I have just finished putting together my talk for the NAIDEX show. I am giving 2 seminars at the show, one on Tuesday and the second on Thursday. I never knew so much work went into doing a powerpoint show – its the first time I’ve used presentation systems. In the past I always spoke with a flip chart but n ow its gone all high tech and I am using a laptop and a wireless pointer.
I found a friend who was pretty good at preparing thee sorts of slide show and I gave her my script and she worked it into something that looks really good. I hope you will come along and enjoy it yourselves at the show. I will be explaining how members of an online disabled dating site can get the best out of their membership and how to create a profile that gets results. I expect most of the seminar will be dedicated to Q&A and I will also be available after the presentation to give personal guidance and advice to any visitors.
This is a great opportunity to put a ‘Zing’ in your dating skills so don’t miss my talks.
This year finished for me on a high note after a period of ill health and a bit of surgery. I decided to go off to Majorca, Spain to recuperate and rest and whilst I was there I had the great pleasure of meeting up with our dear friend Martyn Sibley from disability horizons who was attending a Handisport conference to promote accessibility for the disabled. When i saw Martyn he confided in me that he had been voted as the 3rd most influential disabled person in the UK. This is an honour he truly deserves. Nobody has done more for campaigning on accessible travel and normalising disability in our country.
My next trip is to other side of Europe – up north in Finland where i have many friends and family. Funnily enough a really cool video promoting a Finnish dating site just passed across my desk and frankly it is so much better than the usual cheaply presented dating videos from Finland which is the poor man of dating promotions in Europe.
I enjoy looking at how other niche dating sites promote their offers and this offering from flirttideitti.fi is visually very nice indeed. OK. that was a ‘shout out’ now back to disabilitymatch which has been adding new members at a rate of knots. I have also been delighted at just how well our podcast has been doing. we have had hundreds of downloads for our episodes and, not just in the UK. We have podcast subscribers in Canada and Australia and we get social media coverage for the podcast all around the world.
I do recommend that you follow me on twitter @disabilitymatch where I tweet every day about things that are happening in the world of disability and in the wider worls of medical innovations. Finally we have rebuilt our store http://shop.disabilitymatch.co.uk and we are starting to get orders. We will be giving 15% of our shop profits to disability charities so if you need to buy a wheelchair or a disabled bed or a commode and many other things do buy from us because we will donate profits to a good cause.
When you consider just how many people lose limbs every year from road accidents trough to diabetes any advances in prosthetics are to be welcomed. One of the pioneers in the field of amputee rehabilitation is Dr. Esquenazi at Moss Rehab in Philadelphia.
It’s sophisticated computer technology that allows specialists at Moss-Rehab to analyze movement. “Here are the muscles you see during running,” Dr. Alberto Esquenazi explains as he points to a graph on the computer screen.
Dr. Esquenazi is the Chief Medical Officer at Moss-Rehab, and he says this gait and motion analysis lets him monitor how patients are progressing though rehabilitation. “That allows us to figure out if the muscles are working correctly,” he explained further.
He is a pioneer in the world of amputee rehab and prosthetics, “so the little tips in my hooks give me a lot of precision. I could take one single hair and pull that out,” he said as he demonstrated with his own prosthetic hand. Dr. Esquenazi has a unique prospective. He is an amputee himself. He lost his hand to a burn that happened in medical school when chemicals had been mislabled. “At that point, I thought I was not going to continue in medicine,” He revealed. But he did and is now helping others who have lost limbs, with refined new prosthetics.
“Patients can now do many more things that they really were not able to do before.” He said as he displayed another more advanced prosthetic hand, “this gripper for example has about 6 times more strength than what I am wearing, so I could actually grab an object and crush it.”
From strength to aesthetics, real looking hands can be attached to the prosthetics, and the movements are controlled by muscles in your forearm. Back in the lab, once patients are fitted with either arms or legs, Dr. Esquenazi can help refine the movements so that patients can start feeling normal again. “They can really get the emotional support of now having a device that will help them do more things,” he said.
Dr. Esquenazi is also working with the re-walk technology at Moss-Rehab, which is allowing paralyzed patients to walk again.
Within the disabled community there has always been an interest in the ‘bizarre’ sex-wise as anyone who has ever attended the ‘Night of the senses’ or the ‘Sex Maniacs Ball’ as it used to be that is run by the Outsiders charity. Truly I have never seen so many interesting deviations from the so-called sexual norm in my life. So I was delighted when a really cool ‘grunge-style’ video crossed my inbox produced by a fetish dating site – fetishwombat.com – which is graphically striking and has a compelling musical soundtrack.
I love the outfits and the whole spirit of the video. I have been talking recently with our Sexpert Robin on our podcast to discuss more about disability and fetish since we had excellent feedback when she talked about amputee pretenders in a recent podcast episode. I must ask her to do more on the subject.
I am fascinated by the amazing advances we are seeing in 3d printing technology and how it can help provide prosthetic limbs at a reasonable price and at great speed. Open Bionics a Bristol-based company is a UK leader in this field.
Open Bionics has teamed up with a researcher at the University of Bristol to create a dual material, custom, 3D printed splint for people with broken wrists.
Abby Taylor and Open Bionics’ mechanical engineer Jonathan Raines created an innovative 3D printed medical splint by combining PLA and Ninja Flex (a thermoplastic elastomer) with two extruders on a desktop 3D printer.
The researcher asked Open Bionics to help her bring her idea to life by using their 3D scanning and 3D printing methods.
Open Bionics did so by 3D scanning Abby’s wrist before applying a Voronoi pattern to the model and then 3D printed a custom-fitted, dual material splint.
The design combines the strength of PLA with the flexibility and softness of the filament printed on the inside. The flexible material also acts as a living hinge, meaning patients can get in and out of the splint with ease.
Abby said: “We hope to create an alternative to conventional casting that is often heavy and impractical. We want to improve the wearer’s experience.”
This first print which fit comfortably, is a sign that 3D printing could enable patients to have an improved splint that’s ‘way more integrative’ with the daily life of the patient.
Open Bionics estimated that the material costs for the splint, which prints in one part, is just £2.
The innovative startup will be supporting Abby’s research into alternative medical casting for broken or injured wrists for the next year while continuing to develop their low-cost bionic hands.
Our latest podcast is ready for fee download from the podcast.disabilitymatch.co.uk site or from iTunes or most other podcast platforms. We hope you enjoy it. If you have 40minutes to while away then this is the podcast for you. It is an upbeat discussion on a variety of disability issues and our guests are shown in the video above.
Very happy that we have released our 3rd podcast episode! I am getting into the flow of things now, also we are getting great guests agreeing to be interviwed because they like our style. We are upbeat and communicative. Anyway you judge for yourselves
We have almost 100 downloads on our first day and we have high hopes of reaching 300 downloads by the end of the week. We have great guests on the show and our twitter following is amazingly supportive. We depend on you to share our podcast links and help get it widely known on all social media. Disabilitymatch is a vibrant community and we are thrilled to be able to help you get the most from it.
Andiamo is a start up creating healthcare solutions for disabled children, with a mission to see no child ever having to wait more than one week to receive a medical device.
They are working to combine 3D scanning, printing and bio-mechanical models to create orthotics for children with a range of impairments from cereal palsy, spina bifida or spinal injuries, to strokes and the side effects of chemotherapy.
Naveed and Samiya Parvez are parents from London whose son, Diamo, was born with cereal palsy. They are also the founders of Andiamo.
Having been through the orthotics system with Diamo, so they know firsthand the discomfort and hassle involved in being measured and fitted for a new back ace. The process currently involves the child having to lie still for an hour to have a plaster of Paris cast made before waiting up to 28 weeks for the new orthotic to be made.
We all know how children can grow out of shoes and clothes in a matter of weeks, so it’s no surprise that by the time many children receive their orthosis months later they no longer fit. The current system is not only old fashioned but also painful, slow and expensive.
I must say how impressed I am with the video Scope have released showing disabled couples getting frisky.
Sex is a wonderful thing for all of us and we all enjoy it in different ways. I know how wonderful I feel when I go to the Erotic Awards event – Night of the SEnses’ and see the variety of delicious sexualities being acted out by folk with all ranges of disability. This is why I am so proud to be running disabilitymatch which helps so many UK daters look beyond the disability and enjoy the person.
I am very happy to add a video from our sister site www.amputeedate.co.uk which is a specialised site for people looking for amputees or amputees looking for people;-) both ways work. Amputees seem to have more emphasis on fetish dating than regular disabled daters or wheelchair users. There are a breed of amputee seekers who are known as devotees who seek out disabled women to admire and worship. I know we get a bit of this on regular disabled sites like disabilitymatch but on amputee sites there is a greater emphasis on the bizarre. You even have people who undergo elective amputation – ugh – to make themselves more sexually interesting. Personally I get unhappy with elective tooth removal let alone losing a limb. I really dont understand the appeal but heigh ho live is varied and different folks different strokes. Even more odd to my mind are people who are ‘pretenders’ i.e they dress like amputees and use wheelchairs and other disabled parephenalia. From what i can see they have fan clubs and sell overpriced photos and videos of themselves online. But please ‘like’ this video and spread good karma on youtube.