The ‘Climbing Higher’ Adaptive Climbing program is being held with the purpose of providing a unique outdoor opportunity for individuals with a variety of cognitive and physical disabilities to showcase what Ability is all about. The goal of the “Climbing Higher” Adaptive Climbing Program is to provide participants with an opportunity to learn basic climbing skills, provide socialization with peers, and enable them to participate in rock climbing independently in their leisure time.
The Climbing Higher Program began in 2009 and has continued to 2010 for another 5-week program. The first half of the session is designed for individuals with cognitive and/or intellectual disabilities. The second half is planned for individuals with physical disabilities. The program will run every Monday from April 12th – May 10th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.
Rock/Creek helped sponsor and support this program, which allowed Theurapeutic Recreation Services to offer this program free to the participants. This generous donation made the program available for a diverse community of people who could unite and share their love for adventure. Rock/Creek has had a long-standing relationship with community involvement.
Dawson Wheeler, co-owner of Rock/Creek, heavily emphasized its importance.
”We had the means to be a support through money set aside from fundraisers. Each year we raise money with Rock/Creek promotions and pool the profits to give back to the community. Dawson states, “It was not a difficult decision when it came to supporting Climbing Higher. We heard about the need, and agreed on the importance of extending out to all forms of community needs.”
Chris Gibson, co-owner of Urban Rocks Gym reports, “the program has gone very well with a turnout of about 10-12 individuals each week. During the first week, you can tell a few participants are apprehensive with climbing, and it seems by the third week, they were ready to clip themselves in and go climbing!”
Elaine Adams, Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator, organized the assistance of UTC Physical Therapy student volunteers. The students’ qualifications aided in a safe and meaningful experience for every participant. Elaine testifies to the inspiring stories from parents and caregivers about personal achievements. “The greatest part about this program is the opportunity for our participants to do something like this. Of course, the concept of climbing is about getting to the top and it is a success, but why else do you climb? It is about physical fitness, hanging out with your friends, and that part about it is huge. To have that ability to come and have fun is therapeutic in itself.”