I read this article the other day and was amazed at how someone took so much time, effort, and money to plan an accessible living situation for people with dementia.

Village for Dementia Patients

Images: Hans Erkelens/CC.

So often, everyday life is made incredibly difficult for those with disabilities (be it intellectual, mental, or physical), due to limitations on where they can go or what they can do.

I didn’t fully realize this until last summer, when I took Alyssa to the Summer Woods Adventure Camp (sponsored by the National Sports Center for the Disabled). We have always took Alyssa with us to do just about anything, so we never really focused on what wasn’t available or how hard it was to do some things.

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Until all of a sudden, it wasn’t hard anymore.

At camp, everyone got to do everything. All the activities were completely accessible.

White water rafting, horseback riding, cooking and cleaning up… whether you could walk, talk, or even move on your own was irrelevant.

Even more incredible was that it wasn’t even hard. Getting a young man who was wheelchair bound and couldn’t sit on his own onto a horse? Not a problem!Mom's pictures 8611

Helping those who have trouble balancing climb into a white water raft? No worries. Everything was designed to work.

Every special needs family should have the opportunity to experience a life that is designed for their child. If I had my way, it would happen often. Yet I don’t think it will happen simply because of ADA requirements. Instead, I believe that a community of people introducing others to our world and the difference that accessibility can make for those who are disabled can a great impact.

What is the hardest thing you have had to work at to allow your disabled or special needs family member to participate? How can you help others understand the difference accessibility can make?