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This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 8 months ago by Kevin Schaefer.

  • Author
    • #13582
      Brianna Albers

      Kevan Chandler is a familiar name here at SMA News Today. You might recognize him as the adventurer with SMA who, instead of letting his diagnosis keep him from traveling, decided to ride on the backs of his friends using a specialized backpack. Using the backpack, Chandler and his friends traveled to Europe and, most recently, China. Late last year, columnist and forum moderator Kevin Schaefer interviewed Chandler; you can find the Q&A here.

      Since first boarding a plane in 2016, Chandler’s nonprofit, We Carry Kevan, has gained momentum. While the backpack and trip remain an important part of the organization, the focus is on the reimagination of accessibility: We Carry Kevan encourages “collaborative adventures” through the provision of resources and training.

      On the nonprofit’s website, three core values are identified: investment, interaction, and innovation. These values are interconnected, and ultimately point to collaboration between the disability and able-bodied communities. By stewarding time, money, and energy, a legacy is created, one that acknowledges the importance of not only the individual but their unique support system as well. Together, investment and interaction lead to the cultivation and pursuit of new and exciting ideas.

      Many of We Carry Kevan’s services are in the development stages. In the future, however, you can look forward to a backpack specifically designed to carry disabled people; training will be available for those interested in using them. We Carry Kevan will also be organizing collaborative adventures between the disability and able-bodied communities. To support the development of We Carry Kevan, you can donate to the nonprofit here.

      In reading about We Carry Kevan, I was reminded of all the different ways we approach accessibility. Despite our shared disabilities, accessibility looks different from person to person, moment to moment. What are some ways you’ve experimented with accessibility? Have you gotten creative when it comes to traveling?

    • #13608
      Ryan Berhar

      Unfortunately, my chair is the only place where I can even remotely function. If I’m not in my chair, I can’t even swallow, so I’m very limited in this regard. I don’t have the option of switching to a manual chair or anything. I go where this chair can go lol.

    • #13621
      Kevin Schaefer

      Yeah Kevan’s a great guy. Thanks for sharing this!

      Next year my family and I are going to fly to California for the Cure SMA conference, so that will be an adventure. I haven’t flown since I was a kid. Like Ryan though, it’s very difficult for me to be out of my chair, which I’m sure many of us can relate to.

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