Archive for June, 2011

Outdoors Fun for Everyone: Find the Adapted Bike Perfect for Special Needs

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

“The benefits we gain from cycling are evident: exercise, independence, confidence and of course fun,” explains Special Needs Senior Brand Manager Michelle M. “People of all ages who may be experiencing a disability, either cognitive or physical, can use a bike that’s the right fit for them to participate in this wonderful activity. “Age or physical stamina need not keep you from enjoying this pleasurable outdoor pastime,” she continues. “Take in the scenery, breathe the fresh air or feel the wind in your face. Regardless of ability, there is a bike out there that everyone can ride.

 She’s not kidding! With almost 40 bikes for adults with special needs and 60 bikes for kids with special needs, there really is a bicycle for every eager and willing rider.

In order to select the correct bike, ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Does the rider have neck and trunk control?
  2. Can the rider step up and over a bar?
  3. Can the rider pedal by him or herself?
  4. Is the rider strong enough to propel a bike forward?

Once you know the answers to these simple questions, you can choose the right bike by measuring the rider’s inseam, height and weight. 

For riders with difficulty supporting their neck and trunk, we offer the Duet Cycle: it’s a wheelchair crossed with a bicycle. A caregiver can propel the Duet from behind on the bike while a wheelchair-bound rider can experience the joys of cycling up front, first hand.

The affordable Just 4 Me Trike comes in three sizes and features a removable and adjustable backrest with pad, chest strap, seat belt for safety and adjustable push handle. It’s also very easy to mount with its low to the ground center bar.

The Adventurer 2000 features a pass through design and step-on platform for easy loading. It includes rear steering for caregiver control, a high padded backrest, a locking hand brake as well as an adjustable seat and a safety belt for maximum stability.

The Micah Special Needs Tricycle is another option for riders with unstable trunk support and low stamina. Ideal for mobility skill building and exercise, this tricycle also features rear steering so that a caregiver can walk behind and keep the rider moving and on track. The Micah supports riders weighing up to 225 lbs.

For an assisted yet social bike riding experience, try Side-by-Side Trike, available in two speeds and also an electrically assisted model. Unlike the Micah or the Duet, Side-by-Side positions rider and caregiver next to each other. The rider need not pedal but does have the option to participate. And riding partners not only get to take in the scenery together, but they can converse about it too.

The Low Rider Recumbent Tricycle comes in two speeds and also an electrically assisted version. The benefits of this tricycle are easy transfer – it can be mounted from a seated position in a wheelchair due to its signature 18 3/4-inch seat height, comfortable trunk support and elevated pedal positioning. The electrical assist Low Rider makes cycling a breeze for riders who lack the stamina to pedal for long distances or need assistance on inclines. With its standard wide seat and backrest, the Low Rider accommodates riders up to 550 lbs.

Affordable and innovative TriTon Trikes – including the Mobo, the TriTon and the TriTon Pro – feature a distinct, non-standard steering mechanism, recumbent design for comfortable back support, adjustable frames and caliper hand brakes. The direct drive system of the TriTon and TriTon Pro eliminates greasy chains. These models feature a generously padded seat and safety flag. The TriTon Mobo features a reclining seat back with several angle settings and a foldable frame for easy transport.

Finally, consider riding the WTX Trike. Though it may appear to be just for the young, it’s really for the young at heart. Super-wide tracking wheels offer added stability and exceptional traction for this tricycle that accommodates riders up to 300 lbs. “You can’t avoid smiling when you ride the WTX,” Michelle explains. Accessories are available to suit our selection of bikes, and even enhance off-the-shelf bikes you’ve already purchased, including: weighted pedals, flashing LED pedals, an extra-wide comfort seat, reflector pack and helmet. A disability need not keep you or someone you know from enjoying the thrill of cycling in the great outdoors.
              “Have fun this summer, and don’t forget your helmet!

Wishing you the best summer ever!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

Spring forward! Money for your team, institution and community

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Learn and Serve America Youth Engagement Zones
This program provides support to service-learning projects designed to improve academic engagement and achievement and student attendance and behavior: the focus is on civic engagement and connecting youth with citizens from diverse communities, backgrounds, and perspectives. Priority will be given to service-learning projects that involve students and community stakeholders in the design and implementation, target low-income or rural communities within the proposed geographic “zone,” and utilize adult volunteers in the planning and implementation. Grant awards range from approximately $700,000 to $1,500,000 to support 3 years of operations.
Deadline: March 21, 2011

Click here to learn how to apply

World of Children Awards
The World of Children Awards program was created to recognize and elevate those selfless individuals who make a difference in the lives of children here in the USA and across the globe, regardless of political, religious or geographical boundaries.

The 2011 Humanitarian Award ($50,000) recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to children in the areas of social services, education or humanitarian services. The 2011 Health Award ($50,000) recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to children in the fields of health, medicine or the sciences. The 2011 Youth Award ($25,000) recognizes youth (under 21) who are making extraordinary contributions to the lives of other children. In all cases, nominees must be associated with existing non-profit organizations in good standing which can receive grant funds if awarded.

Deadline: April 2, 2011

Click here to learn how to apply

Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics

New Indoor Fun Ideas for Cold Winter Days

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

How to trump the blizzard? Here are some fun indoor activities for all ages and abilities.

Kids with Special Needs:

Adapted Steeple Course Set
Features 60″ L X-Long Bars and Small Flat Hoops to provide more flexibility in configuring a course that can also be used by all children.

Kids 5+:

Activity Cubes
Roll the cubes and perform the action! These 18-oz coated vinyl cubes are printed with non-toxic inks. Filled with firm foam. Each measures 8″ x 8″. SPECIFY: Motion, Movement or Gymnastic Bears.

Active Kids of all Ages:

Activity Walking Trail
Create dozens of walking trails with one set! Set includes 12-35″ L blue walking boards and 4-13″-dia. red circular bases that connect to create a multitude of exciting balance challenges.

Adults with Special Needs:

Exciting Alternative To Horseshoes! Baggo is a completely self-contained horseshoes alternative. Everything you need is included in one easy-to-store, convenient pack. Features two oblong target boards with stands and a set of tossing beanbags.

 Play More, Win More!
Your Friends at Mansion Athletics