SAN FRANCISCO – WAWOS (We’re All Working On Something), a nonprofit committed to disrupting the narrative around physical disability and advocating inclusion, has just given away its 4,000th walkercape. The program, called WAWOS Wear, are walkercapes made in a variety of styles and themes to reflect the personality of children who use assistive devices.
WAWOS Founder, Jacquie Robison, came up with the idea after a conversation with her daughter, who has a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy. At the time, her daughter Sofia, was practicing stepping with her walker and commented that people were staring but not saying hi.
“What struck me was that walkers haven’t really changed,” Robison says. “They’re functional but there’s no design factor. Sofia loved ballet, and was taking lessons at Tutu School. I had the beginnings of an idea to incorporate her interests and express them with her walker.” This led to the first walkercape; a simple design with a leotard and tutu attached. Sofia’s response was electric. “It wasn’t just that Sofia was thrilled, but that people were now chatting with her, and asking about her interest in ballet. That’s really where the idea for WAWOS began.”
Research has shown that for children with disabilities, participating in adventures with neurotypical kids can enhance self confidence, build friendships, and deepen empathy and inclusion for everybody. “People with disabilities are people first and foremost,” Robison says. “We launched this program to celebrate the child’s personality, and to encourage others to look beyond the device and see the person.”
Established as a registered 501(c)3 in 2017, WAWOS is an all-volunteer organization. To grow their volunteer base, they connect with individual sewists, host corporate team-building events called “Sew For Service”, and work with community partners to meet the demand for free walkercapes. Theirdistribution network is built by providing free walkercapes to physical therapy practices, pediatric rehab hospitals, and directly to families. “Every time a child is prescribed a walker, we want them to receive a free walkercape. That’s our vision”, Robison says. “We want the child, and their family, to know that they are seen for the incredible, unique person they are.”
WAWOS is a multinational non-profit organization committed to shifting perception of physical disability, advocating access to adventure for all, and promoting inclusion. With headquarters in San Francisco, their sister organization, WAWOS Canada, is based in Toronto.
Company Name: WAWOS
Contact Person: Jacquie Robison
City: San Francisco
Country: United States