Joining Together to Provide Unparalleled Services for All Abilities - National Ability Center

Joining Together to Provide Unparalleled Services for All Abilities

It’s been just over nine months since the National Ability Center and Splore joined forces. A historic, significant and incredible moment for both organizations, our combined missions, programs, families, partners, volunteers and supporters. As you can imagine the past few months have be filled with learning, connecting, struggle and triumph as we take the best of both. There have already been amazing moments throughout our short journey together – having both founders, Meeche and Martha, share their wisdom at our spring staff retreat, a 40th celebration with over 200 Splore supporters and the famous (or infamous) Disgusting Brothers last Saturday night and a 50 year lease with Vail Resorts to grow our on-mountain programs.

 

“And here we are in the first steps of joining the National Ability Center-and from where I’m standing, it’s a dream come true.  Like Splore, the NAC was an early actor in the accessibility movement.  The collected abilities and shared resources of the NAC and Splore are a galvanizing complement.”  
Martha Ham, Founder of Splore

Combined, NAC and Splore bring over 70 years of expertise and programming for people of all abilities. Our history is our foundation and we will remain true to it as we forge forward together. And everyone who knows Martha and Meeche agrees – it is because of them Splore and NAC are still here, thriving today.

I greatly admire both Meeche White, co-founder of the National Ability Center, and Martha Ham, founder of Splore for a lot of reasons. First among those reasons is their leadership in what is now called the “ability movement.”  Back in the late 70s and early 80s, Martha and Meeche, in their own separate ways, challenged us all to think differently. Before the ADA and other regulations even came into play, they gave individuals with disabilities a voice and a choice. Both organizations started as grassroots movements that provided people who’d previously been viewed as “limited” the opportunity to challenge themselves and the status quo. Martha and Meeche each saw a need, imaged a future with new possibilities, willingly took a leap that they could make a difference, and then, most importantly, rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

 

 

Both organizations started as grassroots movements that provided people who’d previously been viewed as “limited” the opportunity to challenge themselves and the status quo.

 

As Martha describes early Splore adventures, “staff, participants and volunteers were drawn to the landscape, and most notably to the river. These forays, or dare I say “experiments” called river trips with people of all abilities blurred the line, leveled the playing field, opened our eyes and delivered us to a new social norm. It would be hard to say who learned more.”

 

“Together, we have much to celebrate in having served so many people with disabilities throughout the years. Now the NAC and SPLORE can be even more effective as we merge our energies and resources.”
Meeche White, National Ability Center Co-Founder

 

Together, we have much to celebrate in having served so many people with disabilities throughout the years,” shared Meeche, “Now the NAC and SPLORE can be even more effective as we merge our energies and resources.”
I could not be more honored to have the support, guidance and mentorship of both Meeche White and Martha Ham as we move forward as one organization with unparalleled services for all abilities. It’s not lost on me, and hopefully not you either, how different our world would be without pioneers, visionaries and advocates like these two incredible women. And, it’s now our responsibility to make sure their vision continues to grow.

Together, we are already serving more than 5,500 individuals of all abilities from Utah and all over world on the Wasatch Front, in Moab, to the Ranch in Park City and the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort and beyond.

Take a look at the energy building at last Saturday’s Anniversary event: https://discovernac.smugmug.com/Events/Splore-40th-Anniversary/

Join me as we advocate, share, give, volunteer, and most importantly, recognize and celebrate the abilities within each of us. To learn more about how to get involved visit www.discovernac.org,www.splore.org or stop by the ranch for a tour!

 

 


Gail Barille
Chief Executive Officer
National Ability Center

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