If life isn’t hard all by itself, some people face additional problems and struggle with their everyday activities because of many different reasons.
14-year-old Alex Johnson is a boy who suffers from skeletal dysplasia, a condition that affects the growth of his skeleton. Sadly, that makes Alex wheelchair-bound.
This means he experiences challenges on a daily basis. Among the rest, Alex and other people in his position have difficulties navigating buildings with stairs, getting on and off public transport, getting through uneven terrains and tight corridors. Unfortunately, the list is endless.
Alex’s family and friends have always been very supportive, but you know what they say, you never know what someone is going through unless you walk a mile in their shoes. Well, this time, Alex took this saying to another level and asked from some important lawmakers to “ride a mile in his wheelchair.”
This was part of the challenge Alex came up with which goes by the name “Spend a Day in My Wheelchair.”
The reason behind this was for these people who make the laws to truly understand what people with disabilities go through each and every day.
Alex first got in touch with Tennessee Rep. Clark Boyd who helped organize a special event at the House of Representatives.
All the lawmakers who accepted this eighth grader’s challenge went through the day using wheelchairs provided by The Permobil Foundation. They did all their regular activities and felt what it was like to function the way disabled people do.
At the end of the day, they all said how they experienced many challenges.
All those things these people took for granted up until that moment now seemed more valuable.
Many said how things like opening the door felt like such hard tasks that they realized people like Alex put extra effort for the activities we do mechanically.
“I expected it to be difficult, but I had no idea how frustrating it could be to just simply get around. It’s really been an eye-opening experience,” Boyd said.
Now that awareness has been raised, we hope these lawmakers, along with those from the rest of the world, will pass some more handicap-friendly legislation that would help ease the life of the wheelchair-bound people.
We honestly hope this incredible story and Alex’s dedication to creating a better world for himself and those around him will help create more accessible places for people with disabilities.