John Morris in Rio.

Warrington alumnus named New Mobility’s Person of the Year

John Morris takes a picture of a river. John Morris (MBA ’22) is a self-proclaimed travel addict.

When a car accident in 2012 left him a triple amputee, Morris didn’t let his wheelchair keep him grounded. Two years after the accident – over a year of that time being spent in the hospital and in rehab – he was sitting atop the Great Wall of China.

Morris’s passion for travelling began as a child. Throughout his childhood, his family made many trips across the United States, instilling in Morris a love for exploring new places. After his accident, he knew he couldn’t give it up and started looking for ways to make travel possible with his wheelchair. Hoping to help other disabled travelers, he created a blog,, to share his findings.

“My desire was to create a resource for what I expected to be a small audience of disabled people, but the community quickly grew beyond my expectations,” he shared. “I learned that, just like me, the millions of wheelchair users and people with disabilities in the United States – and the more than one billion of us around the world – have the same dreams as our nondisabled peers: to travel and experience the world through memorable vacations.”

In 2019, travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic forced Morris to reassess his goals. Encouraged by the impact of his blog, he decided to go back to school to strengthen his entrepreneurial and business skills. Though his previous education in political science and history had been completed at Florida State University, he opted to pick up his studies at the school’s rival.

John Morris “Despite my allegiance to the garnet and gold, the Warrington College of Business seemed like a natural fit,” he confessed. “It is widely regarded as the premier business school in the state of Florida, and the university’s top tier MBA program appealed to me as I sought to continue my educational journey.”

While at the University of Florida, he was most profoundly impacted by three courses in the MBA program: Leadership Skills with Martin L. Schaffel Professor Klodiana Lanaj, Customer Relationship Management with Egbert R. Beall/Beall’s Department Stores, Inc. Faculty Fellow Alan Cooke and Quantitative Analysis with Instructional Associate Professor Adam Munson.

“Previously lacking a formal business education, much of what I learned came through trial and error,” he recalled. “The knowledge gained during my MBA studies at the University of Florida has led me to approach decision-making more strategically, utilizing data and consumer insights to determine where I might gain the greatest return on the investment of time and resources.”

Since graduating with his degree, Morris has been able to take his business even further. In addition to keeping up the blog, he works with a wide range of clients to advance accessibility, including automakers and travel organizations. He also conducted market research and a major study on accessible travel consumers, and has covered breaking news stories within the world of accessible travel.

In recognition of all the work he’s done to make travel more accessible and advocate for disabled travelers, New Mobility, of the United Spinal Association, has named Morris the 2023 Person of the Year.

“New Mobility Magazine is one of the premier publications in the disability community, and their recognition of my contributions to the accessible travel space with this honor is truly humbling,” he said. “To say that I was surprised by my selection would be an understatement – one cannot apply to be recognized, and I did not seek it out.”

John Morris shakes hands with Pope Francis. Morris’s plans for the future include continuing the fight for accessible travel and traveling every chance he gets. This year, he will launch Wheelchair Travel Tours, an accessible travel agency dedicated to getting travelers with disabilities to their dream destinations. While he still enjoys exploring new places, he derives the most pleasure from accumulating travel guides that make traveling abroad possible for disabled adventurers.

“The opportunity to participate in the realization of those dreams for members of my community inspires me every day and reminds me of the responsibility to go about this work in the right way, to be a tireless advocate for increased accessibility not only within the travel industry, but in every other area of society where barriers to inclusion remain.”