We hear how great the outdoors is for the family, but what do you do if you are handicapped or you have a child with a handicap? Do you feel like your family has to make a sacrifice and not participate in outdoor adventures? After spending years working with children with physical, mental and emotional challenges and knowing how beneficial nature and exercise is for everyone, I started looking into ways to allow people with disabilities to participate in kayaking with their families. Here are a few options that I discovered by inventor Mark Theobold:
- Sip & Puff– The first kayak I came across is the dual-motored Sip & Puff kayak mount by Mark Theobald at Disabled Adventurers. It was created with a quadriplegic in mind. The design is a stand-alone fixture with a deck plate that can be fastened to any kayak. There is no need for a rudder or any mechanism to steer the trolling motors, “the Motor Control Program is entirely controlled by a single SIP & PUFF switch!”
- Malibu 2 tandem kayak by Ocean Kayak- This is a sit-on-top kayak for people with visual impairments and/or people who have little paddling power. One family member can steer for the one with a disability. If you use Mark’s adaptive mount for the paddle, the kayaker will have more stability and feel safer on the water.
- Foot paddle– Mark Theobald uses a sit-on-top kayak with a stable stand for the paddle in which the person can paddle with his or her feet.
- Seat Adaptation– Mark Theobald also designed seat adaptations. Get the instructions for creating your own seat adaptation and get more information on Mark’s other designs at www.disabledadventurers.com
Hopefully, these options will help inspire you to help yourself or others with disabilities experience freedom in the outdoors. The adaptive equipment would work well for anyone whether handicap or not- maybe just for someone elderly who loves being in the outdoors. Prepare to Go Explore!