NKY brothers help make travel easier for families of those with disabilities

Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 6:12 AM EDT
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BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - Two Northern Kentucky brothers are helping make traveling easier for families who have a loved one with a disability.

As we know, rest areas are almost essential on road trips, but for families who have a disabled child, a lot of times changing them in the bathroom is not an option.

Which is why Josh and Jacob Line came up with the concept Angel Mats, a designated area with a wheelchair height mat table and privacy curtain that would be used by families to change and provide care for their loved one.

“It’s going to be big enough to hold up to 200 something pounds,” says Josh. “It provides privacy for kids that are dependent and can’t use the bathroom per se and it’s basically to help them travel as a whole.”

Josh and Jacob are now advocating for Kentucky to be the first state to provide Angel Mats within various rest areas, with the hope other states will follow suit.

“I was amazed that two young gentleman were very curious about how disabled families travel,” says family friend Idella Turner.

Idella Turner is one of several people Josh and Jacob have spoken with about the struggles families face when traveling.

Her daughter Shelby was born with a rare disorder that affects the development of the brain.

“Shelby was born with Pontocerebellar Hypoplasia Type 1 B. It’s where your cerebellum in your brain deteriorates overtime, so it’s progressive and they have short brain stems. 1B she should have not lived past birth. She should have never been able to breathe on her own. We had her for a beautiful 8 years. She died one week before her 8th birthday,” says Turner.

Idella says having these designated areas would make a big difference for families traveling with a disabled child.

“I’ll use a rest stop as an example. There is nowhere to change, so we are picking places, picnic tables. Sometimes you have to lay down a mat and put your child on the floor to be changed with no privacy and it doesn’t matter what the weather is, I have to change my kid,” says Turner.

Josh and Jacob hope to eliminate that struggle by getting the attention of state officials.

Their goal is for the Angels Mats logo to be placed on Waze or Google Maps, so families know where they can stop to change their loved ones.

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