One woman’s story that will change your perception of people in wheelchairs.
Sue Austin lost her ability to walk through a long illness. When she was well enough to re-join society via wheelchair, she described it as ‘exhilarating’. She was so excited to be able to interact with the world again.
Her happiness was somewhat tempered by other people’s responses to her chair. She found that other people did not see it as a gateway to freedom and joy.
Sue began to find ways to make the world see her chair as she did. As a medium of self-expression and adventure.
She modified parts of her chair, turning her wheels into dual paintbrushes! So just by traveling down the sidewalk, or across the park, she leaves a trail of artistry. Expressing herself and changing the way people see her.
She started learning to scuba dive when it occurred to her that scuba diving was to most people what her wheelchair had always been to her.
It seemed the perfect opportunity to make a statement and bring the two worlds together. Thus was born the underwater wheelchair!
This gave her the same feeling of exhilaration as first getting the chair; now with the extra added benefit of moving, literally, in all directions at will.
Bravo to her for finding a way to change people’s perspectives.
Watch her talk about the process that brought her to creating the underwater wheelchair in her Ted Talk below.