People with disabilities often report isolation as one of the greatest challenges they face. Waypoint provides access to adventure education opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. This project will launch a canoeing program to include people with disabilities for whom kayaking is not an option.
One in five people in the world live with some type of disability. Obesity and high school drop-out rates are twice as high for people with disabilities when compared to those in the general population. Waypoint's programs are particularly important for people with disabilities, who are often over-protected and sheltered, rather than encouraged to lead and push themselves beyond their comfort zone.
Research shows that the type of programs Waypoint provides significantly increase self-esteem, confidence, independence, and physical health. Participants in Waypoint's programming include those living with visual impairments, autism, developmental delays, paralysis, serious physical conditions, brain injuries, hearing impairments, Down Syndrome, and mental illness. Waypoint combats self-limiting attitudes by empowering people with disabilities.
The long-term impact is that youth and adults with disabilities who currently think they can't, prove they can. More than 1200 people with disabilities will participate in adventures with Waypoint this year.