How you can help

HERE ARE SOME “RULES” THAT YOU MIGHT SELF-ENFORCE FOR HELPING ALL PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

  1. Always treat people with disabilities as equals.  All people want to have friends, fun, and experience life to the maximum.  People with disabilities are no exception.  Never be afraid, skeptical, or embarrassed to approach someone with a disability.  People with disabilities have just as much fun!
  2. Always ask before you help.  People with disabilities have varying levels of independence.  Never assume someone with a disability has a low-level.  If someone looks like they’re struggling, ask before you help.  A person may welcome help, or they may ask that you let her be independent; but even if she looks like she’s struggling, she may just want to become more independent, which requires practice in everyday situations.
  3. Never assume someone does or does not have a disability.  Everyone is different.  Sometimes, people with disabilities may act, feel, or think differently than you.  Don’t assume that for this reason someone has a disability, simply treat him/her as an individual because all people should be treated equally.
  4. Do not stare.  Sometimes it is an eye-opening experience to see someone with a disability in public.  However, people with disabilities have lives just like everyone else.  You are certainly allowed to look, but do not stare at a person with a disability.  Simply view them the way you view others.
  5. Respect and understand confidentiality.  People with disabilities have a right to privacy.  They are not obligated to tell you about their disability.  If someone does tell you about his/her disability, do not assume that he/she is comfortable with you telling other people about his/her disability.  Always ask permission to discuss the disability before you do it.

My scooters

I can’t drive (well, legally that is), but thanks to the benefits that I’ve got, because I was working for the government, what I’m able to get is pretty awesome. I’ve got 2 scooters, because of what I need them for. The first, and most significant, factor that needs to be addressed is the weather. We live in Canada, so snow’s an issue. However, while OC Transpo buses are accessible, getting on the bus means that I’m required to take a tight-90 degree turn, which dramatically limits what I can use.

This is my "not deep snow" scooter. It's a lot like what it looks - not intended for use in snow. I've have to use it in snow, because my big one arrived with an error! However, it's not meant to be used in the snow! If the snow was deeper than about 1" it could have gotten stuck! The first time I learned that, I didn't see it before I'd advanced, and got stuck! Thankfully, even though I was stuck, within a few minutes someone saw me, and immediately came to help. After that, If I see that on the road ahead of me is snow, I avoid it.
Here's what the manufacturer says about it:

  • CTS Suspension (Comfort-Trac front and rear suspension) provides a smooth, comfortable ride over varied terrain

  • Feather-touch disassembly easily disassembles into 5 lightweight pieces for transport and storage

  • 300 lb. weight capacity

  • Delta Tiller with ergonomic wraparound handles lets you operate the scooter with one hand and rest your wrist

  • A standard front basket provides storage

  • Charger port located on the tiller lets you conveniently charge your scooter

  • The dual voltage charger permits charging the battery pack on-board or off-board for added convenience

  • Pride’s exclusive black, non-scuffing tires

  • Standard LED lighting

  • Includes two sets of easily changeable, red and blue colored shrouds

This is my 4-season scooter, that I can take anytime, to anywhere.
Granted that as it doesn't have a roof, it shouldn't be taken in the rain, but I was told that if the steering wheel electronics are covered, it's able to go anywhere, anytime.
Rugged and built to last, the Wrangler is everything I want in an outdoor scooter! Equipped with front and rear suspension (suspension - really? Yup, and it's awesome) this aggressive scooter is designed for cruising on walking trails or driving around. Enjoy total visibility with complete LED lighting. With a user-friendly console and dual hydraulic brakes for added safety, the Wrangler is the perfect way to embrace life in the great outdoors!

And, get this - it's top speed is ~20 km/h


  • CTS Suspension includes adjustable shocks for greater comfort

  • User friendly LED console displays time, temperature, miles driven, and trips taken

  • Adjustable delta tiller with ergonomic, wraparound handles

  • USB charger built into the tiller for convenient charging of smart phones and portable devices

  • Durable and stylish rear bumper

  • Easily accessible tie-down points (for transport of unoccupied scooter)

  • Full LED lighting package includes headlights, hazard lights, rear backup sensor LED lights and directional signals

Here's some visual evidence as to the difference. They say size isn't everything, but with respect to scooters in the snow, it matters. Check out the size differential between the two wheels.
Yes, being disabled sucks (when comparing to how I was), but with both the realization that I'd had (that while the past was cool, it's gone) and looking forward with what I'm building, it's awesome. And, thanks to the fact that I worked for the government, and was awarded a generous settlement, though I lost a cool job, I'm not paid less. So, the financial stress isn't here. As I'd said above, while it's not-good that they don't have a roof, with an umbrella, and the electronics are covered, I can go out in the rain. Not hard, but drizzles, but it's ok.

ABI Top New Year’s Resolutions

Oh man, this year is going to be better than awesome! That’s because the “Beware Brain Bang Foundation” will become a registered non-profit and charity. It’s been a bit of a journey from organizing an annual walk with volunteers, and into gathering Board members to form a new group.
We are working on how we will help raise awareness about Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and how to overcome its challenges. When we will be done, trust me, it’ll be better than awesome!

I’ve had some rough times, getting hit by that minivan while cycling sucked, but I’m determined to make lemonade from lemons. And, it won’t simply be good, it’ll be better than awesome, by a whole lot. It’s the new year, so let’s see what my resolutions are.

Guess who was invited to be at the induction ceremony?
ME!  Yes, that's right, me.

 

The new liquor store – fully accessible!

Yes, alcohol can help cause a significant number of Acquired Brain Injuries, but it’s the person who uses it, not the store. The store, brand new this year, is fully accessible, a far cry from the previous location.

The old store was, by technicality, accessible - but it was by no means so.
The new store is fully accessible.
The door opens, widely, through which I'm able to drive my scooter straight in.
Not only can I drive all through the store to choose what I'd like, I'm able to pay for it, easily.

Developing the ability to multi-task with a brain injury is possible

I’ve heard, that while the damage to my brain was significant, that changes can be worked on, and with focus, achieved. A few years ago, when my aunt would basically tell everyone other than who was speaking, to be quiet, I became determined to improve.

Going to a restaurant wasn't really possible back then, because of the many different sounds, and I'd get distracted, that I'd not be able to talk to someone. I'm not fully sure what I did, but I did, and with focus.
I’m typing this with my earpiece in, listening to the radio, and the TV is on at the other end of the room. However, I’m focussing on what I’m typing, both visually and thought-concentration.

With focus, and determination, anything’s possible. Yes, my brain injury poses a challenge, but with focus, I’ll go all the way, and then some.
I’m typing this with my earpiece in, listening to the radio, and the TV is on at the other end of the room. However, I’m focussing on what I’m typing, both visually and thought-concentration.

With focus, and determination, anything’s possible. Yes, my brain injury poses a challenge, but with focus, I’ll go all the way, and then some.

Actions speak louder than words

Doing something for someone, without being asked, is usually somewhat insulting.
I used to think that I show that I'm useless, and didn't correct them when they simply assumed that, which was bad. I'm trying to adjust my thinking to that they simply don't know, and are trying their best. I honestly don't know what's the best way to tell people that.
On the whole, it's hard to say "what's right", because how it's received is like the injury itself, in that it's unique to the individual. I've basically gotten used to accepting the fact that people want to help, so if they want to do something that I know I can do myself, I don't do anything, and say thank you. If I objected, or acted badly, then that person might change from wanting to help, to someone who'd walk on by, thinking that they'd be annoyed.

Is it a physio place, a pool, or both?

Liquid Gym isn’t like what’s immediately thought of when you hear “physiotherapy.” What’s thought of are things like guided exercises, and ways to use your body to help heal what happened to you. If you’re like me, you’d have never thought of being in the water as being beneficial in that respect, let alone excellent. I started going about a year ago, and immediately saw its benefits. Its mission is “To change the way the world thinks about rehab and fitness”, and they accomplish it by making it fun. It’s not all jokes, nor is it playtime, but it’s never boring, and it’s always a good time.


Click to visit!
It began on November 6, 2013, opened by Karen Snyder and Irene Hammerich. This is everyone!
Karen Snyder
Irene Hammerich
The staff!
Sébastien Beaulieu
Dominique Comeau
Martine Giroux
Lindsay Jonkman
Judith Lambert
Ashley Dang-Vu
Vicki Wong
Susan Yungblut

Driverless Ubers, cool, but a Tesla??

This entry doesn't immediately seem to fit into this blog, because what it's about doesn't immediately fit with what this story is about. But, it is. Why? Because what I'm about is the minimizing the differences between myself, and someone who hasn't suffered an injury that's rendered them unable to drive. Put it this way, with what Elon is thinking, while the notion of my being able get into a Tesla is highly-unlikely (simply because of cost), the concept of taking one alone is impossible. However, with what he's proposing, not only will riding in one be possible, but doing so alone.
Teslas, are cooler than pretty much anything, of that there's no doubt, but they're not cheap! But, as with everything, while the price starts high, as skills/production/everything else improves, the cost to make will reduce.
Visionaries don't see the cost of making things, nor do they worry about "little things" that would get in the way, because all they see is the result.
Everything that's designed follows a 3-step process of questions, which is "what do we need?", followed by "how do we do it". At the centre is why it's being thought of. Nearly every invention follows the process, starting at the outside, and working in. Steve Jobs, who invented the Mac computers, followed it, but reversed the order. He thought of why what he's inventing is needed. He solved it, and worked out.
Elon Musk is a visionary, of that there's no doubt, because he's making going to space more of a common-thing, and now he's announced that he'll be into making self-driving taxis.
I'm looking at my computer, the where I store my info for backup, and this will show more of what I just said.
Everything that's somewhat standard now was "holy cow, that's awesome!!" when it was first launched, and cost a fortune. In a long time, cars like this will likely simply be "just a car", and the fact that it's driverless, and a taxi, won't be anything weird.

If you want something, focus on making it happen

A while ago, like 4 or 5 years, I simply couldn't have a conversation at a dinner party with someone, because of the ambient noise, other people talking, and everything else that would distract me made it impossible. It was impossible because I couldn't focus on what they were saying, such that while I heard the noise they were making, I simply couldn't "assemble" it into a full-thought. However, how it made me feel made me determined to overcome. I know that "they" say that that's something that's either impossible, or too difficult to want to start.
I started with Soldiers of Fitness ten years ago, it ingrained in me the notion that quitting isn't an option, and that I'm to go all the way, and then some. The concept of not succeeding wasn't something that I thought possible, and I was determined to succeed. I didn't get any pro-help, because I figured that they'd simply tell me that it's impossible, and I shouldn't even try.
I'm listening to radio now, not music but hosted (KISS FM). It's a show where the hosts would come on, tell stories, "talk" to me, and I'd hear what they say, while doing something else.