The 'We Carry Kevan' Project Is Changing How We View Accessibility

The 'We Carry Kevan' Project Is Changing How We View Accessibility

We should all do our part to make the world accessible.
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Kevan Chandler is a lover of travel, a beloved friend, and a man with spinal muscular atrophy. The disease keeps Chandler in a wheelchair, which made his desire to see non-accessible areas in Europe unlikely for him to ever achieve. However, his friends were determined to not let Chandler miss out on this trip.

For a year Chandler's friends developed a backpack to carry him and were able to raise the donations needed in order to produce the backpack and take the trip. They titled the initiative 'We Carry Kevan' and brought the idea to life in the summer of 2016, begining their inspiring journey around Europe.

The question of whether the locations they wanted to visit were wheelchair accessible was no longer an issue because Chandler’s friends took it upon themselves to trade off carrying their friend on their own backs.The friends' story spread across the internet and more people became interested in their product and project. The group explained that their goal is

“to inspire both the disabled and able-bodied communities to reimagine accessibility, then empower this change by providing resources and training for collaborative adventures.”

Chandler believes that even though making locations accessible through the use of elevators and ramps is helpful to people with disabilities, he states that true accessibility comes from “people helping people.” For me, this statement completely changed my mind on how I thought the world should evolve to be accessible for everyone. I previously had only seen accessibility through the lens of creating accessible infrastructure without ever considering the pivotal role that we all play in our human interaction.

Just like how we all do our best to help the able-bodied people in our life, we should do the same for those who are disabled. Chandler and his friends showed me that the world instantly becomes more accessible when people that can move freely use their ability to help disabled people do the same.

Now Chandler and his friends are on their way to China in support of Snow Hope, which is an organization that makes care centers for orphans with disabilities throughout China. “We Carry Kevan” plans on supplying the care centers through the backpacks that they created, as a way to promote accessibility within the community. The group will be traveling to Guilin, Luoyang, and Beijing. They have also created a GoFundMe page to help cover the expenses for their trip.

I am eager to see what Chandler and his friends will be able to accomplish in China and also how their work will influence people around the world. It is creative solutions like theirs that improve the lives of others and I am sure that we will all be seeing more from them in the future.

Cover Image Credit: We Carry Kevan

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chafing. So much chafing.

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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming, and sunny weather. But if you're a " thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts-shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chafing. So much chafing.

No better feeling than four minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's No. 1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swimsuit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chafing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one-size-fits-all" for plus-size women. As if there's just one way to be plus-size. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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11 Quotes For When You Need That Spark Of Inspiration

A little motivation goes a long way.

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I recently have been going through a slump. It's the middle of the semester, and summer seems years away. I needed a bit of inspiration to help me get the motivation I need for the rest of the semester and these quotes gave me just that.

1. "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong." - Ella Fitzgerald

You are where you are for a reason. As long as you have love and inspiration for what you are doing, you will succeed.

2. "It's never too late to be what you might have been." - George Elliot

So many people think they are too old to go back to school, change their career, or start up a new hobby. This is never true! It's never too late to change your life around for the better.

3. "Never limit yourself because of others' limited imagination; never limit others because of your limited imagination." - Mae Jemison

The sky is the limit!

4. "Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi

A chain of change can all start with a kind act done by you.

5. "Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow." - Helen Keller

Focus on the good things in life and you won't get caught in the ever-present negativity.

6. "Happiness is not by chance, but by choice." - Jim Rohn

It's true that you make your own happiness.

7. "Spread love everywhere you go." - Mother Teresa

Make it your goal to bring love, smiles, and positivity to everyone you come into contact with.

8. "A champion is defined not by their wins but by how they recover when they fall." - Serena Williams

The quicker you bounce back when you fall down, the better. You become stronger when you get up after taking a fall.

9. "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."      - Robin Williams

Everything you say, think, or do can impact those around you.

10. "If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more." - Oprah Winfrey

Each one of us are blessed with so much. As long as you are alive and breathing, you have something to be grateful for.

11. "You are enough just as you are." - Meghan Markle

You never need to change to be "better" for someone else. If you change, do it for yourself.

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