Monthly Archives: March 2012

Quads who know offices: Accessible offices

Not even confetti and champagne can make paperwork enjoyable. And when you’re paralyzed, watch out for all the “fun” that comes your way when you go to use your office. You thought paperwork was fun before? Try doing it with paralyzed hands…

What’s great about a home office is that you can set up everything exactly the way you want it.  And there are two quadriplegics who’ve made videos of their accessible offices and how they work for their mobility.  Here are two of my faves!

The first video comes from Bonnie, a female quadriplegic with one of the most organized accessible offices I’ve ever seen. She’s a C6 quadriplegic and has baskets with handles on them throughout her office (easy to grab).  The baskets organize everything and she puts them on-top of her desk or places them in the desk drawers (so she can pull them out easily too).  In the baskets she stores everything from pens and papers to even her sprinkler remote controllers.  And for her wireless keyboard, she taped put a cloth loop onto it to mimic a handle (and used clear packing tape to adhere it to the back).

The second video comes from Mark Felling, a C5-6 quad and founder of Broadened Horizons. Before his injury, Mark was an engineer – and he’s created some amazing things since his plane crash One of the coolest things he’s made is an automatic height-adjustable desk.  The desk is moved using a remote control, so you can adjust the height depending on the chair you’re using.  This desk is ideal for anyone who uses a standing frame or a standing wheelchair regularly.  You can stand up your chair, then raise your desk to the level you need it.  In the video, you’ll also see how the middle section of the desk rises higher than the rest of the desk,  making it easy for someone in a wheelchair to see the monitor.

Working hard isn’t easy, but if you watch these videos you’ll have any setup that at least works just for you, making it possible to work just as hard as everyone else. Oh joy 🙂

Watch the videos!

Bonnie’s “Office Accessibility & Organization” video for people with hand paralysis
Mark of Broadened Horizons shows off his automatic height-adjustable desk for wheelchair-users

What accessible offices have you used? How did you adapt your home office? 

Videos to help you re-discover intimacy: Spinal cord injury sexuality

Back in the day late at night in my dark bedroom, my only solace used to be the light coming from my TV and Talk Sex with Sue Johanson, Canada’s awesome informational sex show hosted by Sue, a lovable retired nurse. Canada has always seemed to produce the best sex shows (anyone remember Bliss?) so I was thrilled when I saw this in the Dating & Sexuality section of SPINALpedia.  A few years back she did a review of the IntimateRider, the movable chair that gives men with spinal cord injuries more position options in the bedroom.  Watching Sue talk about an adapted sexuality tool in all her Canadian glory made me squee beyond repair.

I’ve known quite a few guys with spinal cord injuries who’ve loved their Intimate Rider, including my friend Bill who’s in this video, talking about how the chair has improved their sex life. He loves the thing! Every guy with a SCI needs to “get back into the swing of things” after their injury if you know what I mean, and this chair makes that happen. There is no other tool I can think of that brings this level of sexual independence to SCI men. Naturally, Sue loved the thing, and she even gave it 4 flaming hot briquettes on her “Hibachi of Love” scale (so you know it’s good).

In regards to having sex after a big life-changing injury, Gary Karp is an expert.  He’s a paraplegic and psychologist who specializes in spinal cord injury sexuality and he’s done an entire series of disability videos on sexuality.  My personal favorite is his video on guilt and able-bodied partners feeling guilty for having full sensation.  Sometimes, when a person with a disability  begins a relationship with someone new and their partner is able-bodied, if’s not uncommon for them to sometimes feel guilty, thinking they’re getting more out of it then the person with the disability is…

But if you watch Gary’s 2 minute video you’ll see how he quite beautifully explains how feeling guilty is silly.  He says it’s OK to feel that way, but hopefully they’ll see that satisfaction can still be achieved. He also talks about how the person with a disability needs to restructure their top 10 must have’s in bed to figure out what they now enjoy the most after their injury.  It you’ve ever wanted to know more about mutual satisfaction when one counterpart is disabled, then this video is a must see.

Watch the videos!

Talk Sex with Sue Johanson reviews the IntimateRider

Gary Karp’s video on able-bodied partners feeling guilty for having full-sensation

 What are your views on spinal cord injury sexuality?