Recreation for the Disabled

There are many recreational opportunities for the disabled. Many states have improved access to fishing, with wheel chair ramps and hand rails. Recreation.gov is an excellent site to explore areas to go. I am an avid outdoor enthusiast: I have hunted, fished, snowmobiled, and done thousands of miles of back country off road ATV’ing and dirt biking. I retired last year from my dirt bike and have not hunted for many years, due to my disability.

However, changing laws in my state (Idaho) are making it easier for the disabled to be able to hunt and fish. Check with your state Fish & Game to see if they have a disabled fishing & hunting license. Also check to see if they have disabled access for the use of ATV’s. In Idaho, a combination license cost me five dollars.

About 6 years ago the Idaho State Legislature passed a law dropping the requirement of having to be disabled according to the Social Security Department, and instead, requires doctor certification of a disability. You need to obtain a Certification of Permanent Disability form from the Idaho Fish & Game to take to your doctor. Also, a person with a disability who has a handicap license plate or a placard may hunt from the road. All 4 tires have to be completely off of the road and any berms or right of ways. You must obey road restrictions, travel restrictions and private property. And you cannot shoot across the road. They are a few other details and you should check with your State Fish & Game department. What a great change! I live to ride my ATV and do anything outside. I retired on January 1st and I intend to blow off the dust on my fishing pole and use it, as soon as the weather permits. I dislike being cooped up in the house in the winter.

There are many Iraq veterans that are discovering kayaking; I recently saw a news clip of a father that helped his son into a Kayak and he did it by himself. He was a double amputee and an Iraq Vet. Champion surfer Sean Fitzgibbon, lost his leg when he was 3 years old and recently completed a 200 mile kayak trip. There are also new water prosthesis for pools, water parks, and beaches.

If you need some help finding your State Fish & Game or other resources you can email me anytime. What experiences have you had with outdoor recreational activities despite having a disability?

 

8 thoughts on “Recreation for the Disabled”

  1. Thanks @latex for the great article. You have amazing resources on recreation. I love to read about the inspiring athletes with disabilities, doing the things they love, despite physical barriers. We all have the passion and drive to accomplish the things we want to in life. I look forward to more recreation and outdoor articles from you!

  2. My challenges of having a hearing disability make it such where I have to be concerned about elements of safety: Hearing someone approaching me, hearing someone else who may be in distress, or trying to pinpoint where someone may be responding from if I am the person in a difficult situation.

    I enjoyed your article – it was upbeat and enjoyable to read. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Before my joint problems got bad, I used to be fairly active outside. I would hike, cave, kayak, and more. This past summer I found that I am still able to kayak. My son and I went kayaking on a lake-so mostly still water. In a kayak you can be as active or in-active as you like. I could paddle to an area, then rest and float. The only really difficult part was getting in and out of the kayak, but you can have someone help you with that. If you can swim, it is a good activity to try. I recommend going with someone who is experienced so they can show you the ropes. The swimming comes in handy if you roll over and need to get out. I have never rolled over (yet) and have gone many times, though this was the first time since my disability. I plan to do it again next summer.

  4. My fellow disabled roommate & I have 8 friends who make it do-able for the group of us to go camping 1 or 2 times per summer (+ various others join us). We take our scooters & have a blast. We’re hosting the planning party for this year’s trip next weekend! Its so much fun. This will be our 10th year of The Doodle Gang as we call ourselves. Love my buddies! Keep up the outdoor activities everyone! Great post!

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