Making Summer Accessible for All
Summer is here (I think)
It’s summer time (apparently) but let’s not get into the weather chat because there’s more important things to focus on such as the summer holidays.
Having two boys with very different needs, the summer holidays for us takes; project management skills, negotiation skills, computer skills for thorough researching of activities and areas as well as a lot of humor, patience, persistence and of course communication skills.
Is that a holiday or a job description?
But we enjoy the challenge of summer and this year is no different.
We like to get the boys out, run them wild to tire them out as well as venture further afield for experiences and new adventures and watch them connect with that big wide world out there (well in our way).
However, the summer holidays can be a stressful and exhausting time for some parents and carers where there are few breaks from responsibilities and also in our case and for many others; our eldest son who has a disability, get’s little break from us too and let’s face it as a teenager that’s pretty dull!
Sitting on our bench last night I asked my son what he enjoys as activities in the summer holidays and so that we could make some suggestions to help kick start the summer’s inspirations, here’s what we came up with:
- A home made assault course. We did this one summer and it was hilarious, the ramps were great for the bikes and the wheelchairs, it takes a little imagination but gather some odds and ends and some planks of wood and it’s a hilarious afternoon whilst the BBQ gets cracking.
- Boccia. We have never played this but some of his friends at school have, it was first popular with people with cerebral palsy but it is now played by people with other impairments affecting their motor skills, such as muscular dystrophy. Along those lines there are some great sports days designed specifically to support children and young adults with disabilities. Check out your local area for some info. DSNI link
- Check out Bendrigg activity holidays for disabled people and also the Calvert Trust activity holidays. Both have a great reputation and they offer amazing experiences. I have personally spoken to the Bendrigg owner and he is amazing, really inspiring and fully passionate about the service they provide.
- Are you a member of the National Trust? We love our days out at NT locations, we often find them relaxing, spacious and we can spend a whole day just hanging out and have a picnic.
- Check out this page; Pitch Up for campsites and pitch ups that are accessible. Although I’m rapidly growing out of camping, my boys unfortunately are loving it so here’s a great site to bare in mind…
- But hey lets not forget these great days out: Art galleries, museums, festivals, Cinema trips, the theatre, local sports matches, big city days out, coastal trips and drives.
What’s going on locally? Or what’s going on in neighboring areas? We’re currently in the middle of Hebden Bridge Arts Festival AND Hebden Bridge is currently underway to becoming a more accessible town thanks to the local residents working closely with Visits Unlimited so even if you can’t make it to see us over the next couple of weeks, book us in for next year!
- We were looking for some wheelchair accessible walks and found this great list: 25 wheelchair friendly walks in the UK and Ireland.
- We can definitely recommend Eureka in Halifax, The Deep in Hull, Bradford Science and media museum and local accessible cinema trips within your area.
These are just a few ideas but I know that many of you will have some great tips to share so why not join the Visits Unlimited family community on face book and and share your great trips and ideas to help inspire others.
Summer can be at home too
Now, knowing that not all adventures have to be beyond our own community, I will be adding a home based summer time ideas blog next time. We will also be blogging our adventures and trips as they happen so watch this space for more creative ideas.
Wishing all of you a great summer time, share your happy summer pics with us when you get home.
The Visits Unlimited team.