A man with celebral palsy who was “tired of people staring” at him has transformed his electric wheelchair into a mobile disco.
Lee Kingsberry now loves the positive reaction he receives when he is out and about in his chair, complete with flashing neon lights and booming music.
The 32-year-old who has had the wheelchair for several months has even been getting song requests since he decided to personalise his wheelchair a few weeks ago, Mirror Reports.
Now Lee, from Salford Quays, is always the centre of attention when he takes his compact version of Manhattan’s legendary Studio 54 to the streets.
Lee, who has cerebral palsy, told the Manchester Evening News : “I had just got tired of people staring at me, so figured I’d do something to give them a positive reason to stare.”
He said: “The lights and ghetto blaster cost about £500. As for my music, I play all sorts – depends on my mood – I’ve also been known to take requests.
“The other day coming back from a night out in town on the tram I was taking all sorts of requests from everyone in the carriage.”
He downloads music from the internet and his choices range from current chart hits to classic disco, Motown, and rock.
Lee said: “I have cerebral palsy, my condition affects my speech as well as muscle control. This means I move differently to other people and suffer uncontrollable sporadic movements.
“Despite what some people assume my mental capacity is entirely intact.
“I still have all the same needs and desires as everybody else.
“Generally the negativity comes in people staring as I pass but what gives me more trouble is when people infantilise me due to my difficulty speaking. Often speaking down to me or ignoring me by talking to my assistants rather than me.”
He said when he’s out and about now he gets positive comments from passers by. Some people have filmed him on their phones.
He told: “The best thing is that the chair seems to break down the initial barriers to beginning a conversation.
“I’ve had some other wheelchair users asking about helping them with a similar conversion. On the whole it’s had a pretty positive impact.
“Through my life I’ve had a lot of prejudice against me, people not treating me like a human being and only seeing my disability.
“I hope to raise awareness that even people with a disability still have an individual personality and like to have fun like everyone else.
“I’ve been out and about on the streets of Salford Quays, so far to a very positive reaction from the people I’ve come across.”