"Enabled" by Ian Ruhter
Words by Jill Webster
In 1997, Trevor Snowden was competing in a "big air" snowboarding competition at Snow Qualomy Pass. In the middle of doing his backside 360, Trevor turned around to see that he was much too high in the air. Still though, he attempted the landing and broke his back - so severely, in fact, that his spinal nerves were severed entirely. "I didn't care I broke my back. I thought it was a real adventure," Trevor says, "You have to recover. You have to learn how to heal." Trevor believes he is supposed to be where he's at today. Since the accident he's had his ups and downs, but ultimately has a fresh outlook on life. Since the accident he has become involved in producing his own type of wheelchair - an active lifestyle wheelchair that is specially designed with more suspension to reduce the shock and the strain on the individual's back. As Trevor puts it, "It's like driving a Suzuki Samurai versus a Cadillac." The design also offers a more simplistic appearance, is better for travel and more lightweight, on top of the fact that it's less expensive and made in America. When asked what he does now, Trevor laughs and says, "What don't I do? I'm a wheelchair extraordinaire. Everything is a goal in a wheelchair and my main goal is to inspire people not to be lazy."
Enabled is a project about disabled action sports athletes who step beyond their perceived limitations, to show us how being "disabled" is a state of mind. The goal is to reach out to both disabled and able-bodied individuals, including those who have an interest in photography and action sports. These stories will positively impact, and deliver encouragement to the disabled community as a whole. The project will be broken down into a documentary, traveling art show, book, and television episode.
We are currently pursuing funding to complete, and produce the final outcome of "Enabled". If you are an art director, producer, TV network, magazine, company, etc., and are interested in learning more about the "Enabled" project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org The above photos have been cropped for a preview. To see the complete collection of photos please request a link to the online portfolio.