Tri-City Icon Bill Lampson in a Wheelchair
After kicking the idea around for three years, the #wewillchair cause is on, and Bill Lampson is rolling with it.
#wewillchair encourages people to temporarily confine themselves to a wheelchair and then relate their experiences on everything they encounter from interactions with people, to wondering if a bathroom door frame is even wide enough to roll your chair inside to use the facility.
In the video, watch Tri-City icon and civic leader Bill Lampson's experience with the very basics of getting used to a wheelchair. His first task of trying to get in a public restroom resulted in painfully pinching his fingers between the heavy bathroom door and the door jam. Even slight inclines while rolling along posed a challenge. Lampson said navigating even slight uphills, he didn't realize how just a few degrees of grade can make a big difference in a wheelchair. One restroom inside a restaurant could not even accommodate his chair.
The woman who came up with the idea and the hashtag, #wewillchair, Ann-Erica Whitemarsh, says it just came to her as she witnessed the inherent frustrations associated with those who only have the chair to get around. She saw first hand the lack of acceptance by others, the stares, the non-existent access to buildings for those in chairs, and don't even get her going on parking!
She knew she had to do something and this is it:
"WE WILL CHAIR...say it fast...WE WILL SHARE...say it fast again...WHEELCHAIR...is that what you heard? I hope that you will "chair" next time we do this project and I hope each of you will "share" the life those in chairs experience by being aware. Let's make a change! "
The video also features Danika Whitsett, who was in a car accident in July of 2018 that left her confined to a wheelchair. She has noticed in the Tri-Cities and most everywhere she's gone that having very simple and basic needs met for those confined to wheelchairs can be incredibly challenging. People may think that they understand, but until you are in it, and must navigate minus any assistance, you just don't understand....
We will chair and then We will share the experiences of being confined to a wheelchair and how amazingly difficult it is to get around some places.
Text wewillchair to 41444 to make any donation.