One of the challenges of connecting people to nature is that so much of it is, well…natural. To increase access to Playcosystem for the many individuals that rely on wheeled transport, Bernheim has purchased a GRIT all-terrain wheelchair with generous support from the WHAS Crusade for Children. Helping us figure out how to best get this equipment safely into the hands of people that might benefit from a wheelchair designed for less than optimal trail surfaces has been the recent work of Alicia Cobb. Alicia is a doctoral capstone student in occupational therapy from Jacksonville University in Florida. From January through April of 2023 Alicia is focusing her research on program development to figure out the many details of loaning out our first wheelchair. There is more to that than meets the eye. More importantly, she is setting the stage for future strategies to increase physical access to Bernheim and Playcosystem. An interesting twist to this story is that she has assistance in that endeavor from a group of high school students from the Bullitt Advanced Math and Science (BAMS) program. BAMS students have been regularly conducting research at Bernheim since 2010 and Alicia is a graduate of that program.
We plan to showcase the wheelchair along with information about how to check it out for use at the Bernheim Restore event on April 22nd. Stop by Playcosystem to see the chair, sit in it, and take it for a quick stroll. Look for information on the Bernheim website about how to reserve the chair for future use. Everyone, regardless of mobility, should have the greatest access to nature possible. We are working hard to figure that out and invite your suggestions.