Recently my husband and I have been getting creative, trying to design the "perfect" wheelchair. Though we have some great ideas, this got me thinking, what does perfect really mean?
As far as wheelchairs and other assistive technology goes, I suppose perfect means capable of aiding and improving the lives of the majority of those who rely on it. As a lifelong wheelchair user and someone who has experience working in the special education field, I often wonder, is it really possible to achieve perfection? In asking this question, I'm not just referring to technology, I mean in life in general. Can we as human beings be perfect and if so what does that entail? According to a dictionary definition that I found online, perfection means being free from flaws. So by that definition, anyone who sees a physical disability as a flaw or defect would argue that I personally can't achieve perfection because my spine didn't form properly.
Perfection is being "free from flaws," which opens the door to more of a debate: what constitutes a flaw? Everyone I know, differently abled or not, has something that they do not like about themselves, some sort of flaw. That being said, maybe perfection is nothing more than a perceptual thing. I'm by no means a philosopher, (I took 1 philosophy class in college and hated it), so maybe I'm missing something, but if you ask me, there is no way for a person to achieve true perfection.
I don't know what to say about perfection as far as the human aspect of the word, and to be honest, I'm not even sure that you can find perfection in mobility aids like wheelchairs. I do know and will promise this, the wheelchair we create will definitely be designed with the needs of a diverse group and it is going to be fabulous... Stay tuned.