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REMOVING THE STIGMA OF SEATED CLOTHING AND GEAR - PRODUCTS THAT LOOK GOOD, FEEL GOOD AND ARE FIT FOR PURPOSE

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Rebecca Clarke

About

Hi, I’m Rebecca and I’m 17 years old.

I am an ambulatory wheelchair user and use my wheelchair at school, clubs and when out of the house.

I have Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, vasovagal syncope, and episodes of temporary paralysis. My first active wheelchair arrived in the spring of 2021, but I had been using borrowed and loaned ones before that. My wheelchair gives me freedom and independence and I can do so much more than I could without it. It enables me to actually live my life rather than just go through it, struggling to get through the day.

I’m really passionate about raising awareness about disability and through that acceptance and inclusion. I’m determined for disability to not be the hidden ‘d’ in ‘diversity’. Even before I became a wheelchair user, I was passionate about disability because I’m also autistic and know what it feels like to not fit in and be excluded. I’m a member of Ambitious About Autism and through that I’ve delivered/helped deliver talks to companies and hospitals about autism, how to include and accommodate autistic people and about what’s it’s like to be autistic.

I don’t see myself represented in brands and in society and so I want to be the representation to other young (and old) wheelchair users whether they use their wheelchair part time or full time because no one deserves to feel alone.

I’m different, not less, and I’m disabled and proud!

Favourite Custom Propel Product

My favourite Custom Propel product is the FIST Wheelchair Gloves.

They come in so many different designs so there’s one for everyone (or even every outfit!) and they don’t look like ‘a disability aid’. They have protection in all the right places (although I wish that there could be more on the side of the thumb) and greatly reduce blisters, keeping you pushing for longer and in less pain. I also love that they are touch screen friendly, so I don’t have to keep taking them off when I need to check my phone or watch. They look good and do their job unlike most wheelchair gloves so that’s why they are my favourite Custom Propel product.

Social media handles

Me: @sensory_panda

Whizz-Kidz: @whizzkidzuk

Ambitious About Autism: @ambitiousaboutautism