Brady’s Ability First Story

Turning My Challenges into Other’s Opportunities Brady Dean is a 40-year-old man who was diagnosed with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy early in life but hasn’t let that get in the way of his love for fitness nor his desire to make sure that everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability, has the opportunity to participate in … Read more

MPower Me MyGuide Care

MPowerMe, founded by Dr. Maria McWhirt, has developed do-it-yourself tech-based tools to empower everyone with temporary or permanent special needs to participate more meaningfully in their own lives. MyGuide by MPower Me is programmable assistive technology that supports independence, self-expression, employment, and inclusion for all members of society in ways that are not otherwise possible. … Read more

Daniel Barnhart’s WHSV Interview

Mentioned: Edge Effect Fitness, LLC – edgeeffectfitness.com

Click here for a captioned version on WHSV.com.

Amanda Campbell, who is on the leadership team for the coalition, said part of the group’s mission is to give people with disabilities a chance to try a new physical activity. It received a grant by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities to allow these scholarships.

“Individuals may not realize that, ‘Hey, this is an activity that I can do, this is an activity that is for me,'” said Campbell.

Daniel Barnhart is the project assistant for individuals with disabilities and families for the coalition. Barnhart is also a recipient of one of the scholarships from the coalition.

He has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, and he has used the scholarship to take up the sport of boxing.

“I feel the happiest I’ve ever been,” said Barnhart.

Barnhart works with trainer Randy Simpson, who owns Edge Effect Fitness in Harrisonburg, which is an all-inclusive gym.

“Physical activity is probably the best medicine that there is and we’re trying to provide that,” said Simpson.

Barnhart said boxing has become a spiritual activity for him, and it allows him to do things he hasn’t done in years.

“I’m able to use my hands, I’m able to manipulate my hands, and use my body and be in touch with my body,” said Barnhart. “Everybody has a life, no matter how disabled they are.”

“…A Part of What [We] Normally Do” — The Waynesboro YMCA

The Waynesboro YMCA wants to create an inclusive environment for everyone that walks through its doors, as it strives to better realize its core focus of “youth development, social responsibility, and healthy living.” This effort includes developing and implementing a variety of sports and fitness programs for people from infancy to seniors. Participants can cheer, … Read more

A Hole in One for Everyone

Deep in the heartland of Harrisonburg, Virginia sits a place referred to by the locals as “The Arc.” As the name suggests, it’s a place of refuge for people with disabilities. Chase Imoru puts it best: “We assist clients with personal goals that they have that they and their caretakers or their caregivers have helped … Read more

Daniel Barnhart

Daniel Barnhart is a 24-year-old with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, who enjoys writing and blogging about whatever is on his mind. Daniel is seen as a trailblazer and inspiration to most since he has completed his bachelor’s degree and is in the process of going to graduate school, but this is the idea that he … Read more