Larger than Life

If you’re in Los Angeles this month — specifically, in the neighborhood of Hollywood Blvd. and N. Gower St., near the Fonda Theatre — look for the larger-than-life mural of Katherine Beattie, a producer/writer for the popular NCIS television franchise.

Bright pink and purple mural, in portrait configuration, says, "Live a Life Story Worth Telling," with the signature Katherine Beattie under it. Beattie is shown in an ultralightweight wheelchair and wearing a motocross helmet, and she appears to be flying as if making a jump in the chair.

But the bright pink and purple mural, complete with California palm trees, doesn’t depict Beattie as a TV executive. Instead, the portrait shows Beattie wearing a motocross helmet and riding her ultralightweight wheelchair — because as an extreme athlete, she is also the first woman to land a backflip in a wheelchair.

The mural is part of Texas Christian University’s (TCU) 150th anniversary celebration of famous alumni. The painting of Beattie, who graduated with a degree in communications in 2008, was unveiled Feb. 6.

In a news announcement, Beattie, who has spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, said, “I am so grateful to everyone at TCU for broadening my worldview, helping me develop empathy, and tapping into the person I wanted to be. It is so meaningful to be celebrated like this and to know that I am viewed as a leader in my community. As one of just a few disabled people working behind the camera in Hollywood, I get to create authentic characters and write storylines that celebrate disability as part of natural human diversity, not something that is sad or tragic.”

How We Walk-n-Roll

Cure SMA has released its spring 2023 list of Walk-n-Roll fund-raising events. The family-friendly series kicks off in South Florida in March; see the rest of the lineup for an event near you. 

Learning in the Real World

Wondering where the next generation of seating clinicians will come from? Read this story from Rich Schein, Ph.D., MPH Research Scientist, University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, on how co-op opportunities, internships, and community service are giving Master of Rehabilitation Technology (MRT) students at Pitt the chance to apply their knowledge in the real world of wheeled mobility.

Schein’s story includes info on a collaboration with National Seating & Mobility, who hires students “as on-the-job trainees in their more than 100 U.S. locations while they attend classes online.”

Seating Benefits Podcast with Ride Designs