by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2013/12/31 10:25 -08:00, original URI:

I was thinking about it. About going to DC and testifying about how the iBOT 4000 wheelchair changed my life.
Like this guy did:
But in the end, I didn't go.
I have no wife, no kids. Just a long line of ex-girlfriends and a lonely year after I broke my hip and subsequently *was* wheelchair bound.
But 2014 is a new year and I will once again be going out to see the world. I will once again be with friends sitting in the Founders Row in Benaroya Hall, watching the Seattle Symphony.
And every time I see a show or go to a movie or go *anywhere* I will know that Dean Kamen hasn't forgotten about us. The FDA has decided that the iBOT really and truly *IS* safe and is a Class 2 device, not a Class 3 one. It is safer and it lets me live my life and enjoy it and some people are even jealous when I enter a room with my date in my lap or whatever. It is (in the end) fun to enjoy my life on my own terms and in my own way.
It would have been a distraction to talk about being invited to the AVN show in Las Vegas in January or the Playboy Mansion for the Halloween party or the party for New Years Eve, all comp'd because I was helping people with captioning of their Internet content. It may have even hurt the effort with the FDA. It certainly would have distracted from it, in any case. And I wouldn't want that distraction to hurt the cause, so I'm glad that it didn't.
Some company will step up and take on the iBOT and its successors (I learned from almost being in the movie Ender's Game and the guy from DeKa that Dean Kamen hasn't done nothing in the interim with this amazing wheelchair he gave to me and the rest of the world!).
And I will be pimping my ride, with the knowledge that the iBOT 4000 wheelchair that made the world so accessible to me will have the same chance to make the world accessible to others as well.
Johnson & Johnson got under three hundred (by most accounts a mere 250), but the next company to step up will do better -- for the sake of the many veterans who have had spinal injuries, for example. And for everyone else who deserves the chance to better themselves and face the world boldly.
iBOTs of the world, roll forward! 😉😉

# M. Scott Kaplan on December 31, 2013 at 10:39 AM:

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