Walk And Roll Live

Oct 29, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Contributors, Helping Hands, Larry Ham

by Larry Ham

Doug Vincent has never been one to let anything get in his way of accomplishing what he sets his mind to. Take an obstacle like contracting Polio at one year old, and walking with crutches for the past 55 years. It didn’t stop him from wanting to be mobile and independent and do the things he wanted to do without any help. That’s why it’s only appropriate that Doug had the idea to start a website dedicated to helping and advising the handicapped community, and the result is Walk and Roll Live.

Doug Vincent

Doug grew up in Central California and, along with his older brother Drew, coped with the hardship and hard feelings that came with being different from the other kids. Obviously, being handicapped changes the way you’re viewed, and the way you view things, but Doug says there’s one thing the able-bodied community needs to understand about the handicapped. “I think what it comes down to, the essence of it is, most people look at us differently, and we’re exactly like you. Those things you worry about, we worry about. We all want our kids to grow up healthy. And we’re as diverse as able-bodied people. Some of us like sports, some don’t, some are more sedentary that others. Handicapped people want to be known for their accomplishments, but not any accomplishment that is enhanced by their condition”.

Being handicapped certainly didn’t stop Doug from doing all the things a kid wants to do. He eventually decided to pursue a career in radio, and Doug says it was while working at a country station in San Luis Obispo that the first inklings of what would become Walk and Roll Live began. “When you get to a certain age, you don’t grow anymore. And the only crutches available to me were one-size-fits-all adjustables, and they were always wearing out.” Doug was spinning records at a local nightclub and talking to a Cal Poly engineering student when an idea occurred. “We had been brainstorming about a new set of crutches and I had an extra pair and he took them one day and made me a custom set – and I still use them to this day”.

Doug realized that this was an area where a lot of people would be in need. “I thought there had to be a lot of people out there like myself, but how do you advertise to people like that?” Well, fast forward about thirty years and the internet provided the answer. “I have a buddy who had been talking about a pod cast, and I thought ‘that’s a great idea!’, but what would I possibly do a pod cast about?”

The answer is Walk and Roll Live, and although Doug is based in Southern California, the internet allows him to make the website something that appeals to handicapped people everywhere. So, what will you find when you visit walkandrolllive.com? Doug says it’s still in the growing process, but there’s already a lot there. “Along with the front page, I have the pod cast, a page that lists upcoming events for the handicapped community, and as we grow, I’d like to list events not only down here but in other parts of California and other states as well. I have a marketplace up there, so if someone needs a hand cycle and someone has one they want to sell, they can connect.” Doug also wants to open the website up to anyone – handicapped or not – who has thoughts to share about their experiences.

If you’re handicapped, or you know someone who is, recommend they visit walkandrolllive.com. Honesty compels me to say that Doug and I have been friends for many years, and we went to broadcasting school together. We had many great adventures in the good old days, and I was always impressed by the fact that Doug led a completely normal existence – much more normal that a lot of other people I know. The goal of Walk and Roll Live is to help others in the handicapped community live a normal and happy life too.

Larry Ham is an ongoing contributor to our
Area Arts & Entertainment section where he covers local sports–something he has a great deal of experience in having covered many an area school game through the years for KRDU radio in Dinuba.


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