So what is a Wheelchair Charioteer? It is someone with such great heart they willingly offer themselves as a guide and servant to a friend or family member in a wheelchair who desires to enjoy a convention or event. Though many events assist with making their locations more accessible, it can still be very challenging for someone in a wheelchair (manual or powered), and thus having someone along to assist is a great blessing. We see this most often at tabletop gaming and geek conventions, but occasionally professional conventions also. Why so passionate? I am a Wheelchair Charioteer and who wishes to show his appreciation to others like him.
I am a caregiver to my wife who has Multiple Sclerosis. Any time we are out, Angie is using a wheelchair to get around, and you will find me or one of my daughters assisting her as needed. She has been attending Gen Con with me for years and other business conferences, so if you attend, you may have seen them wandering around, her in her wheelchair and me charioteering behind with a smile on my face. We love sharing our hobbies together, just doing it at a pace of their own with the wheelchair. And the more we attend Gen Con and other events, the more we notice others pushing wheelchairs or walking along with a friend or family member in a powered wheelchair. I have often wanted to encourage those other caregivers and have a way to start a conversation, but I wasn’t always sure how. Then I had this weird geeky vision of caregivers who push wheelchairs being like the charioteers of ancient history. And an idea took hold in my heart and mind, the Wheelchair Charioteer project was born.
My incentive to start the Wheelchair Charioteer project and supply the ribbon badges was from a deep desire to encourage fellow caregivers at gaming conventions and to promote more accessibility at the events. I carry a supply of these Wheelchair Charioteer badge ribbons with me at conventions to gift to others supporting wheelchair users, giving words of encouragement to them as well. Thanking them for their heartfelt service. The badge ribbons are a great conversation starter!
If you are a fellow caregiver who charioteers for your friend or family member at conventions or events and would like a Wheelchair Charioteer badge ribbon, use the contact form below to supply me with your address and I will gladly mail you a Wheelchair Charioteer ribbon as a gift to say thank you for being a Wheelchair Charioteer and supporting accessible gaming. I would love someday to see pictures of you being a charioteer and wearing your badge ribbon at your favorite event or location.
If you are a host (convention, event, community game night, game cafe, game store) and are interested in acquiring some of these Wheelchair Charioteer badge ribbons for your location, we will work something out for getting a large number of these to you to support your Wheelchair Charioteers and accessible gaming. I would love to hear how these badge ribbons integrate with your work to make your event or location more accessible.