Wheels of Change: The Story Behind How Complex Rehab Technology Was Born, Evolved, and Fosters the Independence of Americans with DisabilitiesPaperback
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- Publisher: Createspace
- Format: Paperback | 112 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 10mm | 159g
- Publication date: 19 August 2013
- ISBN 10: 1492200719
- ISBN 13: 9781492200710
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 1,398,184
Every great industry is born from humanity, inspired individuals solving a need with revolutionary technology. The segment of the wheelchair industry called "complex rehab technology" is no different. Starting in a Southern California garage in the early 1970s, a lone therapist, himself paralyzed, ignited an approach to innovating mobility technology that would not only fuel the birth of an industry, but ultimately change the lives of millions with disabilities - and, societal views along the way. In the decades that followed, a core group of individuals innovated technologies, evolved professional practices, and fostered the independent living movement through elevating mobility technology. The lives of those with disabilities experienced levels of health, social inclusion, and liberation never known before. "Wheels of Change" is the story behind the story, focusing on the individuals of complex rehab and their selfless pursuit for greater good - from pushing the limits of human potential to doing the seemingly impossible, all to improve the lives of those with disabilities. "Wheels of Change" is ultimately the story of how, against all odds, the convergence of inspired individuals, technology, and timing improved the lives of so many, and generations yet to come. As Don Clayback, Executive Director of NCART notes, "This book takes you through the evolution of complex rehab technology, from its humble start to its current day status. Mark does a great job highlighting key events that have taken place from both the perspective of an industry observer and a CRT consumer. I'm confident anyone with a connection to or interest in complex rehab technology will enjoy reading this book and gain important details and insight about the history of CRT and, most importantly, the roles it plays in liberating those with disabilities."
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When Mark E. Smith was born with severe cerebral palsy, the doctors said that he was an absolute vegetable, void of cognitive skills. On top of that, Mark's family was fragmented by alcoholism, divorce, incarceration, and suicide. But, Mark simply defied all odds, turning facing the insurmountable into accomplishing the impossible - transforming his life from the trials of a severely disabled child with little to the triumphs of an adult fulfilling his dreams, including obtaining a master's degree. Today, Mark is among the most recognized disability figures in the world. His accomplishments are unmistakable as an icon within the complex rehab industry as a technology specialist, columnist, and consumer advocate. Mark is the author of four books and countless magazine articles and columns, is the Founding Editor of WheelchairJunkie.com, a leading website for those with disabilities and their complex rehab technology needs. And, Mark is a lecturer and sought-after inspirational speaker. Of course, Mark's most important role is that of father, raising his teen daughter, a nationally recognized youth scholar and musician. See, when Mark speaks of shifting one's life from merely surviving to truly thriving, he doesn't just talk about it - he's lived it.