Working, Hunting and Fishing with an All-Terrain Wheelchair
Written by Rebecca Strobel, Community Supports Coordinator at the Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, a Funding Assistance Center for PATF
Hunting at his friend’s property in Lenhartsville and fishing at the Kutztown Rod and Gun Club are just a few of Bob Amelio’s favorite things to do when he isn’t working or spending time with his family. Before getting his Extreme X8 all-terrain power wheelchair, Bob relied on his family and friends to help him get around rough outdoor terrain.
“Until I got the X8, I considered hunting as off limits to me,” says Bob. In his new chair, Bob navigates rocky trails and powers through leaves, mud and grass effortlessly. “I don’t see anything as an obstacle anymore,” says Bob, “I am just doing what I want to do. Once I got the X8 I was able to walk on the beach with my wife for the first time in 28 years. It was awesome to be able to traverse the beach like anyone else does without huge effort.”
Bob works at Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living (LVCIL) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, as an Accessibility Support Coordinator specializing in ADA Accessibility Site Surveys for parks, outdoor recreation areas, trails, festivals/fairs, pools, and other public facilities. Bob was able to get an Extreme X8 all-terrain power wheelchair funded by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) so that he could be more efficient and independent on the job.
Fully powered, Bob can travel up to 10 miles at a maximum speed of 6 miles per hour. He can also raise the height of his chair to be at eye level with someone who is standing. Bob is looking forward to 2020 when the 165 mile Delaware & Lehigh trail will be open. “I would like to be able to go do the entire trail with my all-terrain wheelchair. I just would have to figure out some charging stations along the way!”
Bob currently lives in Kutztown, PA with his wife of 35 years, Pam. He has 3 grown daughters and 6 grandchildren. In addition to hunting and fishing, he enjoys sporting clays, target shooting, tennis and basketball.
Check out this video to see Bob navigate various terrain with his chair: