Brothers at BYU raise awareness with ‘Roll A Mile In My Shoes’ event

Posted at 7:41 PM, Oct 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-30 00:58:38-04

PROVO, Utah – Two brothers spent Saturday on the Brigham Young University campus helping others better understand life with a disability.

The Andersens are two brothers with one goal.

“Our main mission is to connect people with disabilities with people that have no clue,” Daniel Andersen said.

They started their campaign, “Roll A Mile In My Shoes”, to help change the perception of people with disabilities.

“One of my favorite quotes is, 'The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today.' So we're hoping to plant a tree that bears fruit 20, 40 years from now,” said Benjamin Andersen, co-director of Roll A Mile In My Shoes.

Daniel has Type 2 Spinal Atrophy, and he's not the only one in the family. Ben said he has watched for years as people underestimate his siblings.

“I've got another brother with the same condition, his name's Samuel, he’s younger, he’s back at home right now, same thing: That kid knew the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission in fourth grade,” Benjamin said.

Their campaign spreads through social media and videos, but Saturday these brothers took a more interactive approach.

Daniel gave tours around BYU, helping people see some of the challenges people who use wheelchairs can face. On the tour Daniel was able to show how things like a staircase, which may be simple for able-bodied people to use, can delay his progress, as sometimes the nearest ramp isn't so near.

Despite what a disability may prevent, their message is also about the abilities people sometimes fail to recognize.

“People with visible disabilities should be seen as people first, and then recognized as having a limitation afterwards,” Daniel said.

Stairs may be a challenge, but public speaking is not for the Andersen brothers. The group hopes their message will inspire others, no matter their limitations, to look for abilities in others and in themselves.

“I am fiercely passionate for… well the golden rule: the way they would want to be treated, and be the way God intended them to be treated,” Daniel said.

Click here to visit Roll A Mile In My Shoes on Facebook.