Taking wheelchair advocacy to next level

  • From Metro News

    Edmontonians have a long way to go when it comes to helping those with mobility issues during the colder winter months, says one Edmontonian, who is using his blog in hopes of changing the city and its residents’ mindsets.

    Timothy Maxwell, who uses a wheelchair due to a brain stem injury, says the need is so dire that he has the city’s 311 on speed dial to report the uncleared sidewalks or paths that need fixing.

    He added that when the city can’t always get out to clear sidewalks, Edmontonians should be ready to lend a helping hand to those who may need help on the streets getting around when weather conditions aren’t great. But that’s not always the case.

    “My inspiration to use the blog is no one will help a person in a wheelchair and that made me angry. I turned my anger into inspiration,” he said.

    Having blogged since 2009, Maxwell hopes to gain “equal accessibility for all” by making sure the message is heard loud and clear by Edmontonians. That’s why he’s thinking of going the way of fellow Canadian Rick Hansen and eventually turning his cause into a non-profit so it can make more of an impact in the city.

    Maxwell, along with fellow bloggers and those with mobility issues, want to also take it one step further and “film a free accessibility reality show,” he wrote on his blog. On the show, himself along with others would “ride the city’s ETS bus around, finding non-accessible areas and businesses, and bringing attention to them.”

    Eventually, he would like to see a city that one day considers the needs of all of its citizens.

    “I would like to be in a completely wheelchair accessible world,” he said.

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