Ralf Hotchkiss

Ralf Hotchkiss is a paraplegic, 504 protester, McArthur Fellow and founder of Whirlwind Wheelchairs, where people with disabilities build cutting-edge wheelchairs. 

Nominator: “Ralf is an early leader in speaking out about and demonstrating the benefits of user-centered design for accessibility technologies. His approach to designing and building wheelchairs leveraging local knowledge and materials changed uncountable lives in the Bay Area and around the world. Most importantly, his approach demonstrated a basic set of principles for designing disability-related technologies from a truly user-oriented perspective whose ramifications are still being explored and realized broadly in the fields of accessibility and design.“ 

An energetic colored pencil drawing of a white man with dark hair and glasses in a wheelchair with handles that could be wings.
Ralf Hotchkiss by Kathy Wilson, color pencil and biro, 8 x 10 inches, 2019

IMAGE: An energetic colored pencil drawing of a white man with dark hair and glasses in a wheelchair with handles that could be wings. 

Kathy Wilson from Artful Steps has been making art since her days in High School, with a portfolio teeming with portraits of beautiful ladies in gowns. Her passion for animals is shown in her popular and beautiful mosaic pieces.