Media (and Fashion!) is for Every Body


By Amy Saffell
Amy Saffell (bottom right) armed with GoPro & crew

People with disabilities are significantly underrepresented in the media, both on camera and in media jobs behind the scenes. In Nashville, through a partnership with the adaptive sports and independence nonprofit ABLE Youth (www.ableyouth.org) and Nashville Education, Community and Arts Television Network (NECAT) (www.necatnetwork.org), change is happening! NECAT, a public access television station, has so far trained about a half dozen of ABLE Youth's teenagers and the Executive Director to run everything in the studio, from cameras to floor directing to technical directing to audio to sets and lighting to being on camera and are now television producers with the public access station.
In the control room.

The Access Strength: Truly Inclusive Exercise Equipment

Rosemarie, Ryan Eder & The Access Strength
By Rosemarie Rossetti

Exercise is a top priority for me and my husband, Mark Leder. We have been regular members of the YMCA in Gahanna, Ohio since it opened in 2004. In the cold months, I am there about twice a week and less frequently in the warm months. I was involved with their adaptive fitness program in 2005 and had fitness instructors that helped me to learn how to use the equipment, in the gym, more effectively. In 2006, I enrolled in the warm water Pilate’s class and hired a swimming instructor in 2015 who taught me how to swim laps, using five different strokes! Also that year, Mark and I hired a personal trainer to show us how to use additional exercise equipment, creating a program for each of us to follow.


As much as I enjoyed all of these activities, they came with challenges and frustration of trying to access and use much of the standard exercise equipment designed for non-wheelchair users. The difficulty that I have had working on exercise equipment, especially early on, was transferring from my wheelchair to each of the pieces of equipment. I would notice black and blue marks on my legs on occasion, at places where my leg would hit a seat during the transfer. There were only a few pieces of equipment that I could use from my wheelchair. I also found it cumbersome to put pins in the weights to adjust the equipment and sometimes even the lowest weight setting, was too difficult for me to lift.

I’m excited to announce that there is a new piece of universal design exercise equipment now on the market that is without the obstacles that I (and many others) have encountered in the past! It was designed for people of all abilities, including people like myself, who use a wheelchair for mobility. I have known the inventor, founder, and CEO of IncludeHealth, Ryan Eder, for many years and am amazed at the technology that he has created.

Ryan started as a design student at the University of Cincinnati when he happened to notice a man in a wheelchair, working out at the gym. After observing him, Ryan noticed that the gentleman spent more time transferring and adapting to the equipment than actually working out. This moment became the focus of his senior thesis which led to designing the inclusive workout system, The Access Strength. Ryan describes his 10-year journey here.


This strength training equipment is not for the home gym but rather for rehabilitation centers, hospitals, orthopedic, and care centers. The Access Strength inclusive functional trainer allows a person to do hundreds of upper and lower body exercises from a seated or standing position.

 
I was fortunate to have worked with Ryan, from the early days when he was designing this equipment. I find it easy to use from my wheelchair and especially like the feature to increase and decrease the weight that I lift by simply turning a knob. The adjustments are in five-pound increments. This equipment fuses inclusivity, fitness, technology, data, and healthcare integration into a digital health platform focusing on physical medicine,
rehabilitation, and wellness.



IncludeHealth is an internationally awarded digital health company leveraging technology, data, and design to transform health and wellness. Offered through a monthly subscription, The Include Platform pairs HIPAA compliant cloud software with accessible fitness equipment to produce better outcomes with lower barriers and costs through features such as outcomes-based data collection, automated documentation, cloud collaboration, and inclusive design.

With $6M in development to disrupt the industry, The Include Platform has garnered over 20 issued patents and 18 international design + health awards including winning Best in Show in the International Design Excellence Awards twice! Other one-time winners include Apple, Nike, Microsoft, and Tesla.

So you are probably wondering how you have the opportunity to use this innovative equipment. If you are interested in learning more about The Access Strength or how to have it installed at a facility, please contact Ryan Eder at ryan.eder@includehealth.com.

We all know that fitness has to be a priority especially for those with mobility challenges. By being proactive, we can change our fitness environment to accommodate our needs so we can focus our efforts on being the best we can be, in the New Year and many years to follow!

To learn more about the author, Rosemarie Rossetti, visit https://www.rosemariespeaks.com/.