Frenchman in wheelchair drives around world to spread message of accessibility

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Friday, November 10, 2017
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Samuel Marie is trying to make the world a more accessible place.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Students at St. Stephen's Episcopal School got a life lesson about diversity and accessibility on Thursday, and it was partly in French.

It was delivered by a Frenchman in a wheelchair who is driving around the world just to show others that he can do it. Samuel Marie is working to make the world a more accessible place for everyone.

Marie is a 30-year-old paraplegic from France who drove his specially equipped van to Houston to make friends and a point. Marie lost the use of his legs ten years ago in a climbing accident. Thirty surgeries later, he's driving again.

"There is a little stick on this wheelchair that hooks on in the van so he drives and his controls on his hands," his translator explained.

His goal? Three continents and 16 countries in 11 months. He began in France and is now driving across Canada and the United States to meet with students and politicians.

He wants to see how different countries provide accessibility and mobility for the disabled and to prove that taking down barriers to the disabled opens up a whole new world.

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