Power To Be staff facilitate and learn at No Barriers Summit in Utah

“Walking into a completely accessible forum was awe inspiring,” she says. “There were more than 1,000 people, and yet it didn’t matter that you didn’t know anybody. That was a really cool feeling that we create in our small groups at Power To Be.”

Hosted by the National Ability Center in Park City, Utah, the No Barriers Summit is a multi-day celebration of what is possible through adaptive recreation. Carinna and Simon Parr, Adaptive Recreation curriculum coordinator in Vancouver helped facilitate a kayak, canoe and paddleboard session alongside staff from U.S.-based Adaptive Adventures and the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

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The summit included sports clinics for swimming, SCUBA, adaptive TRX, kayaking, sailing, archery, wheelchair tennis, hiking, mountain biking and climbing among other activities.  Other sessions delved into topics such as working with youth and echolocation. It brought together people with various abilities to try out new activities with staff from organizations throughout North America who provide the support to do so.

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“You are not just there to teach the teachers,” Carinna says. “You are there to collaborate with the other agencies to create an opportunity for people with diverse abilities from all over the world. You have to be able to adapt to the moment.”

That was a really relevant experience because even with participants and groups you have worked with before, every day is unique and adaptions need to be flexible, she says.

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“It’s really inspiring and it’s also affirming. We came away with a sense that Power To Be is doing really good work,” Simon adds. “In B.C. it feels like there are not a lot of organizations doing this kind of work. It was so good to see what other organizations are doing, and learn from the ones that have been around for longer than Power To Be.”

The opportunities are endless and “you just need to research and find out what is out there,” Simon says. That’s a sentiment echoed in the conference slogan “what’s within you is stronger than what is in your way.”

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Power To Be wants to extend a thank you to everyone who participated in and contributed to the No Barriers Summit, and especially to the staff of the National Abilities Center, Adaptive Adventures, and the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

– Photos courtesy of No Barriers Summit