Wheelchair ballroom is based on the partnership of people with and without disabilities. It can be a strong tool for educating others about inclusion and changing perception about disability. As wheelchair ballroom instructors, Rik and Nicole use their passion for the arts to spread disability awareness.
Using the art of wheelchair ballroom dance, Rik and Nicole advocate for continued change by highlighting some of the attitudinal barriers that persist within our healthcare system and society in general. They developed an initiative that uses wheelchair ballroom as a creative method to educate physicians about providing person-centered care for people with disability. Wheelchair ballroom can challenge assumptions about people with disability such as the inherent difficulty of their lives, lack of sexuality, and mobility restrictions.
Check out a publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) from July 2018 that highlights their advocacy initiative!
Rik and Nicole have also presented at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC in January 2018, and they bring their advocacy platform to various universities including presentations at the Cornell University Health Services and SUNY Cortlandt.
Rik and Nicole are grateful for the positive responses from their audiences, and the opportunity to address attitudinal barriers using their art form.