December 2022

Photo of Kelly (a blonde woman wearing Minnie Mouse ears, a black hat, and black long sleeve), and Jeff (a man with tied back dark brown hair and wearing a grey tshirt, pink button up and bluejeans) smile for a photo together in front of the giant Christmas tree at Disneyland. Text reads "Happy Holidays."
Dear Friends,

How has this year already come to an end? So much to reflect on from all the events, new friends and travel. In this newsletter you'll find an event recap, link to an accessible travel blog, and impactful customer reviews. Enjoy!

I'm grateful to have had more time to spend with family this past month. My brother has 3 young children and it is always a joy seeing the holidays through their eyes! Wishing you all a safe and peaceful holiday season!


CEO Access Trax


Kelly Meets Travel Blogger Cory Lee

A man and woman smile for a photo on the beach on a sunny day. The man is seated in his power wheelchair and is wearing eye glasses, a dark sweatshirt, khaki pants and white tennis shoes. The woman is wearing a grey hat, olive green long sleeve, grey cargo pants and slides with socks. They are on top of a grey access mat for wheelchair access over the sand.

Kelly recently had the chance to connect with well-known travel blogger Cory Lee and his mom Sandy. Cory enjoys sharing his accessible travel tips learned from years of exploring all 7 continents. Cory and Sandy happened to travel to San Diego and Kelly was able to make their Mission Beach visit accessible using Access Trax! It was great to spend the morning with them and share how Access Trax got its start as a school project.

Cory Lee's accessible travel blog "Curb Free with Cory Lee" features the amazing places he's traveled to including Ecuador, India, Melbourne, South Africa, Morocco and more! His goal is to share his experiences as a disabled traveler in the hopes that others will be motivated to see the beautiful and interesting places the world has to offer. To read his recent blog on visiting San Diego, click the button below.

Read Cory's Wheelchair Travel Guide for San Diego

Dec 3 International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Watch Apple's Video Tribute to IDPWD 2023
December 3rd is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. In honor of this day, Apple released a great video featuring people with disabilities going about their lives while using accessibility features built into Apple devices.

This year on December 3rd, Access Trax was sponsoring an adaptive surf clinic hosted by AmpSurf up in Pismo Beach, CA! This surf clinic was part of the week-long World Para Surfing Championships where over 180 elite para surfers competed for gold. Learn more in the event recap below.

World Para Surfing Championship Recap

Photo shows adaptive surfers walking or rolling in their wheelchairs on or near the Access Trax beach access mats on sand at the beach during the World Para Surfing Championships. Two surfers in manual chairs have "Japan" on their sweatshirts.
Three adaptive surfers smile for a photo behind the "Pismo Beach" letters in the plaza at Pismo Beach. Two of them are women and the person in the middle is a man. They are all seated in manual wheelchairs.
An adaptive surfer riding a waveski leans into the wave, carving let with their paddle. They are wearing a black wetsuit and red surf competition jersey.
A female adaptive surfer stands on her yellow board surfing a wave to the right. She is wearing a black wetsuit and white competition jersey. In her hands are small paddles. She has shortened arms.
A male adaptive surfer from Brazil smiles for an interview holding his waveski board, seated in his manual wheelchair on sand at the beach. He is in front of a clear sign that says "Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship and there is an interviewer seated next to him and a camera man in front.
Jose, a male adaptive surfer, smiles while watching fellow teammates surf in the water. He is leaning on the pier and wearing a USA jacket. There is an American flag behind him.
Watch Video Highlights
The 2022 Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship hosted by AmpSurf took place in early December. Over 180 elite para surfers from 27 countries (plus Hawaii which competes separately from the US due to a large team) competed for gold. Surfers showcased their skills in 1 of 9 Para Surf Divisions. Examples of divisions include vision impaired, kneeling, standing, prone, and waveski. Thanks to increasing efforts to recruit female surfers around the world, most divisions had enough competitors for male and female divisions. Waveski, however, is one division that would love to welcome more female surfers!

The more competitors a country has, the more points they can potentially earn towards the overall winning score. USA took home overall Gold, with France earning Silver and Spain securing Bronze. This year, the youngest competitor was Jade Edward from Scotland, who at just 10 years old, competed in her first ever world championship. Jade competed in the women's prone assist (Prone 2) division and secured 7th place out of 14. Well done, Jade! It was great to meet the whole team from Scotland. They even gave Kelly a pin representing both the Scottish and American flags!

While the weather didn't always cooperate during the competition, spirits remained high and it was another fantastic event. We are already looking forward to next year.
See All Results

A Vacation to Remember: First Time Back on the Beach in 7 Years Since Accident

Greg, a middle-aged white man with a beard, smiles for a photo at the beach in Florida while on vacation. He is wearing a black Nike hat, sunglasses, white shirt and black shorts with black tennis shoes and is seated in his power wheelchair over the grey Access Trax mats for access on the sand. He is in the shade of a beach popup tent.
This fall, Greg found Access Trax during an online search for ways to visit the beach in his wheelchair. He gave Kelly a call, and the rest is history! Below, we share Greg's story in his own words.

"On July 6, 2015, while in Cancun, Mexico, I was swimming in very small waves and in a freak accident went headfirst into the sand and broke my neck. This resulted in a complete C4 injury. Since that time, I have taken two vacations to Destin, Florida. Most recently, October 8 through the 15th, my friends and family enjoyed the relatively large house that we rented very close to the beach.

Since my accident, not only have I never worn shorts but I have not had the opportunity to all watch my son have fun on the beach....The sand on the Gulf Coast of Florida is incredibly soft and deep but we were still able to drive easily across [Access Trax] to where we set up the tent to provide shade.

For a couple of days, we went to the beach where everyone enjoyed the sun, water, and spending time together... The Access Trax were affordable for me, but how can you put a price on freedom?"

Thank you so much for sharing what Access Trax meant to you on your recent vacation, Greg! Cheers to many more sunny beach days with friends and family.
More Reviews

Kelly Invited Back to Harvard Spring 2023

Photo of a lecture hall classroom at Harvard with a large projector screen showing a power point slide. Students are seen in seats and there is a blonde woman standing at the front of the classroom.
Back in March of this year, Kelly presented to Harvard students, sharing her experiences with grant writing and running a social impact startup. The Lemann Program on Creativity and Entrepreneurship is a relatively new program at Harvard, with a focus on helping students cultivate ideas into ventures that make a real-world difference. This focus on social impact entrepreneurship is what drew Kelly to the opportunity. 

Students were deeply impacted by both her content and approach back in March of 2022. Consequently, Kelly was invited back and will present at Harvard again in February 2023. Kelly believes sharing advice with students is another important way to make an impact in the world. "I could have avoided a lot of mistakes and saved time and money if someone told me the tips that I'm able to now share with others."

Move United Sport 2023 Calendar Available

Move United Sport is the largest adaptive sports organization in the United States and uses the power of sport to push what's possible for people with disabilities. Each year, they host a photo contest to gather incredible photos for their calendar. You can download a free copy or order a print version for just $10 (includes shipping). Click the link below to check it out!

As a reminder, Access Trax is proud to offer Move United Sport chapters a discount when purchasing Access Trax for their adaptive sports programs. Contact us to learn more!
Download or Order Print Copy

Courageous Comics Gears Up to Launch First Comic in 2023

Have you heard of Courageous Comics? You may have met founder Daniel walking around the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles. His friendly personality can't be missed! His inspiration for creating a comic series based on superheroes with disabilities is based on a desire to see himself in the comics. Representation matters! Now, the time has come to bring his vision to reality and he is asking for the community's help.

Courageous Comics is fundraising in order to officially launch and print their first graphic novel in 2023, focused on the superhero Serenity. Serenity is a blind woman who owns a coffee shop in San Francisco. One day, she undergoes a transformation in a mysterious cave and obtains superpowers. When her best friend's daughter is kidnapped by a notorious villain, she must race against the clock to save her.

The comic about Serenity is just the first in a whole Courageous Comics Universe where heroes with and without disabilities work side-by-side to save the world!

Learn More

Warrior Canine Connection Uses Access Trax

Photo shows 2 black labs and 2 yellow labs laying in grass in front of a white fence and large aluminum letters "WCC". There are American flag style banners hanging from the fence. The dogs are all wearing service dog vests.
Warrior Canine Connection is a nonprofit that enlists recovering Warriors in a therapeutic mission of learning to train service dogs for their fellow Veterans. They use a Mission Based Trauma Recovery model to help Warriors reconnect with life, their families, communities and each other.

When the service dogs complete their training, a huge graduation ceremony marks the milestone. This typically occurs in an outdoor location on grass and gravel, so it was important to the nonprofit to make the area accessible. Access Trax was a great portable option!

Here's what Kim of Warrior Canine Connection had to say:

"Graduation was amazing! Beautiful weather, largest graduating class to date, and 500 supporters on hand! We received raving reviews on our Access Trax. From the team that put them down (we had all 180 ft down in 20 min!!) to the Veterans in chairs or using crutches, they were a hit!"
Photo shows 3 women lined up at tables with BBQ sauce at an outdoor event. They or on grass and a grey portable wheelchair access pathway can be seen in the background leading from the parking lot to the tables.
Here you can glimpse the Access Trax set up on grass so everyone can access the food station at the graduation.
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