Wheelchair helps those without mobility hunt

All-terrain wheelchair operates on tracks
Generic photo of deer

A new piece of hardware is helping those with limited disability take part in Wisconsin’s hunting tradition.

More than 300,000 people in the state have mobility issues and can’t easily maneuver through the rough terrain encountered during a hunt. Access Ability Wisconsin is offering a solution to that problem — an all-terrain wheelchair, purchased this month.

The enhanced wheelchair will be located in Dane County and can help people with handicaps access the state’s outdoor activities, like hunting. It runs on tracks and can quietly maneuver through any type of terrain.  

Monica Kamal, a co-founder of Access Ability, took the wheelchair out Saturday.

“In a regular wheelchair, or if I had a cane or walker, being able to go around a terrain like this is very difficult,” Kamal says.

Kamal is an avid hunter, despite a skiing accident 14 years ago that left her without motion.

“My skis hit the slope, it drug me down, I hit a tree, broke my back and paralyzed myself,” she says. “I’m basically paralyzed from mid-waist to my toes.”

Taking part in the hunt has been difficult for Kamal, as she was limited to a regular wheelchair. That wasn’t the case Saturday.

“The important thing about the all-terrain wheelchair is I have independence,” she says. “For one of the first times, I was able to go around through the woods… and I didn’t have to worry about anybody. They didn’t have to push me over rocks or worry about me falling out – I would do it just like I was a walking person again.”

Kamal hunted for white tail Saturday side by side with her boyfriend, Steve – something they haven’t been able to do before the all-terrain equipment.

“The independence, the freedom and the not being dependent on someone, were really important,” she says. ” 

They didn’t harvest any deer, or even see any Saturday, but Kamal says she’ll be out time and time again this week, thanks to the new wheelchair.