Bringing a Creative Approach to My Access Tools

Published by Maria McClellan on

A photo of maria at a young age standing and painting on a canvas.

**Excerpt of post originally written for Allstripes. Link to full article below.**

Pretty much my whole life I’ve done arts and crafts — origami, drawing, sewing, painting. My grandfather’s an artist on my mom’s side and my father has a Masters in fine arts, so he always encouraged me to do art. We always made Christmas cards — we made them. All our Halloween costumes too. As a kid, I’d say, I’m bored! And my dad would just hand me paints and a canvas and put a vase of flowers in front of me and say, paint this, draw this.

This energy is partially why I bring a creative approach to the access tools I use. Being born with a disability that has evolved or progressed in my lifetime, I’ve had to adapt every moment. 

Luckily, both my parents are pretty creative and willing to do more than just provide the basics. 

I started as a fairly average kid walking but progressed into using crutches to walk and then to using a wheelchair. Beside the usual medical equipment I had to purchase, we wanted to find a way for me to open and close the doors, curtains and drawers. I find these potential solutions and discoveries a fun adventure and something I like doing. 

I usually find inspiration for my projects from other people who have done some living adaptation themselves and take one small part that could work for me but change it to solve my issue. Sometimes I see products that are very expensive and make them a different version for myself.

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