Posted on Thursday September 3, 2015
Other Lives, Other Worlds
Friendly Wheels, Issue 94
With Amigo Owner Bill Albert of the UK
Throughout his life, Amigo owner Bill Albert has shown that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself.
An author of several published articles and eight novels, Bill was born in Manhattan, grew up in California and even spent a few years in Peru. Bill has since spent time traveling throughout Europe to countries including France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy and Holland. “The best part about traveling to a new country is meeting someone there who has a disability. We can communicate without speaking the same language,” said Bill.
Bill, who has a form of muscular dystrophy, has been an Amigo owner for over 20 years. He first heard about Amigo from his mother while visiting Harvard University as a research student, “At first, I had no interest in getting an Amigo. I wanted a wheelchair because well, that’s what everyone else was using,” said Bill. His mother insisted that he try an Amigo, and Bill has used one ever since.
After moving from California to England in 1964, Bill attended the London School of Economics and later became a professor at the University of East Anglia. Most would have been satisfied with receiving a great education and becoming a professor at a distinguished university, but Bill had other aspirations.
Bill retired from teaching in 1991 to focus on writing and disability advocacy. For 25 years, Bill has been an ambassador for several disability organizations, including Equal Lives, which he co-founded in 1995 and served as a board member for seven years. Equal Lives has grown into one of the largest disability organizations in England, and includes 50 groups with over 700 total members. Through his disability advocacy, helping others has become a major part of Bill’s life.
We are inspired by Bill’s ability to reinvent himself while helping others and advocating for people with disabilities. We look forward to seeing how he will reinvent himself next!