Artist Explores the Sea Without Leaving Her Wheelchair
August 30th, 2012
Physically-challenged people don’t need to miss out on all of life’s activities. With a little out-of-the-box thinking and ingenuity, anything is possible. Take Sue Austin for instance. She’s an artist in the UK and she is able to see the wonders of the ocean without ever leaving her wheelchair.
Austin has been wheelchair-bound since 1996 and obviously she has not let it stop her one bit. The underwater wheelchair work has been dubbed “Finding Freedom,” and is part of a larger project that she is working on. The wheelchair uses a propeller and fins positioned at the back of her legs that allow her to steer using an acrylic strip attached to her feet.
The design was challenging at first, since most propeller models use hand movements and she lacks the strength to use them. The answer was to make her wheelchair more buoyant by modifying the heel plates into fins and tweaking the seat. The video is pretty amazing and she is a true inspiration.