Access Unbound was founded in 2016 with funding from a generous supporter, who shared the founder's vision that financial need should not prevent people with disabilities from accessing high-quality, professional adaptive snowsports instruction.
People with disabilities often have a higher cost of living and cannot afford the very recreation that can lead to lasting impacts on their physical, cognitive, behavioral, and overall mental health. Access Unbound provides scholarship support to those individuals who need financial help, facilitating the mountain experience through world-class adaptive lessons. Scholarships have been our primary focus and where we spend the bulk of our annual budget. In our short history, we have experienced tremendous growth in our scholarship program. in our first full season (2016-17), we gave 22 children and adults scholarships for 69 lessons; during the most recent season (2019-20), we awarded scholarships to 70 individuals with disabilities for nearly 288 lessons. (Like so many, Access Unbound was impacted by COVID-19 and the numbers for the 2019-20 season reflect the impacts of this.)
In order to maintain the depth of specialized knowledge required for adaptive instruction, instructors must attend clinics and pass certification exams that tend to be cost-prohibitive. In our second program, Access Unbound provides financial awards to instructors for attending focused trainings and obtaining advanced certifications, ensuring that people with disabilities have access to the highest quality of teaching.
Serving students of all ages with a diverse range of disabilities requires a wide variety of assistive devices and equipment. Through our final program, Access Unbound provides this highly specialized equipment, allowing instructors to effectively tailor support to the specific needs of their students.