‘the pursuit of barrier-free outdoor sports and recreation’
Access Outdoors New England strives to expand the opportunity for participation and exploration in the pursuit of barrier-free outdoor sports and recreation, amongst all people with disabilities. We believe in teaching men and women with disabilities how to safely and successfully engage in activities like hunting, fishing, and shooting sport to name a few. Our vision is to enable individuals with disabilities to experience everything the world of outdoor sports and recreation has to offer; with the same ease and variety as people without disabilities.
Access Outdoors New England believes that people with disabilities deserve equal access to the world of outdoor sports and recreation. Access Outdoors New England programming is grounded in the practice of therapeutic recreation because we believe that leisure education and recreation participation programming improves quality of life in people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Leisure education can teach people with disabilities the skills they need to be successful in the independent pursuit of leisure, and recreation participation opportunities within the community can foster those skills and lead to new, lasting relationships. We believe an individualized approach is the best way to affect the most change in the life of each participant; which is why Access Outdoors New England strives to creates a barrier free environment to empower individuals with disabilities to succeed in the pursuit of outdoors sports and recreation through education and participatory based opportunities.
Access Outdoors New England is founded by Collin Laflamme, an avid hunter who himself has a physical disability. Collin has a genetic disorder called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which causes fragile bones and has resulted in countless broken bones and orthopedic surgeries. Collin began hunting in 2006 when curiosity got the best of him and he decided not to let his disability limit his participation in the outdoors. Through trial and error, and with the help of friends and family, he was able to try a new activity he had always had an interest in but never the skills, knowledge, or means to do so. In 2011 Collin began forming Access Outdoors New England, a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization with the idea that a person’s disability should not limit their pursuit of outdoor recreation.
The accessibility issues that our physical environment present may be the largest barrier for an individual with a disability who is looking to start hunting, fishing, or do anything outdoors; but it is not the only one. Without the knowledge of the skills, equipment, and techniques that will make accessing the outdoors safe, easy and successful it can be hard to know where to start. At Access Outdoors New England we believe that breaking down these barriers by offering people with disabilities access to our expertise, personal experience, and equipment; in a safe/non-threatening environment, will open the world of outdoor sports and recreation to countless people who may not have found it possible otherwise.