Friday, June 13, 2014

People In Motion 2014 review

The big news about the People In Motion show is that the show was purchased by Canadian National Show Management. These are the same folks that do The Sportsman's Show. This is probably best for the show in the long run. The show was overrun by van outfitters, financial institutions selling RDSPs and employment agencies. Show manager Jennifer Allaby did a very good job in limiting the presence of these kind of exhibitors. Jennifer told me she turned down several financial institutions who wanted to be exhibitors. They replaced this with sports demos like archery and wheelchair basketball and various seminars. It's not the sort of thing I am interested in but I think they need to get feedback from visitors to see if they should continue offering that because the sports demos take up a lot of space. Maybe if there is increased exhibitor demand they could move to a larger facility that doesn't require TTC shuttle buses. I think exhibitor space allocation is one of the biggest challenges for this show. The previous owner depended on the same exhibitors repeatedly using most of the space. CNSM is going for more diversity. It may take a few years for them to achieve this but I think they are going in the right direction. They have also improved their website and are now on Twitter. I found a few new products. There were some I didn't like and there was one that I thought was too early in development. Maybe next year. And again I found that some products are more for seniors as opposed to the disabled. And I'm not sure that some exhibitors or even show management knows the difference.

Quickie QM-7 Powerchair

So I was talking to a rep at Sunrise Medical explaining that I wasn't too thrilled with the durability of my current powerchair. I recently had a repair where the right rear fork bent going over a curb I go over everyday. My chair is a Quickie and Sunrise is the distributor. I'm due for a new chair in 2016 so I wasn't too sure if I was going to get another Quickie. She pointed me in the direction of their new QM-7 series powerchair. This chair has some of the same features of my current chair including a mid wheel suspension for a smooth ride.You won't have any back pain with a mid wheel suspension. But the biggest improvement on this chair is SpiderTrac Suspension. I watched a video and this will allow the user to go over any surface smoothly. The biggest improvement is hinged forks that allow a 3" curb climbing capacity. Poor curb construction can ruin a powerchair and curb quality can vary wildly. It's a pet peeve of mine. Obviously there are seating options and tilt and footplate options depending on the individual. But the SpiderTrac Suspension means the QM-7 could be my next powerchair. And it is ODSP approved. Sunrise Medical can be contacted at 1-800-333-4000 or Or you can contact your local equipment vendor.

QRamp Modular Access System

So let's say you're a disabled person going home and you need a ramp to make your house accessible. Usually you would call a contractor to build a ramp from wood or aluminum. This process could take several months. The contractor has to get a building permit and then who knows what he will have to do to build the ramp. And what about durability? And what if you have to move? Good luck with that. QRamp is a modular ramp that can be installed in hours. Ergo Platforms in Wallaceburg, ON have manufactured decking for years. But when there was a need for a wheelchair ramp, they created a better product. QRamp is made out of a powder coated composite product. It's more durable than wood or aluminum. It has a non slip surface and is water resistant. But the big thing is the modular construction. This means that a wheelchair ramp for a home can be designed and constructed in days instead of weeks or months. And it can be taken apart as quickly as it was installed. It certainly looks like an improvement over the standard wheelchair ramps. For more info, contact QRamp at 1-855-MY-QRAMP or at

Body-Up Lift and Transfer Chair

Many disabled folks are unable to transfer to and from anything. And usually the lifts that I have seen are cumbersome and hard to use at home. Body Up aims to change that. Though it looks like a modified wheelchair, you'll notice that it has a sling for a seat. And it slides underneath a bed. So instead of the disorientation one might feel in a standard lift, it acts more like a chair. Of course the Body Up has a lifting mechanism and the sling is easily opened using belts. It also takes up less space than lifts that I have seen. And the caregiver doesn't have to be a bodybuilder to use it. So it looks like a solution for the home user. Body Up is manufactured in Greece and is very popular in Europe. It is now just entering the North American market through Mobility Innovations in Pennsylvania. Though he has sold product to Canadians through his website, he is looking for a Canadian distributor. Currently Body Up can carry up to 220lb but the manufacturer is developing a version of the product that can handle even larger folks. For more info, call 1-877-228-9988 or

That's it for new products at this year's People In Motion show. It should be interesting to see how the show develops with a new owner. Check out my blog at and I am on Twitter @frankp316.

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