Repeatedly, human resilience has withstood the test of time. When we are faced with adversity, we need to find ways to learn and adapt, in order to succeed. While the COVID-19 pandemic has not been without its challenges, it has forced us to adapt, and for some, has fostered an environment of creativity and innovation. Nanaimo, BC resident Jon Pimlott has taken advantage of his newfound extra time by working on his inventions.
Meet Universal Design Enthusiast, Jon Pimlott.
Jon calls himself a Universal Design enthusiast. He combines his passion for changing the world with his love for inventing, in order to build accessible boats for people with disabilities. Jon began his endeavour a decade ago after wanting to help a close friend with a disability get out onto the water. The dock by his house was wheelchair accessible; so all they needed was an accessible boat.
Through his creation, Jon was able to give his close friend the experience of getting out onto the water, rowing and fishing again. Since then, Jon has taken countless people out on his accessible fishing boat.
The pandemic has significantly affected Jon’s ability to take people out on the water. It can be hard to find motivation during these difficult times; however, Jon’s advice is to “find something you love that also gives you an escape”. Instead of hindering him from pursuing his passion, the pandemic has given him more time to be creative and perfect his designs. He has also remained active on his YouTube channel where he displays his creations and demonstrates how they work, in order to show people what they can look forward to once the pandemic is over.
Keep Calm, Row On
Recently, Jon has started up again with the hopes of giving people in his community the opportunity to stay active on his boats, while remaining cautious and respectful of the protocols and recommended guidelines set out by health authorities. Since starting back up again, a young man named Sebastian who lives with autism and a seizure disorder was able to enjoy a rowing therapy session, thanks to Jon’s adapted catamaran rowboat.
“To witness the miracle of Sebastian rowing on my lake of dreams...pure joy as to how my creation impacted his wellness,” says Jon.
Jon’s story exhibits how it is possible to remain creative and active during these times as long as you do something that you love. For Jon, the act of combining his talent with his passion to make a difference has flourished into something impactful and beautiful. For the past decade, Jon has found ways to make boating more accessible for persons with disabilities, and now he continues to do so unhindered by the pandemic.