Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blogging Against Disablism

On 1 May, We will be joining over 100 other bloggers to blog against Disablism.

"This is the day where all around the world, disabled and non-disabled people will blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination. In this way, we hope to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we've made."

Join us on 1 May.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wheelchair Paragliding: Part 2

Watch this wheelchair paraglider make a perfect take off and landing:

He might imagine that he is not in a wheelchair, rather he is in a glider. What is the difference? In his wheelchair he can do things that few people, disabled or able bodied can do. He is living out his dreams and has not let his wheelchair or society or anything or anyone get in the way. He does not listen to people telling him what he can and can not do. There is nothing "dis"-abled about him. That is wheelchair pride.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ms Wheelchair America

Wheelchair Pride means taking risks, reaching for unobtainable goals, living life to the fullest, believing that a wheelchair is no barrier to a rich, full life. This post is a look at the Ms Wheelchair America pagent. Here is a look at the 2009 Ms Wheelchair America, Michelle Colvard being crowned:

From the Ms Wheelchair American site:

Unlike the traditional beauty pageants, Ms. Wheelchair America is not a contest to select the most attractive individual. It is instead a competition based on advocacy, achievement, communication and presentation to select the most accomplished and articulate spokesperson for individuals with disabilities.

This is what Wheelchair Pride is all about.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Thing Of Beauty

Watch this extreme wheelchair user take flight. It is beautiful:

What makes it beautiful? Watching any vehicle silently take flight is always beautiful. Watching a wheelchair user like Aaron Fotheringham or this unknown woman push their limits to the edge is beautiful. When a wheelchair user has not let the wheels become a barrier, but rather turns them to his or her advantage, THAT is extremely beautiful. That is Wheelchair Pride!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Aaron Fotheringham: Wheelchair Hero

The first Wheelchair Hero of this blog is none other than Aaron Fotheringham, famous for his Wheelchair Back flip. We met Aaron in Dusseldorf Germany and saw him hit his back flip an incredible 3 out of 4 times. Each time my heart was in my throat and each time, the crowd went wild. Below is the video that we took of one of his backflips.

Aaron has broken into movies as well. He is the stunt double of a in a German Movie Vorstadt-Krokodile. We have not seen the movie, but we understand it is about a wheelchair user who wants to become a member of a gang.

Aaron Fotheringham is not only a talented athlete he is a good guy. We were fortunate enough to spend quite a bit of time with Aaron and really enjoyed his company. He is shy and kind with a good sense of humor. He is mature beyond his years. When speaking to him, it is hard to remember that Aaron is only 16 years old.

Few people will be able to perform back flips, but everyone can take an example from Aaron. Aaron does not let anything stop him. His wheelchair is not an obstacle, it is his source of pride. He earns the respect from everyone who meets him and everyone who sees him perform. Aaron is doing is best to remove the "dis" from disability. Aaron is truly a Wheelchair Hero. Go, Aaron, Go!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Wheelchair Pride: Let Your Personality Shine!

For years we have heard about Black Pride, Gay Pride, Hispanic Pride, etc. Minority groups from all walks of life have "come out" taken a stand to end discrimination and to integrate into society.

One of the most discriminated and isolated minority groups is the disabled community. But there is even a movement focused on disability pride. From this site:

"Although there are many barriers facing people with disabilities today, the single greatest obstacle we face as a community is our own sense of inferiority, internalized oppression and shame"

Wheelchair users face some of the greatest barriers: physical, psychological and societal. But at the same time, there are many, many heroes in the wheelchair community who have done so much to break down the barriers.

The Wheelchair Pride Blog is dedicated to wheelchair heroes everywhere. Wheelchair heroes are normal wheelchair users who battle everyday to make society understand the challenges, who demonstrate their wheelchair pride and demand respect.

If you are a wheelchair user, a friend of a wheelchair user or simply someone who sympathizes with the needs of wheelchair users, you are cordially invited to participate. Send us photos and stories. Tell us how you or someone you know has shown their wheelchair pride.

Let your personality shine and show your wheelchair pride!