Disability Is Only Differential Ability! We humans have an immeasurable ability to compensate and adapt. The lack of any ability focuses and refines the development of other abilities. By the structure of the word, dis-ability is the lack of an ability expected of the "standard" individual. Since necessity is the mother of invention, all of society's developments and innovations throughout history are based upon the expectation of a certain baseline level of ability. When an individual lacks one or more abilities from this standard baseline, they are greatly disadvantaged simply because they are unable to take advantage of all of society's innovations from housing to transportation to communications to entertainment.
By simply rethinking where that baseline is drawn and applying the concepts of universal design to all aspects of life, not only does society become purposefully inclusive, but it has been demonstrated that an exponentially greater portion of the population benefits than was ever initially expected or anticipated. Curb cuts were originally proposed to benefit those with mobility impairments and initially thought by many not to be worth the additional effort to benefit such a small population. However, it was soon discovered that curb cuts made the investment in sidewalks more useful for everyone from bikers and skateboarders to mothers with baby strollers to workers unloading cargo. This has led to their even greater use and inclusion in many more locations than simply on street corners. Yet many public building entrances and interiors still feature a single steps when a short ramp has been demonstrated far more useful for everyone.
Broadened Horizons develops and delivers unique, innovative solutions empowering those with upper extremity physical mobility limitations with tools to break down barriers and lead fulfilling lives as equals within society. Our solutions not only enrich the lives of those directly served, but through them, the lives of their families, friends, and communities.
Broadened Horizons' solutions take two forms: developing new, universally functional versions of existing products, and developing solutions to expand the functional usefulness of existing products to more people. Within this context, we focus on products that enhance personal independence through access to communications, transportation, education, employment, and recreation. We believe these areas have the greatest potential impact to enhance quality of life by reducing both the real and perceived limitations of those we serve; or in other words, broadening their horizons.
Mark Felling, President and CEO
Mark began designing and inventing solutions both for himself and others soon after his plane crash in 2003 using his engineering background and experience teaching testing and quality to development groups at high-tech companies around the world. Guided by an intimate understanding of the unique needs of wheelchair users with upper extremity limitations as a C5 Quadriplegic himself, Mark created Broadened Horizons to introduce solutions focusing on innovative simplicity to maximize cost efficiency, compatibility, reliability, and ease of use.
Michael Tompkins - Integration Engineer, Master Technician With over 38 years experience with a variety of high-tech companies, Mike breathes life into our unique assistive technologies with consistent, top-quality results. Mike and Mark worked together prior to Mark's plane crash, and joined the Broadened Horizons team in 2007 providing the knowledge and expertise to enable us to create new and innovative solutions you see today that simply never existed before. Mike brings a unique perspective implementing prototypes and custom solutions while we move those into more standardized solutions over time.
Steve Colquitt - Broadened Horizons Sales Account Manager
Natalie Quirk - Inclusive Technologies Sales Account Manager