I crossed paths with a work colleague this week at a summer collegiate baseball game, a league that is funded in part, by Major League Baseball. This is the inaugural year for our local team and it draws a good crowd.
A couple of days later, I received a call from this associate. He had something on his mind and wanted to talk about it.
At the game, he had been speaking to a spectator, a young man who had a disability. He was impressed by the sincerity and truthfulness of the conversation, and it strengthened his opinion on the importance of inclusion and providing opportunities for all people to participate.
My colleague was inspired by the young man with whom he spoke, that he wanted to call me to express a renewed personal and professional commitment to improving the lives of people who have a disability.
“Wow!” How powerful.
Last week I wrote, 7 Reasons Inclusive Recreation is Important for All of Us, inclusive recreation fosters connections, provides a venue for
developing relationships, increases a greater understanding of diversity and inspires others to take action for change. This story makes it real.
If you have a child with a disability or you know someone who does, you understand some of the challenges associated with participating in recreational activities that are accessible and open to people of all abilities. Physical and attitudinal barriers can certainly make it difficult to participate.
Yet we know that getting out and having fun can help to change attitudes, create accommodations and improve overall health and well-being.
Here are 15 Ideas for Inclusive Summer Fun (that may change some attitudes too!)
There are lots of activities that can be done in your own backyard such as swimming, volleyball, lawn bowling and so on Enjoy with friends, family or neighbours
Many communities have walking trails along the waterfront or in natural settingTake a walk downtown and window shop, eat ice cream or drink coffee at an outdoor caféLook for Fundraisers that offer “walk or wheel” participation
Recumbent bikes, O-pair bikes, wheelchair bikes and other accessible bike designs have made it easier for the entire family to enjoy a summer evening bike ride
Go to the Beach
Going to the beach is getting more accessible. Communities are laying down accessibility mats or constructing boardwalks right to the water so that everyone can enjoy the beach.
Visit the Park
Most cities and towns have at least one park that offers accessible playground equipment, including swings and a smooth surface for wheeling.
Sporting events and concerts offer seating that is wheelchair accessible
Rib fests, cultural festivals, and any other reason to celebrate are a good place to people watch, eat, and enjoy entertainment.
In addition to therapeutic riding, some stables and riding centers have an accessible seat that supports people who require additional support.
Local Boat Cruise
If you are fortunate to live near water, enjoy an afternoon or evening on a cruise down the lake or river
The Disney parks are probably the most accessible however there other amusement parks that offer a handful of rides that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Museums and Galleries
A great way to learn about history, science, art, and many other points of interest.
Whether it be for lessons or for leisure, swimming can be therapeutic, a great way to exercise and a fun way to cool off.
If you have budgeted for an awesome vacation, a cruise is an accessible and quality way to travel.
From a one-hour car ride to a week long road trip, driving to see various destinations is a fun way to spend time.
Yes, believe it or not, there is accessible or assisted surfing. You may have to go to California or another coastal city to do this activity, however I am sure it would be worth the trip.
If you have any additional ideas, please share. I wish you a safe, healthy and fun summer!