Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review of People In Motion 2015

Permobil F3
It took me some time to get to this review of this year's People In Motion show at the Queen Elizabeth Center at the CNE because there weren't many new products at this year's show. I was looking at three and decided to only go with one. This year the show concentrated on demonstrations like archery and wheelchair dancing. It's not the sort of thing I am interested in but I'm sure there is a certain amount of interest in those kind of demos. There also was a walled off section devoted to employment opportunities. They have always had this at the show but this was the first time attendees had to register in advance for anything. They wanted to target employment services which is fine if a young disabled person is looking for full time work. But if an older disabled person is on ODSP and only has the stamina for part time work, you are only allowed to earn a minimal amount before it is clawed back and it ends up costing money. It's a mean spirited and restrictive rule that should be eliminated but the provincial government says on one hand they want the disabled to be in the workforce but on the other hand they have restrictive ODSP rules that don't allow that. Until this is changed, any kind of part time or contract work for ODSP clients is out of the question. Maybe PIM should lobby the province to change this as it would help the show. So if you have read this in past years, you'll know that I am due for a new powerchair in 2016. Last year I wrote about Quickie's new chair. This year I am going to talk about Permobil's new F3 and F5 powerchairs. Both of these chairs are front wheel drive. My current chair is mid wheel drive. The major difference with front wheel drive is better maneuverability and it will handle steep grades and uneven surfaces better. The major difference between the two models is the F5 is bigger. Both chairs come with a lot of tilt and elevation capability which is something I don't need on my powerchair. That's because I transfer from the chair frequently. But there are those who need that. I got to try the F3 out when I was at the show. I actually broadcast it live from my phone using Twitter's Periscope app. Unfortunately, it was a brand new app and my first time using it so I didn't know that I had to set the app to save the video or it goes away in 24 hours and I didn't know about that part anyway. So I apologize to Permobil rep Adam Lawson who adjusted the chair and held my phone while I went outside with the chair. He told me to go on the grass with the chair which I would never do with my current chair because it's not stable enough. He also told me the F3 comes with snow tires and can navigate in the snow. Well, that's a big deal in this climate. If I took out my current chair after a snowfall, it would get stuck. I have to wait until the streets and sidewalks are clean. BTW, the adjustments that Adam had to make on the chair was moving the joystick because I'm left handed and lowering the footrests because I'm tall. Obviously I won't know if I will buy this chair until next year. But I do like to go out daily and I hate it when the weather forces me to stay in. But if I do select the F3, I promise to Adam that I will do a professionally shot demo after a big snowfall and I'll write about it in this magazine. You can find out more about Permobil at and contact your vendor for more about the F3 or F5. So that's it from the 2015 People In Motion show. We'll see you at next year's show.

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