Monday, May 26, 2014

The WHAT who invented the Upsee?

I am a huge fan of Leckey Products. It is one of my favourite companies for durable medical equipment (DME). I am a big fan of their standing frames. I am a massive supporter of the KidWalk, I think it is an exceptional product and just to clarify, I am not sponsored by Leckey. I also wouldn't recommend a Leckey product over one that would be more suited to a person's needs. But as it stands, I am a Leckey fan.

I became an even bigger supporter with the company Firefly, designed by Leckey. Firefly really hits the nail on the head for me because they create products designed to help involve children with disabilities in family life. It is all about inclusion.

When the GoTo Seat started making appearances on various blogs, I was in love. The idea of a lightweight, easy to pack seat for children who need assistance with posture is both mind-blowing and so obvious. It has been such a great invention for so many people.

Daniel using the GoTo Seat.

GoTo Seat

I was in love with the GoTo Seat and Firefly instantly, and when the Upsee started to make an appearance, I quickly grew interested. For a while there was hardly any information about it, just a small teaser. The teaser showed Debby Elnatan talking about her son, Rotem, who has cerebral palsy. She talked about how she wanted him to experience the sensation of walking and it briefly showed what she originally did - the crude (but excellent) design that turned into the Upsee as it is today.

Claire and Daniel Smyth; Louise and Bethany Watson; and Cameron and Charlotte Taylor using the Upsee

I waited online with a lot of my friends in this community, excited to see the reveal of the Upsee. It has now been produced, and it's excellent. The feedback has been largely very positive. I am a big fan. I have huge respect for Debby Elnatan.

So, imagine my shock when this photo started appearing:

What. The. Heck.

This photo hasn't just been shared and seen a few times: it has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. I am furious. Credit to George Takei for correcting himself, but my fury still stands. This misinformation grates at me. All it took was a Google search and I found so many people who have been misinformed about who invented the Upsee, and also about Charlotte Taylor's disability.

Firstly, to Debby Elnatan. The woman who has made an incredible design, is getting ignored. Why? Is it because it's more emotional and adorable if a dad does this for his daughter? It is clearly better fodder for inspiration porn (another topic I could rant over).

There is only two ways I can see that this picture occurred...

1. Someone saw the photo of Cameron and Charlotte, briefly skimmed the article, threw together some assumptions, created this inaccurate picture and spread it like wildfire on the internet.


2. Someone created this picture, knowing full well that Debby is responsible for the creation but knew it would be soppier, mushier and more visually appealing with Daddy and Daughter, Cameron and Charlotte.

Cameron, Charlotte and the rest of the Taylor family are reportedly reaping the benefits of the Upsee and that makes me thrilled. She and her brother can play on the same level, and she can be part of family activities more readily. Charlotte, who is not paralyzed but has cerebral palsy, can experience the sensations of walking. This is what the Upsee was designed to do.

But, it wasn't designed by Cameron Taylor. It was designed by Debby Elnatan. Even in comments, when people read that it wasn't invented by him people say "so what? It's a great design". I get what they're saying, I do. But "so what?", "so give the person who created it the credit due her". Because, Ms Elnatan - well done. I am sorry you're not getting the credit you deserve. You have designed an exceptional product and you are changing the lives of so many children and family.

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