Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Adaptive Recreation Discoveries Near and Far - Via Word of Mouth

The Boston Renegade Beep Baseball team. Rob Thayer
on the far right side standing tall.
At last week's ADA celebration in Gardner, I met Robert Thayer, a blind man who mentioned to me he plays Beep Baseball with the Boston Renegades.

"Beep Baseball!" I said, "What's that??"

"It's baseball for blind people," he smiled as he explained. "We play with an electronic ball that makes a tone we can hear. There are two bases instead of three, and the pitcher and catcher are sighted, but everyone else is blind."

I finally got to look it up today. Check out this YouTube video that shows the game in play. So cool!

Wheelchair swing in use at Morgan's Wonderland.
This week, while flying kites on the beach in Falmouth, I met a woman who told me all about an inclusive amusement park in Texas where everyone can enjoy a family fun park experience in grand style. She couldn't remember the name of it though. Thanks to the internet that is no longer a barrier! Just search for "accessible amusement park, Texas" and you'll find the website for Morgan's Wonderland, no problem! Very inspiring place!

I'm particularly intrigued by the Sensory Village and the Music Garden - there is also an accessible carousel (we have one here in at Holyoke Heritage State Park also). You'll find an amazing array of opportunities at Morgan's Wonderland, including a dedicated fitness center for people with disabilities. According to the website, only 10% of the population of people with disabilities engages in sports and recreation play. (Ouch!) Maybe that's true in Texas, but not here in New England, RIGHT? Actually, Ross Lilley of AccessSport America in Acton, MA, was just interviewed in the Boston Globe and he talked about the same phenonmenon. If you have any more perspective on this, please share!

In the meantime, the woman on the beach told me she'd heard of someone who moved to Texas just to live near Morgan's Wonderland! Check it out!

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