Tabitha Lookabill's story helps us understand who to include in "design that's usable by all people."

And not just in Bridgewater, Virginia, but anywhere.

In September 2017, Tabitha had an unexpected accident that changed how she was able to take care of her family (she has three kids), and participate in the community.

One day she and her daughters decided to go for a bike ride and she scooped up their little dog into her arms to go with them. Unfortunately she forgot that she needed to brake the bike on her handlebars with both hands and as she was going down a hill she lost control, swerved, and crashed. She broke her tibia and her tibial plateau in her right leg and required a surgery with lots of plates and pins.

Many say “oh it’s just a broken leg”, but Tabitha explains even almost 9 months after her injury, she’s still recovering. It impacts things she does at home and community, plus leisure pursuits like shopping, gardening, and walking long distances.

Location: Bridgewater, Virginia, United States


Watch the interview:

Notable quotes from the interview:

Right now I’m a stay-at-home mom. We have three kids, but I will be teaching at
a classical Christian school this coming year. Kindergarten.

Well, I haven’t been able to run. Yet, I don’t know if I’m gonna get there, which just hard to think about. And walking and hiking are a lot more challenging, like, taking a walk you know, like going to the park or whatever. Also, like I’m gonna be teaching kindergarten and I’m a very much like “get down on their level” teacher, and I don’t think I can quite do that now, because I can’t really squat.

I love to do flower gardening, and even gardening is challenging. Because it’s all low. It’s all on the ground. It’s low. And so weeding, like, I have to figure out a way…
I just have to approach things a little bit differently, um, because it’s just not, I just can’t like squat down there.

I was very active and I had no problems with mobility and flexibility… stuff like that, and so it’s been a little bit challenging… even mentally for me to figure out what I can and cannot do. Even shopping; I used to be able to just walk around and shop. Shop, shop, shop. But now I think, where is it in the store? How far will I have to walk?

And there were definitely times where I was starting to get better and I was
working a lot of my walking in my leg, and so I could do it, but I knew that I’d
be going into a store and I would be tired and so I would take my brace with
me, and I will put on my leg even though I didn’t need my brace anymore, just so
people could see that I did have an injury, so that it was okay for me to use this cart. I made plans like that [so she wouldn’t be judged]!