Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Recreation and Mobility

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

Recreation and Mobility

Article excerpt

Experiencing the Joy of Movement, Everywhere You Want To Be!

Leisure is an activity apart from the obligations of work, family, and society. We turn to leisure for relaxation, diversion, broadening of knowledge, or spontaneous social participation. We each express our unique personality in our choice of leisure activities. Personal mobility for pleasure and the fullest participation in activities with others in spite of disability often call for creative solutions. The product market is attempting to meet people's often unique demands. As a result, there is an ever-exploding set of mobility options for people of all sizes, abilities, and aspirations.

Adaptive mobility for leisure pursuits begins by considering the person, his or her abilities, and the environment he or she chooses for play. For example, wheelchair basketball and quad rugby require a quick sports wheelchair that speeds and turns with agility on a solid, smooth, level surface. Pushing off-road on a muddy trail requires large front casters and knobby rear tires. Self-propulsion on the open road goes fastest in a marathon chair or, better yet, with a handcycle where efforts are multiplied by finding the gear that provides the perfect mechanical advantage.

Self-guided mobility does not stop on land! You can get to the water in a beach chair with balloon tires that roll over the sand.

Adaptive watercraft range from accessible houseboats to kayaks with outriggers for stability and amphibious wheelchairs. The water is a perfect equalizing environment for those who are challenged by gravity and uneven surfaces on land. Air flight is an option for those with enough upper body strength to transfer and use aviator's hand controls.

Choosing and sharing fun activities is recreation, or as I like to say, "re-creation" which encompasses the process for renewing ourselves and our relationships with others. …

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