Srin Madipalli, 26 and from central London, is a high-flying corporate lawyer. Despite living with SMA, Srin has also established and now manages the highly successful Disability Horizons website, all with the help of his Etac Balder F290 powerchair.
Srin has Type 2 SMA which is a genetic disease that causes muscle weakness and a progressive loss of movement. There is no cure but therapy, support and mobility products such as Etac Balder powerchairs are available to help manage the condition. SMA has not held Srin back from achieving a first class degree in Biochemistry at King’s College London and then continuing to qualify as a lawyer. He now enjoys the challenge of being a corporate lawyer within a leading international law firm based in the City of London and continues to be an aspiring social entrepreneur.
He uses a highly manoeuvrable Etac Balder F290 for day-to-day mobility and as this sophisticated, Scandinavian-built powerchair provides sit-to-stand capabilities, Srin is able to engage with fellow professionals at eye level and easily access all resources around his office. Even though Srin spends the majority of his time involved in legal cases, he manages to find time to enjoy global travel and past adventures have included scuba diving, flying a plane, wheelchair trekking through the Alps and a camping safari in Africa. In the second half of 2010, he took time out from work to go travelling around the world for four months and consequently takes a keen personal interest in encouraging disabled people to travel more. This is one of the inspirations behind setting up the Disability Horizons website with co-founder Martyn Sibley who also has SMA.
Srin’s powerchair, the Etac Balder F290, has an extensive range of movements and high levels of functionality both of which give the user increased independence. Whether it is sitting more comfortably at a table, reaching up high or down low, the impressive F290 with its high quality components has been carefully designed to empower the individual and make day-to-day living easier. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, the Etac Balder F290 has all the advanced features associated with a top-of the-range powerchair. It allows the user to move to a standing position from either lying or sitting in one easy and controlled movement and once in a standing position, it is possible to drive this powerchair over flat even ground and through standard doorways.
Srin’s website, Disability Horizons, is a professionally written, well designed and content rich platform which provides wide-ranging information, reviews and news for all individuals with an interest in disability. There is a plethora of useful advice features relating to travel, arts and culture, relationships and technology on the website. These are combined with many inspirational personal stories such as those associated with Tilly Griffiths who also uses an Etac Balder powerchair and has raised over £2 million for the Caudwell Children’s charity. Established in 2011, Disability Horizons has now achieved its highest visitor numbers of 20,000 per month and received national press coverage from the BBC and newspapers such as The Guardian.
Srin believes his Etac powerchair has been instrumental in helping him achieve his recent goals and being able to enjoy global travel. The Norwegian-built F290 is renowned in the marketplace for delivering high levels of functionality, comfort and reliability, which are synonymous with Scandinavian assistive technology and is supplied by the UK division of Etac based in Hook, Hampshire. Srin comments: “I have always had a passion for achieving something new and my Etac powerchair helps me reach my goals. The dynamic world of corporate law requires that I operate at a fast pace with the ability to respond quickly and professionally to all cases that arise. The F290 allows me to perform to the highest ability in the workplace and from a commercial perspective, it has saved my employers from having to invest in costly adaptations in the office through its superb versatility and manoeuvrability. The chair also looks really good!”