All-terrain wheelchairs: a new way to explore the great outdoors

An alternative style of wheelchair is gaining awareness. This “off-road, electric chair” was created by Tim Swenson after his son was paralyzed in a car accident. Inspired by Swenson’s knowledge of snow mobiles and ATVs, the Action Track Chair is designed to give people with disabilities increased access to outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the chairs are not currently covered by insurance and are not cheap, ranging from $10,000-$12,000. Corporal Michael Boucher, of the U.S. Marines, was given one such chair through a military-aid organization after he lost both of his legs in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan. Of the chair, Boucher states, “it turns your disability into an ability.”

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Emily Pate is a third-year student at Seattle University interested in Strategic Communications, learning Spanish, and working with non-profits. Her work for Rooted In Rights is focused on discussing current events in the community of people with disabilities. Her experience previous to Rooted In Rights includes writing broadcasts for KBOO radio in Portland, OR, and managing a neighborhood blog in the Seattle community. In addition to work, Emily enjoys drawing, spending time with her friends and family, and backpacking.