The question "are you
going to walk?" when asked to a "normal" college student means "are you
going to walk on stage when you graduate?" I cannot currently
ambulate in a traditional sense, but I did graduate and rolled across
the stage in the O'Connell Center at the University of Florida.
Revised: You can see (and hear) when I rolled across the stage via UF's webcast
of the graduation ceremony (commencement) at either of two links.
To see all the action regarding me, click
HERE for the commencement page; then scroll down to
August 9, 2008 and choose Morning Ceremony and your desired player.
If you advance it to about 1:21:30, you'll see the UF
Official in the Orange & Blue robe who is ushering students through.
At 1:21:50 he stops everything; that was the first attempt to raise me
and the stage was coming up (see the next paragraph if you don't already
know about that). It happened again shortly after 1:24:30. I
am announced (William Allen Miller) and roll across at 1:25:30.
HERE if you just want the 19-seconds of audio/video with me rolling
across the stage! A classmate of mine made the short Windows Media
Video clip for me (thanks Phillip!).
I almost did not get to roll across the graduation stage. My wheelchair
is extra long, largely due to the ventilator on back. UF has a hydraulic
lift to raise wheelchair users to the stage, except it wasn't designed
with chairs like mine in mind. I was barely in what was like a metal
box, and my feet were pushing the door forward. As they tried to raise
me the door caught the stage -- and the STAGE WAS COMING UP! That
happened twice! Finally, on the third attempt, some people pushed the
door back away from the stage and the lift cleared. The webcast video
shows when the Official stopped the attempts to raise me as described in
my second paragraph--and there are several thousand witnesses!
Also, if you go to the
web page, you'll see a picture of the summer graduates and I'm on the
right side of the picture (OK, they apparently already removed the picture, but I
captured it with a "print
screen" command; click
HERE for the picture!).
If you want to know more about my educational journey and where I'm planning to
"go" from here... click
Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 206 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT