As a result of my quadriplegia my arms do not work normally and my hands are always in this loose fist configuration. If I was going to be able to do the things I like and perform many common activities it was going to be necessary to find alternative SKILLS to replace those I could no longer use. First I went online looking for adaptive equipment, but was shocked by the lack of information and the outrageous prices of equipment that was available. In an effort to reach my goals I began to make my own, beginning with very simple things. My success emboldened me and over the years I got more daring in my attempts to develop specialized equipment.
When I began speaking to groups it encouraged me to organize my thoughts and ideas and write them down.
Speaking to Recreation majors at SUNY Cortland.
I did not want others to have to go through the long learning curve that it had taken me to regain a meaningful life. Speaking at a 3 Day Workshop at Fort Drum home of the 10th Mountain Division.
Demonstrating helped others understand. Here I'm firing at targets using the rtrigger adaption (PMTA) at Fort Drum trap range.
Ready to fire. No hands necessary.
Webinar with Occupational Therapy majors at Nazaerth College in Rochester, NY.
Quite a number of ways to catch a fish.
A number of methods to produce electricity. Now Here are 2 expamples of the adaption gone through to create a piece of equipment needed.
Early challenge. Only real solution at that time was to buy one for $1200 on the Internet
Red arrow shows the point of connection. The system was very unstable and had a narrow field of fire. We continued to use it always looking to improve or replace it.
In 2014 The Deadshot Treepod became availble. The resonable priced at $150 was because it was made for abled-bodied hunters. Great field of fire, stable and EASILY adapted.
One could remove the base plate, with a hacksaw, or use as is. It depended on the vehicle.
Post could be mounted to wheelchair frame.
Extreme 4X4 required welding. Green circle is attachment sleeve for post. Red circles are frame welds.
Post attached to holder
Other chairs, especially manual ones, the post could be mounted to chair frame using U-bolts. Using diagrams ahead of time can eliminate unforseen problems.
Motor assist chair with post mounted on the leg.
Another challenge to be solved was holding and using a fishing pole from a wheelchair.
Usually when brainstorming I go on Google, but look at imgines to get ideas and then go to the website. I found this picture and knew I could make it myself.
Even though it took a while this is what I made. I actually enjoy figuring out how to make things.
Here you can see the channel cut into the PVC.
Enjoying the fruits of my labor
Dean Meckes, who is a local fishing guide, invited me to go bass fishing on the St. Lawrence River. We would be "Drop Line Fisihng" which requires a different way for the pole to be held.
PVC was the same set up, but was attached to the arm of the chair.
Here you can see the channel.
The configuration allowed my hand to hold on to the modified reel handle very "naturally."
We were very successful. I could hook the fish and reel them in. Great fun.
My friend Andy, also a quadriplegic, and I decided to go together. Andy's chair has no arms so I took the original idea and made one which would go around his neck and under his arm.
It worked okay and he caught some fish.
When he arrived the next year he had taken that idea and greatly improved it.
His holder worked great. Andy has more dexterity in his hands so he can hold the grip and crank with his other hand. I can't do that.
We had a wonderful laugh filled day.
And finding new activities to use the same equipment.