Inclusion is key for individuals with disabilities, and just like the real world, the Metaverse is still not meeting the ambitions of a world free of physical limitations and societal stereotypes. That’s why Paralympic athlete and advocate Blake Leeper, along with Degree® Deodorant, are continuing their mission to break down barriers and create a world where everyone has the confidence to move more.
The Metaverse, positioned as a new virtual world free of physical limitations and societal stereotypes, is not yet meeting these ambitions. In fact, 60% of people feel that virtual worlds lack inclusivity, and many are calling for more accessibility. However, the Metaverse is still in its early stages of development, which is why Degree® Deodorant will partner with virtual world, Decentraland, to help shape the standard of inclusivity and representation in the virtual world.
Degree’s first step in the Metaverse is its introduction of a more inclusive avatar library, created in partnership with Decentraland. Available for the first time at The Degree® Metathon™, these newly developed wearables—such as prostheses, running blades, and a wheelchair—offer greater representation for people with disabilities and enable participants to create avatars representative of their unique identities.
About Blake Leeper:
Blake Leeper was born in Kingsport, Tennessee with both legs missing below the knee. He has worn prosthetics since nine months of age but that never stopped him from participating in the same activities as his peers, like baseball and basketball, often with his proud dad as his coach. Blake credits his positive attitude to his family.
Blake made his international track debut in 2009, and in 2011 he won a silver medal at the World Championships. In the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, he won a silver and bronze medal, and made history that same year as the first double-leg amputee to compete at the USA Track & Field National Championships, competing against the best able-bodied runners in the country.
To say Blake is driven is an understatement, having set and broken his own records, including becoming the first amputee in history to ever run 400 meters in under 45 seconds.
Blake is currently training for the Paralympic World Championships next year and the next Paralympic Games in 2024 in Paris.