It’s now 2010… So, where’s my jet pack?

Disability research integration is not happening. Not like it needs too. I’ve seen the problem from several points of view now and feel justified in a little rant. Scientists generally hate mixing with business, but this is the reality. The business of keeping a lab open and publishing regularly is difficult and in direct conflict with the new buzz words: “Community Driven, practical solutions” which are ignored when the main funding sources want cures worthy of the cover of Time Magazine.

I raised money and ran for Rick Hansen back in the 80’s. The talk back then was “one day soon, they’ll be able to fix spinal cords.” My injury was in 1994 and I still hear “five, ten years guys, stay healthy because the cure is coming.” Showing the above video to a friend got this response…”but on side note they did seem genuine, and nice people (for whatever that means or is worth)”. The reason solutions take so long is simple: follow the money. Sad but true.

The SCI community requests are simple. Blader, bowel, and sex. Motor control almost always comes after these basic human functions. We want to feel normal again. There are lots of web forums where SCI communities can share information and personal experiences, but rarely will there be a real doc or even a PhD in there to bring the newly published info to the group.

What to do when community needs are ignored because the research funding goes to the “glamorous science?” Tough spot. My point is that we are getting slowed down for the wrong reasons. We should be much further along by the year 2010, but political pressure needs to be applied to science and educational organizations. The scientific community is well known to have a horrendous record for conflicts of interests so despite good intentions talk will continue to be just talk. So screw the jet pack, I’d just like to feel normal on date nights again, which if anyone cared to look it up was far above walking when you ask people living with SCI.

So, what we are really looking for is publications this from DHRN