Group promotes accessibility to fitness activities for people with disabilities
Staying fit and enjoying nature can be challenging to people with disabilities, especially children, when a wheelchair gets stuck on a gravel path or a child can‘t easily ride a bus to a park. A diverse group of Central New Yorkers, the Fitness Inclusion Network, is working to remedy that, says Nienke Dosa, MD, MPH, an Upstate pediatrician specializing in childhood disabilities. Dosa (at right in photo) notes the benefits of outdoor activity and how the group works to promote accessibility and innovation regarding fitness activities, including a planned paved loop near Syracuse's Kirk Park. One program, Walks and Talks, involves pairing landscape architecture students from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with people with disabilities to see how accessibility could be improved. ESF student Sam Guillaume (at left) describes what she learned from her time with a sports-minded youngster who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Click on the following links for more information: Walks and Talks, Inclusive Recreation Resource Center, Monday Mile and accessible geocaching and other activities.