Can you smell it in the air? Close your eyes and feel the nature around you. There is crispness with the aromas of apple cider, outdoor fires, and roasting marshmallows. Add to that the excitement of activities such as hiking, football, hunting, and camping, this a favorite time of year! However, for a person living with a spinal cord injury or a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis or Spina Bifida, there can be challenges on how to get out and enjoy these happenings.
Here are some tips from our team on how they get out and enjoy summer & fall.
- Enjoy the national parks! Many are wheelchair accessible. Did you know that you can get a lifetime free access pass to many of the parks if you are disabled? (Visit National Park Access Pass)
- Take advantage of community events such as hay rides, pumpkin patch visits and fall festivities. The weather is perfect for being outside without the fear of extreme temperatures.
- Love hunting? Get your hunting license to be ready. Check with your state, but many will allow you to request your doe license online if you are disabled. Look for organizations that have disabled hunting groups. Some examples are ROAR, Buckmasters and Disabled Sports.
- Looking for wheelchair friendly Halloween costumes? Check out Pinterest for ideas to utilize your or your child’s wheelchair for an amazing night of trick or treating.
- Eat lots of chili. It’s a good source of fiber, easy to make, and is great for a fall day. Let’s not forget football! Football games are great to attend in person (and most all stadiums should provide some level of accessibility). It also provides the perfect excuse to throw a house party and have fun with friends.
- While you are out and about enjoying the outdoors, be sure to watch out for uneven surfaces. Be on the lookout for pot holes, sandy areas and other rough terrain that can tip your chair. If you have a set of thicker off road tires, or even an off road wheelchair now is the perfect time to break them out.
- Find out if there is a place in your area (like a local bike shop) where you can enjoy the nice weather by renting a hand cycle. It’s great exercise and fun to enjoy a different mode of transportation for a change.
- Check out some support groups and connect with mentors or other looking to help you in your endeavors. SOAR can help you get outdoor equipment.
Have fun and God Bless,
Your friends at Swift Outdoor Accessible Recreation (SOAR)