Monday, December 03, 2007
In addition to the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), most instructors will come from Colorado locations: Adaptive Adventures (Evergreen, CO) Challenge Aspen, National Sports Center for the Disabled (Winter Park, CO), Steamboat Adaptive and Vail Adaptive. But instructors will come from as far east as the New England Resorts and as far north as Challenge Alaska!
This event is a very fun and interactive week of skiing, socializing and snacking- the parking lot is always full of activity and chapters of DSUSA and the Wounded Warrior Project making chili and other tasty and warming things for the participants to eat.
We're exciting to attend a couple days of this event again this year, thanks to Action Magazine (United Spinal). Look for our article on the event in one of the upcoming issues (TBA) for photos and stories from this year's participants.
For more information on DSUSA and the Ski Spectacular, visit http://www.dsusa.org/programs-winter-hartford.html.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Super excited to take first chair, despite mechanical difficulties with his binding, Craig made a full, complication-free run down Vagabond to the remodeled base, and immediately called the Revolution factory to replace his ten-year old binding system. Nothing a little duck-tape can't help for the moment, though. The chilly cloud covered day promises snow, so keep your fingers crossed and your dials tuned for more ski season updates!
For full picture sequence, go to our Kodak Gallery.
PRAY FOR SNOW!!
Also see Andy's Straight Talk starting Saturday December 8th and continuing on Thursdays! Click on Snow Report on the newly designed http://www.steamboat.com/ for those.
if the video doesn't load, visit our you tube site for another copy of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlEHuxMXp30
Thursday, November 29, 2007
In addition to tomorrow's ski area opening, Steamboat is proudly launching the brand new Christie Peak Express, a six pack lift that now departs from the front of the base, bends and picks up additional skiers at it's mid point, and stops at the top of Christie Peak. The lift replaces an old three-person lift that picked up skiers just above Slopeside grill, on the northwest side of the base.
So why is Craig riding first on this opening chair, before attending olympians even?
The old chair was used as an auction for a fundraiser for STARS, Steamboat Training Adaptive Recreational Sports, a new non-profit that will soon take over Steamboat Adaptive, still in it's fledgling stages of an advisory board (which Craig is on), planning, and fundraising. Steamboat Adaptive is the town's only recreation curriculum for visitors and locals with disabilities and STARS' goal is to expand the options well beyond skiing and snowboarding for this group of adventurers. Steamboat Adaptive is also ski-area funded, and by changing the monetary flow to a non-profit, the 30-year old program can grow well beyond what it is currently capable of. The ski area and STARS will continue to partner once the transition occurs (no set date as of yet), and work together to bring Steamboat's many recreational assets to people with disabilities.
Look for more photos tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Discussing improvements on accessibility with the airline representatives from Continental, Delta, and American.
Watching championship matches of wheelchair soccer!
Seeing the newest advancement in wheelchairs made from airplane metals, the Flight Ultralight Wheelchair: http://www.airwheelchair.com/
Meeting Glaswegian Graeme and Ann from Triaid Inc, a company that makes a variety of tricycles for children, combining therapy and fun with one of the most reliable products on the market: http://www.triaid.com/
Look for two WCD Expos next year in 2008; Philadelphia in June and Jacksonville in November! Access Anything plans on attending both of these events, and is currently in the process of helping WCD organize adventure travel and recreation additions to this expo!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
In conjunction with the Winter edition of Palaestra, I promised to post the current beach access points for people with disabilities:
MB has 150 Beach Access points, 31 of which are accessible, and more will be added each year.
29th S Emg. Beach Access
23rd S Emg. Beach Access
16th S Emg. Beach Access
12th S Emg. Beach Access
9th S (Walkway only)
14th N (South end)
69th N Emg. Beach Access
76th N Hdcp Acces.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I've been in contact with the Myrtle Beach chamber, Island Vista Resort, and several golf coures who have been proud to announce the area's new access highlights, including brand new ramps, beach wheelchairs, and ADA lodging.
Stay tuned for multiple articles on various subjects of Myrtle Beach, including Action Magazine, Palaestra, Active Living, Exceptional Parent, and hopefully the AARP!
If you have any highlights on this area, please let me know!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
So here's Damien's story.... (injured on a kayaking trip deep in the backcountry) It's long, but then, most of these stories are...
"I had to fly 2 days after my accident so I called ahead to get a wheelchair to my gate on all my stops. I'm on a free ticket so I stop about 14 times, which I don't understand instead of taking up room on one flight I'm taking up room on almost every flight United has that day, plus I'm traveling 10,000 miles to get to a destination that's only 1500 away. When I got to the airport in Raleigh they told me it was going to be a 30 minute wait for the wheel chair. I might have missed my flight if I waited so I crutched it down to the gate. Of course the gate I was going to was the farthest possible from the ticket counter. I must have been run into 5 times by gapers looking at the gate numbers and not where they were going or people just in a hurry to make their flights and didn't care who they knocked out of the way. I was also sore from paddling out the day before so I had to stop about every 10 yards or so and rest my arms.
I get to my gate and ask if I can pre-board with First Class. The First Class passengers look pissed that I get in line with them. It's a class issue, like I was scamming them with my fake crutches to try to be better than I really am. (On United they have First Class walk over a Red Carpet and then they rope it off and make everyone else walk around it. Is this the 19th century?? I almost expected not to have a window or life preserver when I got to my seat!!) When I get on board I ask them to make sure they call a wheelchair to the gate.
"No problem," the flight attendant says.
When I get to Dulles, no wheelchair. I try to ask someone but there is a line and the gate agent, not too politely, asks me to go to the end of the line as she thinks I'm trying to get on the outbound of the flight I was just on and am cut because of my crutches. I can't wait and hobble again to the next gate. With no hands to carry anything, I tied a plastic bag with all my personal belonging, tickets, wallet, cell phone, magazine and water bottle, to the handle of one of my crutches. As I'm about to get on the terminal shuttle, the bag breaks and my stuff goes everywhere. The look on everyone's face was priceless. "Do I help or not?" No one helps but I got a lot of looks of pity and end up missing the shuttle because I'm picking up all my stuff. I get to the gate and there's no open seat; no one offers to get up. I find a seat on the floor and wait for my next leg to Chicago.
I get to Chicago, again no wheelchair again but this time I feel like I'm in luck because I'm only about 4 gates from my next departure to Denver. In between was a bar and I was ready for a drink, but again, no seats. I wait for a seat near the entrance in a pretty obvious place. Apparently cell phones make people oblivious because as soon as a seat opens up a suit on his cell brushes past me and takes the seat. I was about to say something but another seat opened up right after and I took that one and let it go. Again I board and again I get dirty looks when I board with the First Class passengers. This time I didn't get permission to board with them and she points out that I'm not in the right class to be boarding first but lets me on.
I get to Denver and, hooray, there's a wheelchair waiting for me. I'm almost in tears I'm so happy. I have to go all the way down to the end terminal to pick up the little prop plane to Steamboat but I had to stop at the bathroom on the way. The guy stops at the bathroom and when I come out he's gone!! The *&%$er ditched me!! I can't get on the moving walkway in crutches, so I have to hobble my way down again. I get down to the gate and they tell me I won't be able to make it down the stairs to the tarmac so they call another wheelchair for me. Guess who shows back up??? The Ditcher!!! He wheels me around when he gets to the bottom he stands there and waits for a tip. I was so pissed so I gave him a fake novelty $3 bill my Dad gave me with a picture of Bill Clinton on it. This guy was from India so didn't know the difference and pocketed it.
I sit down at the gate for a while until we get word that they don't have a pilot to fly the plane. He's in Phoenix and and will be here in 2 hours. All of the passengers go back up to the concourse but the lady tells me I have to stay because they can't get a wheelchair to bring me back up. I guess that Indian guy was at the bar spending his $3 bill. Everyone leaves and I had to sit down there by myself for 2 hours with no water or access to the bathroom.
We had some testy weather and they told us we might have to go back to Denver but luckily we landed and I was asleep in my bed about an hour later. It hindsight everything else seems pretty easy to get around crutches on."
Monday, May 07, 2007
However, we figured we might as well just share it, so if you come across this issue, you know what to do.
The request: Our service dog is big, and we like the bulkhead for her and for extra room for us.
The problem: The gate agent thinks "No animals in the bulkhead row."
The truth: "No PETS in the bulkhead row."
His justification: All animals must be considered as luggage, and stored out of the way of passing customers for safety. Therefore they must be stowed under the seat in front of them.
Our justification: Mohawkie is not a pet, and we've done this for five years without question.
How do we protect ourselves usually?
1. We bring a copy of the FAA rules with us to back our rights up.
2. We bring a copy of the Service Animal rules from the ADA with us to back our rights up.
3. When in doubt, we ask for the airport disability representative or a TSA representative to protect our rights.
How did we resolve this issue? Upon proving to both the gate agent AND the green flight attendant that although the FAA states "Pet," this does not apply to a service animal because a)many of them are too big to go under the seat in front, and b)the bulkhead is the official disability seating.
We did have to get a TSA agent over to settle our dispute professionally, but we spent the first 10 minutes nicely stating our point so that the issue didn't get inflated with defensiveness and anger so it could be resolved more quickly. When our case wasn't accepted, we had someone else back it up.
Usually Continental employees are more informed than this, so we were surprised, but not disappointed. We managed to educate 5 staff members, and got into our seat on time as usual.
The bottom line: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.
Monday, April 16, 2007
April 26-28, Abilities Expo, Edison NJ
May 4-6, Book signing and celebratory party, Washington DC
May 24, Off the Beaten Path Book Store, Steamboat Springs, CO
June 15-17, Abilities Expo, Anaheim CA
June 18-28, CA Rehab Hospital Tour
June 28, Craig Speaks to the MATPRA 2007 Media Marketplace, VA
June 29-July 2, No Barriers Festival, Tahoe CA
July 13, Craig Hospital 100th Anniversary Event, Book signing, Denver CO
July 21, ICDT Book party, Steamboat Springs CO
August 8-10, Behind the 'Boat Waterski Camp, Steamboat Springs, CO
August 25, ALS Expo, Denver, CO
September 5-10, Abilities Expo, MN
November 15-17, World Congress on Disabilities Expo, Philadelphia PA
December 5, TASH Conference, Seattle WA
Email us to visit your area or rehab center!
Access Anything: I Can Do That! is the second in a series of guidebooks that encourage people with disabilities to travel and adventure to their hearts' content. First in this series was Access Anything: Colorado (Fulcrum Press, 2005), the hub for all information on traveling to Colorado with a disability.
I Can Do That! is more of a reference guide, geared for both travelers and industry professionals, with 45 sports' histories and rules of adaptation, complete disability-travel information on 6 modes of travel, and 6 motivational interviews with famous adaptive athletes and advocates. Travelers with Disabilities will call this their adventure bible, travel industry professionals will call it their office's best resource for booking trips for TWD.
Get your copy now!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Thanks Tom for this opportunity to be highlighted by your talented team!
Monday, March 26, 2007
A wonderful treaty all-around, this Convention has the opportunity to bring rights to disabled individuals in countries that do not currently have them. So what's wrong with Americans? The George W Bush Administration refuses to sign this international treaty, stating that the existing U.S. ADA Law is sufficient enough.
True, the ADA is one of the world's most advanced law on the subject, surpassed now only by the UK's version, the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), only because of its enforcing agency that the US has yet to emulate.
But we're fighting for an unheard of INTERNATIONAL acceptance of Disability Rights here, people, and without the US's signature, Bush is, in a way, stating that he doesn't support the rights of people with disabilities in other countries. If he DID sign it, it would mean leverage for the millions of dollars in aid that the US provides to other countries; i.e. if you don't sign, we don't give you money. I understand that the US is not the world's policing agency (or so we keep trying to deny and prove at the same time).
So in contrast, in NOT signing it Bush is also denying Americans rights to the additional Articles that the ADA does not mention, such as the "right to equal access in bank loans, financial affairs, and credit." (Article 14 of the Convention) The Administration is also sending the message that the treaty is not WORTH signing, and in which case, perhaps encouraging other countries to do the same. I'm hoping that his message is ignored by the other major countries who have international influence and, by now, more appeal to nations that are turning on the Bush Administration and their backwards thinking. (Princess Diana must be rolling in her grave.)
In my opinion, this is just one more strike against the Bush Administration, who have spent the last six years screwing this beautiful country up, including bringing in more Americans with Disabilities due to the Iraqi war than we've seen since Vietnam. But that is just my opinion.
But we have a choice. Write your congressman and beg him to override Bush's decision in signing this treaty. This IS still a Democracy, the last I looked. Maybe our next President will sign it.