A Big Thank You to Our Customers

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Abilities Expo, Fashion & Style, Walker Bags, Wheelchair Bags | 0 comments

HDS Medallion thank you customersWe at HDS Medallion® have been busy for the past several months traveling and exhibiting at trade shows across the country. We were at Abilities Expos in New York, Houston, Chicago, and Boston and three Little People of America events promoting our bags, reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones.

We cannot begin to describe how refreshing and rewarding it is to see customers come back to visit our booth at these events, whether they are coming to buy a new bag or not. We love the opportunity to catch up, find out if they have had any issues related to their bags, and ask what they would like to see in the future. Previous customers are always the best marketers and spokespeople for us at our booth and driving around at the Expos. We love to see people who are returning or are visiting us for the first time to enter our drawings, to purchase a new bag, or just to see what’s new.

We always welcome feedback from our customers. Since they use our bags on a daily basis, their experiences are valuable to us. Plus we always learn from them since they can demonstrate different ways to attach our bags to their mobility devices and give us ideas for future bags. For example, a plain black bag that is coming soon was designed in response to requests from customers, men as well as women.

At these shows, we also renewed our acquaintance with some wonderful exhibitors who sell great products for people who use wheelchairs, walkers, power chairs and scooters. We are building a resource page on our website to highlight them for our customers and followers. We have also done “shout-outs” on Twitter and Facebook. By the way, if you haven’t followed us or visited our Facebook page in the past year, you may have been automatically dropped. Please visit us and like us again. We would appreciate it.

HDS Medallion would like to thank all of our customers for using our bags and for visiting us at trade shows to let us know how our products have helped them and how we can make them even better. Recently we sat down and identified the “lessons learned” from our customers. We’ll start sharing these lessons in our next blog on a wide range of subjects like securing a bag. Don’t miss it!

We always welcome feedback from our customers and encourage you to visit our booth if you attend an Abilities Expo or Little People of America event in the future. In the meantime send us your thoughts, reactions, or questions at carol@hdsmedallion.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hdsmedallion.

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September Is Pain Awareness Month

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Disability News | 0 comments

Pain Awareness MonthSeptember has been designated as Pain Awareness Month. The goal is to promote education, advocacy, and awareness about chronic pain and to break down barriers that keep people from getting the treatment they need.

More than 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. The Institute of Medicine reported in 2012 that the economic cost of pain is more than $500 billion per year in the United States. That includes health care costs and lost workforce productivity.

Under-treatment of pain is a significant problem that impairs quality of life and can be physically, psychologically, and socially debilitating. According to the results of the 2010 Massachusetts Pain Institute survey of adults with chronic pain, 79 percent had trouble sleeping, 68 percent had a reduced ability to do everyday things, and 73 percent had difficulty working.

Pain was adopted as the “fifth vital sign” in 2001. That has increased awareness and acceptance of the problem of chronic pain. In spite of those advances, there are still barriers to effective treatment, including limited training, prescribers’ fear of scrutiny by regulators, misconceptions about abuse of medication and addiction, institutional barriers, and regulatory restrictions on the prescribing of controlled substances.

One of the main goals of Pain Awareness Month is to foster partnerships between individuals and organizations to bring about change. Participants want to promote education, awareness, and advocacy to address barriers to effective pain management.

Health care professionals can participate in Pain Awareness Month by educating the public on topics such as chronic pain conditions, self-management skills, meditation, stretching, misconceptions about chronic pain, how to seek pain management through Medicare, medication safety, and community outreach. Hospitals and other health care facilities can offer educational sessions and discussions for staff. Clinicians can provide educational materials to their patients and their families and caregivers, facilitate chronic pain support groups, and refer patients to organizations that can help them manage their pain.

Millions of people suffer from chronic pain because they do not know what resources are available to help. We hope that by raising awareness and sharing information, more people can find the relief they need so that they can live comfortable and productive lives.

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See HDS Medallion’s New Bags at Boston Abilities Expo September 18-20

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Abilities Expo, Walker Bags, Wheelchair Bags | 0 comments

HDS Medallion bags Boston Abilities ExpoHDS Medallion will be at the Boston Abilities Expo at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Hall C. The Expo will be held from Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20.

Come meet Carol and Bill Rady, the founders of HDS Medallion, at Booth 523. We will be introducing several new bags at the Boston Abilities Expo before they are available online.

Our new Demi-Premier Black Suede Scroll bag is made from a soft suede material. This bag is embellished with an understated scroll motif.

Our new Premier Universal Bag is our first bag for both men and women. We created this style in response to requests for an all-black bag. It has extra pockets in the front, can come with or without a zipper, and can be customized with slides, silk flowers, etc. If you are a veteran, ask about our military medallions awaiting approval from the Marines to enhance the style of this bag.

We will also be introducing three waterproof Demi Jet Polka Dot Bags at the Expo. These bags are wipeable on the outside. They are black with white polka dots and your choice of a bright pink ribbon and white slide with shocking pink lining, a red ribbon and white slide with a tomato lining, or a turquoise ribbon and white slide with a bright turquoise lining. These bags are fun, easy, and oh, so cute.

All of our other signature bags will also be available at the Abilities Expo. We will be holding daily drawings to win a free bag. Be sure to stop by our booth and check out our bags and our bear, Abby’s, new look.

The Expo will have much more to offer to people with disabilities, seniors, and their families. Learn about the latest assistive technology, dance, attend exhibitions, play sports, attend workshops, and learn about service animals.

The Boston Abilities Expo will have something for everyone. We hope to see you there at Booth 523. We look forward to seeing many old friends and making some new ones.

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Quadriplegic Competes in 12-Mile Obstacle Course in Wheelchair

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Disability News | 0 comments

Rob Camm quadriplegic Tough MudderRob Camm, a 21-year-old student at the University of Bristol in the UK, became the world’s first quadriplegic to compete in the grueling 12-mile Tough Mudder course. The challenge has been dubbed “probably the toughest event on the planet.”

Camm was paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident two years ago. He participated in the Tough Mudder in an Extreme X8 electric off-road wheelchair set on top of a quad bike. Camm controls the wheelchair with his chin. The wheelchair can reach a speed of 10 kilometers per hour. He can even clear tree branches and tow his father’s 4×4 with it.

Camm was unable to take on some of the obstacles, such as monkey bars, mud pits, high walls, and narrow tunnels, but he was able to navigate some difficult terrain in his wheelchair. He said that many people believed he should not participate in such a grueling competition, but he wanted to prove them wrong.

Camm is a former rugby player. He had just played his last rugby game for the Dursley RFC team when the accident happened in September 2013. He was supposed to start pre-season rugby training at York University in a matter of days. Camm was paralyzed from the neck down and in intensive care for 96 days.

He wanted to do a Tough Mudder before the accident and still wanted to participate after his injury. Camm used to participate in many physical challenges. He doesn’t do as many anymore, so he was excited to be able to participate in the Tough Mudder.

Camm participated with a team of friends and family. The challenge raised money for SpecialEffect, a charity that provided technology that helped him adjust to life after his accident.

This April he began working with Rex Bionics in the UK and Rome to test their exoskeleton, nicknamed Rex, which was provided by SpecialEffect. A cap placed on his head is covered with 79 electrodes attached to his skull that can read brain signals and help him move. In July, he became the first quadriplegic in the world who uses a ventilator to learn to walk again with a robotic exoskeleton that is controlled by his thoughts.

Rob Camm has displayed extraordinary determination to continue to challenge himself in spite of his injury. His courage and perseverance make him a role model for people with and without disabilities. We hope he will continue to participate in other challenges with his wheelchair and exoskeleton.

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Event Celebrates Longevity after SCI

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Disability News | 0 comments

Longevity After Injury ProjectThe spinal cord injury research team from the Medical University of South Carolina held a celebration of the Longevity After Injury Project in Minneapolis on June 7. Study participants and guests came together for the event.

The event celebrated 40 years of research for the study, which was started by Dr. Nancy Crewe at the University of Minnesota in 1973. Participants were proud of the knowledge and understanding of SCI and the changes that people with SCI undergo as they age that has been gained through their participation in the study. Several participants received awards for their longevity post-injury and their contributions to improving the lives of people with SCI.

When the study began, the idea of living for 40 years after a spinal cord injury seemed impossible. However, 26 people at the event have been living with SCI for over 40 years. The group included 10 SCI survivors who are at least 50 years post-injury. The group averaged 41.8 years post-injury, and most had lived for 30 or more years after their injuries.

The study has included more than 2,200 participants since 1973. They have collectively worked over 12,500 years and more than 22 million hours. Several have written books about their experiences.

The event was inspiring, even for people who have lived with SCI for decades. The participants have confronted many obstacles and worked tirelessly to improve the lives of people with SCI. They have helped to achieve accessible environments, promote employment, and advocate on behalf of policies that create opportunities for people with disabilities. They look forward to the next generation of people with SCI building upon their accomplishments and living long, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

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Becoming a Rowing Champion with a Spinal Cord Injury

Posted by on Aug 13, 2015 in Disability News | 0 comments

Angela Madsen rowing championAngela Madsen, an L2 para, is a six-time Guinness World Record holder in rowing. When she was growing up in Fairborn, Ohio, Madsen knew nothing about rowing, but she was always athletic. She enjoyed swimming and diving when she was younger.

Madsen joined the Marines after high school and was stationed in California, where she took up surfing. She joined the Women’s All Marine Corps basketball team but was injured while playing a game when she fell forward and someone landed on her back. Even though she could still walk, the accident ended her military career. She needed back surgery 13 years later, but the surgeon made a mistake and removed the wrong disc, which compromised her spinal cord.

Two years after her surgery, Madsen discovered adaptive sports. She began with wheelchair basketball and then became involved in rowing. She won gold in the Rowing National Championships from 2000 to 2008. Madsen competed in the Paralympics for the first time in 2008 and placed seventh in rowing. She won gold in shot put in the Paralympics in 2012.

Madsen has also become involved in ocean rowing. She has crossed the Atlantic and Indian Oceans non-stop without a support boat and has circumnavigated Britain. She plans to try to cross the Pacific Ocean in 2017.

Madsen is currently busy coaching adapted rowing and running her foundations, Row of Life and California Adapted Rowing Programs. She believes rowing is the most all-inclusive sport available and wants to promote its versatility for people at all levels of ability.

Angela Madsen has not let her injury slow her down or keep her from accomplishing her goals. She has achieved more than many people ever will. What a role model she is.

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App Helps People with Disabilities Find Treatment Options

Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Disability News | 0 comments

Utilize Health neurological disabilitiesJessica Harthcock persevered despite obstacles and accomplished her goal of creating an app that helps people with neurological disabilities find the best facilities that match their needs.

Harthcock was paralyzed in 2004 but received treatment that helped her learn to walk again. She was overwhelmed by the many options and was inspired to create the app to help others navigate them. She completed college and graduate school to build her business.

Things began to fall apart in 2012, but she and her team at Utilize Health persevered. The challenge reminded her of the progress, setbacks, and eventual success she experienced when learning to walk again.

For the next three years, Harthcock and other members of her company participated in a business accelerator program, a global health challenge, a start-up challenge, and a complete rebranding effort. While they didn’t win any competitions, they received valuable feedback. They realized what set their company apart and focused on the value it could provide to others.

Utilize Health was launched this spring. The web-based matching service asks users questions to help them find the best facilities to treat their conditions. It considers location, disability, payment options, health, and other factors and uses an algorithm to deliver results. It is intended to be used by people with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy, but the team hopes to expand it to help individuals with other conditions.

The service has grown to include other features. It can help people contact their doctors, write insurance appeals, and find transportation. That led to Utilize Health’s patient advocacy program.

Matt and Jill Wheeler were two of the first people to be helped by Utilize Health. They were able to find treatment options and get their insurance company to cover extensive therapy for Matt’s type 2 spinocerebellar ataxia that dramatically improved their lives.

This exciting new app can help people with neurological disabilities find treatment options to improve their lives that they might not otherwise have known even existed. It is inspiring to see someone with a disability persevere to accomplish her goal and work to improve the lives of others with disabilities.

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