At Access Unbound, we believe that everyone, regardless of their abilities, should have the opportunity to experience the joy and freedom of skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and riding are not just sports; they are a celebration of life, a source of empowerment, and a chance to connect with the natural world. It's also an invaluable opportunity for growth, and confidence. We want to ensure that individuals with disabilities can share in these incredible moments.
Your support can help us reach even more individuals with disabilities who live in and visit Eagle County. Here are some of the ways your contribution can make a difference:
- Accessible Ski and Snowboard Lessons: Your support means more people can enjoy lessons with a professional adaptive certified ski or snowboard instructor right here in the Vail Valley.
- Education and Training: Support our efforts to strengthen the adaptive ski and snowboard instructor community. We sponsor instructors to get their adaptive certifications.
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 snowsport 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. Today we have facilitated more than 950 days of adaptive recreation.
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.