TASP's goal this summer has been to try out a variety of new activities, find out what participants like to do and focus on those in the future. A secondary objective has been to work with local outfitters and guides to provide the necessary training for how to safely facilitate and adapt services to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
"This seems the most efficient way to figure out what folks like to do, and keeps the acquisition of equipment to a minimum since we have limited storage," said TASP Executive Director Colleen Trout. "It also seems like the most integrative approach to providing services to our participants. An added bonus is - it has been a lot of fun working together to make activities accessible for people with disabilities. There is just no point in reinventing the wheel!"
TASP has been working with a number of local outfitters to provide these outdoor activities, including Rigs FlyShop of Ridgway, Further Adventures - based at Boot Doctors, and Herb Manning of Telluride Off Road Adventures, as well as collaborating with other adaptive programs such as Adaptive Sports Association based in Durango and Colorado Discover Ability located in Grand Junction.
Today, TASP joins interpretive ranger Jill Oswald for a walk up Bear Creek to learn about wildflowers. A tour of Tomten Farms is scheduled for August 9 to learn about high altitude organic gardening techniques from Kris Holstrom.
Still to come - more jeeping thanks to Dave's Mountain Tours, a possible kayaking adventure with San Juan Paddlers, and an end-of season party - date and location to be announced.
Highlighting the summer is the annual TASP on Wheels, a two-day hand cycling and downhill biking clinic scheduled for August 12 and 13. TASP recently purchased a new handcycle, which will be available during the clinic as well as by reservation on an ongoing basis thanks to funds from the Town of Telluride.
Earlier this summer, TASP hosted several day trips for special education students from Telluride, Ridgway and Montrose high schools. Children enjoyed a relaxing float and overnight on the Ruby/Horse Thief Section of the Colorado River, with assistance from CDA. TASP also recently took part in a water skiing clinic on Lake Mirage in Grand Junction, joining with Adaptive Adventures of Evergreen, Challenge Aspen and CDA.
"This is what I live for," said Joan Arnold of Ridgway, a stroke survivor. "Getting to be with the adaptive crowd is so fun and it allows me to do all of the things I was able to do before my stroke."
More than 30 people have participated in TASP's new summer program so far, for over 355 combined hours of fun in the outdoors.
Several funding sources have made it possible for TASP to offer this summer's program including the Daniels Fund, the Towns of Mountain Village and Telluride, and the Telluride Foundation. TASP is a local non-profit organization that provides the adaptive ski program at the Telluride Ski Area in the winter. Services include lessons, events and recreational activities, volunteer opportunities, scholarships and adaptive equipment.