NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Tennessee boy who uses a wheelchair challenged his state lawmakers to “spend a day in my wheels” and they took him up on it.
Ten members of the state’s House of Representatives participated in the event, which challenged the lawmakers to go about their normal daily activities using a wheelchair, according to the Tennessee House Republican Caucus.
The caucus says the challenge aims to create awareness about the difficulties people with mobility devices face on a daily basis with the goal of making the world more inclusive for everyone.
An eighth grade student named Alex Johnson designed the challenge to raise awareness for people with mobility devices.
“My challenge gives people a real-life perspective of the difficulties wheelchair users face on a daily basis,” said Johnson. “My hope is that through my challenge we can make the world more accessible.”
The 14-year-old has a rare skeletal disorder, which left him dependent on a walker and then a wheelchair beginning in the first grade.
Johnson approached State Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon, about hosting the event with some of his fellow legislators.
Boyd said spending a day in a wheelchair was an eye-opening experience.
“I expected it to be difficult, but I had no idea how frustrating it could be to just simply get around,” said Boyd.
The Permobil Foundation in Lebanon provided the wheelchaira to Team ALeX, the organization created by Johnson.