Mark Felling speaks at Grand Opening of Fun-IE-Fit Inclusion Rehabilitation Center in the Netherlands with large Video Gaming Rehabilitation Program

Last week Mark Felling, President, Broadened Horizons Inc. designer and manufacturer of the world’s broadest line of adapted video game controllers was asked to speak at the Grand Opening of Fun-IE-Fit Inclusion Rehabilitation Center in the Netherlands.  They feature a large Video Gaming Gymnasium for active, fun rehabilitation with a focus around social inclusion. the video gaming gymnasium features high-speed Internet connections for competitive gaming between people with similar abilities/disability with other similar centers around the world.  The Grand Opening featured a live, interactive gaming connection with a similar rehabilitation center in Germany.

Mark Felling’s brief message painted a picture of POSSIBILITIES, that through technology and proper alternative user interface design and integration, the only concern need be what a person CAN do ignoring and making irrelevant what they CANNOT do.  Mark’s speech was received with enthusiasm, the audience described as “listening breathlessly”,  anddiscussed on Netherland’s National and Regional News. Mark’s message was delivered through the use of Internet communication technologies, demonstrating a shrinking world where no one need feel isolated and can connect with others and through a shared experience significantly improve and expedite the recovery and rehabilitative process.

The following article discusses the event.  A Google English translation follows.

Guests from all over the country ‘dream’ 

Twenth Three Diamonds May 27, 2013  ORIGINAL ARTICLE

By: Hanny Ter Doest

ALMELO – Omroep MAX and SWGN president Thursday Jan Slagter has opened the brand new FUN-IE-FIT in the Master Siebelink House in his capacity as Ambassador of The Klup Twente. He did so with Alderman Van Woudenbergh. The event was also the world ‘live’ via the internet.

Photo: Coen Mulder

There were almost 200 interested people from all parts of the country to Almelo for the opening. Among them representatives of the Skanfonds, SPZ and NSGK of many companies that have made ​​or paid to the FUN-IE-FIT and members of service clubs events organized to raise money. 

The many guests were given a flashy program presented, including more of the documentary Remco Ditmar on the creation of the FUN-IE-FIT. They heard include the mouth of architect Martin Huiskes LKSVDD architects of how a simple idea for a room with consoles became ‘a dream’, a unique development center for e-sport, e-health and e-learning.

The audience listened breathlessly to develop the conversation with the disabled engineer Mark Felling in America runs a leading company that special tools and applications for people with physical disabilities. Felling follows the FUN-IE-FIT from America with great interest and told under the to be the center and the many possibilities. 

Impression: The dynamic opening program with interviews, music, poetry, witticisms and much information was skilled in lead by another ambassador of The Klup Twente, entertainer, presenter, singer and poet William Gunneman. 

After Slagter stepped through a doorway filled with mega balloons and loud popping the center opened, he played and Alderman Van Woudenbergh the first game with opponents in Germany. Then got the public demonstrations and they could try the FUN-IE-FIT.


[ORIGINAL DUTCH] Guests from all over the country ‘dream’

ALMELO – Omroep MAX en SWGN voorzitter Jan Slagter heeft donderdagmiddag in zijn hoedanigheid van ambassadeur van De Klup Twente het splinternieuwe FUN-IE-FIT in het Meester Siebelinkhuis geopend. Hij deed dat samen met wethouder Van Woudenbergh. Het evenement was in de hele wereld ook ‘live’ te volgen via internet

Twenth Ruiten Drie  27 mei 2013

Door: Hanny Ter Doest

Foto: Coen Mulder

Er kwamen bijna 200 belangstellenden uit alle delen van het land naar Almelo voor de opening. Onder hen vertegenwoordigers van het Skanfonds, SPZ en NSGK, van veel bedrijven die hebben meegeholpen of betaald aan het FUN-IE-FIT en leden van serviceclubs die evenementen organiseerden om geld in te zamelen.

De vele gasten kregen een flitsend programma voorgeschoteld, met onder meer de documentaire van Remco Ditmar over de totstandkoming van het FUN-IE-FIT. Ze hoorden onder meer uit de mond van architect Martin Huiskes van LKSVDD architecten hoe een eenvoudig idee voor een zaaltje met spelcomputers uitgroeide tot ‘een droom’, een uniek ontwikkelcentrum voor e-sport, e-health en e-learning. De zaal luisterde ademloos naar het gesprek met de gehandicapte ingenieur Mark Felling die in Amerika een toonaangevende onderneming runt die speciale hulpmiddelen en toepassingen ontwikkelt voor mensen met een fysieke beperking.

Felling volgt het FUN-IE-FIT vanuit Amerika met grote interesse en vertelde onder de indruk te zijn van het centrum en de vele mogelijkheden.

Het dynamische openingsprogramma met interviews, muziek, dichtkunst, kwinkslagen en veel informatie werd vaardig in goede banen geleid door een andere ambassadeur van De Klup Twente, entertainer, presentator, zanger en dichter Willem Gunneman.
Nadat Slagter door een met megaballonnen gevulde deuropening stapte en luid knallend het centrum opende, speelden hij en wethouder Van Woudenbergh de allereerste game met tegenstanders ìn Duitsland. Aansluitend kreeg het publiek demonstraties en konden ze het FUN-IE-FIT uitproberen.

Game On! from the Blog of North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology

Of course we must show off and break up our Partners who take the time to break up our products!  Thank you IPAT, keep up the great work and do not hesitate to let us know how we can help!

Game On!  IPAT ND Assistive Technology Blog

By  FEBRUARY 21, 2013
Mike Haring

A little over two years ago IPAT was contacted by a young man looking for assistance in funding a custom built controller he could use to play video games on his PlayStation. He’d already learned enough about accessible gaming to know that Broadened Horizons, Inc. and its founder, Mark E. Felling, were a great source for such equipment. We were able to provide funding for the purchase of the then custom built “mini ultimate arcade controller” and, with some of his own modifications, he’s still using the controller with his PlayStation to this date.

Fast forward to today and both the video gaming industry and Broadened Horizons are still going strong! If you have any level of mobility impairment due to cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, or an injury or a stroke; accessible video game controllers have moved beyond the prototype stage and are now broadly available. With the latest specialized controllers the playing field becomes level for you whether you’re playing at home with friends or online with fellow gamers!

Currently available, the Ultimate Arcade 2 Limited Dexterity video game controller is a customizable controller for gamers with arm movement, but little or no hand dexterity. The medium size unit (16 ½” by 5”, both pieces together) is game and console compatible with PlayStation 2 and 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo GameCube and Wii, and any PC computer. And, with the launch of Sony’s new PlaySation 4, we don’t expect that it will be too long before the Ultimate Arcade 2 is updated!

PowerGrip Assisted Grasp Orthosis controlled directly by Brain Implant

The PowerGrip Assisted Grasp Orthosis from Broadened Horizonshas been changing the lives of C4-C5 Quadriplegics with some arm movement but paralyzed hands, fingers, and wrists since 2006.  The PowerGrip has enabled and fueled numerous university research studies such as the IpsiHand project at Washington University in St. Louis that enabled direct brain control over the PowerGrip orthosis. Eric Leuthardt, MD, assistant professor of ­neurological surgery and director of the Center for Innovation in Neurosciences and Technology hopes that the methods used in the ­IpsiHand can also be used to create an implant that gives paralyzed people high levels of control over movement.

The IpsiHand device will help paralyzed people regain control over hand movements. (Courtesy Photo)

The PowerGrip was designed by Mark Felling, Broadened Horizons’ President and himself a quadriplegic and daily PowerGrip user. The PowerGrip is fully covered by insurance including Medicare, Medicaid, and private under existing L-codes streamlining and simplifying the acquisition process.  The PowerGrip has been available through your local orthotist and the United States to largest orthotics manufacturers: Jaeco Orthopedics and Becker Oregon since 2007.  Contact your local orthotist or Broadened Horizons for more information.

————-Original University News Release —————–


Device Lends a Hand to Paralyzed People

A group of undergraduate engineering students created a device that should help paralyzed people regain control over hand movements.

The device, called the IpsiHand, communicates brain signals to a hand ­orthosis. The signals are channeled through a computer and allow for ­opening and closing the hand.

“It encourages [paralyzed patients] to try to use their hand, so it should help with therapy,” says project lead Sam Fok, Engineering Class of ’11. “Especially when you’ve lost all motor control of your hand because of damage, you can get frustrated by trying to move your hand. The ­IpsiHand should help.”

The device earned the students a ranking among the top-10 finalists in the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America Student Design Contest.

The IpsiHand is based on the work of Eric Leuthardt, MD, assistant professor of ­neurological surgery, director of the Center for Innovation in Neurosciences and Technology, and the faculty sponsor for the project.

In 2008, Leuthardt discovered that there were exceptions to the classical understanding that one side of the brain is responsible for the movement of limbs on the opposite side of the body.

“The brain also encodes or does some motor planning for same-side-of-the-limb movements,” he says. “So if you’ve lost the ability to execute your motor function, the motor plan is still there.”

Over the next few years, Leuthardt hopes that the methods used in the ­IpsiHand can also be used to create an implant that gives paralyzed people high levels of control over movement.

Broadened Horizons supporting Assistive Technology Education at Stanford University

Broadened Horizons encourages and supports assistive technology innovation, development, and education.

Stanford University LogoMark Felling, designer of many of Broadened Horizons’ unique assistive technologies,  will be volunteering as an industry expert resource for Stanford University’s ENGR110/210  Perspectives in Assistive Technology class. As an engineer and a quadriplegic user of assistive technologies Mark is able to share a unique perspective with Stanford University engineering students.

Perspective future students from all disciplines are encouraged to consider this dynamic course focused on real-world results.

Perspectives in Assistive Technology 

In this unique course taught by David L. Jaffe, MS and Professor Drew Nelson students design and prototype real world assistive technology solutions suggested by various participants within the assistive technology industry. Students gain hands-on perspective of how engineering can deeply impact individual people’s lives on a micro-humanitarian level.

UPDATE 04-12-12 :  One student project resulted in a strong, lightweight, aluminum Collapsible Sliding Transfer Board expandable from 16″ to 30″ ideal for transfers across longer gaps such as into an airplane or aircraft seat.  Good work Rahul and Team!