It used to be people who pierced their tongues were young kids into the rave dance scene and punks. However, with new technology being developed by researchers in Atlanta and Chicago, paralyzed people in wheelchairs are now able to control the mobility device through the use of a specially designed tongue piercing.
This wireless system includes a tongue piercing with a magnetic stud that resembles jewelry and acts like a joystick, allowing paralyzed people in wheelchairs to simply flick their tongues in the direction they want to go in. So far eleven people have been tested with the piercing device and the results have been positive.
“It’s really powerful because it’s so intuitive,” Jason DiSanto told the Associated Press. DiSanto, from Atlanta, was among the first spinal cord-injured patients to get his tongue pierced for this scientific study. “The first time I did it, people thought I was driving for years”.
Georgia Tech and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Northwestern University have been spearheading this new technology and are calling it Tongue Drive Systems. The research, reported in the journal Science Translation Medicine, is an early step that allows use of the device only inside laboratories. Larger studies in real-world environments will be required before the device can be manufactured and sold.
While the idea of a tongue piercing may be a turn off for some candidates, the technology is gaining attention for it inventiveness and success.
“For people who have very limited ability to control a power wheelchair, there aren’t that many options,” Dr. Brad Dicianno, a rehabilitation specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center told the AP. “There is some interesting promise for this tongue control”.
The reason for choosing the tongue is that most people who have spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders still have use of their tongue and with a headset that can detect the tongue’s position the headset can wirelessly beam information to a smart phone the user carries to control the direction of the wheelchair. The tongue also offers multiple complex movements due to the space it occupies in the brain’s motor cortex, significantly more than fingers or even hands.
While the tests are still in the early stages the results have been very positive and participants and researchers are both excited about the future of this technology.
Whether it is the Christmas red of Imperial Crimson or Poppy Punch, both are upbeat and stylish. You’ll look stunning with the bling of Swarkovski Crystals on our Silver & Onyx Damask or rhinestones and pearl-like squares on our Silver/Black Reptile on your mobility device for that New Year’s party.
Or go with the elegant, soothing blue of Imperial Blue or the cheerful contemporary floral in Espresso Flower Shower. You can’t go wrong!
Give that special woman or girl who uses a mobility device one of these bags as a gift that lets her express a sense of style, and her unique brand of specialness.
Check them out on our site.
*Tax and shipping not includedRead More
From everyday items and kitchen appliances to fashionable clothing and exercise gear, members of the paralysis community—and those shopping for them—are sure to discover something unique from the list of more than 70 products geared specifically to those who use wheelchairs. The ever popular holiday Gift Guide is available in December on www.ChristopherReeve.org.
HDS Medallion® bags are one of the Gift Guide’s “returning favorites” again this year. And with $7 from the sale of any bag with a Reeve Foundation “flame” logo next to it being donated back to the Foundation, HDS Medallion® bags are truly a gift that gives back.
“Our partnership with HDS Medallion is the perfect example of how companies—even small businesses—can give back to the communities they sell their products to,” said Aimee B. Hunnewell, VP of Development at the Reeve Foundation. “These stylish and practical wheelchair bags are a popular holiday gift item that generates charitable revenue for the Foundation, and we are happy to promote them to the paralysis community. This type of charitable giving arrangement is mutually beneficial, and raises awareness of both our Foundation and HDS Medallion’s useful product.”
The Reeve Foundation’s 2013 holiday Gift Guide should be released in the coming weeks, and, again this year, HDS Medallion® bags will be prominently featured.Read More
In a week that saw a heart-warming story when 7 first-class passengers on an American Airlines flight gave up their seats for Marines returning from service in Afghanistan, there was also a disturbing story involving US Airways.
The airline was recently hit with a $1.2 million fine from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for failing to provide adequate wheelchair assistance to passengers in Philadelphia and Charlotte, NC.
The department said it was one of the largest fines it ever assessed in a disability case.
Under the DOT rules for implementing the Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are required to offer free and prompt wheelchair assistance upon request to passengers with disabilities, including helping passengers move between gates and make connections with other flights. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement, “All air travelers deserve to be treated equally and with respect, and this includes persons in wheelchairs and other passengers with disabilities”.
According to the details behind the hefty fine, between 2011 and 2012, US Airways was guilty of a number of violations for wheelchair assistance at Philadelphia International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The violations were discovered by the DOT’s Aviation Enforcement Office that reviewed 300 complaints filed against US Airways.
The review found that the two airports had used a combination of electric carts and wheelchairs to carry passengers between gates required frequent transfers and led to long delays, and in some cases, missed connections and passengers left unattended for long periods of time.
US Airways has responded quickly to the fine and pledges to improve accessibility for disabled passengers including new airport signage and handheld devices, tablets and dispatching software that will allow employees to track the needs and wait time of customers and availability of personnel and wheelchairs as well as more customer assistance representatives and managers to oversee the needs of disabled passengers.
Michelle Mohr, a spokeswoman for US Airways, told Forbes that the airline is committed to serving passengers with disabilities and has implemented many improvements to its disability assistance program since the complaints. HDS MEDALLION® truly hopes so!Read More
From now until November 15th HDS MEDALLION® is having a special fall sale that offers great discounts on our stylish designer carryall bags. Whether you want to buy a fashionable and functional bag for a walker, wheelchair or other mobility device, we have great deals on some of our most popular bags.
Right now you can get 25% off designated HDS MEDALLION® Classic carryall bags, 20% off select Premier bags and 10% off Demi-Premier bags.
Maybe you’ve seen our bags at the Abilities Expo or saw someone else sporting the chic carryall bags and were waiting for the right time to buy. Well, now is that time.
The fall season is an excellent time to purchase a high quality designer carryall bag for mobility devices and makes for a great gift. From our Classic collection you can save 25% off the Imperial Hazelnut with its luscious brown and gold tones, Imperial Evening Blue’s majestic blue coloration, Espresso Flower Shower with its contemporary multi-colored flowers and Misty Gray in taupe, pewter and copper. These designer carryall bags offer fashionable women the chance to use their walkers, power chairs and wheelchairs in style.
In the Premier collection get 20% off the Imperial Blue, Espresso Flower Shower and Misty Gray bags and check out our recently introduced Imperial Indigo Demi-Premier bag made specifically for smaller mobility devices such as thin armed power chairs. Espresso Combo Demi-Premier is also on sale.
Now you can attend Thanksgiving gatherings, holiday parties and New Year’s Eve soirees in style with a choice HDS MEDALLION® carryall bag.Read More
It wasn’t too long ago when “Made in the USA” meant something. Unfortunately, with the trend for outsourcing continuing, many jobs that used to belong to Americans have now gone overseas, adding to the high unemployment numbers we are currently seeing. In the race to make more money many companies have lost sight of the bigger human picture, the community that is supported by jobs kept in the United States.
This video breaks down in simple terms the cost of sending jobs overseas and the damage it does.
At HDS Medallion® we are proud to manufacture our stylish wheelchair bags and our distinctive carryall bags right here at home and in turn keep money circulating in the American economy.
We all understand the need to be part of a global community and that we could lower the cost of our bags if we outsourced. But we are aware that continually sending jobs to other countries hurts the families here and there are bigger things in life than a short-term profit. At least that is our philosophy. Invest at home and help the people in your community by buying American.Read More