Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ride On!


Ain't it beautiful? I saw one of these fancy scooters outside the building I had been teaching in the last few days. It looked like a Smart Car that had gone on a diet. I met the fellow who owned the scooter and he told us that he was 'kind of a celebrity' in town because he scooted around in it. I snuck a peek inside and, man, it was so cool.

I asked him how fast it went and he said, 'I can keep up with a fast jogger.' We laughed together at the realities of using a mobility devise. Joe ended up chatting with him for about an hour while he was waiting for me to finish teaching and on our way home filled me in on the ins and outs of the scooter. I don't think it will work for me ... first it's a bit, um, narrow, for me, second I can't imagine zipping around a grocery store in it.

What pleased me, was the fact that there seems to be a growing trend to make mobility devises cooler, put some thought into design and colour. I'm seeing more walkers out there in cool colours, more manual chairs designed with flair. I think that's because I'm seeing more people with a disability who are 'out' with their disability and 'cool' in their attitude. This guy, the guy with the fancy dancy scooter, he welcomed the notice the chair gave him. You've gotta be comfortable in your own skin to be able to do that.

Maybe we're starting to get out of the waiting room and into the streets. Maybe, we disabled folks, are beginning to really incorporate our sense of identity into how we present ourselves to the world. Maybe we're beginning to come out of the disability closet. Maybe we're the flower that's climbed down off the wall. Maybe our violet stopped shrinking. Maybe there are individual acts of self acceptance that will one day coalesce into something much bigger, something much more magical, something that will impel change. Wild yellow crutches, bright blue hearing aids, electric purple walkers, scooters that out design Detroit - all of them seem to me to be like a statement of purpose and identity.

I liked it.

Mobility devices as both a fashion and a statement. Looks good and says much.

Disability pride on four wheels, disability identity in shocking colour, disability awareness in one glance. I'm ready for it, truly ready for it. It's time to 'gimp our ride',  it's time to 'rock our roll', it's time to put on our orthopedic stiletto's and kick ass.

Let me hear an AMEN!

21 comments:

theknapper said...

AMEN!!!!!!!

erika said...

This one-person slimmed-down Smart Car has a very high cool factor. Amen to disability pride and fancy-smancy durable medical equipment!

wendy said...

Amen, Brother Dave! What an amazing looking scooter. Is it air conditioned? Heated?

Clairesmum said...

AMEN, INDEED!!

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi Wendy, Joe had a long chat with him about the scooter and, no, it isn't air conditioned or heated. Too bad!

Tamara said...

That looks like fun ... I'm thinking some people who don't need one of those babies might want one!

Anonymous said...

OUT DESIGN Detroit!!!!???? Nevah!!!LOL. Cool, way cool - little zipper!!!!!

Anonymous said...

amen

coffeetalk said...

AMEN!!!! My husband and I are old car enthusiasts and frequently attend car shows and cruise nights. You know the event....the cars all line up on the side of the road and we spectators ooohh and ahhh and drool over them. Our small-town local cruise night has started sporting these little "smart car" mobility devices in the line up with all the classics. There is one gentleman who loves to let the children attending the event sit in it and he's always patient with all their questions. He's definitely one of the coolest dudes there!

Kristine said...

That thing is way cool!!

A few years ago I used pink, glittery letter stickers to write on the back of my powerchair, "That's How I Roll." I absolutely love it, and so does everyone else! Everywhere I go, people tell me how cool my sticker and chair are. It's a great ice breaker, and gives people a glimpse into not just my disability, but my personality. Love it. :)

Princeton Posse said...

AMEN to that!

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

Amen! Disability not as deficit but as endless possiblity, as catalyst to creativity and invention. Not quite as technical but along the same lines - this TED talk:

http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html

Amen Amen Amen!
Colleen

Lauren said...

Oh! That reminds me of a TED talk I saw. About Aimee Mullins the olympic athlete born without legs. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html

Lauren said...

Lol, I guess in the 10 minutes it took me to look it up someone beat me to it

Jess and Glacier said...

Very cool.
People always asked me why I tied very loud, jingling Christmas bells to my dog's harness around the holidays:
"it brings so much attention to you though."
Yep, duh. That is the point.
Amen.

Noisyworld said...

Orthopedic stilletos? I want :D
As long as they're designed so I can't fall over, Brilliant :)

ivanova said...

Wow, awesome! I love the idea of cool mobility devices. My mom can't walk long distances and whenever I suggest a scooter or wheelchair, she shoots me down. Her only reason is, "I don't like people staring at me." I can't argue that this won't happen, because I know it will. But what if they were staring admiringly, jealously? : )

Ettina said...

My two friends with CP, one with a scooter and one with a wheelchair, both of them have mobility devices that would ordinarily look quite plain. But both have plastered cool stickers all over their devices - such as the 'wheelie heart' symbol (a variant on the wheelchair stick person where the wheelchair is shaped like a heart).

jwg said...

Exactly what is that scooter? Is there a web site with more info?

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hi, the scooter was a 'shoprider' ... they make a lot of scooters and it took a lot of looking to find it. Good luck! I should have linked the site, too late smart.

Becca said...

SuhWEET scooter. Wish I could get a chair styled like that.

They do do scooters with proper canopies like that for guys your size (and then some!) - I saw some fantastic stuff at this year's Naidex - the UK's annual disability equipment expo. If you possibly can you should try to manage to be in the UK while it's on sometime. The most stunning one was a beautiful dark rich metallic red with a huge canopy that arced over the seat and controls in a single expanse of curved loveliness - take hope, they're definitely out there even if I can't remember who made the bl**dy thing...