Rochester Accessible Adventures recently received a $10,000 personal donation from Doug Westerdahl, of Rochester, to promote inclusion in active recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
RAA is rolling out a model of community health inclusion initiatives to ensure individuals with disabilities have accessible and inclusive active recreation opportunities. Utilizing inclusion specialists, RAA works with recreation businesses to train them in best practices for including individuals with disabilities.
RAA is collaborating with recreation businesses in Greater Rochester, including Erie Canal Boat C. in Fairport, which now operates inclusively and offers standard and adaptive kayaking and cycling equipment for rental; Pickled Power, which teaches inclusive pickleball; Victor Recreation Center; and City of Rochester R-Centers.
“What RAA is doing is fantastic for the community,” said Westerdahl, owner of Monroe Wheelchair. “RAA’s community health inclusion initiatives have convinced me that recreation businesses can have the knowledge and confidence to provide their services to many more people in the community. By including people with disabilities and medical conditions in recreation and sports, we are creating access to healthier, more active lifestyles. Many people know that I am committed to keeping people moving through my business, Monroe Wheelchair, but I feel what RAA is doing is so vital to our community, and I want to show my personal commitment to making this happen.”
“This is a fantastic gift,” said Anita O’Brien, executive director of RAA. “We are continually grateful to Doug Westerdahl and his support of efforts which ensure people with disabilities are able to access quality lifestyle opportunities.”
This donation kicks off the “RAA-ising the Bar for Inclusion” fundraising campaign, which will support the placement of inclusion specialists in the Greater Rochester region so that recreation businesses can receive training that enables them to include people with disabilities and medical conditions. RAA’s inclusion specialists help business owners address issues such as training staff in disability awareness, accessing adaptive equipment and learning how to use it and promoting their newly inclusive operations to the community.
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