Author: Pamela Martin
Published on: February 1, 2001
I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek: "If I simply must have multiple sclerosis, this is probably a good year to have it."
Of course my statement can be best characterized as gallows humor, but there's an atom of truth in it. The new millennium offers the promise of innovative assistive technologies, products, and public awareness that previous generations never enjoyed.
It was not so long ago that people challenged by mobility or balance problems had more hurdles to jump and fewer resources with which to do it. Canes, walkers, and wheelchairs were often unwieldy, cold, and unattractive affairs that were rendered useless in inaccessible public spaces.
Today, wheeled walkers in designer colors, zippy, all-terrain scooters, and voice-recognition software are common solutions to physical challenges.
You're probably wondering: How do I find these adaptive resources? What companies and organizations do I contact? What's available and how much do these products and services cost? Gratefully, there's a one-stop website that boasts a comprehensive database that can help answer these questions and many more.
Abledata.com http://www.abledata.com/ is a federally funded project whose primary function is to provide information on assistive technology and rehabilitation equipment available within the U.S..
The ABLEDATA database contains information on more than 18,000 currently available assistive technology products. The database contains not only detailed descriptions and prices of each product, but also information on customized and one-of-a-kind products, and do-it-yourself designs.
ABLEDATA suggests combining information from their database with professional advice, product evaluations, and hands-on product trials. To help you find the information you need from their extensive database, you can conduct searches in 5 ways: keyword, product type, company, brand name, and boolean (tailored).
ABLEDATA offers Resource Centers that are intended to provide you with Internet resources on a selected disability issue such as: Travel, Parents with a Disability, and Accessible Housing.
Listed below are just a handful of the resources I've found on ABLEDATA's site. They range from travel and vacation services, to web sites for the special challenges of disabled parents, to home modifications to make your house accessible.
Travel and Vacation Resources
article is presented for general information purposes only, and author
makes no endorsement, representation, or warranty express or implied as
to any product, device, or information described in article. Information
provided is not intended as a prescription or recommendation for your personal
situation. You should consult with your physician or other appropriate
professional for specific advice on your personal health care choices.