Cyber-Sierra's
NATURAL RESOURCES JOB SEARCH
Find Employment in Conservation Occupations!
Philippians 4:8
Walk'n'Chair all terrain outdoor rolling walker wheelchair combination

FIND A JOB

HELPING HANDS
EOE and YOU
AGRICULTURE
CLASSIFIEDS
ENVIRONMENT
FORESTRY
FORESTRY 2
GOVERNMENT
GIS JOBS
INTERNATIONAL
NATURAL RESOURCES
NONPROFITS
PRIVATE SECTOR
RECRUITERS
SCIENCE JOBS
SUMMER JOBS
WATER JOBS
WILDLIFE JOBS
DISCLAIMER
ADVERTISE
HOME
 

GEAR UP

ADAPTIVE GEAR
MOBILITY and YOU
SAFETY FIRST!
TOOLS & DATA
9-11 HELPS

TIPS

READ FIRST
PERSONAL MESSAGE
LIBRARY
MOVE
RESUME
SCHOOLS AND EDU

  ADAPTIVE GEAR FOR DISABLED EMPLOYEES

Walk'n'Chair in the forest Just consider: Over 1 in 4 of today's 20 year-olds will become disabled before they retire. One in eight workers will be disabled for five years or more during their working careers.

Outdoor careers are not risk-free. Fortunately there is a growing number of adaptive equipment, tools and work gear that may help you do your job and keep your career on track.

I haven't officially been classified as 'disabled', but I have experienced both temporary disabling knee injuries as well as longer term mobility issues. It has been difficult to find suitable equipment to enable me to continue my outdoor activities over multiple terrain types with minimal disruption.

I can only imagine the frustration of someone who becomes disabled in such a way that their dream of a natural resources occupation could be threatened. So lets find ways to overcome various disability obstacles.

If you've been disabled for a long time, you already know more than I do about adaptive gear. If you are new to disability, then you need to bring yourself up to speed on adaptive gear and how such equipment may increase your employability. You'll need to consider how any device you might buy would benefit you in both an office setting and any outdoor activity requirements.

Sometimes the adaptive devices are simple tweaks. A split keyboard and a trackball may minimize carpal tunnel wrist pain for office work. Similarly, for outdoor wrist-work work you might need a wrist brace. This is adapting to your day-to-day physical concerns. Devices like a rolling walker may make a temporary back injury heal up faster. Purchasing such items tends to be categroized as out-of-pocket expenses. Someone experiencing a lengthy debilitating illness or traumatic injury might need long-term, more expensive adaptations to continue in their chosen occupation.

It's likely that various rules regarding reimbursement for the purchase and use of disability equipment through state and federal programs will govern a lot of employee adaptive equipment purchase decisions. There are specific rules regarding the use of motorized devices on public lands that may also guide big ticket purchase decisions. For example, motorized wheelchairs designed for indoor and light outdoor use could be covered by a disability program (based on the rules), but motorized wheelchairs or scooters limited to only outdoor use would not be eligible for reimbursement through most disability equipment purchase programs. One way around this would be to purchase eligible equipment that can be re-purposed, or to write disability gear off taxes through 'unreimbursed employee business expenses.

Bottom line is: GET ADVICE! Talk to your disability advisor. Talk to your tax advisor. Talk to potential employers to see what might be covered under 'reasonable accomodation'. Find out what equipment you will need to do your job, both indoors and out, then budget for it.

If you have a substantial disability, and are working part-time or full-time, impairment-related work expenses (IRWE) are an often-overlooked source for major tax breaks. Since many kinds of adaptive equipment will have to be paid for 'out of pocket', be sure to discuss the issue of impairment related work expenses as related to unreimbursed employee business expenses with your tax preparer. The tax benefit to you could be substantial, making the aquisition of adaptive gear more manageable.

Sometimes the gear you need doesn't exist - yet. Tetra Society may be able to come up with a solution. Re-purposing items can generate some creative solutions for day-to-day probems. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.

If you need 'reasonable accomodation' at work, then ask for it. It's your right, under both federal and state laws. Be a leader!


ADAPTIVE GEAR REVIEWS

REVIEW: Walk'n'Chair - All Terrain Rolling Walker
The Walk'n'Chair may be just the ticket to get you back out on the trail. This unique outdoor rolling walker handles all sorts of terrain and can be used as a rollator, chair, wheelchair and transport chair. Read all about it in our first hand review!
 
Finding Mobility Gear
Gear to get you outdoors and back comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Manual, motorized, or multi-purpose devices get you where you need to go with the gear you need!
 

 

GRANTS, FUNDING AND OTHER RESOURCES

Special Needs Resources
Click on your state to get a list of resources. This site also has a good list of funding.
 
Mobility-USA.com
A list of potential funding sources for adaptive equipment is kindly provided by Mobility-USA.com. Mobility-USA also has a couple of excellent all-terrain electric wheelchairs, plus a lot of other adaptive gear.
 
AgrAbility - Funding sources
Information on how to fund assistive technology from AgrAbility.
 

 

RESOURCES FOR ADAPTIVE GEAR

One of the best source of information for adaptive gear needed for outdoor careers in natural resources are disabled hunters, outdoor photographers, who have already sought out gear that works. Take advantage of the forums, chat rooms and blogs to post questions. Adaptive gear is hard to find, so share information with others who may be trying to solve specific challenges. Gear that is just a convenience for some people, may be a vital necessity for someone with a disability.

Abledata.com
AbleData provides objective information about assistive technology products and rehabilitation equipment.
 
Agrability.org
Through education and assistance, AgrAbility (a national project) helps to minimize obstacles for workers with disabilities that inhibit success in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations. There is a very good database of adaptive equipment. There is also some discussion in RESOURCES about alternate financing of adaptive equipment.
 
DisabilityWorkTools.com
Work to your potential despite disabilities, injuries or aging. Find an adaptive tool to make your work easier. This site has a growing list of adaptive gear.
 
LifeessentialsLifts.com
A variety of custom equipment for farmers, ranchers, and outdoorsmen.
 
Adaptive Outdoor Sportman
Adaptive Hunting, Fishing and Camping equipment.
 
HandiHelp.Net
A useful list of adaptive links from a retired educator and outdoorsman. This man also creates all sorts gear which illustrates how you can create what you need to do your particular outdoor job. Take some time to explore the very inspiring web site.
 
Splore.org
Slore isn't a gear company. They are a rafting company that has really used their creativity to repurpose gear to enable disabled folks to enjoy this sport. There may be some idea you can use, too.
 
California Agrability Project
CalAgrAbility's mission is to promote independence in farming and rural living for people with severe injuries and disabilities and illnesses.
 
NY Bow Hunters Adaptive Equipment List
Adaptive equipment for bow hunting can also be used for outdoor occupations.
 
Buckmasters Adaptive Equipment List
Resources for disabled hunters. Gear that is suitable for hunting may make certain types of outdoor careers more do-able, too.
 
TOOLS
The professional tools catalogs used by foresters, wildlife and waterhsed professionals have many items that make outdoor work easier. While not specifically targeting adaptive tools for the disabled, many items would indeed meet the objectives of a disabled worker. Definitely check the online catalogs and get on the mailing lists. See what's available.
 

 

ADAPTIVE GEAR FOR CAMPING

If you work in the great outdoors, you may sometimes have to camp out overnight. If you are disabled, this may present some added challenges. Like everything else, success may depend upon excellent pre-planning and obtaining the gear that will actually work for you.

For overnight, some people will be able to use any type of tent. Others, like myself, won't be able to crawl into a mummy bag and then into a tiny tent. Heck, even setting a tent up can be challenging. There are different types of tents. Those that are typically used in car camping tend to be larger and heavier and used in campgrounds. Backpacking tents are light and portable.

There are numerous options in tents - from car camping tents, truck/SUV tents, or even tent-cot combinations. For wheelchair folks, some say the tent cot combinations work very well since you can transfer from chair to cot and back without going all the way to the ground. But the tent-trailer combinations like Jumping Jacks look very interesting for outdoor jobs on remote ranch locations or off logging roads. Do your research. You'll be able to find something that will work for you.

Jumping Jack Jump-Up Tent Trailer
Jumping Jack utility trailer has and dandy idea in a 'jump-up' tent configured so you can also haul ATVs and other gear. It's a pretty versatile system for outdoorsmen. Lots of possible applications, including family disaster preparedness or even a CERT team trailer.
 
OpenRoad Outfitters
This is a specialty outfit for motocycle camp trailers. It's possible that such a the tent trailer dsigned for motorcycles might also work in combination with the bigger all terrain scooters or possibly with an ATV. It's just something to think of in terms of creative adaptive gear. Consider if you can repurpose existing gear to your outdoor needs - ask them about the possibilities.
 
Coleman Instant Tents
For car camping, the Coleman Instant Tents comes in a variety of sizes. It really does set up fast with one or two people and take-down is also simple (see YouYube videos for examples). The new models seem to have changed the door configuration so that's something to check if you need to roll in a wheelchair or walker.
 
OZ Tents
Oz tents were designed for the Australian outback and seem very suitable for wheelchairs. It sets up really easily and may be just what you need. Watch the set-up video.
 
Sportsman's Warehouse Tents
Sportsman's Warehouse has a great selection of tents (as do many online outdoor stores). If you are lucky enough to have a store near you you'll be able to go in and talk over your needs with their staff.
 

 

Walk'n'Chair combination all terrain rolling walker and wheelchair

HAVE NATURAL RESOURCE JOBS? SELL OUTDOOR GEAR?

ADVERTISE YOUR COMPANY TODAY!

  

...Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things...
"   (Philippians 4:8)

Page location: http://www.cyber-sierra.com/   copyright © Cyber-Sierra.Com