Variety Young Ambassador Dante shares his experiences of being a wheelchair user

Dante from Liverpool is 12 years old and has osteogenesis imperfecta, otherwise known as brittle bone disease. He is a Variety Young Ambassador and Pride of Britain 2019 award winner. Here, in his own words, he discusses his experiences of being a wheelchair user and the difference that having a light manual wheelchair, funded by Variety, has made to his life.

Dante with wheelchair

"My wheelchair is a Zippie Simba manual wheelchair. Variety funded it for me. Its nickname is Zimba. I designed the colors and wheels myself. I use the chair most of the time, but I don’t use it at home as there is no room in the house.

The most fun place I have ever been to in my wheelchair is London, as it’s the capital city of England. The accessibility isn’t great though. Liverpool is better than London when it comes to accessibility.

Wheelchairs are so essential to people like me as they help us get around more easily. They help us discover new things, get around the world. They make people happy and help them to be more independent.

If I could go anywhere in my Variety wheelchair, I would go to Spain as it’s a hot country and I'd make some new friends or go to America to see the amazing lights.

My dream wheelchair would be a flying wheelchair that could also teleport me and read my mind and my thoughts.

People get a lot of things wrong about wheelchair users. They think that because they are different, they have to be treated differently when it’s not like that at all. We should be treated the same.

If I could make places accessible, like London, I would get rid of all the stairs and replace them with ramps so the wheelchairs could get up, in and out of shops and fast-food restaurants. I would also make the elevators bigger so wheelchairs could get inside more easily."