How long has your organization been around and why did it start?
For years, the adaptive community has worked to expand participation opportunities for adaptive skiers and riders. However, although steeply discounted, adaptive lessons are still cost prohibitive for many people with disabilities. Despite this, demand for lessons through adaptive programs in Eagle County at times exceeds delivery capacity due to insufficient numbers of trained and certified instructors and limited assistive equipment. In 2016, Access Unbound was founded as a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt nonprofit to address these issues.
What values and purpose does your organization possess that you are proud to share with in the community?
By enabling access to high quality professional instruction, Access Unbound’s mission is to transform and heal the lives of people with disabilities, or disabling conditions, who qualify for our partner adaptive programs.
Access Unbound removes financial barriers, working to provide individuals with disabilities, groups, and our partner organizations with trusted, high-quality, professional education and fun recreation.
Tell us about any special programs or events. Why were they created?
This October, Access Unbound is launching the Access Card, a discount shopping program that unites the variety of independent businesses in our community while raising funds for our local non-profit through a discount shopping card. By participating, businesses can join other retailers and restaurants to increase foot traffic, sales, and public awareness during a historically slow part of the year.
Each Access Card purchased provides one full day of professional adaptive assistance for a person in need. To participate, businesses offer a 20% discount to cardholders from October 16-25 (though they may extend that period if they wish). Business registration is quick and free at the Access Card website. Shoppers purchase the card for $55 and 100% of card sales benefit Access Unbound.
What problems do you see that you are solving?
During the winter, Access Unbound offers high quality instruction and fun recreation opportunities for Eagle County locals with disabilities who may not qualify for other adaptive programs. Adults who have aged out of other programs, adults and children whose backgrounds and disabilities restrict them from participating in other local initiatives, children who aren’t enrolled full time in the school district, and many others are eligible to participate in Access Unbound’s programming. Each Access Card purchased provides one full day of professional adaptive assistance for people like these in need.
How do your programs work? What’s the impact?
Participating businesses register for free and offer a 20% discount to cardholders. Shoppers purchase the card for $55 and 100% of card sales benefit Access Unbound. Each Access Card purchased provides one full day of professional adaptive assistance for people like these in need.
Not only are you saving money and supporting Access Unbound, but you are also supporting our local businesses in the fall when tourism numbers are historically lower. We feel the Access Card provides incentive for Vail Valley locals to shop with these small businesses.
What is your desired outcome, end goal and/or future vision?
This year, our goal is to sell 500 cards and collaborate with as many businesses as possible. Participation in this program and/or purchase of the Access Card will not only support our mission to make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities, but it will also positively impact our local economy during a critical time.
Where can people go to learn more about your organization?