Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally by Emily Ladau

This book is due for release on 7th September 2021:

About the Book:

An approachable guide to being a thoughtful, informed ally to disabled people, with actionable steps for what to say and do (and what not to do) and how you can help make the world a more accessible, inclusive place.

Disabled people are the world’s largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us–disabled and non-disabled alike–don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be an be an ally to the disability community. Demystifying Disability is a friendly handbook on important disability issues you need to know about, including:

• How to appreciate disability history and identity
• How to recognize and avoid ableism (discrimination toward disabled people)
• How to be mindful of good disability etiquette
• How to appropriately think, talk, and ask about disability
• How to ensure accessibility becomes your standard practice, from everyday communication to planning special events
• How to identify and speak up about disability stereotypes in media.

Authored by celebrated disability rights advocate, speaker, and writer Emily Ladau, this practical, intersectional guide offers all readers a welcoming place to understand disability as part of the human experience.

My Review:

As soon as I found this on NetGalley, I knew I had to request it. I liked the definitions of disability from interviewees and the fact that one of the people is someone I know from an online disability community.

I have Cerebral Palsy, Hydrocephalus and four visual impairments and have so many experiences of different treatment from different people throughout my life.

I have experienced both ignorance and acceptance from people and life has been, and still is, a constant fight for inclusion.

I know so many people with disabilities will identify with me on this.

15% of the world’s population has some type of disability.

I don’t need disability to be demystified for me as I live with my disabilities every day but this is exactly the type of book that I know could help many people who need to know more about the world of disability and what those of us with disabilities are constantly up against.

Demystifying Disability will be good for those who think they “know it all” as they live with, or know, people with a disability. I believe everyone can learn more.

Like Emily Ladau, I am a wheelchair user and I identified with her experiences. I also learnt about her disability.

Another part of this book that I loved was her discussion of visible versus invisible disabilities, since I have both. My glasses and wheelchair are a marker of my visual disabilities, as are my scars from my shunt surgeries for hydrocephalus.

However, unless I let people know I have hydrocephalus, let them know what it is and how it affects me, they have no idea that I have it or how serious it is.

Likewise with my glasses. I have them but people cannot tell how strong my prescription is or that they only allow me to “see” the very little I can and that they don’t correct my visual difficulties, that nothing will. I embrace all these parts of me and encourage those who do not to do so and for others with disabilities to embrace their own uniqueness.

Demystifying Disability is a friendly but firm nudge in the right direction for people who think the world is accepting of people with disabilities.

It will challenge your perception of disability whether you have a disability or not, and I hope it will go a long way in producing more real change in society.

I think, and hope, it is the kind of book that will let people know that they shouldn’t judge people based on what they “think” a person with a certain disability will look, or move, like.

I sincerely wish I could have had access to this book when I was growing up, as I think it will have gone a long way in shaping people’s attitudes.

The message this book gives is that all of us with disabilities should love ourselves as we are and that everyone can learn something, no matter how much they think they know.

Because we can all keep learning.

Thanks to Emily Ladau for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars.

Pre-order on Amazon here:


World Read Aloud Day 2021

Today is World Read Aloud Day. It is a day to celebrate books and being read to. Many people can read but others cannot for various reasons. Here is where being read to can be helpful.

At a time where we have to social distance so much, books can bring comfort. They always do to me and although I review a lot of NetGalley books, I always find ones that I love.

With the visual and physical disabilities I have, reading is a challenge because it requires so much concentration and effort but with my iPad and VoiceOver screen reader, any book can be read out. I am currently about to start Her Dark Lies by J.T. Ellison and will be on the blog tour on 11th March, so look out for the post on my blog.

Looking for some ideas for today?

Read aloud to your kids

Listen to an audiobook

Host a virtual book club or writing group meeting and read aloud

Videocall a friend or family member and read aloud to them or they can read you something.

For young school age children: read aloud to your parents as you practise your reading

Older kids can video call each other and read aloud.

However you decide to spend today, make it enjoyable. And above all, stay safe!

Any time of the day is good. I like to listen to a book before bed and also whenever I have time during the day.

Making My Mark: How I Run a Blog and Write Books Using Assistive Technology. #World CP Day 2020 #WorldCPDay @WorldCPDay #CPMakeYourMark

Today is World Cerebral Palsy Day. This year, the theme is ” Make Your Mark”. I look forward to this day every year and was happy to find that the World CP Day team had emailed me about it. The challenge this year is for people with CP, their family friends or caregivers to think about how the person with CP has made their mark. Achievements, solutions you (if you are a person with CP) found or that someone who helps/helped you found and what changes you, or they, advocate for. I always think about my life and what I have done and achieved. I think with how this year has, and is being for people the world over, it encourages us to stop and think. To evaluate our life more.
Achievements My first achievement in life was survival. I was born at 29 weeks, one of identical twins. I am now 38 years old. Sadly, my twin did not survive and so these 38 years have been the longest time ever without her. I always wanted to try and achieve what others did and after a fight, I got into nursery, school and university. I have always loved words and, although I have a Geography degree which gave me skills to analyse texts and of course I had long assignments, I had always had a dream that someday I would write my first book. But writing was physically difficult and painful, so how would I do it? Solutions I found: I had a lot of Occupational Therapist (OT) assesments and the help of another person in classes. When I was 5 years old and the first person with disabilities at my school, my assistant bought out a huge, ancient looking typewriter for me to trial, to no avail. A series of classroom assistants later, and fast-forward to age 17. My pre-university OT assesment determined that the best way for me to produce work on my own was…..my voice! Dragon Dictation
was then installed on my computer, and I was able to do assignments and send emails just by voice. Years on, I still use it and have used the app as well as the computer version. I also use Dictation, a built-in tool on Apple products. Recently I was searching for a version of Dragon Dictation for Mac so I could use the product there and came across articles where people with disabilities were asserting their rights to the software and were as shocked as I was that it does not exist if you do not have a Windows computer. Curious, I checked the Nuance site, and sure enough it was nowhere to be found. I use Hover Text on my Mac. It is a magnifying tool that makes any text on pages bigger. More on that in another post. Changing the subject to something I bet you are wondering about. So, did I achieve my dream of that book I was talking about? Yes, I did. The first opportunity came in 2013 in the form of National Novel Writing Month, popularly known to seasoned participants as NaNoWriMo. 50,000 words in a month? I was soo nervous the first time I did the challenge, but it was worth it. My first book was a fantasy novel. The following Spring, I dictated the sequel and that became a trilogy. From then until now, I have dictated all my books and have a Young Adult series of books that has 2 books so far. I have 2 memoirs, one which is about being a twin and another which is about my experience of being in love, engaged and married. Drawing on my love of Geography, countries and cultures, I have some travel writing. They say write what you know. I do in some respects but also love to write the kind of books I would buy. I love women’s fiction and romance and novels with characters and plots where someone overcomes something or has to fight for what they want.
I knew that disability is underrepresented in novels and so decided that from my first book onwards, at least one character would have a disability. Here, I did use a disability I know about: CP. But in some other books, like in the fantasy series, some characters have disabilities that are not CP and so were ones I had to research which was also fun. Am I published? Not yet, but I hope to be. As a winner of NaNoWriMo in 2013/14, I had some proof copies of the books in my fantasy series printed so that is the physical book and a good keepsake of some of my work. Back then I was not ready to release the first book I had out into the world straight away. I have always been like this: even with school work, great work requires thought and edits. I realised that if I wanted to be the best writer I could be, I had to train more. So I have been doing every free online course I can find since one of the drawbacks of me being able to do a paid one was cost. That was, and continues to be, a huge obstacle and I am glad I found a way around it. I signed up to newsletters by authors I liked, searched the Internet for writing tips and prompts if I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to write about or a particular technique, and got on writing-related email lists. Complmenting Things: I felt like my writing was not enough and have had lots other things I wanted to talk about, so got into blogging. I have had a number of blogs over the years, and blog about my life, disability and beauty products HERE ON MY BLOG, JUST KATHERINE. I had always been curious about book reviews and had only left a few reviews on Goodreads until I became a book blogger. I’ll leave my story of how that happened for another blog post, but it was another way I could embrace my love of books. And the books I review are ebooks so I do not have to worry about the struggle it is for me to hold and use physical books effectively. Changes I Advocate For I say be your own advocate if you are able to be, and if not, have a good support network of people who can advocate for you. I have always been against the idea some people have that those of us who are differently abled cannot enjoy books. We can, no matter our level or type of disability and whether or not we can read ourselves or have to be read to. There are different formats of books. Whether it’s an ebook, audiobook, audio CD large print physical book or standard physical book there is a book format for everyone. That is something that has improved over the years. I am happy that Amazon and other online booksellers offer different formats, and as a writer I like the idea of publishing two or more formats at once. I am an advocate for audiobooks and ebooks as well as any technology that makes reading easier. I especially advocate for VoiceOver on the iPad, and I tell everyone who wants to use it about it whether they have difficulty seeing the screen or turning a page or just want a book read out to them. I believe assistive technology is the future in allowing more and more people to enjoy words and books. With a bit of conversion and tweaking, all books can be made available in accessible formats. There are books that are still not available in alternative formats and I really believe they, and every book, should be. Because the joy of books is something everyone should experience. The books I choose to listen to via VoiceOver are PDFs which it can recognise easily. This is a really relaxing way to access books for me and anyone with a Kindle app and an iPhone or iPad will be able to use it too. I am an advocate that everyone everywhere should be able to write a book even if they cannot use a keyboard on a computer, or find writing difficult. Pen and paper is not the only way. A voice can produce a book in less time and mean the difference between relying on physical help for writing to the ability of a person with physical limitations being able to write anything from an article blog post or short story to a full-length novel. To end this post I want to say that everyone can enjoy books in their own way and with the right technology and support. You just need to find the best solution for you. And if through this post I have convinced you to work on your own book with assistive technology, I am so glad I have. Because the experience is so worth it. Remember, there are many things you can do today to support those with CP, even during these unprecedented times. Why not videocall them? Send them an email to say hi or send them a “thinking of you” ecard? Or, you could wear green, the CP awareness colour, and send them a photo.
Please follow my blog if you have not done so already.

A Sassy Shopaholic’s Guide to Black Friday Weekend (Including Cyber Monday)

As today is Sunday, this is a special post for the Black Friday weekend. I adore offers and am easily seduced by them. I was really drawn to the Sephora site again. There is 20% off there now and I wanted to get another Lipstories Lipstick and Colorful Eyeshadow (both Sephora’s own brand). For ages, I have been wanting the lipstick in Oui and also the Colorful Eyeshadow in  Wedding Day which looks glittery and white.I have decided to get them another day. 

My Urban Decay Primer Potion is getting low and I love it but it costs 22€. Which, seeing as I may have to get new batteries or solve my wheelchair problem in another way, means I have to prioritise. I have some of my Sephora Glitterguard Glitter Eyeshadow Primer left but not much and I got it in the sale awhile ago and see it is not stocked online. That was well rated and even thought better than Too Faced’s Glitter Glue which is comparable in price  to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

So, I went on Ali Express and ordered some matte primer and glitter shadow primer from there for just over 1€ per tube. Bargain! I look forward to see what that’s like but will definitely get some more Primer Potion in the future. I also ordered this palette which I think looks to be a pretty good dupe of the Huda Beauty palettes. I HAD to get the purple one, I love purple and always finish my purple shadows quickly. I liked the red/ rust/ orange palette too but feel I have enough of those shades in my dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked Heat.

I bought some more wedding stuff too (the flowers) so it was a good  weekend. It’s easy to buy for the sake of it during the Black Friday weekend but I have some ideas how to spend wisely.

My Guide to Black Friday Weekend and Cyber Monday If You Wand to Get Great Bargains

1. Check out the prices of what you want to buy weeks before Black Friday. Online or in shops.

2. Have a list and stick to it.

3. Calculate the discounts to see how much an item is discounted by and if it is really worth it compared to the original parice.

4. Think: How much do you need what you are thinking of buying? Can it wait til Christmas or the January sales? Or maybe (like me) you have a birthday coming up.

5. Ask for things for your birthday or Christmas if you cannot afford them right now.

6. If it is makeup or beauty products, look around for dupes in other brands.

7. If it’s books you are looking for, download a free sample from Amazon first or become a book blogger on a site like NetGalley which sends books in exchange for a review.

So I hope this post was useful and that you enjoy the rest of the shoppping period as well as getting some bargains you are happy with. I tend to always follow these rules when buying. 

 

 

Hosting on Twitter was really fun

For the past week, I have hosted the @WeAreDisabled Twitter account.

I went into it not sure of what to do. I had my questions and they were answered before I took over. I thought, what would people want to hear about? The answer was just to get to know me.

So, I posted links to my blogs as well as writing project updates. For those of you wondering, I’m 32K into my 50,000 word manuscript for NaNoWriMo and I finished the last 5 chapters of my fiction manuscript which was a Camp NaNoWriMo project in 2015.

I did post some disability-related tweets and some life-related ones. I have decided tomorrow will be my first meeting about my wedding dress (I have found some gorgeous styles online).

If you follow me here on my blog, you will see my updates about that. I did a book review of Sarah Simpson’s  Who I Am which is a great book if you like twisty thrillers. I’m on the blog tour for it tomorrow.

I also got in some online shopping for wedding things which I will detail in another post.

Finally, thanks to Julia at We Are Disabled for this hosting opportunity, It was an amazing experience. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks everyone for all the likes, retweets and mentions, too.

Should “Special Schools” Close?

 

Today, there was a story on the news about children with disabilities and whether they should go to a school specifically for children with disabilities or whether they should be integrated into a class in mainstream school. A mother of a 16-year-old girl with Cerebral Palsy was interviewed and then the programme’s presenter voiced their opinion.

The presenter used the word “conventional” to describe a child without a disability versus one with one, and I got the feeling that she was trying not to use the word “normal”.

My mind went back to my own experience of education as a person with multiple disabilities, and the decisions my parents had to make when first looking for the best place for me to go to school.

It was determined early on that I had very complex disabilities but that my intelligence was average or even above average. I started off at Chailey Heritage School in Sussex and I do still have some memories of my time there- being put on the floor as a baby in an attempt to strengthen my muscles as I could not hold my head up until I was 2. Or time in the therapy pool.

My parents were happy with the school because there were a mix of education and treatments available and the school was a very good place to learn in the area. From what I know, it still is today.

When we moved to Oxfordshire when I was 5, I went to mainstream school with full-time support. I remember being taught to read and working on a book about Pippa, the black and white cat we had at the time. I remember physio.

From then on, my education was with support workers within classes including at university.

I didn’t especially like school and was bullied. I loved to learn and I think that’s what kept me there. I passed all my exams and went on to university.

I know that I was lucky that the doctors who assessed me saw my potential to be able to go to a mainstream school. I won’t lie, there were extremely difficult times when I would wonder if I was in the right place. Neither teachers’, not students, attitudes were the best sometimes and I felt sad. There were days when I did not want to go to school and days when I couldn’t due to being hospitalised for yet another headache or shunt-related problem.

Often, a day at school would leave me so exhausted I had no time for after-school clubs, although they were suggested as a way to integrate more. I was satisfied at what I had learnt that day though, but what played on my mind were always my relationships with classmates, some of whom became friends and also why many teachers were so dismissive of me and did not totally understand my needs.

That takes me back to the news this morning. The question was asked as to whether children with disabilities should all be integrated into mainstream school and whether “special” schools should close.

The conclusion they came to was that the schools were better equipped to deal with children and young adults with disabilities because the classes were small- about 6 students- and a doctor or physio or speech therapist could easily be in the class and not disrupt it.

My classes were 20-30 pupils and I felt like I stood out, yet was invisible at the same time. OK, what do I mean by this? I mean that people knew I had CP and a visual impairment but very few knew about my hydrocephalus as you can’t see it. The mere fact that they knew I had disabilities changed their attitude towards me and made them see me as “different,” “slow to learn” “clumsy” “awkward” “incapable” and any other adjective they wanted to use.

But the thing is, they were wrong about me.

Yes, I had teacher(s) who would kind of “give up” on trying to explain things, or who flat-out refused to help me on the rare days when the support worker was off sick and there was no replacement. I also had some amazing teachers who saw me for me and would sit and help me when they had a moment and really saw me struggle, either with some part of the work or with fatigue or headaches.

Some understood the reason my mum had to collect me from school early as my headache was so bad and I felt so weak and exhausted I could not concentrate in class. Others questioned my choice to take all my GCSEs and A’levels and whether the school I was at was the “right” one or if “special school” would be better.

The choice to send me to mainstream school was so I could meet different types of people and therefore become more confident. I was incredibly shy, and every comment and taunt would have me crying or wishing I could disappear.

I felt excluded when a teacher would say “Katherine, there’s no one left for you to work in a pair, come and work with me.” Worse was when we’d do an activity, like reading, and I’d realise that the book was too heavy/cumbersome or the print was too small and my forarms would give way in an effort to try and hold the book, or when the class would knit or paint and the activities were not adapted to me.
Sometimes, teachers would say it was too much hassle to enlarge a worksheet to large print, or read something out or give me extra time to do something. I think that the mainstream schools that I went to were not prepared to receive a person with disabilities and they certainly did not have the knowledge of Cerebral Palsy, or hydrocephalus or severe visual impairment, much less a combination of the three which is what I live with.

I’m not sure if it would have made a difference had they done, as it takes a special kind of teacher to really help a person with disabilities. The support workers were essential to me though and helped me a lot so for that, I am grateful.

Do I see myself as having achieved what I have if I had gone to a school specifically for the disabled? Or would I have stayed at Chailey had we not moved from Sussex? I don’t know, maybe. Maybe I would have got more appropriate support rather than feeling like it was always a struggle against what the school wanted to provide and feeling like something was missing like my needs were never accurately catered for. I felt I was struggling more than I needed to.

Do I think “special” schools need to close? That’s a hard one. I really do not like the feeling of segregation but also feel like attitudes towards people with disabilities in mainstream schools are far from good enough and who knows when that will change.
I also agree with the conclusions from the news today. In my experience, the schools I went to were all to reluctant to make adaptations and change their attitudes.

Would I have benefitted from a specialist school? In terms of my needs being better met,  I think so. As the curriculum for all schools is followed and modified, I think it would have suited my needs better. And of course, the more qualified support workers would have been a bonus because they woukd have understood my needs better than those in mainstream school and the adaptations would have been there. I think they would have been more accommodating and stil seen my potential.

As many of my problems with mainstream school were making friends and the social aspect, as well as  needs provision, I think they could have found ways for me to be a happier student overall. Having the best provision is what counts and when I feel happy with a situation, that is good. I’m pretty confident now and think that the specialost school would have helped me gain confidence earlier in a way that was more focused on my needs and me as a person.

Would I be fluent in Spanish had I gone to a specialist school? Possibly, as I always had the drive to learn and know that foreign languages are taught.  I tend to respond better to people who are sensitive to my needs, trained to support my specific needs and take me as I am and sadly I did not feel that was the case with mainstream school.

Am I proud of my  achievements  at mainstream school? Yes. Despite it all, I met different people and I had to find my own ways to be stronger. It has played some part in who I am today.

 

 

Sunday with a Sassy Shopaholic: A Sassy Shopaholic’s Guide to The Summer Sales 2018

The weather is hot and we are at a few days from the start of summer. The sales have started and I’ve already browsed the Kiko site. They have some products I already have like the Asian Touch Liquid Lipstick which, if you follow my blog, you’ll know I used in my Halloween Makeup Post last year. There’s also the Face Palette with bronzing powder, blusher and highlighter in the same  palette which I still haven’t used as well as lots of other products. See the full selection here.  I’m pleased with what I bought last week and have some tips I want to share about shopping at the Sales.

1. First of all, set a limit of how much you can spend and stick to it.

2. List what you need to buy and what you want to buy. We all know “need” and “want” are not the same.

3. Check online to see what selection there is and if you see the item(s) you are looking for.

4. Buy online or go to the shop itself.

5. Do NOT overspend- stick to your “need” list and then go onto the “wants” if your finances allow.

5. If you don’t have money for something you need or want, save for it and go back to see if they still have it.  If you do go back to the shop, do so as soon as  you can after you  saw the item so that you can still get it. Or ask if it can be put by in store for you and how long for.  If you can’t do these things, check the price online, maybe it’s cheaper there.

6. A good thing to do if price is an issue is wait until later in the sale period- maybe you’ll get the item you wanted with a larger discount than you would if you had bought it straight away.

7. If all else fails in your quest to get an item, ask for it for a special occasion, like Christmas or birthday.

8. Don’t forget to have a good time! Shopping isn’t always about how much you spend, its about feeling great with whatever you buy

Do you have any things you do when shopping in the sales?

 

Otto Bock A200 in Silver Metallic

CLICK HERE FOR MORE ABOUT THIS CHAIR

This was a “loaner” powerchair I had in 2010 while traveling to see family. I did not want my other chair damaged during the journey. Dad and I traveled to Woodstock to see a technician who was the nearest one who offered rental chairs  to where my parents lived.

The chair was delivered in person by the workers a few days later. It cost £50 a day to rent the chair.

Maximum speed 6 km/h
Batteries  28 Ah

Turning radius 70 cm
Max. obstacle 40 mm
Seat inclination 0°/3°/6°
Back angle -9°/1°/11°/21° or 0°/10°/20°/30°

Seating: Standard backrest or tension adjustable backrest,

Controls: VR2 joystick

I had an Invacare Matrx Deep Back with an Otto Bock headrest as well as a Vicair cushion fitted. I chose elevating footrests but these were manually elevating.

The chair is basically an indoor chair. I used it when in town and the garden, so on different surfaces.

The biggest trip (and test for the chair and for me) was a day out in Oxford. I got the bus with my fiancé and the first challenge was the bus ramp. It was a foldaway ramp and the chair made it up that (maximum safe slope for this chair is 12%). Going down the ramp was a bit more of a challenge but we did it. The chair was very bumpy on the cobblestones and the wheels hit every bump and shook me around a lot. The chair moved better on even pavement such as the pedestranised shopping streets and also in the shopping malls. I found it very hard to manouvre the chair inside shops because of it being Rear Wheel Drive (RWD). After a few hours, I could feel the chair becoming harder and harder to move and we had to cut our shopping trip short and get the bus back.

image

 

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On the journey back from the bus stop to my parents’ (20 minutes), the chair got more and more sluggish. Just as we were turning into their road, it died. I was pushed on manual mode all the way to their house.

We immediately plugged it in for a charge when we got in.  I was pleased we did not get stranded in Oxford.

The best thing about the chair for me was its  compactness and I can see how it would be of use to people who drive or travel in a car because it can be disassembled.

Contact your Otto Bock dealer.

Sunrise Medical Quickie Rumba (Old Model) Review

When  I was looking for a powerchair in 2008,  I narrowed down my choices and it was a choice between the Invacare Mirage or the Quickie  Rumba by Sunrise Medical. I wanted something that would be value for money and compact but strong.  So, let’s get down to reviewing this chair. This is what the basic chair looks like:

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Batteries:

The batteries are 50AH.

Motors:

The only motor speed for this chair is 6KM/ h

Colours:

The colours are pretty standard ones and I thought the black paint looked elegant and stood out well. When I bought the chair, the black was a new colour option. Other colours are red blue and silver.

Tyres:

The Rumba has grey tyres and there are no mud guards on the frame  to protect them. I have pneumatic tyres.

Armrest:

There are no armrest options and the armrests on the chair are a standard shape

Armrest Pads: 

The armrest pads are quite wide but they are made of a hard material. Good for positioning but not so much for comfort (for me at least).

Footrest:

Footrests are standard and swing-away.

Seating:

Standard seating or anatomic seat  and back (Optional)

Controls:

Standard swing away mounted (comes with the chair) VR2 control without seat/ lighting control buttons

Chin control.

Options:

Table

Crutch Holder

The chair does NOT come with a seatbelt.

THE RUMBA HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED IN THE UK AND REPLACED WITH THE RUMBA MODULAR.  Check your Sunrise Medical site.

Despite this, I hope my review gives you a good overview of what I thought of the chair.

The Rumba  is very compact. It is a Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) chair and has a curb climber as standard. This is another reason I chose it over similar models at the time which charged separately for the price of the curb climber. With the curb climber, the Rumba can go up an obstacle of 10cm. Without that, this is reduced to 5cm approximately.

The Rumba is a foldable chair, so good for example when traveling in a car for those who can drive and are comfortable and stable on a car seat.  I sat in it on car journeys. I bought a solid seat for the frame as separate instead of the standard sling seating. I used the chair with the Jay 3 Deep Shoulder Height backrest. It copes well on slopes and going up and down curbs (with the curb climber).

There is 30° backrest recline and the option of elevating footrests, but these features are manual only and not electric. There is no seat tilt or raiser. I did not find this chair too comfortable despite my seating and bought my current chair which has electric positioning features.

That said, the Rumba got me from A to B well within the power of a charge and I would recommed it as a chair for someone who does not require electric positioning features (electric tilt/ recline etc). Mine is still looking OK in terms of the condition of the frame and in a decade I have changed the batteries and tyres a few times and had a new anti tip wheel and armrest.  The motors still have some  power in them so I use the chair as a spare. I used my own padded seatbelt.