Monthly Archives: October 2014

Video Evidence: Taxi Wheelchair Discrimination a Worldwide Problem

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Are you familiar with this similar dreadful scenario? You use a wheelchair but you gotta get somewhere, so you park on the curb patiently waiting for a cab to stop. But you wait, you wait and you wait some more, realizing no cabs are interested in stopping. And the reason? Your wheelchair.

All cabbies see when they see us? A lot of work. It’s blatant discrimination and it happens all around the globe, even sadly in London where nearly every cab is wheelchair accessible. Here are three videos highlighting this serious issue. Get ready to be appalled.

Video #1:  Paralyzed Brooklyn music producer finally hails cab after 1 hour

Scotty Hard is a music producer from Brooklyn, New York and he’s only been paralyzed since 2008. A T5 paraplegic, he was injured when he was t-boned while driving home from the studio, and since his injury he’s had a rude awakening to the world of hailing a cab from a wheelchair.

In this video from Vocativ, you get to watch as he attempts to hail a cab. It takes him over an hour and it’s a dangerous adventure, from weaving between idling cars so he can be seen by cabs to checking out the subway for accessible station, Scotty finally snags a ride.

Watch: It Took This Paraplegic Man an Hour to Get an NYC Taxi

Video #2: Disabled UK comedian demonstrates how bad it can be

Laurence Clark, a comedian with cerebral palsy from the United Kingdom, loves to poke fun at social issues. In this video, he shows just how bad it can be for a wheelchair-user trying to hail a cab in the UK.

Even despite wearing a t-shirt that reads, “I need a taxi” and an able-bodied friend holding a sign above his head that says, “He needs a taxi,” no taxis stop until an able-bodied man finally comes in to help hail. Yup it’s that bad.

Watch: Comedian Laurence Clark on How Not to Hail a Taxi

Video #3: Higher fares for disabled passengers? It’s legal in Tasmania

And a ridiculous law exists in Tasmania, Australia where it’s completely legal for cabbies to charge disabled passengers an extra dollar per fare. While disabled residents of Tasmania can get reimbursed for their cab fares by the government, what if you’re disabled and visiting Tasmania?

The reason for the higher fare? Helping us is ‘more work’ even if a cabby gets us to our desired location in the normal time. This may be enough to make most wheelchair-users never want to visit this part of the world despite local disabled residents trying to get the law changed. Will they be successful?

Watch: Wheelchair taxi discriminates

While there are a handful of cab drivers who don’t mind taking passengers who use wheelchairs, most unfortunately fall into the other category. Please, have your wits about you the next time you’re trying to get a cab, and don’t let their rudeness surprise you.

What do you do when cab after cab ignores you?

Watch the videos!

It Took This Paraplegic Man an Hour to Get an NYC Taxi

Comedian Laurence Clark on How Not to Hail a Taxi

Wheelchair taxi discriminates

SCI Superstar: Albert Llovera

albert

Hailing from the principality of Andorra is the epic rally driver Albert Llovera. Known for his athletic abilities and his smoldering Spanish good looks, Albert is above all known for his tenacity in the face of some serious lifechangers.

We won’t give it all away, but he went from a star Olympic alpine skier to a paraplegic in the blink of the eye. He knows exactly what it’s like to have everything in the world then have it all taken away. But his story isn’t about loss, it’s about self-reinvention.

Why he’s fearless

Growing up in Andorra, Albert’s life was picture perfect. He loved to ski and soon found himself on the competitive circuit in his teens. He had some serious talent on the slopes. Huge. And when he was 17, Albert was the youngest person to ever compete in the Winter Olympics, competing in the 1984 games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

He had a good showing at his first Olympics (no medals, but still a good run), the next year he found himself at the European Ski Cup. But all didn’t go so well at this event. While in a descent, Albert crashed and broke his back at the lower level. He became a paraplegic, and out went his career on the slopes.

Devastated, Albert had an innate desire to continue competing in any sport at a elite level and he wasn’t interested in any adapted sports. Instead, he found a sport he could still do just as good as able-bodied athletes, and that was motor racing.

Two years after his injury, Albert entered his first motor sport event – the Championship of Andorra – a competition for quad bikes, and by 1989 he was winning rally races, winning the Peugeot Rally Cup in Andorra that year. Throughout the nineties, Albert improved his speed abilities, ranking high in the Speed Championships of Catalonia on numerous occasions.

In 2001, something amazing happened, Albert scored a sponsorship with Fiat, and his career was never the same. Since, he’s competed in the Junior World Rally Championship, finishing 7th in Rally Finland in 2010 and 8th in the Tour de Corse. Albert raced in a Fiat Punto S1600 when he started and now races in a Fiat Abarth Grande Punto S2000.

What’s next?

Currently, Albert is getting ready for Dakar 2015, an off-road race in January that crosses three counties – Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. He participated in Dakar 2014 as well. This time around he’ll be driving a brand new vehicle, an Optimus Buggy, which he’s currently testing at a racetrack in Rome, making sure the hand-controls are accurate.

This 16-day race in South America is huge. The Dakar rally race spans a massive distance, 8,500 kilometers, and traverses deep canyons, sandy valleys with little to no roads to speak of. This race is the definition of epic. Watch a video of Albert at Dakar 2014

When he’s not racing, Albert is a father to his daughter Cristina and he’s been able to test pilot the Ekso exoskeleton. He also hobnobs with celeb friends like Javier Bardem, volunteers for UNICEF (helping deliver wheelchairs to those in need) and gives motivational speeches for TEDx, schools and businesses and beyond.

Must be the life; traveling internationally, driving expensive cars, wonderful family, famous friends, Albert shows the world that being paralyzed doesn’t mean you can’t live a full, cool and dare-we-say even enviable life.

Yup, it’s true.

How have you reinvented yourself post-injury?

– Visit his site: Albert Llovera Official

– Watch his documentary: “Las Alas del Fenix” (“Wings of the Phoenix”)

Watch the videos!

Levatándome cada día (“I Get Up Each Day”): Albert Llovera at TEDxAndorralaVella

Albert Llovera World Rally Cup 2011

Albert Llovera UNICEF Andorra Ambassador visits Mauritania

Albert at Dakar 2014