Help CDCI and Ambucs Get Kids on Bikes!
- By Michaella Maley Collins
Some children need extra special equipment to be successful at riding a bike. Vermont has a local chapter of AMBUCS, a national organization dedicated to providing mobility and independence for children with disabilities. These special bikes, called Amtrykes, are able to be adapted for each child's movement challenges, with special seating, trunk supports, back supports, footplates, and hand cranks.
Every year, the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion works with the Vermont Chapter of AMBUCS to sponsor an annual AMBUCS Open House and bike fitting. Kids from all over Vermont attend and are fitted for AmTrykes. CDCI staff, and volunteer physical and occupational therapists are on hand to evaluate and specialize each bike with adaptations for each child's needs. At the latest fitting this June, 38 kids were fitted for AmTrykes. Since this partnership program with CDCI was started, over 110 bikes have been fitted and delivered to Vermont kids!
The Vermont Friends Chapter of AMBUCS is a 501 (c) (3) organization and volunteer members consist of local therapists and business people working to provide the gift of mobility to children with disabilities through the AmTryke Therapeutic Tricycle Program. The need in Vermont is great as the 2008 Cornell University Disability Status Report for Vermont reported that 500 children between the ages of 5-15 have an ambulatory disability with an additional 5,900 experiencing a cognitive disability (Numbers were not reported for children under five years of age, and this is an age group that can benefit from the AmTryke). AmTrykes provide the opportunity for exercise, helps develop motor skills, builds self esteem and most importantly offers the opportunity for inclusive play.
Therapists and families working with children that have received AmTrykes report that they provide fun and challenging physical activity; all wrapped up in a therapeutic tricycle!
Those needing financial intervention to purchase an AmTryke are placed on our Vermont Wish List until funds can be raised. Fund raising is now underway and we can use your help, with the goal of providing bikes for all of the Vermonters on the wish list!
For questions, contact Marie MacLeod at 802-496-5399, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To help in the fundraising effort tax deductible donations may be made to: Vermont Friends of AMBUCS, and mailed to: Vermont Friends of AMBUCS, 12 Hopkins St., South Burlington, VT 05403.
You can also donate online: http://www.active.com/donate/vtkidbike