If you are new to WOL, you are probably asking yourself what, or who, is WheelieOneLocks.
WOL is personified by an incredibly unique person and, more than that, it is an incredible movement. A movement poised to bring about the seamless integration and socialization of wheelchair life and the mainstream.
The inspiration behind and the personification of WOL is Mr. Robert Howell. Robert suffered a spinal cord injury over 20 years ago and below he tells us his story.
“I am Robert, from the beautiful island nation of Jamaica. For the past 20 years I have resided in Florida. In November 1997 I suffered a spinal cord injury as the result of a gunshot wound to the neck. My level of my injury is T1/ T2 leaving me dependent on a wheelchair to carry out my daily activities.
Being a wheelchair user for over 20 years I have realized that there is a need for awareness not only relating to accessibility issues we encounter on a daily basis but also how to interact socially. That is why I have become so passionate about doing this awareness campaign and it’s not for the public to sympathize with wheelchair users but to empathize with the needs of all disabled people, worldwide.” Much more than a mission for empathy WOL is a mission of discovery. Discover some of the incredible things people can accomplish, help others with their challenge and discover how we can make a positive change.
So why Wheelie One Locks? “The hair on my head has one single dreadlocks and is an extension of the positive attitude and energy I carry around with me everyday . Interacting with the public on a daily basis I will be approached and asked “Really One Locks?”, hence; wheelie one locks, about my one dreadlocks and usually the conversation will lean towards “Why do I use my wheelchair?”
I realized soon that the dynamic of my life was affording me the opportunity to interact and meet people whom I would not generally meet. I knew that I had to take advantage of this opportunity to bridge the disconnect between us dependent on a wheelchair and those who are not. “This was the birth of WheelieOneLocks.