Vision: Riding a hovercraft wheelchair through the hospital
For Dr. Leopold Rupp, his wheelchairs are part of his everyday life. He owns several of them – for work in the hospital, for home and for outdoors. Looking to the future, he reveals why he would like to see more aids and functions – at least as long as there are still steps. Which US president he would like to meet and how he rolls otherwise, he tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Dr. Leopold Rupp Age: 31 City: Berlin, Germany Occupation: Physician Disability: Diastrophic dysplasia
Dr. Leopold Rupp: When I can start an exciting day with two espressos, am challenged at work, but can also appreciate my free time with friends.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Dr. Leopold Rupp: My sock aid (otherwise I would always walk around barefoot), a small stool (for showering, getting dressed, etc.), my wheelchairs (indoor wheelchair, outdoor wheelchair, work wheelchair).
What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Dr. Leopold Rupp: That, on the one hand, the individual needs of all are catered for, and on the other hand, disability is simply seen as a norm variant of human evolution. And that the environment in which we live simply has to fit everyone. Mankind did not accept that it could "only" walk, but started to ride animals, developed the wheel, and so on.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Dr. Leopold Rupp: Since there is still a long way to go until there will be no more steps and I still want to be self-determined: a light wheelchair that can float up one or two steps with a hovercraft function.
Wheelchairs are among the most important aids for Dr. Leopold Rupp. For the future, he would like to see even better versions with even more functions.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you?
Dr. Leopold Rupp: When aids of mine have broken. What helped me every time were all the super lovely people around me.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future? Dr. Leopold Rupp: I would rephrase the question. The aid industry must not forget through the Corona pandemic that there are people with disabilities in public life, not only in the home office.
If nothing was impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Dr. Leopold Rupp: Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was president of the USA from 1933 to 1945 and sat in a wheelchair. I think that's very exciting.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Dr. Leopold Rupp: I have only been there once before. That was many years ago with a stand of the Deutscher Behindertensportverband (German Disabled Sports Association). It was pretty cool, if I remember correctly.
What I wanted to say...
Dr. Leopold Rupp: We need to be able to afford disability – every individual to the whole world, both financially and in our minds. Because in the course of our lives we become more and more disabled anyway, don't we?!