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Adventuring With Disabilities: Go To Colorado!

The adventure travel market is growing faster each year. Not only are travel agents are expanding their knowledge with the adaptive options and some even specializing in this market alone, but each year consumers with disabilities become more aware of their adventurous options with Paralympic athletes and innovating product designers paving the way. With the travel industry taking notice in this incline, we can only hope that the increase in disability awareness for major travel corporations will continue.

But with this influx of options, many travelers need direction on where to go. Many companies recommend Colorado. Colorado, known worldwide as America�s playground, offers a whopping 55 national and state parks to the visitor, with over 80% of those offering accessible amenities for camping, fishing, and even back country exploration. There are dozens of activities that anyone with any kind of disability can participate in, from ATV rides to rock climbing in the summer, and blind snowboarding to snowmobiling in the winter.

Colorado is home to the most adaptive activity programs per state in the country, offering a grand total of ten programs, 5 of which offer summer activities including winter activities, as well as the largest winter and summer adaptive non profit program in the world, the National Sports Center for the Disabled, located in Winter Park. Together, these adaptive centers offer over 75,000 skier visits annually, bringing adventure to people with disabilities. Many of these programs offer scholarships for participants as well, making it affordable for families and individuals of all ages to learn dozens of different sports and activities.

Does downhill mountain biking from the peaks of Crested Butte ski area on a beautiful 70� sunny day in southern Colorado get your attention? Or how about a 3-day rafting trip down the moderate Colorado River with your family and friends sound? If that�s not good enough, try learning how to catch air from a wave on an adaptive wakeboard in competition! If slower is your speed, learn how to horseback ride with one of the many NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) programs in the state.

If you�re one of those adventurers that take adventure into his own hands, Colorado is also currently the only state that has an adventure travel guidebook dedicated to travelers with disabilities. Access Anything Colorado; Adventuring with Disabilities was published in July 2005 and includes not only hundreds of adventure activity options throughout the state, but also includes access information for lodging and dining, as well as information on every national and state park, fishing and hunting, scenic drives, and all ten adaptive winter and summer programs. This book is a must-have for anyone with a disability who is planning a any level of adventure or travel vacation in Colorado. Most online and major retail book carriers offer Access Anything Colorado, and the authors will soon expand the series to include other adventurous destinations.

Colorado has something to offer everyone and is a beautiful destination in all seasons. The state tourism board has dedicated itself to working with accessibility consultants on improving its overall accessibility and attractiveness to travelers with disabilities. If you haven�t been to Colorado to adventure, you don�t know what you�re missing!

Submitted by:

Andrea Kennedy



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