Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy 2008

Winter vacation is over. The kid is back in school. I
have time to do things again... like blogging.

I asked my daughter what the highlight of 2007 was for her.
She couldn't decide on one thing, but listed many. She asked
me what the highlight of 2007 was for me. It was, hands down,
getting the iBOT. More specifically, cruising on the sand at
the river with my daughter and my dogs.

A couple of months ago my sister suggested that she, my mom,
my daughter and I all take a little vacation together. We
decided on Disneyland/CA Adventure. I had planned on taking
the iBOT, but I'm a bit worried about the airline breaking
it. What to do, what to do.

I was in the store the other day, in balance, and a lady asked
me how I was balancing the chair like that. I told her I wasn't
doing anything, there are gyroscopes and computers doing it. She
said, "So is it specially made for the weight of your butt?" She
whispered the "your butt" part.

On Saturday I took my daughter to the pool because her friend
was having a birthday party there. A teenage kid said, "If I
ever get put in a wheelchair, I'm going to get one of those!"
I probably should have told him to start saving his pennies.

IT sent me a Christmas gift. It's a bag to hang on the iBOT.
I've been using it since just a bit before Christmas. It's
handy. I've been liking it. But the strap broke on it already.
I wasn't even swinging from it or anything.

I got my feet stuck under the dog treat shelf at the grocery
store, much like when I got stuck under the freezer door (earlier
entry). I thought the whole shelf was going to come crashing
down. I was able to tilt the seat position forward enough this
time so that I didn't crash down to 4-wheel. One of these days
I just know I'm going to inadvertently cause a scene.

And now it is time to BOT up to the school to get my child, which
means I will stop this entry full of randomness.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have you talked to the airlines yet about how they would take care of the ibot?? Let me know what you find out. I will be getting my ibot in about 3 weeks can't wait.

Skip Potter said...

Shannon,

Please feel free to contact me. My name is Skip, and I would be very happy to talk with you about taking the IBOT to Disney. I can tell you that the IBOT does comply with guidelines on 99% of Disney attractions.

www.cowdog.tv

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Congratulations Anonymous on getting an iBOT! Let me know how you like it. And if you are willing, tell me how you obtained it (insurance, VA, paid for it yourself...?)

I haven't talked to the airlines, however, I'm starting to think I'm just going to take my manual chair. I've never traveled with a powerchair before but I've heard numerous horror stories regarding the airlines breaking people's chairs. It would be very nice to have the iBOT there, but getting it there might be too stressful.

Skip, I don't understand what you mean about the iBOT complying with guidelines on 99% of Disney attractions. I know that only a very small amount of rides are actually wheelchair accessible.

Skip Potter said...

Hi Shannon,

Disney has recently rehabed most attractions to be wheelchair accessible. The flume rides, and the Peoplemover are not. The demensions of the IBOT are within the guildelines for the wheelchair ride vehicles. Also, the product consultant that did my IBOT evaluation taught me how the IBOT can be free wheeled (pushed) which is required in some buildings in the Florida theme parka. I am not sure about California's EMI laws, but I would be happy to find out for you. You will be pleasantly surprised by Disney's improved access in the last 5 years. :-)

As far as the airlines, the Haseltine is great for powerchairs. www.haseltine.com The IBOT website also has a warning tag that you can print out for the airline staff.

I really enjoy your blog. I have been reading it to build confidence in the IBOT. I am a little frightened of Balance function and have not even tried stair function. 4-wheel I loved. Insurance denied IBOT funding, and I am really in need of a working chair, so my family just moved onto other chairs. I believe in the IBOT, and hope to one day have one as a second chair. Standard and 4-wheel are really comfortable and gave me freedom I never had before.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Hi Skip, thanks for the response. Good to know about Disneyland. I'll let you know how it goes for me. Just to clarify, most of the attractions are wheelchair accessible, but do require a transfer, correct?

Thank you for the link on the Haseltine. Looks great, but so big. I couldn't find prices, but I'm sure they are very expensive. I'll look into it a bit more though.

I didn't know that the iBOT website had a warning tag to print out. Also very good info to know!

I'm really glad you are enjoying my blog. I'm sorry, but not at all surprised, that your insurance denied the iBOT.

Everyone always says to me that Balance looks like it would be scary, but I'm never afraid while in Balance. I'm actually most comfortable when in Balance. The stairs do scare me though. And like you said, 4-Wheel is really great! I've never had a powerchair before, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I think the iBOT is the best chair out there. It certainly offers more than any other chair does. Hopefully the iBOT is just the beginning of really great chairs to come in the near future!

Skip Potter said...

Hi Shannon,

Here is a link to the airline tag to put on the IBOT:

http://www.ibotnow.com/_media/text/iBOT_Traveling_sign.pdf

It is in the "for owners" section of the IBOT website. Independence Technology also has tips for air travel with the IBOT:

http://www.ibotnow.com/_media/text/Air_Travel.pdf

It used to be that you had to transfer to a ride vehicle, but Disney is paying very close attention to wheelchair access. They are adding wheelchair vehicles to classic attractions during updates and rehabs. The Finding Nemo submarines and the Peoplemover are not accessible. Coaters and Flume boats (i.e. Pirates of the Caribbean and Splash Mountain) require you to transfer. Those attractions also carry head and neck restrictions. Depending on your disability, you may choose not to experience those attractions. As I said, I am not familiar with California's EMI laws, but in Florida, they require powerchair be manually pushed into some attraction. I learned about the IBOT's EMI issues from your blog. The theft detector warning picture was informative. I showed it to my parents.

I could go on for hours, as Disney parks and resorts are my love. I do not have a major site of my own, but you will find the disability sections of www.talkdisney.com and www.disboards.com very helpful.

What attracted me to the IBOT was the exhibit in Innoventions at Disney. When the IBOT test drive came to North Carolina, I told my parents that I had to try the "EPCOT wheelchair." Sadly, when I visited the parks last week, the IBOT exhibit was gone. The cast member at Innoventions told me that DEKA decided not to renew the contract to display the IBOT.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

That's too bad that they took the iBOT exhibit away. Seems like they would want to get as much exposure as possible.

Thanks so much for all those links! I will check them all out.

BTW, my sister lived in Orlando temporarily a long time ago. She worked for a vet office and she ended up adopting a retired greyhound named Tops. When we let him out, he'd run circles around the house as if he was at the racetrack.

Hamish said...

I'd rather ride around in a Sherman tank than in one of those overpriced, over-engineered, impractical ibots. I mean they literally scare small children. To each their own though.