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Archives | Access Adventure

STEFANIE PUTNAM WINS PEGASUS AWARD

We often meet people profoundly struggling with the shattering experiences of a crippling injury or a devastating diagnosis of disease that will alter the course of their life. We teach them to focus on what is possible to do, rather than lament what they have lost. It doesn’t have to be a tragedy because you cannot walk anymore. We will teach you how to roll with abandon. Stefanie Putnam, a beautiful young woman who rode show jumpers with considerable success came to Access Adventure after a catastrophic accident that left her quadriplegic. She wanted to ride again. Michael gently guided her away from getting back in the saddle and encouraged her to learn to drive horses. Under his care, she began competing in Combined Driving, enjoying the challenges of this exciting life. She now trains with National Champion Leslie Berndl in California and under the direction of accomplished trainer and exhibitor Scott Monroe. Stefanie has competed in the 2016 World Championship for Drivers with Disabilities held in Beesd, Netherlands. She finished fifth in the Grade One division, a remarkable accomplishment for a quadriplegic driver. Stefanie is now poised for medal contention in future world championship events.   Photo by Nancy...
BERKELEY NONPROFIT HELPS DISABLED PEOPLE

BERKELEY NONPROFIT HELPS DISABLED PEOPLE

Photo caption: April Cookston, 10, left, talks with coach Julie Fuller during a power soccer practice with the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif.   (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group) By David DeBolt, EAST BAY TIMES, December 3, 2016 OAKLAND GIRL WITH CEREBRAL PALSY FINDS A TEAM OF HER OWN OAKLAND — April Cookston remembers the days she sat watching in her wheelchair as her brothers played soccer, longing to scamper in the grass with them. But she was confined to the sidelines. Those days are over. April, a 10-year-old with cerebral palsy, has found a team of her own: the Bombers, a power soccer team in the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program, BORP. “I go to practice and I feel like I’m with people who are like me, and it’s my home,” she said during an interview at her East Oakland home, wearing a pink BORP sweatshirt. “Everyone at power soccer is my family.” Celebrating its 40th year, Berkeley-based BORP grew from a small nonprofit formed by two UC Berkeley students denied participation in an athletic class, to an organization that offers adaptive sports to some 800 people, young and old with disabilities. Besides power soccer, the nonprofit offers wheelchair basketball, flood hockey (a game played with sleds), goal ball for the blind or visually impaired, and outdoor adventures. BORP has received funding this year from Share the Spirit, an annual holiday campaign to benefit needy residents in the East Bay. The grant is administered by the Contra Costa Crisis Center, and donations support programs of 40 nonprofit agencies in...
OAKLAND DANCE COMPANY REACHES OUT TO VETERANS

OAKLAND DANCE COMPANY REACHES OUT TO VETERANS

Photo caption: Judy Driving the Team in Competition, Michael Muir Assisting   By Jennifer Modenessi, EAST BAY TIMES, December 19, 2016 OAKLAND — A desire to explore life beyond the circular track led competitive wheelchair athlete Dwayne Scheuneman to the world of dance. It was a place the track-and-field enthusiast never thought he’d find himself. “I had no idea about any kind of dance,” said Scheuneman, a Navy veteran and one-time mountain bike racer more accustomed to high-octane sports. “I was a typical football-watching, beer-drinking guy.” Scheuneman’s newfound cross-training regimen soon became a passion. It eventually brought him to AXIS Dance Co., a pioneering physically integrated contemporary dance group based in Oakland, which he joined in 2014. Today, Scheuneman, 48, is a member of the widely respected troupe known for pairing dancers with and without disabilities in dynamic commissioned works by renowned choreographers, including Bill T. Jones, Sonya Delwaide and Joe Goode. Scheuneman also plays a key role connecting AXIS to disabled veterans through company performances and workshops at VA hospitals and other veterans organizations across the country. In addition to reaching out to veterans, the 29-year-old company offers classes, workshops, community dance jams and teacher training, among other programs. It has received funding this year from Share the Spirit, an annual holiday campaign to benefit needy residents in the East Bay. The grant is administered by the Contra Costa Crisis Center, and donations support programs of 40 nonprofit agencies in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. While the nonprofit’s primary commitment is to artistic excellence, it focuses much of its efforts toward advocacy and encouraging access “to promote more...