I am a C4-C5 Quadriplegic from a forced landing airplane crash in the Minnesota River Valley due to engine failure immediately after takeoff on a beautiful July 2nd summer evening in 2003. At that time, I was a 26-year-old electrical engineer and taught quality verification and testing to the likes of Samsung in Korea, Sony and Japan, Microsoft, Motorola, Intel, a fun list of the Who's-Who of the high-tech world. Suddenly I was thrust into a world in which I didn't quite fit. A world designed for the "standard human". I was still human, still me, but my hands and fingers didn't work. I found myself like a dolphin unable to return to the water. For those who might enjoy a dash of science fiction, I could just as well be a member of some alien race stuck on some strange alien world.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
My rehabilitation involved disappointment of what was available for me, followed by frustration that no one seemed to "get it", followed by anger in the total sense of patronizing apathy, leading to a healthy dose of self-pity. If you've survived life-changing trauma you know. However, that cauldron of emotion functions like a blacksmith's hearth on the soul, burning out the impurities in a flame so hot, just the act of looking seems to burn. Cooling takes time but the result is cold, hard, and resolute. Something that will hold an edge, destroy armies, span oceans, and support skyscrapers that reach into the heavens. It produces the gall to scream to a world that has forsaken me, a world I cannot leave, and to which I cannot adapt, through tears of triumph over the abyss ... "Then I will change THIS World."
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” - Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism.
I decided I could have far greater impact by mobilizing the talents so I resolved of everyone feeling similar frustration and resolve. To make the mobility impaired in this world the best artists, doctors, musicians, educators, lawyers, business persons, and political leaders they could be.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
For the past 14 years I've been designing, manufacturing, and distributing, our range of assistive technology tools to empower mobility impaired individuals with upper extremity limitations to do whatever it is they do best.
My team and I have created where nothing prior existed, the only comprehensive line of adaptive video game controllers allowing anyone regardless of ability or disability to play online, competitively as an equal and no one knows they are disabled until they decided to reveal they were just beat by someone using only their mouth, head, and eyes! Numerous service organizations focused on adaptive gaming and even alternative designs clearly inspired by one of ours have popped up since. Others were working tirelessly on including the disabled in gaming long before we came along. But we showed through example what was possible, that INCLUSIVITY didn't require corporate benevolence to develop special games that could be played with a single button, We allowed We are the only company to support 100% of the games on every console and platform ever made. We are the only company to design a controller so simple it can be completely customized, programmed, and remapped using only a button and LED light without any need to plug it into a computer or download software.