What Recreational Opportunities Are Available in Utah for Blind or Visually Impaired Individuals? Article
Utah has many affordable, recreational opportunities for blind or visually impaired individuals of all ages! These are some of our family favorites. What are yours?
America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – (Free Access Pass)
Free Access Pass is a lifetime pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. The pass provides access to, and use of, Federal recreation sites that charge an Entrance or Standard Amenity. The pass admits the pass holder and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per vehicle fee areas and pass holder + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, at per person fee areas (children under 16 are admitted free). The pass can only be obtained in person at the park. This is an awesome resource!
Camp Eureka is a summer natural history camp for blind & visually impaired children, 8-16 years old. Campers explore Montana’s wetland and forests under the guidance of blind mentors and with scientists, naturalists and artists trained in learning strategies for blind children and introduced to a positive philosophy about blindness. Contact: 406-251-5069
Common Ground Outdoor Adventures provides life-enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. They provide adaptive equipment and support, which enable people with disabilities to participate in outdoor recreation alongside their peers. Programs include: canoeing, cycling, social activities, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, climbing, fishing, destination and river rafting trips. Contact: 435-713-0288
Courage Reins uses therapeutic horseback riding and other equine based activities to provide a safe, fun, and challenging setting for physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth. Contact: 801-756-8900
Green Tree Yoga brings the healing and strengthening benefits of yoga to people of all ages and abilities in a variety of settings. Contact: 801-656-7885
The Kostopulos Dream Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through recreation, education and growth experiences. Their longest running program, Camp Kostopulos, acredited by the American Camp Association, is a residential summer camp where kids, teens, and adults with disabilities are able to choose from two options a five day residential camp or travel trips.
Campers enjoy fishing, horse riding, swimming, camp outs, sing songs, create arts and craft projects, challenge themselves on the ropes course. The Travel Trip Adventures program offers campers a five day trip camp to places such as Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Colorado or Jackson Hole. Activities could include river running, hiking, viewing wildlife, and visiting attractions, this and much more are all part of these trips.
Most of the summer camps and trips are not “disability specific” unless there is enough interest to reserve a full week. Camp K does reserve their facilities for large groups or family reunions. Contact: 801-582-0700
The National Ability Center (NAC) is committed to the development of lifetime skills for people of all ages and abilities by providing affordable outdoor sports and recreational experiences in a nurturing environment. The objective of these experiences is to build self-esteem, confidence and physical development, thereby enhancing active participation in all aspects of community life. Their programs include: aquatics, archery, cycling, equestrian programs, indoor climbing wall, skiing, snowboarding, and water sports. Contact: Voice/TDD: 435-649-3991
Salt Lake City Adaptive Recreation provides a variety of sport and recreational opportunities for youth with disabilities. They are very open to working with families and groups in creating or adapting programs for blind and visually impaired individuals. The Salt Lake Count Parks and Recreation has a “Plus One Pass” for Salt Lake County Residents with a permanent disability providing entrance of one assistant for free to Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation Facilities when accompanied by the pass holder. Contact: 801-559-1500
SPLORE has been a leader and innovator in providing accessible outdoor adventures for groups and individuals with disabilities and special needs the past 30 years. Using the magnificent Utah wilderness as a backdrop, more than 40,000 clients have participated in their programs.
Splore’s primary activities include Canoeing, River Rafting, and Rock Climbing during the summer season, and Nordic Skiing/Snowshoeing and overnight Yurt Trips during the winter season. Custom Trips can be arranged to accomodate the special needs of your particular group. Contact: 801-484-4128
The Utah Foundation for the Blind and Visually Impaired (UFB) is an organization that is locally and nationally know for their adult and youth goalball teams. Throughout the year they provide unique opportunities for children, teen and adults to recreate and socialize. They sponsor a summer camp for teens where they teach beginning and advanced skills in numerous sports such as: wrestling, swimming, judo, gymnastics, goalball, and track. They also collaborate with the National Ability Center (NAC) and run a children and teen summer expanded core camp. A family favorite is their winter down hill skiing program. UFB works with the NAC who provides individual or group skiing/snowboarding lessons, equipment, and passes at an affordable price. Contact: 801-209-8492’
Utah Special Fun Tag permit provides free day-use entrance to all Utah State Parks except This Is The Place Heritage Park, and does not cover the $2 Davis County Causeway fee. A Utah resident who is legally blind, or who is permanently unable to walk so as to be confined to a wheelchair, braces, cane, crutches, or a prosthetic device due to loss of either or both lower extremities, or who is a disabled veteran, may receive a Special Fun Tag
If you have had personal experiences with any of these organizations and/or resources OR have others to share, make a comment below!