Skip to comments.Scuba Diving in a Wheelchair is Now Possible for The Handicapped (Must See Video)
Posted on 09/01/2012 12:08:04 AM PDT by OneVike
The world is getting smaller and smaller every day, and in the last 30 years it has even become smaller for those who are limited to wheelchairs due to crippling injuries or birth defects. In the three videos I offer for your viewing, you can see British artist Sue Austin as she navigates underwater in a swimming pool and around a coral reef in the Ocean using a specially designed wheelchair.
Sue Austin, is a British artist who has been disabled since 1996. Sue has created her own style of artistic expression she calls "Freewheeling". Before her new found fame with her scuba diving wheelchair, Sue was best known for the controversy she sparked in 2009 when she painted white lines around the city of Plymouth. The underwater wheelchair work, dubbed "Finding Freedom," is part of her larger Freewheeling project.
"My studio practice has, for sometime, centered around finding ways to understand and represent my embodied experience as a wheelchair user, opening up profound issues about methods of self-representation and the power of self-narration in challenging the nexus of power and control that created the 'disabled' as other."
This unique wheelchair can take those who are limited in their ability to get around, due to paraplegia or other debilitating disabilities, into the water for a ride they could only dream of until now. There are two hydrofoils made of acrylic formed into a U-shaped design reminiscent of stingray wings attached to the footplate which go up and down, and an inflatable dive wing on the back of her chair which is connected to two cylinders to give the buoyancy needed. To be propelled through the water, there are power buttons on either side of the chair which are connected to two propellers underneath at the back which Sue works with her legs.
According to SmartPlanet, the design originally proved challenging since most propeller models rely on hand movements, but Austin lacks the strength to maneuver them properly. So the team modified the heel plates into fins and tweaked the seat to cope better with underwater pressure. From what I understand, it would be an even easier design the wheelchair so that the chair can be controlled can by a persons hands. be for individuals who cannot move their feet legs.
Susan almost didn't get her wish, because the engineers told her the design of a wheelchair would make it impossible for it to glide through the water. Instead, she was told, it would just simply spin out of control. However, she had her heart set on wanting to modify a standard-issue wheelchair from Britain's National Health Service (NHS) because it "is one of the most ubiquitous images of disability" and she wanted the project to leave "a legacy of attitudinal change" in regards to the public perception of the disabled.
That was then, now Susan is traveling the world with the chair and even had front stage at the 2012 Paralympics in London. She has been making waves with a series of performances and film screenings of "Creating the Spectacle", a theatrical video (video above) of her navigating the deep waters of the Ocean in her underwater wheelchair.
The wheelchair has patents pending and is already making a splash outside of the art world.
This is about a woman who has a wheelchair designed to scuba dive You have to check out the three videos i found of her using her wheelchair under water. In one she is in the Ocean gliding around some coral reef. It is quite amazing.
This chair looks promising as well for many of our veterans wounded while serving US.
I’ve Gotta Be Freee!
Where there’s a will there’s a venture capitalist ready to open the door to new horizons...
Google mini scuba subs
Thanks for the ping!
Now scuba diving will be a civil right under the Americans with Disabilities Act.