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A DREAM OF A BARRIER FREE WORLD – GUEST BLOG JORDAN KERTON

A big thank you to Jordan for writing this guest blog.  My favourite line from the whole blog is, “Now imagine an entire world being barrier free, no matter how difficult that may be!”

My name is Jordan Kerton, I am an Access Champion and the Founder of Access Revolution. As a Canadian Recreation Therapist who specializes in outdoor adventure, I am very honored to have the opportunity to write a Guest Post for the Have Wheelchair Will Travel Blog. I have been following your stories for sometime now and I am always impressed with the inspiring, informative and useful content.
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I first began my career as a personal care attendant at the age of 21 and quickly realized my passion for adaptive outdoor recreation.  Outside in nature has always been my favorite place to be, my sacred place.  I feel happiest, healthiest and most alive when I am in the wilderness or out on the water; experiencing peace and tranquility, fun and fitness, or an adrenaline rush when need be!  I believe that everyone should have the right to experience the great outdoors, regardless of the limitations they may face. I have made it my mission in life to create and promote these important opportunities, so that everyone can get outside and play with their friends, family and community.

Traveling the globe with clients who live with disabilities over the years to places like Africa, Fiji, Maui and Mexico has been a blessing.  We often bring adaptive equipment to make their adventure as accessible and exciting as possible.  These meaningful experiences have opened my eyes to the many barriers people face on daily basis in their own communities and beyond.  It can take a great deal of research, creativity and a good sense of humor to travel confidently to new and unknown places.

The TrailRider

I first fell in love with the TrailRider in 2005 when I was hired to Coordinate the BCMOS adaptive hiking program in Vancouver BC.  This incredible off-road wheelchair enables people of all abilities access to remote and stunning places that would otherwise be impossible.

Some of my greatest career highlights have been made possible because of the TrailRider. I had the opportunity to Coordinate the Access Challenge, where we had teams climb the Tetrahedron on the Sunshine Coast of B.C. for an unforgettably intense 3 day journey, zip-line included.

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I also had the pleasure of joining the Standing Sprit Project where my teammate and friend, Brad Jacobsen, became the first person living with a spinal cord injury to hike the wild West Coast Trail and paddle the Juan De Fuca with an adaptive kayak. To learn more watch the SSP VIDEO

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In 2006 I led a team on Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa for the Climb for Community Living. Brock Metcalf, our amazing climber who lives with cerebral palsy, set a world record!  It was a life altering experience; imagine facilitating a personal care routine in a tent at 17,000+ feet altitude, with frozen hands.  Brock’s resilience and our team’s strength in the face of extreme conditions and elements will forever inspire me. Check out the KILIMANJARO VIDEO

Collagetrailrider2These adventures have had a profound impact on me in so many ways and I am very grateful to know that anything is possible when people come together to pursue a shared dream.

Access Revolution was Born

In early 2014 we launched our organization, Access Revolution, in Vancouver BC Canada. We were inspired by a deep knowing that it is essential to spread the love of the great outdoors to people of all abilities. Vancouver is one of the most accessible cities in the world. We have a plethora of adaptive programs available and wish to share these resources with the rest of the world.

Our Mission and Vision

Access Revolution improves quality of life for those who live with disabilities by promoting access to the outdoors, recreation and connection to nature.  This is a Social Impact Organization that strives to empower individuals and communities with the tools, equipment and resources necessary, to make their outdoor spaces accessible to all.  AR seeks access Champions from across the globe to join the movement.  Those who are passionate about creating opportunities for people of all abilities to get outside and live their best life.  The impressive list of holistic benefits of outdoor recreation programs has been thoroughly researched and no one would dispute the therapeutic result of spending time in nature. We all deserve the opportunity to enjoy peace and relaxation in the outdoors, to challenge ourselves, to feel an adrenalin rush and to experience the pure bliss of playing outside with our loved ones.  Imagine a society where all members are respected and celebrated regardless of their differences or limitations. Communities working together to ensure that everyone has access to not only stores & restaurants but to the wonder and beauty of the great outdoors. Now imagine an entire world being barrier free, no matter how difficult that may be!

Onit Ability Board

We are extremely excited to be sharing an amazing new piece of adaptive equipment with the rest of the world, called the Onit Ability Board.  It is an adaptive paddleboard with outriggers and a wheelchair attached. Paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sport in the world, shouldn’t everyone have the chance to enjoy it?  Well here is the answer!

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The Onit Ability Board is ideal for personal use or as part of an adaptive paddling program.  The Onit System provides independence, adventure and safety. Once on the water, the board gives you the freedom to maneuver and glide, accessing all that nature has to offer. Benefits of the system include improved balance, increased strength, cardiovascular exercise and stress reduction.  The Onit is safe, solid and works for “Every-Body” whether you are a paralympic athlete, a senior with little balance or a person living with limited upper body mobility.  For those needing extra assistance, a paddling instructor, volunteer or friend can stand behind the chair and lend a helping hand. No one is left behind! Watch a short news clip about the Onit Board here.

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 Join the Access Revolution

We believe that adaptive paddle boarding and hiking opportunities should be available in every community where there is a need.  We strive to reach out globally to individuals and Organizations who wish to join the Access Revolution.  Australia happens to be at the top of our wish list, how incredible would it be to bring adaptive paddle boarding to your outdoor wonderland?

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Are you interested in becoming an Access Champion and bringing these meaningful outdoor opportunities to your community? Learn how here!!!

For more information about Access Revolution check out the AR VIDEO and visit www.accessrevolution.com

Written by Jordan Kerton

jordan@accessrevolution.com

Thanks again to Jordan for such a fantastic blog and for being a person with such great vision.  We need more Jordans in this world.

You can read about Australian David Stratton who was fundamental in bringing the TrailRider to Australia here.

We were also lucky enough to trial the TrailRider in NSW and wrote about it here.

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1 thought on “A DREAM OF A BARRIER FREE WORLD – GUEST BLOG JORDAN KERTON”

  1. That’s so awesome 3 years ago my daughter she was 17 she passed out from dehydration on the back porch and hit her head and spill yeah I’m bringing damage I took her on a cruise last month and I borrowed a floating wheelchair from somebody who’s dying to get her Into it Needless to say the vacation was a dud so it’s really nice to see something like this

    Reply

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