Jeff Runnels created and co-founded UpLift by Lexia.Solutions in 2017. After an inspiring conversation he had with his wife about one of her patients who used a wheelchair, he realized he didn’t know anyone who used a wheelchair and began to imagine how difficult everyday activities might be for those who use these devices. Upon this realization, he instantly began to create a revolutionary device that would change the way “accessibility” is defined and, at that moment, UpLift was born.
After weeks of continuous research and dead-ends, giving up seemed like the only option in sight. On the way to meet a friend, Jeff approached the words, “DON’T GIVE UP” spray-painted on the sidewalk. Amused by the irony, he began to take a photo when he looked up and saw a man in a wheelchair trying to move a trash can blocking his car door. After exchanging pleasantries, the man looked at him and stated, “Don’t give up!” Shocked by what was happening, Jeff asked him what he meant. The man proceeded to tell him how he faces these issues on a daily basis.
It was then that Jeff realized he had to continue pursuing his passion and invited Uplift co-founder and close friend, Hans Lorei, to join him in creating the business. They started out raising money and building prototypes when they realized they needed the help of DC based lawyer, Kelley Simoneaux and her business partner, Josh Basile, both wheelchair users themselves, to give them insight and guidance as to what it’s like being someone who uses a wheelchair. Together, this team of 4 came together to give a story, a face, and a life to Uplift by Lexia.Solutions.
Lexia.Solutions lifts lives by creating more opportunities for people in wheelchairs to access incredible experiences independently, safely, and comfortably.