Karissa's NOT A Wheelchair

Accessible experiences are often sought after by Shine recipients to help make their interactions in the world easier, fun, and more inclusive. For Karissa who lives with cerebral palsy, her favourite memories are from being a camper and later a camp counsellor in Alberta for young people with disabilities. It was a place of freedom and full accessibility. 

When working with Shine, Karissa wanted to find a way to reach the many outdoor areas she always wished to explore as a young adult but wasn’t able to.   

A ”NOT A Wheelchair”, all-terrain rig was the perfect fit for Karissa. It is an electric-powered rig that is quick, light, and can go about 30kms before recharging. It has helped Karissa gain confidence and greater abilities.

Her mom shares: “It's taken down a barrier that was there before. She has a wheelchair that is not great, so that's really limited her ability to confidently go out in the world and do things. This allows her to explore more and be more active. It’s been a boost to her mental health too because it sparks excitement and joy for her and takes away some of these feelings of inadequacy and apprehension like ‘Can I keep up? Can I get where I need to go?’. It’s got her more excited about trying new things or maybe doing things over again, but this time with more accessibility.”

Karissa’s new rig not only opens the door to more opportunities, but it also improves social interactions. People no longer need to push her from behind, like her regular wheelchair, instead they walk or bike ride beside her, allowing greater engagement and independence, qualities that help her SHINE.