Briefly: Cure SMA’s 2024 Event Dates Announced; Barbie’s Wheelchair Goes Viral

Cure SMA Announces 2024 Conference Dates

Following another successful annual conference in late June, Cure SMA has announced the dates and location for next year’s event. The next annual conference is scheduled for Thurs., June 6, through Sun., June 9, at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas.

This year’s event in Orlando, Fla., welcomed 3,200 participants, a new attendance record. The meeting — which combines a family/consumer event and a researcher conference — drew families, caregivers, clinicians and researchers from more than 45 countries.

A Barbie Wheelchair Comparison: To Camber or Not to Camber?

Twitter user Katie Pennick (@KatiePennick) has gone viral with her thread of a “critical comparison” between Barbie’s wheelchair and her own wheelchair. London-based Pennick — who describes herself as a “20-something disability campaigner, journalist and broadcaster” — starts out by saying, “Barbie uses a self-propelled manual wheelchair. It’s made of lightweight materials (plastic) making it easy to push, but not particularly durable.”

Pennick also pointed out that Barbie’s cushion — “made of (textured!) plastic” — offers “neither support nor comfort — and will likely result in pressure sores.” She makes further comments on topics ranging from wheels, tires, and camber to power-assist systems and casters.

In addition to written comments, Pennick provides comparable photographs, even posing her chair and Barbie’s chair in similar positions.

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