My name is David Sherrer and this is the very short version of my story — an introductory bio if you will. On Labor Day weekend in 1989, I was the victim of an unprovoked aggravated assault. I was shot three times by a crazed crack head, leaving me a T-8 complete paraplegic for life barring a miracle or medical advance. I have been a constant rider in a wheelchair since that day.One of the bullets severed my spinal cord and changed my life. I went from 6'7” and 260 pounds of muscle to an entirely different world. It is like two books in the same series. Same guy, same personality, but looking and experiencing life from two completely different points of view.
After rehab I realized that I would not be able to continue as a plumber. I had to find a different way to make it in the world. So I started school at Gordon Jr. College in Georgia, and then went on to study psychology and sociology at the University of West Georgia. While at Junior college in Barnsville, GA, I started to get interested in disability rights.
Together with three friends, I started South-Side Mobility and Rights Team (S.M.A.R.T.) in Griffin, GA, and was instrumental in getting a program started with the City of Griffin's Police Chief so they could
write tickets for illegal parking in disabled spots.
Years passed. Work in the mental health field was rewarding, but tookits toll on me, both physically and mentally. I left the field in 2002 due to health reasons. In 2006 I started Qchair's Travelers but didn’t registered it as a non-profit until 2012 because it was completely run by myself and the few dollars I could put in it.
It was a true labor of love. I loved traveling, but I found that although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had made huge strides, there was still a lot to be done. There still is. I started out by reviewing places I traveled — vacations, family get-togethers, any place I could review. This morphed into what Qchair's Traveler is today. We have held deep sea fishing events for those with
disabilities. I still take individual requests for help in finding disabled-friendly accommodations along the northern gulf coast, the areaI lived in for 13 years.
Today Qchair's Traveler has undertaken a new adventure. I decided to focus on one area of recreation and travel for 5 years. I chose the RV industry and the destinations and recreation it offers. The ability to
travel a great many places at my own speed for a reasonable cost makes RVing very attractive to me.
The RV offers more than a hotel one week a year. It offers access to places I couldn't stay before because there were no accommodations of any kind nearby. As a paraplegic, there are many things I have to consider when I travel. Being able to stop and rest when I need to is huge! So is knowing I will always have a place to sleep no matter where I go. Trust me, with hotels this is not always a given.
With all this in mind I formed a plan to travel solo through 49 states and Canada with a modified 2005 toy hauler travel trailer RV and a 2004 ¾ ton pick-up to tow it. I'm 52 now, and this Labor Day will be 26
equal years walking and being in a chair. This trip is not a bucket list. I'm not dying or such. It is a concentrated effort to get the RV industry to include universal design where possible, educate the general
public on how to become more accessible, get destinations and businesses to use universal design to be more inclusive and boost their customer base in doing so, and most importantly, encourage those with
mobility impairments to get out and enjoy life, see the country (or countries) and live life to the fullest! Come along with me and share the experience. Follow Q-Chair’s Travelers on Facebook to see what I’m up to.
*Special thanks to Lippert Components for jumping at the chance to be the first national sponsor of my trip. I will be in Elkhart, IN, late in April to meet with Lippert representatives and have many upgrade accessories installed on my trailer free of charge!