About Founder Brian Johnston

By the age of 3 my mother had taught me how to dive off the low board and jump off the high board at our country club pool. By six I was piecing together scrap wood from my fathers' wood shop and designing small furniture that I sold to my sister and her friends for their Barbie doll homes. When I was eight I began racing go-karts and by 10 I was building and racing boats, go-karts and mini-bikes. I held a passion for twisting wrenches and making anything with an internal combustion engine "faster and better." All the years before my injury were spent building and racing boats, go-karts, motorcycles and cars. Although I was at home in my fathers' wood shop or in the garage I also was very content on the water or deep in the woods hunting, fishing, hiking and camping.

When my mother was initially informed that I had broken my neck diving she respectfully corrected the officer making the phone call that my injury had to have been caused by racing my car as she had taught me to swim and dive and there was no way I could have been injured that way.

After returning home from the hospital as a complete c5-6 quadriplegic I wanted to waste no time in returning back to what I loved to do, only one problem, I couldn't return to doing these things the way I used to. With my knack for invention, along with a willing father, we began to shape wood and bend metal into numerous "gimpliments" that gave me the ability to return to my old life.

During the mid 1980's I was wheelchair racing with Shepherd Spinal Center and Eagle Sportschairs LLC as major sponsors which required a lot of traveling and staying in various homes and motel rooms. My teammates and competitors were constantly amazed at how a complete c5-6 quad could travel hundreds of miles from home alone. Everyone was unwilling to believe that my only "help" was the array of gear I made and some of which I now sell.

In 1987 on an electric typewriter with the help of a pencil, eraser down, intertwined in my fingers I typed the first IDEA - Innovator of Disability Equipment and Adaptations LLC Catalog of adaptive sports, recreation and independent living equipment. All these years later I use the same pencil, eraser down, but my how things have changed.

Since 1973 I have been a spinal cord injured quadriplegic, and for almost all those years, I’ve lived independently. These years have been spent traveling, hunting, fishing, camping, and competing in a number of sports from football and tennis to quad rugby and road racing. I have also conducted seminars which share techniques that promote independence; topics range from participating in sports and recreation to the overall social experience, as well as positive self-concept, utilizing personal resources, accessible home building and enhancing leisure time.


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Adaptive Aquatics