Toyota announced five finalists for its Mobility Unlimited Challenge at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas yesterday. Launched in 2017, the Mobility Unlimited Challenge is a contest that invites engineers, inventors, and designers from around the world to rethink the conventional wheelchair and develop a new way for people with lower-limb paralysis to get around. Each of the finalists will receive a grant of $500,000 to develop their concept further, with the final winner receiving $1 million in Tokyo in 2020.
The competition in PyeongChang isn’t over! NBC will air the Winter Paralympic Games on NBCSN, Olympic Channel, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app from March 9-18. Coverage begins with the opening ceremony tonight at 6 a.m. ET on NBCSN. If you’d like an early preview check out Ben Shpigel’s report and Chang W. Lee’s glossy photos for the New York Times.
Click here to see the schedule of events and broadcast times on NBCSN.
The International Paralympic Committee announced some interesting changes for the Tokyo 2020 Games. They’ve added two mixed gender relays and are considering adding four new sports: CP Football, Golf, Powerchair Football and Sailing. Click HERE to read more details in the full story from Swimmers World Magazine.
If a hospital fails to identify symptoms of a debilitating disease in infants it could spell disaster for patients as they grow up. In her story “Doomed by Delay,” Chicago Tribune investigative journalist Patricia Callahan describes the struggles of parents of children with Krabbe disease who weren’t properly diagnosed until it was too late to salvage their motor functions. Callahan is the 1st place co-winner, along with Michael J. Berens, of the NCDJ’s 2017 Katherine Schneider Award for Disability Journalism.
In a related report, Chicago Tribune photographer Brian Cassella interviews the mother and caretaker of a 6-year-old living with Krabbe disease.
An article from The Baltimore Sun says The Kennedy Krieger Institute, a research facility focusing on pediatric developmental disabilities, has a therapeutic program that teaches patients with paralysis how to scuba dive. One therapist even theorizes that the pressure of deep water affects how nitrogen is circulated through patients’ tissues and improves their sensitivity.
NY Times reports Hideto Kijima, a disabled rights activist who is partly paralyzed, said he was told by staff of a Japanese airline that he could not board because the small plane was not wheel-chair accessible. The episode has drawn significant public attention and the airline, Vanilla Air, has since apologized. Read more.
Ecuador’s presidential front-runner Lenín Moreno, who is paraplegic, has connected with other people with disabilities, energizing the group who feel that they have been “ostracized for generations.” Read more
A New York Times columnist details what living with paralysis involves physically: a workout that begins at 4:30 a.m.. Read more