Monthly Archives: September 2013

Get Out and Enjoy Autumn with Adapted ATVs

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When you think about it, an ATV is not much different than a power wheelchair, except for of course it’s exuberant amount of toughness and the fact that it runs on gasoline.  Adapted ATVs can be one of the most fun adapted sports you’ll ever try. And the best part, just like a snowmobile, hand controls come standard.

The thing about adapted ATVs though is that it can be quite controversial among people with spinal cord injuries. ATVs have been known to cause spinal cord injuries over the years, however so have cars, and that doesn’t mean we have to stop driving them too. Is done safely, ATVing can be very safe. Read on for three awesome adapted ATV videos made by people with paralysis.

Our first video comes from one of the strongest C6 quads I’ve ever seen.  He is a young man in his twenties living in the upper Midwest, and he loves his adapted ATV and spending as much time as he can outdoors.

In his video, he shows how he’s able to transfer completely independently onto his 2011 Yamaha Grizzly 450 EPS, and that’s going upwards my friends, and he has no triceps movement. This transfer is insane. He demos his transfer at a beautiful farm, and this guy doesn’t even need a transfer board. Serious shoulder and bicep strength on display here.

After he gets on, he’s also able to balance himself without a backrest, only needing a tie-down tied around his lower back to keep him from slipping around.  Watch his transfer now

And after he gets on his adapted ATV, he loves going on long trail rides, and has recorded several of them using his GoPro camera.  Watch him ride Red Top trail in Minnesota (and get a close-up view of his modified rear brake so he can push down to operate it)

Our second video is also made by a C6 quadriplegic, but an older Australian gentleman by the name of Ari Seirlis.  He owns a Polaris RZR8003, an ATV with a roll-top and seats with backrests.  It is definitely more of a dune buggy type of ATV, and he’s outfitted it with some amazing hand controls, which he explains in his 1:53 minute video.

The video starts out by showing him doing some awesome riding out in the outback, which if you’re a fan of ATVing looks like an awesome place to burn some rubber. Watch Ari explain his beefed up ATV

And our last video comes from Jerry Diaz, one of the most stubbornly independent paraplegics you’ll ever meet. In his 18 minute long video, he shows the entire process of loading his 4-wheeler into a trailer hooked to the back of his Jeep Cherokee. It’s certainly not quick or easy, but he gets it done. Watch him load her in

Inspired to get out and try ATVing out yourself yet? The perfect season for it, fall, is about to begin. It may seem intimidating at first, but if you can, try it out. It’s universally known as one of the most enjoyable adapted sports out there.

Do you have an adapted ATV? How do you do it?

Watch the videos!

C6 quadriplegic transferring onto his adapted ATV

Adapted Polaris ATV for a quad, with the quad himself showing how his hand controls work

Paraplegic showing how he can load his own four-wheeler into his truck

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SCI Superstar: Tiffany Giddes

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It’s not easy being fabulous and paralyzed, yet somehow Tiffany Giddes manages to pull it off.  An actress living in L.A. but a Southern girl at heart, Tiffany knows exactly what it takes to adapt to her surroundings.  She’s an actress, producer and the first person in a wheelchair to be on Sons of Anarchy.

When her injury occurred, she was like a cat too, and landed on both legs and kept moving forward.  From making skydiving a regular habit to producing and starring in her own original film, read on to learn about the amazing Tiffany Giddes, an actress determined to change how people with disabilities are portrayed in the media.

Why she’s fearless

Originally from Florida, Tiffany made her big move to California to pursue her acting career in 2008.  Her injury occurred just 6 years prior when she was 19.  Like so many spinal cord injury stories, she was a passenger in a car accident and everyone walked away except her.

Once out in L.A., she teamed up with Teal Sherer, another SCI superstar of ours and an actress doing her thing from a wheelchair. Tiffany’s goal – to produce and star in her own film.  She decided on the script, Collision, a film that would be the first to feature two female wheelchair user is in leading roles.

The story is about a girl who becomes paralyzed and befriends another woman who’s paralyzed. The two set out to seek revenge (but of course learn at the end of the film that revenge is not the answer). Tiffany was able to raise the $20,000 on Kickstarter to complete the film. Watch the trailer

Also after moving to L.A, Tiffany became a spokesperson for Colours Wheelchairs, the hip wheelchair company known or creating completely customizable manual wheelchairs. Tiffany travels with the Abilities Expo around the country helping promote the company.  Watch her do her schpeel at the Abilities Expo

And in 2010, she became the first person who uses a wheelchair to snag role in the FX series Sons of Anarchy. Tiffany played the best receptionist ever.

When she’s not busy ac7ting, producing or promoting, Tiffany is a lover of all things extreme – scuba, extreme fitness, driving ATV’s. She also skydives regularly and surfs as often as she can with Life Rolls On. “Getting carried by the boys is definitely a perk of adapted surfing,” jokes Tiffany.

What’s next?

Over the last year or so, she also joined the video-blogging team The Ability 411, a group of people spinal cord injuries talking about important issues.  She’s also the co-creator of the Spokes ‘n Perceptions channel, which she runs on the Disability Today Network.  This show tackles touchy subjects mainstream shows are afraid to.

And one of her most recent career “additions” is becoming a fitness coach.  Healthy eating, in-gym working out, all of it. Keeping her body in tip-top shape is one of the most important things to things to Tiffany, as it rightly should be. You got to take care of your body, you.

What do you think of this amazing lady? Have you seen Collision yet?

Watch the videos!

Tiffany Giddes in the documentary about her injury, Dare To Move

Tiffany Giddes and Teal Sherer in a teaser for her film, Collision

Tiffany Giddes representing Colours Wheelchairs at the Abilities Expo

Tiffany Giddes for The Ability 411 on coming out if you’re disabled

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