Written by Drea
I ask you this –
Where do wheelchair bound/paralyzed folks (anyone needing accessible housing, really) live when their former housing accommodations are inaccessible? That is a tricky predicament facing a lot of people in our country. For the newly injured in particular, this adds one more layer of stress atop an extremely stressful time. Even Ri, who had a multitude of family, friends, and community resources struggled to find accessible housing. He lived in a hotel for months until he found something half decent, and even now, 8 years post injury, we are still altering our home to make life as accessible as possible.
Short of expensive remodels or relocation, this predicament had few alternate solutions. Until Wheel Pad, that is. Wheel Pad, launched in 2016, is a 200 square foot accessible bedroom and bathroom module that has the ability to actually link up to an existing home, bringing accessibility right to your doorstep! Ta-dah!
The beauty of Wheel Pad is that it is an immediate short term solution. It keeps families together and removes the stress around creating an accessibility plan. I am all for easing burdens, so this is a project I am behind.
Check out this video below to get a better idea of what I am talking about (Wheel Pad on YouTube).
Oh, and keep an eye out at 1 min 38 seconds for the (2 second!) Ri and Andrea cameo!
So I’ll be straight. I dig Wheel Pad, in part, because it is a Riley Poor inspired project (no surprise there- if you have been reading this blog my adoration is clear). I also dig it because I find pleasure in watching Tiny Home shows and Wheel Pad is very “on trend” with the movement. Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoy Julie Lineberger and Joseph Cincotta, Ri’s godparents and Wheel Pad’s founder and chief architect, respectively. All of that, coupled with the accessible housing situation it addresses make it a win for the home team.
But really, the Wheel Pad project gets my stamp of approval because it is innovation with soul. Wheel Pad is a product of the ripple effect that was born the moment Ri dislocated his neck. It is, essentially, a proactive adaptation in response to a heavy, tragic moment- a call to action, if you will. While not a direct part of the design or building process, Wheel Pad unmistakably has Ri written all over it. The clean lines, the modern vibe, the materials, the design and even where it was built (Vermont- Ri’s childhood homeland and where he had his spinal cord injury) ripples right back to the initial source of inspiration.
So, without going off on too much of a tangent, my point is this- the actions or events we face (whether they seem good or bad at the time) carry with them the capacity to change the world in both big and small ways. Ri is firm in his assertion that he would change nothing about his path in life- and why would he when it is clear that he has inspired a lot of greatness in this world, with Wheel Pad being just one example.
Here is the link to Wheel Pad’s website. While it may not be a solution for everyone (cost and space are potential obstacles), you just never know who might benefit from this project, so don’t be shy about spreading the word :).
That’s all I have today! Thanks so much for reading! And please don’t be a stranger now – say hi, join my bloggity blog and let me know what you think!