The world is more connected than ever before.

Awareness & Education

We utilize everything from a traditional motivational speech to podcasts and social media to raise awareness about accessible technology, medical advancements and adaptive recreation that exist today.

The 50 Schools / 50 States Campaign is a unique, immersive experience that is taken on the road to schools and institutions across America, informing and making more people aware of what adaptive athletics is all about. By sharing stories of adventure and exploration, we hope to inspire students and the public to approach their studies and work from a different perspective. We’re looking to raise more awareness about the adaptive world and how students can play a role on making future systems and technology more accessible for the disabled.

The 50 United States are faded in the background with 50 Schools in blue text over 50 States in red text.

INSPIRING PROGRESSIVE THINKING AND FUELING THE IMAGINATIONS OF ALL AGES AND ABILITIES

Presentations are given by an individual(s) that has overcome adversity.  After the initial introduction, students are engaged with an in depth discussion regarding current and future designs of accessible and adaptive technologies.  Adaptive equipment and accessible devices are brought into the classroom to give a hands on experience to students.  Students are asked questions such as “How can accessible technology be improved?” and they are also encouraged to ask questions.  After the discussion, students are provided with resources related to accessible and adaptive technology designs so they can stay involved beyond the classroom.

This program is designed to be immersive, informative, and inspirational. We would love to work with teachers, staff and students to make this one of the most unique experiences of your school year. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact us.

The schools we visit include:

  • Schools for the Visually Impaired
  • Schools for the Hearing Impaired
  • Grade Schools
  • High Schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities

Inspirational

How do people that loose their sight or a leg later in life overcome the adversity that they face?  We share stories of human resilience of people shattering the barriers that were put in front of them to help inspire students that they can overcome anything that may get in their way.

Inspirational focused programs can be great for students of all ages and abilities.  Mixed in with being able to interact with the gear and technology and information shared, the experience should be like no other.

Immersive

We don’t just come in to give a speech and show some slides, we actually bring in equipment and gear to show students what is used by people with various disabilities.  Having the opportunity to touch and interact with the gear and accessible technology, sparks the students imagination and promotes unconventional thinking.

An immersive program is especially useful to visually impaired students since they are able to “see” the gear by feeling it.

Informative

The speakers and volunteers that come to your school are very open to any questions students may have.  This is an opportunity for students to learn about people with disabilities and how they participate in various activities.  Interactive discussions can be held in small groups for students and the presenters to exchange ideas on how to make the world a better place for those with and without disabilities.

A more informative focused program is ideal for high school and college students.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I arrange a visit to my school?

The team at Blind Endeavors has a list of select schools we would like to visit, however this does not mean we won’t come to your school.  The goal is a “minimum” of 50 schools, but the more we can spread awareness, the better.  If you would like your school to be part of this campaign, please fill out the proposal below or contact us for further details.

 

How much and what kind of gear do you bring?

“How much and what kind of gear do you bring?”

That really depends on how much time and space we have as well as the goals for the school visit. We can bring only a phone to share the accessibility feature to bringing everything from prosthetics, kayaks, tandems, sit-skis, and so much more…We’ll verify what we can bring into the school prior to the visit.

Who will be giving the presentation?

“Who will be giving the presentation?”

We have a list of amazing adaptive athletes that have overcome adversity that would love to speak. It may just be one person, or it may be multiple, it just depends on their availability and schedule.

 

Is there a fee?

The program is funded through the Blind Endeavors Foundation and designed to be free to the school. If the school, teachers, parents or the community would like to make a donation to the Blind Endeavors Foundation, it will cover fuel, lodging and equipment costs that will help us keep this mission going.

 

What do you talk about?

The focus of the program is adapted to each individual school. Overall we share the stories of individuals with disabilities and how they are able to participate in a variety of activities to make life more enjoyable for themselves and others.

How is this program different from other presentations?

We do more than just get in front of the students and talk. We’ll bring in the sports gear and adaptive equipment that students actually get to touch and use so it becomes a hands on experience.

 

What will the students gain from the program?

Everyone gains something different from the program. It may inspire a blind child’s dream, realizing what they are capable of doing and one day turn that dream into reality. It could drive an engineering student to develop a device that could help the disabled community. A teacher and disabled student may gain each others perspective enabling them to enhance their communication skills. The list is endless with possibilities.

Have a question that we haven’t answered here?

Please feel free to contact us at:

info@blindendeavors.org or call (970) 787-5438

There is a lot of work that goes into running the 50 Schools / 50 States Program.

If you would like to help out, we can use help with the following…

VOLUNTEER

Volunteers are key to the success of the program.  If you are located near one of the schools we are visiting or would like to go on tour with us, here are some types of volunteers we’re looking for:

  • Adaptive Athletes interested in speaking
  • People that can help plan School Visits
  • Small Crew to help run Exhibition Stations
  • Information Collector to gather questions and contact information from attendees.
  • Volunteers should be comfortable working with all ages and abilities.

DONATE

Donors help keep the campaign free for the schools. Most schools do not have a large budget, if any, to bring in speakers or a program like what we offer.  If you would like to support the 50 Schools / 50 States Campaign, here are a few ways you can help:

  • Make a donation to the 50 Schools / 50 States fund to help cover the cost of travel, lodging and equipment.
  • Donate or loan us your prosthetic leg, arm or adaptive device.
  • Donate your extra gear that has anything to do with skiing, cycling, climbing or paddling.
  • Have your company sponsor a school visit.

Film Screenings

If you’re looking for a film to share with students about individuals overcoming adversity or what blindness is like, we can help arrange a screening and Q&A for the following films.

* Descriptions for High Ground and Going Blind are quoted from their respective websites *

Cover image for the movie High Ground

High Ground Features eleven veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan join an expedition to climb the 20,000 foot Himalayan giant Mount Lobuche. With blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer and a team of Everest summiters as their guides, they set out on an emotional and gripping climb to reach the top in an attempt to heal the emotional and physical wounds of the longest war in U.S. history.

Representing nearly every branch of the military, the veterans, and the Gold Star Mom who joins their trek, bring humor and deep emotion to this hero’s journey all captured with breathtaking, vertigo-inducing cinematography by three-time Emmy® winner, director Michael Brown.

Movie Poster for the film Going Blind

Going Blind is a unique documentary film that increases public awareness of sight loss and low vision issues profoundly affecting the lives of more and more people around the world.

Director Joseph Lovett has glaucoma, a disease that robs 4.5 million people worldwide of their vision. After years of slowly losing his sight, Joe decides to take action: to investigate how people all over the country respond to vision-loss. His search begins small, with people Joe meets on the streets of his hometown New York City and gradually leads him to places and people around the country, of all different ages and backgrounds. Each has a fascinating story about dealing with the vision loss caused by sight-robbing diseases, infections and accidents.

Alex Nielsen Guiding Lonnie Bedwell down the Montana River

On Me is film about five veterans kayaking on the Yellowstone River. They are not your average kayakers though.  All five of them are completely blind.  The organization Team River Runner, whose purpose is to get “Butts In Boats”, took these veterans to the Yellowstone River in Montana to participate in the TRR “Outta Sight Clinic”.  The guys get to learn and improve necessary kayaking skills to include paddling, wet exits, rescues, rolls and how to track a guide.  The trip taught them a little more than the skills of whitewater kayaking  though.  They learn how the river relates to life and how it can provide a sense of independence.  This full length documentary shares their stories, philosophies and journey as they experience the river.

You don’t have to be a kayaker to enjoy On Me.  Exhilarating scenery and the vets’  stories can keep you engaged to the very end.

* Viewer Discretion is Advised for Language