Judy A. May, Executive Director
Imagine you are 8-years old and you and your friends are going rock climbing for the first time. Climbing gear in place, helmet tightened, knees shaking, you take your first tentative step. One step at a time you seek that sliver of rock that will hold you as you prepare for your next step. The summit inches closer. The space between you and the ground ever widening. And in the blink of an eye you pass the face of the rock to stand, arms raised triumphantly, at the summit.
Now. . . imagine you completed this daunting climb and you have no legs.
Welcome to Desert Ability Center.
For those of you who might be wondering who we are and what we do, let me bring you up to speed.
The Desert Ability Center is a continuation of efforts launched in 2010 to create greater opportunities that maximizes the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing greater access to resources within the community that increase independence, promote mobility and improved health and support human rights through adaptive sports and recreational rehabilitation.
IT’S NOT ABOUT CYCLING, TENNIS OR BASKETBALL
As a 30-year veteran of serving people with disabilities and opening doors of opportunity for transitional aged youth in the areas of education and employment for 24 of these years in the Coachella Valley, I can honestly say that I have never witnessed the immediate change in behavior, attitudes and outlook that adaptive sports induces.
One can surmise this happens because sports and recreation are fun. And indeed they are. But it’s not about the cycling or the tennis or the basketball. For people with disabilities it is about regaining mobility they thought they had lost. It is about gaining a sense of freedom and connecting to their community. And it is about believing in their abilities – not just on the court but also in their lives.
DITCH THE DIS
Engaging our children, youth and adults in adaptive sports and recreation is not the challenge. Taking the “dis” out of disability and reducing the stigma with which people with disabilities live all their lives is the hard part. Creating that a young boy with no legs can climb a mountain and that a blind woman can run a triathlon, paving the way to a future full of hope and possibilities.
Desert Ability Center is about instilling self-confidence, promoting physical skill development and creating opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in their community alongside their friends and families. In the end, Desert Ability Center creates a path to success, independence and a life full of possibilities.
Contact Judy May at: email@example.com