Why do we need improved mobility technology?
1 Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2 Professor, Departments of Bioengineering and Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
3 Medical Director, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
4 3471 Fifth Avenue, Suite 201 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA
5 Post-Doctoral Associate, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
6 Lois Pope Life Center, 1095 NW 14th Terrace, Miami, FL 33136 USA
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2012, 9:16 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-9-16Published: 30 March 2012
First paragraph (this article has no abstract)
The National Science Foundation (NSF) in collaboration with the World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC) decided to make inclusion of scientists with disabilities a priority when selecting the investigators for a trip investigating research conducted in Europe on mobility technology for people with disabilities. The trip was rigorous with groups visiting multiple labs and multiple countries often in a single day. A typical day began with a 7 or 8 am checkout, a cab ride to the first location, followed by cabs to two or three more locations, all the while toting luggage. After the daily tours were complete, yet another cab ride to the airport or train station, travel to a new city, cab to the hotel, check in, hunt down dinner, and with any luck, in bed by 11 pm. This was the pattern for five days, a taxing schedule for any individual, disabled or not. The rigorous travel and obstacles encountered further emphasized the need for this study. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the obstacles our group faced during our travels as concrete example of how mobility limitations can impede participation.