Get to Know VMI Customers and Their Stories

Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins is unstoppable.

Being in a wheelchair didn’t stop her from being an active child who loved riding horses and playing with her little sister. It didn’t stop her from earning two college degrees, an Associate of Art in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development with a minor in Political Science, and it most definitely did not stop her from becoming a tenacious advocate for disability rights and the face of a movement.

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On March 12, 1990, 8-year-old Jennifer Keelan climbed out of her wheelchair and crawled up the 83 stone steps of the US Capital on her knees and elbows. With US and International audiences watching, Jennifer sent a message to Congress that the time for inaction had come to an end. Four months later, on July 26th, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by President George H.W. Bush. Many who were there that day believed it was the image of Jennifer climbing and defiantly shouting, “I’ll take all night if I have to!” that lead to the signing of the ADA after years of delay.

When VMI learned that Jennifer wouldn’t be able to fulfill her dream of accepting her college diploma in person, we reached out to help. VMI and Frontier Access & Mobility of Colorado, provided a wheelchair accessible vehicle so Jennifer and her mother, Cynthia, could drive from Denver to Arizona so she could participate in her graduation ceremony.

Congratulations, Jennifer. We’re proud to help you remain unstoppable.


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