need to trim the herbs too.

I definitely recommend getting an elevated garden, as it keeps the critters out of my plants, although I occasionally have to contend with some bugs or spiders. Still, it’s nice!

About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

Exploring the Beautiful Outdoors in My 4Front 2 Wheelchair

The air is different in the mountains. It’s crisper. It’s fresher. I love that I live so close to a place with so much beauty! From a young age, I always felt so much peace when I was in nature. Getting out was hard though. I was born with a muscle disorder called Arthrogryposis. It is a rare condition that has caused me to be in a wheelchair my whole life. It causes lack of strength in my legs and some in my shoulders. For a long time, I felt like I was missing out because I couldn’t get into the wilderness like I wanted to. As I have gotten older, I realized that I can get much farther than I thought. The outdoors may not be the most wheelchair friendly, but it’s not impossible. It’s all about perspective.

Visiting Ogden Canyon

One of my favorite places to go is Ogden Canyon in Northern Utah. It’s a quick 30-minute drive from my house. You can camp right along the river. It’s surrounded by trees. It’s heaven! Recently, I went up for a quick overnight trip. There is no cell service and it’s a perfect escape. I got some new gear and I wanted to try it out. Setting up everything takes a lot of time for me. It’s an interesting process when I am in a power wheelchair but it is super rewarding!

Setting Up Camp Using My Power Wheelchair

white camping tent
Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Pexels.com

My tent is pretty big. So, I try to use the law of gravity in my favor and utilize safe seat elevation on my 4Front® 2 Power Wheelchair. The tent only has three poles so it is quite easy to assemble. Plus, it has a separate area that I refer to as the living room, which allows me to park my dirty, dusty wheelchair and then transfer to my cot.

I love that once I have my tent, hammock and camp kitchen set up, I can roll back and feel proud that I have figured out how to do it. Once I set up, I can relax. Swaying in my hammock is truly the most relaxing thing. I either read my book or drink my tea and look up through the trees at the sky. Pure joy!

About Kerri Knudson: Kerri lives in Utah with her daughter. She uses a 4Front® 2 Power Wheelchair and loves exploring the outdoors. Click here to learn more about Kerri.

For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

Children’s Books that Include People in Power Wheelchairs

Reading and Bookstagram, which is an online community on Instagram that posts about books, are two of my favorite pastimes. It was through Bookstagram that I learned about the hashtag, OwnVoices, which are books written by a person whose identity or lived experience is reflected in the subject matter of the book. Given the disability community’s history with nondisabled people acting in roles where they play characters with disabilities, it’s probably not surprising that many of the books written about disability aren’t authored by disabled people.

Books that Reflect How We See Ourselves

Bookstagram was also where I first heard the concepts of “mirrors and windows.” We all need books and media that reflect who we see as ourselves. These are our mirrors. We also need windows, where we look at lives that are different from ours. As a kid with a disability, I had all sorts of windows but almost no mirrors. For my own children, I look for books that reflect them, our family and our experiences.

books in black wooden book shelf
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m grateful that there are a growing number of books with visibly disabled characters but there’s still room for improvement. As I scanned our shelves, I realized that out of at least 12 books we have with characters with disabilities, only 3 include a character using a power wheelchair. Here’s a quick recap of those.

When Charlie Met Emma

The book, “When Charley Met Emma” by Amy Webb is a story of a playground encounter between two young children, Emma and Charley. Emma uses a power wheelchair. I like the way the book doesn’t try to erase differences. The second in this series is disability affirmative in describing Emma’s disability as part of who she is. There’s also a helpful guide for parents and caregivers at the end. As a bonus, you can follow @ThisLittleMiggy on Instagram to learn about the author and her daughter, who inspired the book. 

Dad Has a Wheelchair

The book, “Dad has a Wheelchair” by Ken Jasch is told from the perspective of Julia, whose dad uses a power wheelchair. I really love the way this book doesn’t shortcut kids on explanations of the cause of some disabilities, like genes. My husband and I have a disability caused by a genetic mutation so this was a fitting example for our kids to start understanding that our disability wasn’t an accident or injury but quite literally, how we were made. This is an #OwnVoices book as Ken is a dad with a disability.

We Move Together

The book, “We Move Together,” by Kelly Fritsch is also #OwnVoices and the kind of book I buy at least four times a year to give as gifts. It’s a must-have on every kid’s shelf. The illustrations are beautiful and nearly everyone will find their mirror and window. There are definitely power wheelchairs and mobility scooters in this book and they are far from generic. There’s even an image of a person’s wheelchair nearby as they work on an art project on the floor. With enough kids reading this maybe I won’t as frequently get the question, “Do you sleep in your wheelchair?!” The details in this book are so clear and evidence of our wheelchairs as extensions of us, that I could actually recognize well-known advocates.

I’m always looking for more books to add to our collection. Let me know @karaayers on Instagram what are your favorites! Bonus points for mirrors of people using power wheelchairs.

About Kara Ayers: Kara is a mother of three and lives in Ohio. She is an associate professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. In 2021, Kara spoke to the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Equity Taskforce about the need for people with disabilities to access the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to learn more about Kara.

For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

Assistive Technology in Cars and Taking My Driver’s Test

As a teenager, it is a rite of passage to get your driver’s license. The day of your driver’s test is a mixture of nervousness and excitement. While those emotions still apply, there is an added layer of stress for those who use assistive devices.

Assistive Devices for Operating a Vehicle

Assistive devices for operating a vehicle can look like hand controls, a steering wheel knob, glasses, or even an extra seat cushion. While there are laws that prevent test administrators from denying you a license because of disability accommodations, questions are still asked.

international symbol of access on asphalt
Photo by Jakub Pabis on Pexels.com

In early May of 2022, I went in for my driver’s test. I had waited a year longer than most teenagers to get my license (because who needs to pay for driver’s insurance in lockdown?) I started my driving practice at 15 and I used foot pedals, but I slowly transitioned to hand controls. I prefer hand controls and it is what I used during my test. I also use a steering wheel knob, mostly because my family’s wheelchair-accessible van is heavier than normal cars and steering with one hand isn’t easy. Finding the right assistive devices for me took time but the process was worth it because I have found a great setup.

Taking My Driver’s Test

Before my test, the driver’s license center notified me that I had to park in the test lot. I had parked in an accessible spot, and my mom, who is a wheelchair user, had to go back out to move the van. Unfortunately, the test lot didn’t have an accessible spot. It was quite risky to lower the van ramp and hope that someone would see it before they pulled in next to me. Thankfully, the test administrator was educated and did not question my accommodations and I ended up passing my test!

Now, not every person gets a great test administrator. Here are some common things test administrators might say about disability accommodations and here is how to respond.

Are those accommodations legal?

As long as the device doesn’t hinder your ability to drive, you are good.

Why are you driving if you have a disability?

There is no reason why test administrators should ask this. People with disabilities can drive, though some choose not to for safety reasons.

Do you have special training for hand controls?

There is absolutely no requirement to have special training for hand controls. You learn to use hand controls just like you would learn with foot pedals! The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act are both great legal resources for driving, license tests and public transportation.

Remember, as long as you feel comfortable driving, there is no reason why you cannot get a driver’s permit or take the test.

About Riley Hurt: Riley lives in Salem, Oregon, and uses a Stretto Power Wheelchair for mobility. Riley is enrolled in college, pursuing electrical and computer engineering. She hopes to make her future field more inclusive for people with disabilities. Click here to learn more about Riley.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

How iLevel Improves My Social Interactions

Being a manual wheelchair user was challenging for me. I experienced an inability to reach things and my arms would become tired from propelling myself. One area that I really struggled in was social interactions. Now, don’t get me wrong. I may have said “I” in terms of struggling, but I really mean how the rest of the world seemed to treat me and my struggles because of that. People treated me in a variety of ways, whether directly or indirectly, that would cause me to become uncomfortable.

Directing Conversation About Me to My Partner

One example is how people would look at me in my chair, look at my able-bodied partner standing next to me, then direct questions about me to my partner. Of course, I would quickly speak up, in a passive-aggressive way like, “Hey, I am a person too and I am right here, talk to me directly please.” Yet, there were many times where I was too shocked to speak up.

Looking Down at Me

Something else that would happen to me a lot was people hovering over me, very closely. I absolutely hated that, as I’m sure a lot of wheelchair users do! People felt the need to talk to me by practically standing on me and looking down over me. This really didn’t feel the best and it kind of made me feel like I was being talked as if I was a child.

How people converse with me in my manual wheelchair

How people converse with me when I’m elevated at iLevel

The Differences with iLevel on My Power Chair

While I loved my manual chair and still do, I absolutely do not miss these experiences. With my Stretto Power Wheelchair with iLevel® technology, life has changed for the better in so many ways. Those who know a little bit about iLevel technology but don’t use it may only think of the uses that grants wheelchair users greater independence.

iLevel Directs People to Speak to Me

As someone who uses the technology daily, there are many uses for it, whether I’m by myself at home or in places like stores. Most importantly, iLevel has helped me overcome all the social situations I mentioned above. When I am elevated in my power wheelchair, people now tend to look at me more and address me directly, if we’re meeting for the first time.

iLevel Ensures People Give Space

Plus, when people see me elevated at 12 inches, they give me space! I love not having people practically standing on me when we have a conversation. Constantly looking up at people frequently did a number on my neck. Conversing with people while elevated is easier and more comfortable.

I have noticed a huge difference for me socially since I began using my Stretto Power Wheelchair with iLevel. People whom I haven’t met before, seem to view and treat me as more of a person now. This is one of the main reasons why I absolutely love iLevel on my power chair.

About Chrysanthemum Chan: Chrysanthemum is an award-winning cosplayer and Quantum brand ambassador. She enjoys fashion, cosplay and music and has a TikTok channel with over 380,000 followers. Click here to learn more about Chrysanthemum.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

Taking Vacations: It’s Time to Get Away

I grew up in a family that did not take many vacations. We were a family of five living on very limited means, so vacations simply weren’t in the cards for us most of the time. When we could get away, our trips were mostly camping trips within an hour of our home. Now, I love toasting marshmallows and telling scary stories around a campfire. Come to think of it, that might be where my obsession with horror and all things Halloween stemmed from. Still, there is more to vacationing than just camping.

Just One Vacation a Year

As I got older with a career of my own, taking a vacation became the ultimate goal. I thought that if I took one vacation a year then I was truly splurging. So, for years that is what I did. I took one vacation per year for one week. Now those were some great vacations! I went to Punta Cana, Ireland, Mexico, San Francisco, and more! I loved all these vacations and enjoyed both the adventure and the relaxation that the destinations offered. 

Now that I’ve been cooped up in my home for over two years because of the worldwide pandemic, I’ve been starting to wonder why I ever limited myself to just one vacation a year! After all, I’ve been working in positions that offered me at least two weeks of vacation per year, but I would only ever take a week!

Lately, I’ve been telling my husband that I want to take a vacation and he replied “We just took a vacation in November. Maybe we’ll go on another vacation in a year or two.” I reminded him: “Yes, that was our honeymoon. We should be able to go on more vacations than just our honeymoon in our lifetime!” 

Mini Vacations

After talking about it, my husband and I realized that neither of us grew up in homes that prioritized vacations, so going on one vacation a year feels lavish to us. One vacation a year, however, does not really allow us to take breaks and recharge in ways that we’d like to. So, we’ve resolved to take more vacations, even if that means taking mini vacations throughout the year, such as long weekend getaways. We’ve already started planning some smaller trips and I am very excited for our future adventures! 

About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador advisor for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to Wheel Talk

How to Obtain a More Accessible Kitchen without a Major Renovation

close up photo of dishwasher
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

My husband and I are both wheelchair users. We’ve lived in our home a little over 10 years. Before that, we lived in apartments, where we were limited in what we could do to adapt our home. While it sounds appealing to modify everything to our preferences, it’s expensive and we also want our home to be comfortable for our kids, two of which are average size and nondisabled. 

Like most families, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Admittedly, I am NOT the chef of the family yet I want to access as much as I can. With three growing kids, it feels like we’re constantly feeding someone! Here are a few ways we’ve organized our kitchen to be accessible for us.

Side-by-Side Refrigerator

Ourside-by-side refrigerator lets me reach both the freezer and the refrigerator equally. With iLevel® technology on my Stretto Power Wheelchair, I can reach everything from the top to the bottom. I’m inspired by TikTok organizers, so I hope to better organize these areas in the future. For now, we try to keep stocked on freezer items our teen and tween can make on their own in between meals and staples for our youngest, who seems to survive on pancakes lately!

Using an Air Fryer

I find our air fryermore accessible than the stove and oven in some ways because the drawer is lighter to lift. This means it cooks less quantities of food. Still, it’s been a great way to make fish, fries, and vegetables. 

Creating an Accessible Kitchen Island

We made our most significant renovation to the kitchen right before we moved in with a lowered kitchen island. The previous island had a set of cabinets, drawers above, and those were topped by a counter. My father-in-law is a skilled carpenter. He used a plane saw to cut the drawers off and replaced the countertop on top of the remaining cabinets. It’s perfect height for us to roll under. Our kids can eat or work at while seated in a regular chair, instead of a bar-height chair. Even if it weren’t for the accessibility factor, my dare-devil toddlers would not have fared well with bar-height chairs!

Embrace Kitchen Gadgets and Tools

Don’t listen to the ableist hype that kitchen gadgets are for lazy people. Sure, there will always be products that don’t do what they claim. There are also many tools for the kitchen that make life more accessible. Cutting tools for apples and grapes have gotten a lot of use in our kitchen. They are easier and safer for me than just using a knife. 

Our kitchen is functional for us right now but there’s always room to dream for the future. As the kids get older, a stove-top with controls on the front rather than the back is something I want to explore. I’d love to hear about your kitchen setups, so feel free to find me on Instagram @KaraAyers or Twitter @DrKaraAyers. 

About Kara Ayers: Kara is a mother of three and lives in Ohio. She is an associate professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center. In 2021, Kara spoke to the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Equity Taskforce about the need for people with disabilities to access the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to learn more about Kara.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page

Springtime and the Beautiful Flowers in St. Louis

During the month of May in St. Louis, everything comes alive! The foliage in the trees become thicker and greener and you can see it as the wind blows. This is the best time to check out some spots in the St. Louis area where you can see beautiful flowers and plants that you don’t see on a regular basis. First place I recommend that you visit is the Missouri Botanical Gardens. It is a cool spot that makes you feel like you’re in a different world.

What to See at the Missouri Botanical Gardens

It’s the best time of the year to go. Most of the plants are kept outdoors and you can see all the different types of flowers that represent different areas of the world. A perfect example of this is the Chinese Garden, which is beautiful. The trees come alive you see different kind of plants and bushes that other places have but we do not. They’re so curated sometimes they look fake! Not to mention the smells you experience from the flowers. The Missouri Botanical Garden is definitely a cool place to check out all year round.

Visit Forest Park

Another good spot I would suggest visiting is Forest Park. It’s one of the largest urban parks in the United States and it’s very wheelchair accessible, whether you use a power wheelchair or a manual chair. There are so many things to look at in different areas, but if you love plants, I recommend checking out the Jewel Box.

The Jewel Box is a glass house with rare species of plants that only come out during certain parts of the year. The cost of admission is super cheap. The array of plants it offers, with beautiful colors and smells, it’s an experience all in itself. If you haven’t been out of the house much because of COVID-19, the Jewel Box will blow your senses away.

We should all take the time to appreciate the trees, the flowers and the plants around us. Without them, we would not be alive. So, appreciate their beauty and what they give us!

About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.


For more great blogs from our brand ambassadors and Q Roll Models, visit lifeatilevel.com today!

Return to the Life At iLevel page