Have you ever stopped to think about how beneficial the ability to ride a bike is?
Riding a bike isn’t something that most people think about unless they are the parent of a young child and the time has come to face the reality-and the tantrums- that they must teach the wee one how to ride. After a few days (and several tears later), the daunting task is over and it magically becomes a part of everyday life. But what does being able to independently ride a bicycle mean for those with disabilities?
Think about it. Being able to ride a bike-especially for those who will most likely never be able to drive a car-is priceless. A person with disabilities is most often limited when it comes to access to leisure activities, social inclusion, and dependable transportation to the work force. In addition, regular physical activity is almost completely absent from the lives of many people with disabilities, obviously leading to terrible health issues such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Something as simple as riding a bike could offer a fuller life to so many of these people because they would gain the freedom of increased access, an enhanced sense of empowerment, the independence of transportation, and endless health benefits.
The iCan Shine Program is a nationwide charity organization that helps students with disabilities accomplish this great feat. With the assistance of highly experienced staff and volunteers, 80% of students with disabilities will learn to ride independently in just 5 consecutive 75-minute sessions. Yes, only 5 DAYS! Because of the generosity of the beautiful people from the Virginia Beach Youth Services Club, Vintage Car Rally Association, and Virginia Wesleyan College, FACT will be fortunate enough to team up with this outstanding program again this year. If you know someone whose life would be forever transformed because of this program, please encourage them to visit our website under “Programs/ Special Programs.”