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International Disability Center: "Wheels for the World" & "Total Access"

Published: June 23, 2015 at 1:06AM

photo of luncheon brochure on table
Today some of the Corada team attended a luncheon, hosted by Joni (said like "Johnny") Eareckson Tada. She founded the organization, Joni and Friends International Disability Center, with the purpose of reaching persons with disabilities worldwide. She is an advocate, a painter, a world traveler, an author, a singer, an actress, a speaker and a mentor.

She also happens to have quadriplegia from a diving accident in 1967. Fueled by faith, relentless inner-strength and compassion for persons with disabilities, she has also created outreach programs like Wheels for the World and Total Access.

Wheels for the World locates old wheelchairs, walkers and mobility devices, repairs them through prison workshops, and ships them to specific areas of the globe. Local and foreign teams including physical and occupational therapists, mechanics and other volunteers then fit these like-new wheelchairs to people of all ages, some of whom have never experienced mobility or independence.

"Wheels for the World is not simply about 'dropping off a wheelchair.' It’s about changing the hearts, minds, and lives of people. It’s about transforming societies, village by village, person by person."

Total Access, another program through the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, networks with groups around the world to provide better accessibility to developing nations. The program focuses on architectural barrier-removal by means of building ramps, widening doorways and providing alternate methods for people with physical disabilities, to gain access to public buildings, churches and schools. Teams typically consist of labor volunteers, designers and people with a construction background and tend to go alongside Wheels for the World teams.

Both Wheels for the World and Total Access programs are currently seeking volunteers in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more by clicking here! Or, find the drop-off location for old wheelchairs and mobility devices in your area!