Tag: Scuba Diving
Wheel the World has unveiled a new online travel marketplace to provide accessible travel to those living with disabilities.
Backed by Booking.com, the accessible travel start-up has created a one-stop-shop for travellers with disabilities offering accessible tours and experiences, including accommodations and transportation by partnering with curated local tour operators who are trained and certified Wheel the World team members.
Through an extensive research process, Wheel the World identifies necessary accessibility requirements and equipment and trains its operators to develop inclusive trips designed to accommodate those with disabilities.
From multi-day trips with outdoor activities, such as hiking, scuba diving and kayaking, to single day activities like ziplining in Costa Rica and handbiking across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco or through Central Park in New York, the start-up currently offers more than 30 travel destinations through its platform, including accommodations, activities and transportation.
Destinations include Patagonia, Maui, Easter Island, Machu Picchu, Santiago, Mexico, and Costa Rica, with plans to have 150 destinations and tour packages by the end of 2020.
The idea for Wheel the World came from the personal journey of two best friends, determined to see the world together. Co-founders Álvaro Silberstein and Camilo Navarro, both from Chile, embarked on the challenge of completing the W Circuit in Patagonia, with Silberstein, a quadriplegic, in a hiking wheelchair.
“We truly believe adventure is for all and that’s why we are committed to creating inclusive tourism and eliminate the barriers that keep people from travelling,” said Álvaro.
“While people might not think they have the opportunity to travel like this, we believe we can help everyone enjoy our amazing world without limits.
“We started promoting trips to isolated places like our original trip to Patagonia. However, we realised that people with disabilities still struggle to find even more traditional travel experiences that are designed to be accessible. So, we expanded to all types of travel including cultural, leisure, vacation and city explorations.”
Last year, Silberstein became the first quadriplegic to traverse an 11-kilometre section of the Inka trail. You can read more about that here.
Ashlee Florrimell is a self-proclaimed “water baby” so, despite being a paraplegic, it was a natural progression to start scuba diving and “exploring the bottom of the ocean”.
Ms Florrimell, 31, undertook a ground-breaking scuba diving course for people with spinal cord injury on Sydney’s northern beaches last week and has become a certified diver.
Nine years after a terrifying scuba accident crushed his spine, a paraplegic scuba diver is back in the water helping disabled divers.
Rich Osborn, 30, was teaching scuba diving on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 2009 when he had his life-changing accident.
“I never realized how majestic it would be. Scuba diving is magical.”
ST. LOUIS – For scuba divers like Jessi and Jamie Hatfield, taking the plunge beneath the waves is a gift.
“I never realized how majestic it would be. Scuba diving is magical,” said Jessi Hatfield, who convinced her husband to give diving a try.
The Hatfields, married five years, estimate they’ve dived in the ocean more than 40 times.
Deep beneath the surface of a crystal blue pool or a dark green ocean, differences tend to fade. As a former physical therapist at Craig Hospital of Englewood and longtime scuba diver, Scott Taylor knows this better than most.
“Water is the great equalizer,” he frequently says.
He and his wife, Lynn, own and operate A-1 Scuba and Travel Aquatics Center in Littleton, a business Lynn’s father opened more than 58 years ago.
As her father guided her wheelchair down the ramp alongside the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s pool on Saturday, 12-year-old Tylena Fisher fiddled with the folds of the borrowed wet suit she was wearing, and took a few deep breaths.
This is a girl who loves the feel of water sluicing around her limbs, who until recently was working on her underwater swimming, who takes every opportunity to spend time in the water.
Elizabeth “EB” Forst always felt comfortable in the water.
On July 2, the Sabrina Cohen Foundation will be opening an accessible beach to the public, funded by grants from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation for all citizens of Miami Beach to come and enjoy. Sabrina Cohen, CEO & Founder, created the Foundation in 2006 a few years after sustaining a C3-5 level injury in a car accident at the age of 14. Originally she focused on funding research and educating the public, but then saw the array of needs she could help fill with her organization.
“Recognizing a need for quality-of-life initiatives, in 2012, I expanded the mission of my organization to include more adaptive fitness and recreational opportunities for our disabled community, realizing that a lot could be done to meet an unmet need of helping people stay both mentally and physically strong,” Sabrina said.
The World Health Organization estimates every year between 250,000 and 500,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury from an accident.
Studies report that men account for 61 percent of all traumatic spinal cord injuries and women 39 percent.
At 17 years old, Gene Rodgers had plans to homestead in Alaska until he fell from a cliff, breaking his neck and causing instant paralysis from the shoulders down.
Stan Clawson loves to open the door for people. “They don’t expect it,” he says. Clawson, a filmmaker and communications professor based in Salt Lake City, is in his late 30s with sandy hair, blue eyes, and a handlebar mustache. He’s tall, “six-foot-four,” he says, “you know… laying down. Upright? I’m not sure. Maybe four-foot-eight? Four-ten?”
Clawson has the deep, dynamic voice of a radio announcer and something of the devil in him. He’s been in a wheelchair since a rock climbing accident when he was 20 years old, when he fell 49 feet and severed his spinal cord between the T9 and T10 vertebrae. Since then, he’s learned to boogie board and downhill ski. He’s competed in marathons. And he’s earned advanced certifications as an open water diver.