Whether it’s everyday life or vacation – many people with disabilities want to be as active as possible in their free time. Now there are more and more available services that specialize in meeting these different needs.
Aim high – that’s the goal of many people when it comes to their leisure time. Ropes courses, for example, are gaining popularity. After all, inclusive and accessible facilities make it possible to change your perspective between the tree tops even if you are in a wheelchair. Ropes courses in Gütersloh or Leck in Northern Germany enable people with and without disabilities to enjoy this special leisure activity together.
Every year, the REHACARE Sports Center enjoys huge crowds when the "AG hochinklusiv" of the European Ropes Course Association (ERCA) invites trade fair visitors to float right up to the ceiling of the halls in wheelchairs.
But it’s not just ropes courses that raise people with and without disabilities to new heights. The popularity of sport climbing is also reaching new heights. Whether it’s in Munich, Mainz or Cologne – climbing gyms are also increasingly frequented by people with visual impairments, amputations or other physical disabilities. Many things are possible in this inclusive sport. That’s also something Petra Schneider, who has a walking impairment due to multiple sclerosis, is familiar with. For the past three years, she has enjoyed climbing with her climbing team from Cologne. The small and big athletic successes have not just enormously boosted her self-confidence. “I have become more stable and have significantly fewer dizziness and balance issues. My coordination and concentration skills have improved," she says. "For me, climbing has put the fun back into physiotherapy."
And once they leave the climbing gym and go out into nature, there is no holding Petra Schneider and her climbing teammates back. After all, climbing a real rock is a whole different challenge they are all too willing to accept.
Sport in nature – that is also the focus of the VisionOutdoor e.V. program. The club from Kassel wants to provide outdoor sports options for chiefly blind and visually impaired people – whether that’s canoe trips or hiking and climbing trips. Generally, people don’t require any special athletic skills to participate. Basically, taking joy in nature is entirely sufficient.
If blind and visually impaired travelers are more interested in culture and want to primarily get to know a country and its people, they might consider traveling with Tour de Sens for example. The program is specifically geared toward the different senses and is explicitly inclusive in its design because sighted travelers are also included and welcome. During the trips, they assist the blind and visually impaired travelers as companions in navigating the surroundings. Laura Kutter of Tour de Sens explains in an interview with REHACARE.com how this is done in practice.