Super Stuff

Portable equipment and gadgets can get you out and about

by Tara Wood on August 1, 2002 - 4:46pm

Superheroes have the greatest gadgets: Wonder Woman has an invisible plane and the magic Lasso of Truth. Spider-Man has his web shooter. Batman has the ultimate utility belt, the Batmobile and, well, Bat-everything else, too.

It can be reasoned that superheroes need such innovative devices to help them fight some pretty awful evil-doers.

But thanks to technology and modern innovation, access to great gadgetry isn't limited to comic book heroes.

People with disabilities have a rapidly growing slate of portable devices available to enable them to travel to faraway places, or just make an outing to a friend's house easier and more comfortable.

Below, Quest presents a tour of some of the latest in portable, assistive equipment. Guiding the adventures will be our own superhero, Quest Man, a wheelchair-using dynamo who glides effortlessly from place to place and adventure to adventure, thanks to his handy portable equipment.

So allow us to tap into your imagination, and remember that you don't need a super-sized wallet to acquire some of these items that can help you to take on some of life's extra adventures.

In a fairly accessible land not far away, there lives a young superhero named Quest Man. The world's first wheelchair-using superhero, Quest Man is known for his terrific assistive gadgetry and his independent spirit.

When he isn't fighting evil and making the world a more accessible place, Quest Man likes to visit his friends and enjoy new places.


By the sea

Recently, Quest Man decided to spend a weekend with friends in a quaint seaside town. He stayed at a lovely hotel located just a few hundred yards from a beautiful sandy beach.

As sometimes happens, Quest Man reserved a wheelchair-accessible room, but found that the accessibility ended at the doorway.

"Never fear," he said, quickly fitting the Leveron by Lindustries over the doorknob for easier turning.

Then he set up his Multichair by Nuprodx in the bathroom since there wasn't a roll-in shower, and for easier access to the standard toilet. Then, for added comfort, he hooked up a Travel Bidet by PHD Merchants.

Following a good night's sleep, he was ready for a day of sightseeing. But before he got started, Quest Man and his friends used the Travel Lifter by Rand-Scot for a smooth transfer out of the hotel bed, which he'd covered with the BBD Mattress Overlay by Rand- Scot to help prevent pressure sores.

During the weekend, Quest Man took advantage of many different mobility aids to get around the village. Each could be disassembled and then transported, for example, by loading the pieces into the trunk of a car.

His Cobra Scooter by Ranger All Season, which disassembles easily, made for easy travel on jaunts around the village streets. Later, he used the Landeez Beach Wheelchair, designed for all-terrain usage, to navigate the sand and get close to the waves.

Since Quest Man is of small stature, he can sometimes use pediatric-size equipment (remember, he's a superhero so anything is possible). So, Quest Man turned to his Starlight Pediatric Power Chair by Global Power Systems, a foldable chair that features a quick-release, removable battery.

He also brought along his Cruiser by Convaid. This stroller-style positioning system boasting lightweight portability came in handy when his friends needed to quickly wheel him from place to place.

On the final day of his stay, Quest Man wanted to buy a souvenir T-shirt. But, alas, the gift shop had a flight of steep steps in front of its only entrance. So he pulled out his Portable Folding Ramp by Handi-Ramp and quickly eliminated the problem.

Once in the store (after he politely informed the shopkeeper that she might want to bring her store entrance up to ADA standards to avoid any trouble with the Department of Justice), Quest Man bought several lovely T-shirts and headed home.

Another day, another adventure

On another fine day, Quest Man was invited to a dinner party at the home of a good friend.

Since his friend lived in an older home with several stairs leading to the front door, Quest Man knew he'd have to be prepared.

After a short drive across town, he got out his Multifold Safety Ramp by Harmar Mobility, which helped him clear the stairs with ease.

To make eating dinner uneventful, he brought his specially designed, plastic Inner-Lip Plate with suction cups and Maddadapt Built-Up Handle Angled Utensils, both from Ableware by Maddak.

After a delicious feast, the guests decided that an evening stroll around the neighborhood was in order.

Quest Man had traveled to the party in his Pronto M71 Power Wheelchair by Invacare but was happy he'd brought along his Easy Travel Folding Scooter by No Boundaries, which he used during the stroll for a change of pace.

Quest man hits the road

Quest Man

Quest Man also makes occasional trips to visit his mother, who lives a couple of hours' drive away. On the most recent visit, he drove to her house in his Quest Mobile and stayed overnight.

Although he usually has little trouble maneuvering around his mom's home using his Jazzy 1113 Portable Power Chair by Pride, Quest Man still likes to have some gadgets on hand for maximum convenience and variety.

Having driven the route many times, Quest Man knew that his trip would be easier if he brought a travel urinal so he wouldn't have to stop along the way. Happily he had a few from which to choose: the Traveljohn Pocket-Size Urinal by Bladdershop,or the Spillproof Ursec by Mobility Transfer Systems.

Conversely, he filled his 2-Handle Clear Mug by Providence Spillproof with ice water to help him stay hydrated.

He and his mother often enjoy shopping trips and lunches at the local mall. A shopping jaunt was the perfect opportunity to try out his Typhoon Scooter by Bruno, which easily folded to fit in the trunk of her car.

After a full day of shopping and visiting, it was time to turn in. Quest Man showered, using his Chameleon Portable Shower and Commode Chair by Rolli-Moden for maximum comfort.

Then, with a little assistance from his mom, Quest Man made his transfer into bed via the Flex Lift Personal Lifting Device by Rolli-Moden.

Of course, his night was filled with sweet dreams.

Every good superhero has a super closet

There are so many great portable gadgets on the market today that even a superhero has to leave some at home.

Take a look at some more things Quest Man keeps in his closet for use on other adventures, both big and small.

For Mobility:

  • Sonic Scooter by Pride
  • Gypsy Scooter by IMC
  • Zippie TS Wheelchair by Sunrise Medical
  • TiSport TiLITE Folding Manual Chair
  • Mini Traveler 300 Sporty Scooter by Lifestyle Mobility
  • Orthopedic Positioning Car Seats and Stroller Base by Columbia Medical

For the Bath:

  • Easy Does It Bath Travel System
  • Versa Bath Seat
  • Comfort Personal Cleansing System by Sage Products
  • Tub Slide Shower Chair by R.D. Equipment
No votes yet
MDA cannot respond to questions asked in the comments field. For help with questions, contact your local MDA office or clinic or email See comment policy