People with disabilities find ways to adapt activities

September 12, 2010 8:04:50 AM PDT
Adaptive recreational sports for people with disabilities continues to grow creatively. People with disabilities are finding ways to adapt their favorite activities.

From ping pong to super x to a competitive game of pool. At Chicagoland Abilities Expo that was held this summer, demonstrations were provided by several sports enthusiasts with physical disabilities.

Hydred Makabali is a semi-professional pool player who is a paraplegic. She started playing pool in 2000 as part of her therapy after becoming disabled.

"I love the way you can actually play pool by yourself, you can play with others. It's interactive, but mostly for therapeutic values," Makabali asid.

The only adapted equipment is her own personal tools.

"This is mechanical telescopic bridge. There are usually bridges that just have head on top and it's already in a built in pool stick. This one can actually be adapted to fit a whole 9-foot table, probably about eight feet of the table. I also use an extension like this that can go on any cue stick...at the very end of the thing and it gives me an extra foot on the cue stick."

Hydred is a top competitor who has won tournaments. She plays both people with and without disabilities.

David Lega plays ping pong using his mouth.

"I started out for fun, but it also a very good activity for people with disabilities to do sports, and not only physiotherapy, do the more active sporting things instead of just going to physiotherapy," Lega said.

"It took me six months to learn to hit the ball...I started when I was 10 and I missed every ball," said Lega. "After six months, I learned how to do it, but I had so much fun at the same time trying to learn it."

David is a former Paralympic swimmer from Sweden who has 14 world records in swimming.

"I was born with my disability. I have completely paralyzed arms and I have about 30 percent strength in my legs, so I use my feet for everything, my toes, I write with my mouth."

Trevor Snowden always loved action. He became disabled from snowboarding in 1997.

The idea of creating wheelchair super x started when he became disabled.

"I was actually in the hospital bed in 1997 when my friend won the X game gold medal in 1997," Snowden said.

Wheelchair super x allows people to ride around an obstacle course using their own wheelchair or transfer to a Trevair chair with electric scooter.

Hydred Makabali
National Wheelchair Poolplayer Association: www.nwpainc.org
Hydred4Pool@gmail.com

David Lega
LegaWear: www.legawear.com
David@lega.se

Trevor Snowden
Trevair chair: www.travair.com
info@trevair.com


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