Tag Archives: adapted wheelchair skating

Laundry From Your Wheelchair: Managing the Chore Solo


It can be tricky doing all the chores you did before you were paralyzed. Even if you’re a T12 paraplegic, there’s tough things you’ll encounter – dusting ceiling fans, wiping bathroom mirrors, vacuuming stairs; boring chores no one wants to do but must be done. And one of the toughest, doing the laundry.

People with disabilities however tend to make rather mundane things more interesting, and these videos showing some of their best laundry tricks prove. There are loads of issues you can run into doing laundry sitting down – reaching into the washer/dryer, using stackable machines and so much more. Check out some of their clever tricks below.

Video #1: Using a stackable washer and dryer from a manual wheelchair

Our first video comes from Kristen of Living Able, a woman with Spina Bifida who loves making videos showing how she can manage her home on her own. In this video, “Saving Space: How to use a stack-able washer and dryer from a wheelchair,” she shows her very smart tip for using a stacked washer/dryer completely independently.

Her secret – she uses her handy dandy 22″ reacher. It seems like an obvious idea sure, but it takes a certain finesse to do it without getting incredibly frustrated, and she’s perfected exactly how to do it. The reacher is great for reaching in deep to get the wet clothes way back and then throwing them up into the dryer. She also uses a broom to turn on the dryer.

Kristen also shares a few cool tips, such as on how to make a homemade reacher and how to make sure you never lose a sock again. Watch Kristen’s stacked laundry video

Video #2: A recommended washer for wheelchair-users + washing tips

Our second video comes from the adorable couple Anita and Craig who are both wheelchair-users and it shows how they manage the laundry in their home. They run the blog walkingwayoverrated.blogspot.com and this video is one of their many helpful videos showing how you can do nearly anything without being able to walk.

In their video titled, “Laundry, Craig Style!” Anita films her husband as he shows how he uses their washing machine – a front-loading machine; the only way to go for a wheelchair-user they say (agreed). Plus they share a whole bunch of other tips.

My favorite of their tips – how shaking your laundry before throwing it in prevents wrinkles (and eliminates the need to iron. Win!). They also show how a cloth laundry bag is a must for toting laundry on your lap. Watch Anita & Craig’s kitchy cute laundry video

Video #3: Quadriplegic shows how he inserts coins in washer @ laundromat

And finally, if you have paralyzed fingers you will totally appreciate this video from youngd81, an active C5-6 quad who uses a manual chair. In his video, “Laundry Part2,” he shows how he uses a coin laundry machine completely on his own.

A crazy difficult task no doubt, he shows the patience and carefulness required to successfully pull it off. Anyone who’s been in this position can especially appreciate his talent at this. Watch how he uses a coin laundry machine

Fresh, clean clothes, the inner joy of completing a task. It may be one of the most annoying tasks we must do, no one likes an on-going chore, but being able to do it on your own, now that feels dang good.

What tricks do you have for doing laundry at home?

Check out the videos!

How to use a stackable washer/dryer from a wheelchair

A great front-loading washer for a wheelchair-user + washing tips

C6 quad showing how he uses a coin washing machine

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SCI Superstar: Jesse Billauer

The ocean can be a dangerous place. Sharks, big waves with multiple personalities, fugly Man o’ Wars, but you don’t have to tell Jesse Billauer this. He’s a born and bred Cali boy who came out of the womb with a surfboard attached to the hip.

Jesse, at 17, was living the semi-charmed life of a California teenager – young, athletic, gorgeous (still is) and staged to be one of the next big surfers; it was an idyllic life. But his world turned upside down in 1996 when the crest of a wave threw him off his surfboard.

Jesse hit his head on a sandbar and became a C5-6 quadriplegic on impact. Despite a severed spinal cord, which can be a tough SCI blow to receive, Jesse wasn’t about to say adios to a rock star life. If anything, his energy for life has only become more pronounced.

Why he’s fearless

Jesse, still a quad till this day, has made an epic return to the ocean and the surfing world. In 1999, he founded Life Rolls On (LRO), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life in young people with SCI, by using adapted surfing (and adapted skiing) to inspire. I have been a huge fan or LRO for years, admiring them far away from the Midwest.

LRO has been hosting free adaptive surf days since it’s inception and another thing they’re known for – rockin’ fundraiser parties. Jesse has become an expert at throwing celebrity-studded events to raise money for the foundation, with incredible attendees like Paris Hilton and Jason Mraz. The skills! Their annual “Night By the Ocean” black-tie event is their biggest baddest event (this year it’s on a boat!).

And in 2009, LRO got a huge boost. They partnered with The Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation. With the foundation’s backing, they’ve been able to start They Will Surf Again, helping even more people get out and surf. Oh how I wish I lived by the ocean…not 10,000 lakes.

What I really love about Jesse is that he still surfs (by laying on his stomach and propping himself up and up on his elbow. Looks scary! But it does work). He was even featured in the docu-film, Step the Liquid, which showed his friendship with surfer, Robert Machado. He’s also created new surfing equipment and gained sponsorship from Hurley, Nike, Honda and Boost Mobile along the way.

Oh – and some big-time records have been met. In 2005, after years of adapted surfing experience, Jesse became the first ever quadriplegic surfer to conquer “Cloudbreak” in Tavarua, Fiji (an area of uber notorious waves). Insanity I tell you. Insanity!

What’s next?

After teaming up with Reeve, Jesse became the National Outreach Director for the Reeve Foundation, which definitely him busy.

And gearing up for a new sport to promote, They Will Sk8 Again, is the latest push by this ultra cool foundation. The purpose is to expose wheelers to safe wheelchair “skate” tricks. They’re actually hosting chair-skating clinics at cities throughout the country, with their next one scheduled on June 7 in Venice Beach, California. Check it out!

Jesse is also a popular motivational speaker. He speaks at schools and companies across the country with an all-encompassing issue everyone can relate to – overcoming adversity.

View his schedule/book this talented man at jessebillauer.com.

Watch the videos!

Jesse Billauer surfing in Morocco (great interview)

Jesse Billauer’s speech for TEDxYouth