National Ability Center: Discover the Possibilities


See the loop by your foot? Step right in that. I got it! You can do it! Up, up, up! And over! Good job. Are you ready to come down? Woo! Woo woo woo woo! [ laughter ] [ screams of joy ] It truly is about helping people find their abilities. I believe everybody has the right to recreate and have fun and enjoy life, and that’s what we do here. [ music ] The National Ability Center is here so that individuals of all abilities have the opportunity to be healthy, happy, and active and engaged in life and in their community. We have the ropes course, we have EFL, we have the rock wall, we have sled hockey [ noises of the rink ] [ cheering ] [ You got lucky! ] [ I did! ] [ laughter ] [ I didn’t know how it went on. ] [ Oh good job! ] [ Yay! ] Our equestrian programs consist of three major programs. Therapeutic riding. Hippotherapy, and Equine Facilitated Learning. And they all come from slightly different aspects and they serve different populations and different services. [ Can you brush up here? ] [ Very good! ] Charlie was born eight weeks premature and he has a little bit of a brain bleed which resulted in a cerebral palsy diagnosis when he was one and a half. [ Look at you go, Charlie Rockstar! ] So, we bring him here for hippotherapy in an attempt to relax him but also to strengthen his core. To watch him enjoy Tulip and to, when I pick him up on Mondays after school, say, “Lets go ride Tulip! I excited!” At a therapeutic riding lesson, the participants typically groom and tack their own horse So they get the opportunity to bond with the horse and learn how to take care of another creature. What did we discover about all the horses? We are all here with the same intention, with the same goal, of helping, of healing, of sharing what we have to offer. [Dad: “Pat, pat, pat ] [ Son: “Pat, pat, pat” ] [ Three! Two! One! ] [ Horn ] So before my injury, I was definitely involved in sport in activities that pushed my limits But after my injury, I really thought that my life and sports were really done in a lot of ways. The National Ability Center, with the coaches, and peers as well, have really brought that full circle where I’m still an athlete… but it’s just in a different way. [ Good job! ] The discovery camps are about discovery. It’s separated out by ability for children with autism, cognitive disabilities, physical disabilities, and all ages. [ cheering ] [ Is there anybody else who wants to go up to the bridge? ] One of the beautiful things about the Wounded Warrior Project and the partnership that we have with the Wounded Warrior Project is that we’re not just allowing people to come here and recreate we’re not jut allowing some people to come here and play we’re bringing the families back together and we’re giving them hope. I was very impressed with my wife when I just clambered up the pole and said, “Okay, we’re going to do the highest one here.” And she was right on my heels and I thought that, you know, that’s certainly a side of her that I, you know, in this situation, that I had never seen before. All I did was look into his eyes and I knew he’d take care of me and he wouldn’t ask me to do anything that I couldn’t handle. And, um, it was actually… It’s been such an empowering experience for me that I know when we go home that I will take that trust with me… definitely. The faith that she has in our relationship to be able to go up and do that kind of set a big spark in my heart, that’s for sure. One of the benefits of being in Utah and Park City significantly, is how close we are to different recreational resources. We are 10 to 15 minutes away from two different lakes. We are five minutes away from three different beautiful mountains that we can ski through. There are ski trails all the way around us in the winter time for cross-country and nordic skiing. And then in the summer time, it’s mountain biking, and trail walking, and riding. It is settled in a beautiful place. In the mountains, in Park City… We have open spaces all around us, so once you get here to the ranch, there is a sense of peacefulness and connection to nature. Everybody should be able to enjoy this beautiful place that we are in. The variety of activities that we are able to provide here and the level of quality and professionalism that we bring to it as well is the national standard. We all love recreation and to be able to come to one place and be able to get everything that you want and meet everyone’s needs whether it’s someone who wants to compete in Special Olympics or the Paralympics or someone who wants to be introduced to riding a horse for the first time, or getting in the water and becoming water-safe, we have it all here on sight. The National Ability Center helps people with an injury or… you know, anything, just to get back to recreating by themselves. One of the things that allows somebody to be successful in their life in general, to be happy is their ability to play, and their ability to recreate. If you’re not doing that, if you’re not doing that together if you can’t do that with your friends, if you can’t do that with your family, then you’re not a healthy individual. For them to see… throughout their lives they may have been told, “You can’t do this. This is going to be harder for you. You’re going to have to work harder for this…” But really, they can do it, they just might have to do it a little bit differently. But they can still do it just like anybody else. I think one of the successes to the National Ability Center is that we are truly a partnership out there in the community and we work with volunteers, donors, partners like the Utah Office of Tourism, all of the mountain partners to really provide a well rounded product and opportunity for the folks that come and visit us. It’s hard to put into words the feelings that you get from the people that work here at the National Ability Center they’re just… they’re so willing to help you to grow and to overcome and to do what you want to do. It’s like they love their job and they love the helping and they want to see people grow and overcome or adapt to their abilities. [ You did awesome! ] [ You guys are great! ] [ Yeah! ] [ Cheering ]

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