Beauty on the move – Women in wheelchairsOn March 6, 2022 by Emma Collymore
Society once viewed people with disabilities as dependent, unable to contribute to society. This has changed significantly. Today, people with disabilities, especially women in wheelchairs, have begun to destroy this stigmatized notion with amazing achievements. In addition, the manufacturers have designed designer chairs to emphasize the incredible beauty and strength of these women.
Last year, New York designers held a fashion show specifically designed to showcase these chairs. The show is hosted by four women who founded Discovery For Design, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women in wheelchairs. One of these women, Marilyn Hamilton, is the co-inventor of the Quickie wheelchair. The other three were sports, art and business Dynamo players who received traumatic injuries and got into wheelchairs.
This fashion show was dedicated not only to stylish wheelchairs, but also to fashionable clothing ensembles specifically created to flatter women who spend a significant amount of time in wheelchairs. The “Roll” models are four women selected from all over the country who have become disabled and have demonstrated inspiring strength and perseverance despite health problems or accidents.
One of these exciting women, Jenny Smith, had an accident while doing gymnastics. Her spinal cord injury, which occurred 17 years ago, did not prevent her from driving a car, graduating from college with a master’s degree in psychology or working in the Mobility Project, which delivered more than 1,000 wheelchairs to developing countries.
By comparison, Melissa Holly was working in college when a car accident resulted in a spinal cord injury. She spoke, attended fundraising events and campaigned to bring a pilot spinal cord treatment procedure to the United States. She did not allow the wheelchair to disconnect her life.
Michelle Boardman is a young woman diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. At age 12, she was confined to a wheelchair. Despite this, she has realized her dream of going to college and plans to become a pediatric geneticist. She was one of nine young people worldwide awarded the Yes I Can! Founded in 2004.
The fourth model, Rosemary Rosetti, is a successful woman whose life was cut short by the fall of a huge tree that crushed her spinal cord while riding a bicycle. After recovering, she began traveling the world discussing her life in a wheelchair. She has published a book on the subject and recently received the title of Mrs. Disabled America.
These women are a tribute to the amazing power and beautiful journey that women in wheelchairs are capable of. Their story really inspires us all.