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By Emma Nichols

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”- Kakuzo Okakura

As a WAG of SCI I have adjusted to a new life. 

I have adjusted to the fact that my husband cannot do many things. Among them, he can no longer walk, he can no longer feed himself and he can no longer open doors. These may be simple everyday activities for most people, but not my husband. 

I thought to myself: This is the new normal. This is the new way of living life. 

Instead of thinking my husband can't do these things, I began to think of how he can do these things! The challenges were there! 

I want to give my husband every opportunity to do things. I want to make things more accessible for him. I find enjoyment getting him new gadgets and adaptive equipment to use that help him gain independence. 

As a WAG of SCI it can be a learning curve. I am always trying to assist him with fitting into a world that isn't accessible for those with major physical disabilities. 

Now, enter technology. Enter some very impressive, extremely helpful adaptive gadgets and devices. 

I wanted to share with you the top five gadgets/devices that my husband uses daily. There is tremendous hope with the utilization of these gadgets/devices. They have allowed him to never give up the fight!

Here they are: 

1. Cell Phone/Mobile Device Holder . Whether your loved one is in a manual or power wheelchair this gadget – a cell phone/mobile device holder - is useful for allowing someone to browse their iPhone or Smartphone. They can make and receive phone calls and text messages. They can check email. These tasks are accomplished with the joystick that is attached and synced to the end of the wheelchair arm. This is crazy cool! 

2. ADL cuff (for eating). This is a small hand cuff used to help grasp objects like eating utensils. It is easily packed and can be taken anywhere. You can slide it in a purse or pocket. We take this everywhere so my husband can eat on his own when we are on the go.

3. Dragon dictate software. The Dragon dictate allows my husband to write papers or documents by simply dictating with his voice. Also, he can browse the internet with this software. For those unable to type on a computer, this device is a must have! There are different versions of it for various types of computers and specific uses (e.g. individual, legal, law enforcement, and professional).

4. Myopro arm. This is basically an exoskeleton for the arm. To utilize it, my husband had to be assessed to make certain he had at least some trace muscle activity. The Myopro arm does not do the movement for the person; rather, it picks up on the trace contraction of the muscle and finishes that movement. This is such amazing technology

5. Rexfly fishing chest harness with adaptive rod. My husband, Tyler, greatly enjoys outdoor activities. Fishing happens to be at the top of his list. This angling system, complete with a specialized adaptive fishing rod and reel, features a unique chest/shoulder harnessed adaptive fishing holder designed to assist individuals with upper body mobility disabilities. Landing big fish are no problem!

-Emma Nichols