Wednesday, March 25, 1998

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
Ron England with Lectro Scooters prepares his display
for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg 1998 Tools for Life Expo
yesterday. The show runs today and tomorrow at the Neal
Blaisdell Exhibition Center. England is shown here with
the German-made "Sammy" electric scooter, which travels
about 60 miles on a charge and is capable of speeds
surpassing 10 mph.

Trade show assists
growing industry

The Blaisdell show features
products for people
with disabilities

By Russ Lynch


When wheelchair-bound Lowell Grant arrived in Honolulu in 1975 he found there was nobody in the business of fixing wheelchairs, so he went into the business himself.

Now he's joining several dozen other exhibitors in a free show, open to the public, that shows off hundreds of devices and services that help people with disabilities.

"I've spent 49 years in a wheelchair," said Grant, who lost the use of his legs in his late teens when an infection on his neck spread into his spine and did permanent damage. "Why should this stop me?" he said yesterday.

He made it his aim to help others with disabilities get around.

As president of Alii Medical Supply Inc., he is at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg 1998 Tools for Life Expo 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Center, showing a highly automated van, custom made for the handicapped.

At the touch of a remote control button, the van lowers itself closer to the ground, slides its door open and rolls out a ramp.

The show features lots of transportation equipment. It also has household improvements, companies that build access ramps, special keyboards and software for handicapped computer users and a range of medical exhibitors.

The show was organized bythe nonprofit Hawaii Centers for Independent Living with help from the state and private agencies.

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