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Staff and Volunteers Trained to Provide Adaptive Paddling

We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the joy of being on the water. 

Thanks to Dynamic Paddlers, our staff and Trip Leaders are now trained to provide adaptive paddling gear for people with disabilities. Larry Gioia came out to North Park to teach us adaptive fundamentals and outfitting concepts. He taught us how to build kayak chariots, transfer benches, outriggers, and seating systems.  

Putting Training to Use

Our staff was able to put their new skills to use as we recently welcomed Three Rivers Adaptive Sports (TRAS) to the Boathouse. The group included local individuals that frequent TRAS events as well as visitors from Rwanda and Kyrgyzstan. A lot of these folks were heading out on the water in a kayak for the first time. With assistance from TRAS volunteers, our trip leaders were able to use adaptive gear to successfully get all participants in watercraft to experience everything the lake has to offer. We look forward to working with TRAS again in the future! 

This training was among many steps towards ensuring that everyone can enjoy paddling safely and comfortably. Prior to this, we also added a fleet of sit-on-top kayaks which provide a more accessible launch for folks with limited mobility – plus the seats are much comfier. As a reminder, service dogs are permitted and encouraged on all Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh trips. 

Celebrating Disabilities Pride Month

As we celebrate Disabilities Pride Month, let’s remember that disabilities are a natural part of the human experience and that everyone deserves respect, dignity, and inclusion. Let’s work towards creating a world where people with disabilities are valued for their unique abilities and contributions, and where accessibility and accommodations are the norm, not the exception. 

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