A Day in the Life of an Entrepreneur with a Disability

Jun 16th 2020

My name is Don Krebs and I am a C-6-7 Quadriplegic and founder of AccessTR.com, formerly known as Access to Recreation. Being in business for over 30 years, I have had many inquiries concerning what it is like to be an entrepreneur with a disability. As many of my customers know, I broke my neck in a water ski race. Water Skiing was my life before my accident, and I dreamed of finding a way to ski again. Mind you this was decades before the internet, so it took me over seven years to find an adaptive ski. During my search, I found adaptive equipment for so many different types of recreational activities and I realized that I could start a business to help other people find them too.

Like many of my customers, I require the services of caregivers for bathing, dressing, and personal care. My caregiver arrives around 5:45 every weekday morning to get me up and ready for work. After breakfast and a 16-ounce cup of coffee, I start up my computer and check phone messages. Years ago, our phone seemed to ring constantly. These days, more and more people prefer to communicate by email, which is more work for me as typing with paralyzed fingers can be a challenge. To help me, I use a typing aid to punch one key at a time. https://accesstr.com/clear-view-typing-aid-for-right-hand/

Today, my first order of business was taking a call with an organization from North Dakota looking for a dock lift to help load people with disabilities into boats. Now that North Dakota has allowed boating again after the COVID-19 shutdown, the organization was finally able to take a group out on the lake. They were so pleased with the way their dock lift worked that they ordered extra accessories to be able to help more people.

Lifts are also great for pools and, since the ADA mandated that all public pools be accessible, the pool lift market has skyrocketed. I personally need to use pool lifts when I go on vacation, so I understand the importance of choosing the right lift for each application. There are as many as a hundred different lift configurations available on the market and, with my experience, I am able to recommend the best configuration for each situation. We are also one of the few companies out there that specializes in replacement parts for all of these different lifts. https://accesstr.com/pool-spa-lifts/

As the weather keeps getting nicer, I have found that I’ve been getting more and more inquiries from customers who are eager to get back to outdoor activities, like hunting and fishing. I have found that all-terrain power wheelchairs make outdoor activities so much easier for those who have lower-body disabilities. For example, my final call today was from a customer looking for an X8 4-wheel drive all-terrain wheelchair.

The customer had located the 9-page order form which he found both complicated and intimidating. Together, we were able to go over each item and fill out the order form. I was also able to provide an itemized quote with a price nearly $10,000 below the manufacturer suggested retail price. https://accesstr.com/x8-extreme-4x4-power-all-terrain-wheelchair-must-complete-order-form-click-on-product/

Having been in most of my customers’ shoes, I find that it is always so rewarding to help others find the adaptive equipment they need to get them back to the sport or hobby that they love so much. I founded this business with that goal in mind, and I am so happy that I get to achieve that goal each and every day.