Hi-Tech Innovations That Make Life Easier for mobileWOMEN

By Lucy Lawrence

 If you’re one of the 20% of Americans who have a disability, you’ll know that sometimes life can be a bit (or a lot!) more challenging compared to those who have no mobility issues. Whether it’s navigating transport systems or simply making sure that the places you go are accessible, there can be a lot to think about - especially, if you’re a wheelchair user. But there’s good news: as technology marches on, there are more and more innovations being designed to make life a little easier. Here are some of the leading examples of this trend.

Worldwide mobileWOMEN in South Africa

Some of our MobileWOMEN from around the world have shared with us what living life in a wheelchair is like in their country. What you read about the differences or similarities between their stories and life in the United States might surprise you. In this installment, we interviewed Linda Brown.
Mobile Woman, Linda Brown

Please describe your disability?

I had a car accident in 2008 and broke my back at T12/L2. 
I have an incomplete spinal cord injury and use a wheelchair for mobility. I do have slight movement in my legs, especially the left leg and no bladder nor bowel control. I have a colostomy bag for my bowels and use pads or nappies (diapers) for my bladder. 

Please describe where you live? Are you in a city or rural location?

I live in a rural location in Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with a population of just over 9,000.

Have you been able to receive, in your mind, adequate medical care in your area? Has the quality of medical care changed since the onset of your disability?

Medical care in private hospitals are adequately prepared but not the state hospitals. They are always out of medication or colostomy bags. Medical care has not improved at all, since my disability. 

With regard to wheelchairs, durable medical equipment and medical supplies, do you have access to items suitable for your needs?

I do not have access to proper medical equipment because of the high prices demanded for wheelchairs etc. 

In terms of accessibility needs, what are your living arrangements? Is your home modified  for your needs, and do you feel like you're able to live as independently as possible?
Linda and her daughter, Chante

Let's Celebrate International Women's Day!

By Wendy Crawford
Today marks International Women’s Day, the day to celebrate women around the globe. As I sit here at my computer, I cannot help but reflect on the great strides that women of all ethnicities, ages and abilities have made.

I joined this community over 33 years ago when my vehicle was rear ended by a driver who had been drinking. I did NOT want to be a “woman with a disability”. How will people view me?  Will they pity me? Will I be considered less than? Can I still be productive member of society? These were only a few of the destructive thoughts and preconceived notions that filled my head as I lay, in my hospital bed.

I carried this heavy burden for several years until I began to spend more time with other women who used wheelchairs.  I was in awe of the strength, their perseverance and their ability to power over the seemingly unsurmountable obstacles that life had thrown, in their path.  I learned of their accomplishments and suddenly, there was a little, tiny sprout that pushed through the dark, multiple layers of negativity that said “I’m still me. I’m still the same person. Maybe I can do this.”   

We at mobileWOMEN, want to take this opportunity to applaud each and every one of you. We feel pride, being able to feature outstanding women, like yourselves, on our site. We are extremely grateful for all of our contributors, sharing their journeys, knowledge, experiences and perspectives. There is a common, undeniable bond and sense of unity, no matter where you live or what you do, that is indestructible. Bravo to all you trailblazers, mothers, professionals, students, athletes, community leaders, volunteers, wives  and friends; you are not just surviving, you are thriving warriors, forging a better world, for the next generation!