Sunday, June 10, 2012

Take Up Thy Bed and ReWalk

When I first saw the ReWalk, I was disturbed by the language around its introduction. Even in the header on the web page I've linked to, the slogan 'a life regained' is prominent. Let's be clear to 'gain' life, one has to have 'lost' life. The image of scientists calling a disabled Lazarus back to life comes to mind. The resurrection power of the ReWalk is clear for all to see. It's the 'I'd rather be dead than be in a wheelchair' attitude made real. I'd not written about the ReWalk because, though I tried, I simply didn't have the talent to put into words how I felt about, not the idea or the actuality of the ReWalk, but of the marketing of it.

Well, now I don't have to, I noticed that Rolling Around in My Heard received several hits because of mention in a blog about the 'miracle' of ReWalk and I popped over to read it. I loved it. I'm going to take today off and instead send those of you wishing to read a thought provoking piece to pop over to Disability and Representation to read the post. See you on the other side of tomorrow.


9 comments:

GirlWithTheCane said...

I just started following that blog, and read that piece yesterday...can't remember what I wrote there, but I know that I *really* liked her take on it.

I remember actually hearing, a couple of years after my stroke, at the funeral of a man who'd died of a massive stroke, someone saying, "It's probably better like this. He wouldn't have wanted to live in a wheelchair." I was out of my chair at that point, but I'd been in it for over a year after my stroke. When I heard the woman say that, I felt like I'd been shot. I just couldn't believe that she was suggesting that he was better off dead than being in a wheelchair...

bob said...

Ovr at the terrific Society Pages was a post discussing a similar tech. The discussion following the post is very worthwhile.

http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2012/01/17/progress-versus-ableism-the-case-of-ekso/

This was followed up by a second post.

http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2012/05/15/progress-vs-ableism-revisited-the-case-of-the-bionic-woman/

Anonymous said...

Wishing you were or someone else were dead rather than being in "a chair" is absurd. Yet - let us be honest. Most of this blog, even Dave's job, is dealing with, concerns over, and rants and raves (deserved) about the limitations and frustrations of having a disability. We try to make our lives easier - we want, nay demand, access. Our lives would be easier, more free and perhaps more enjoyable if we were not in a chair, or have to use a walker, etc. We do try to educate and inform others that this is our life and we intend to live it to the fulness - but we are in denial if we think our lives are easier or even the same as those without physical limitations.

How delighted I'd be if I didn't have to leave the house with all my stuff - chair, cane, food, meds - just to have an outing. Now nice it would be just worrying about what I'm wearing and if I'll be warm enough. But that is not my life.

I certainly can "forgive" others for thinking my life would be better without a chair. Not that I'd be a better person - but that the quality of my life would be better.

Would I use an exo? Probably not. For one - I don't want the extra attention. I get more than enough as it is. But I do applaud those who see a need and try to meet it. Don't forget - it is such folks that came up with a wheelchair in the first place!

Sheila said...

Thank you so much for sharing the post. I agree that she said very well things that I have wanted to say in the past.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Anon, thanks for your comment, I want to clarify though, that I was talking about the marketing of the ReWalk, not the devise itself. I'm, of course, totally fine with people doing research on anything that can make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities. But the discussion around the ReWalk is really, if you think about it, about how much better it is for the non-disabled to have to deal with someone who is standing not sitting. It's about how respect comes easier to those who feel they have it to give when someone appears more 'normal'. I think their slogan should be ... No Need to Confront Your Bigotry, We'll Make the Lazy Buggers stand up.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't so long ago people with disabilities were hidden away. Yikes - even pregnant women were. Anything unseeming was deemed unfit for the general public. Thank goodness that has changed. I'm not saying that some folks are still not offended - but I don't think it is that people think we are lazy, nor is it easier on them if we stand up. Really - most don't care, as long as we stay out of their way. I don't think people work hard and long on projects because they think we are "lazy buggers". Bit harsh.

Remember - people are afraid of what they don't understand.

Janet said...

Anon, you don't think they think we're lazy. You clearly haven't read any comments on news stories about disability benefits. I want to live in your world, I don't think you'd like a visit to mine.

Anonymous said...

Janet - sorry if I mislead you - it is not that I don't think there is some folks out there that have that impression - or who think we "milk" the system or even take advantage. Yes - they are out there. But what I'm saying is that this particular group, advertising error aside - did not spend countless hours and countless funds because they were catering to the lazy. That is my point. Somehow I don't think they are coming from that angle.

I'm sorry your world is so bad - it's not great at this end either - but I try to be thankful for any advancement that may have uses down the road to make my life easier.

Dave Hingsburger said...

Hey Anon, I'd just like to add that the post is only about the advertising error NOT the machine or it's inventors.