For People With Disabilities, A New Way To Enjoy Being On The Ocean
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For People With Disabilities, A New Way To Enjoy Being On The Ocean

Sail to Prevail is a non-profit organization that provides people with disabilities a chance to learn to sail.

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For People With Disabilities, A New Way To Enjoy Being On The Ocean
Amelia Castelli

Other than being known for its magnificent mansions, Newport is also known for its sailing. Every summer, in Fort Adams State Park, Sail to Prevail provides a therapeutic service for children and adults with disabilities. Anyone with a disability, whether it is physical or intellectual, is able to go for a two hour sail around Newport with family or friends and is able to learn how to steer and maneuver the boat. This past week, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to this non-profit organization by my boyfriend’s mom, who has Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.), and her family.

Before the event, I was really looking forward to sailing as I had never sailed before. Since it was provided by an organization that provides services like this, I was even more interested. There were numerous people with M.S. sailing that day, not just us. We had a “team” of five people and got to have our own “Independence 20” sail boat. Since my boyfriend’s mom is in a wheelchair, they transferred her with a seated lift from her wheelchair to a seat on the boat. It was a very neat method and I was very impressed with the people who helped her; they were very calm and knew exactly what to do. They weren’t at all intimidated nor were they talking down to my boyfriend’s mom, as I sometimes encounter people doing when they talk to a person with disabilities. Once we were on the water, we learned a bit about the boat and the different parts and how to steer it. Our instructor was so friendly and perfect for a job like this. I appreciate those who help people with disabilities do things they think they aren’t able to do.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience for my boyfriend’s family and me. We enjoyed tranquil sailing and a beautiful view of the Newport Bridge, which I took many pictures of. I didn’t learn until I was there that Sail to Prevail is open to anyone with a disability, not only people with M.S. This means that my boyfriend’s cousin who has Autism or my brother who has special needs are both able to be included in this activity as well. Other than Newport, Sail to Prevail also sails out of Nantucket and out of Boston, which is run by the Harvard Sailing Team. It is also a Paralympic Sport Club which allows people of all ages and abilities to come together and sail. Sail to Prevail is a model for other organizations to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to become involved in activities they never thought they could.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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