Accessible Travel and Outdoor Programs in Tennessee

These accessible travel suggestions are part of the 2012 Get Out & Enjoy Life program that is a joint educational initiative between UroMed’s motivational program – Life After Spinal Cord Injury, and SPORTS ‘N SPOKES magazine, published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America.  For more details on the Get Out & Enjoy Life event, please see:  http://pvamag.com/sns/article/4772/get_out_enjoy_life_2012

“Traveling to Tennessee makes sense. We have natural beauty, southern hospitality, serene weather, and something for everyone. And, we are within a day’s drive of 65 percent of the United States population. What more could you want in a travel destination? Tennessee welcomes you to explore everything we have to offer.” (source: TNvacation.com)

 

Ashley Nicole Dream Playground

“The experiences of a little girl named Ashley Nicole Manes and her younger sister, Allison, are the inspiration to build a universally accessible playground in Knoxville. Ashley and Allison were involved in a fatal car accident with their mother in Powell in 1999. Ashley, who was four years old at the time, received the most severe injuries in the accident, even though she was properly restrained. Her neck was broken; and now, she is paralyzed from her neck down.

After a long stay in the hospital and rehabilitation centers, Ashley is back home with her parents and 3 year-old sister, Allison. The whole family is learning to live differently than they had ever imagined. Many things have changed for them. The most important things have not changed though. For instance, before the car accident, Ashley was a fun-loving, bright, playful, particularly bold, and precocious little girl, and she still very much is. Ashley’s body changed dramatically, but her essence has not changed. And since returning home from the hospital, the family has resumed their life. Ashley’s parents have taken her to church, to the Children’s Rehabilitation Center, to parties and cookouts with friends, to the zoo and to community playgrounds with her little sister. Remarkably, of all these places, the playgrounds are the least fun for Ashley, because she cannot participate.”

Website: http://www.cityofknoxville.org/parks/ashleynicole.asp
Email: allplay@dreamplayground.org

 

Able Youth

“I started this program as a vehicle to introduce children in wheelchairs to the world of competitive wheelchair sports. I soon realized that not all kids shared my same passion for sports. I knew the mission had to change: not every child in a wheelchair needs to shoot three pointers, or hit topspin forehands, or ski like an Olympian, but all kids in wheelchairs do need to learn.”

Website: http://www.ableyouth.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/ableyouth/

Accessible Parks

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and Tennessee State Parks have worked diligently to provide reasonable accommodations to its patrons with disabilities to provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in the outdoor programs and activities. Tennessee State Parks has been very sensitive in ensuring that all new construction and existing facilities provide reasonable accommodations for inclusiveness in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This effort is directed towards, employment, providing accessible inn rooms, dining areas, camp grounds, bath houses, visitors’ centers, overlooks, fishing piers, boat docks, golf courses, cabins, shelters, swimming pools, trails, exhibit areas and some natural areas.

Website: http://www.tennessee.gov/environment/parks/accessguide.shtml

 

Sports Abilities

Sports Abilities is the premier resource for people with disabilities to find recreational, advocacy, support, and sporting activities in the nation.   We have calendars for every state and 27 different activities ranging from Basketball and Rock Climbing to Fundraisers and Social Gatherings.  We believe that having one online location for people to visit to see all that is happening will help increase program participation, promote awareness, and help improve people’s lives.

Website: http://www.sportsabilities.com/index.php?id=88
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SportsAbilities

 

 

National Parks Golden Access Passport 

National and state parks are abound in Tennessee and many offer a broad range of accessible including campgrounds, fishing spots, trails and picnic areas.  For travelers with disabilities, the Golden Access Passport is free and gives users free entry to all national parks, plus 50% off fees for the uses of many park facilities and services.   To get a Golden Access pass, you must show proof of age, US citizenship or permanent residency and proof of disability.  You can request your Golden Access Pass by mail or by internet.

To order passes by mail:

National Park Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington DC 20240
202-208-4747

To order online, visit www.nps.gov 

Thank you to our sponsors:
This project was supported by a variety of sponsors that we’d like to thank, including:

 

 

About the Author: Lindsey Beacham, from Atlanta, serves as Marketing Coordinator for UroMed. She graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in Criminology and from Georgia State University with a B.B.A in Marketing. When she’s not busy with marketing or studying for additional degrees, she enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her family.

 

About UroMed Catheters
Headquartered in Suwanee, GA [a suburb of Atlanta], UroMed is one of the nation’s leading providers of single-use catheters, urological and disposable medical supplies, including intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, condom catheters, pediatric catheters and continence care products. UroMed is nationally accredited for Medicare reimbursement and most state Medicaid plans, and partners with private health insurance providers and health plans to provide patients with single-use catheters, catheter kits and incontinence products. UroMed also has seven staffed regional offices located in Boston, MA; Columbia, SC; Jacksonville, FL; Dallas, TX; Carlsbad, CA; Knoxville, TN; Richmond, VA; and Baton Rouge, LA; enabling next-day delivery after a customer’s initial medical supply order. For more information, please visit http://www.uromed.com or call 1-800-841-1233.

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