I'm a Typical Kid
When people think of someone who is in a wheelchair, they immediately think of the elderly, or someone who has little to no mobility... but the reality is, there are more people under age 25 in wheelchairs than any other age bracket. WOW Oregon offers a scouting-type experience to kids who use chairs, beginning at age 5.

These kids, like any other, are very impressionable. If they learn now that they DO matter, and CAN make a difference, they will contribute to society and become great leaders and advocates for future generations. Being in a wheelchair changes nothing in the heart of a child. They enjoy all the same things as their peers, be it art, sports, snacks, telling secrets, hugs, and more. They want to be free to race across a playground, or wander into the kitchen for milk and cookies with a friend. These are typical kids with typical desires.

Friends Forever!
As a child, we probably all recall having a "best friend" and just how important this was. Some things we looked for in that friend were what we had in common and unconditional acceptance. WOW offers kids who use wheelchairs the chance to meet others who share their method of mobility, as well as their challenges in life. These are friends who cannot wander off up a flight of steps and leave them behind. They share a special bond and understanding of what freindship is truly all about.
A True Winner
Imagine being 7 years old and having to sit and watch your friends go off to Scouts, but you could not join them because it was not accessable to your wheelchair. Imagine being on a playground watching the other kids climb to the top of the monkey bars, but you cannot climb because you have no use of your legs. Imagine going to birthday parties and sitting out of games because you cannot get to them or cannot run. Imagine being sent to the library every time your second grade class went to PE because the gym class was not "adapted" and they were not sure what else to do with you. Imagine your entire world being limited because people around you set limits on what they felt was "safe" for you to do, while the other kids your age are given the chance to challenge themselves.

After 7 years of this being all the life you were allowed to have or know, imagine someone offering you a chance to join a scouting-type group, where you can earn badges, play sports, and challenge yourself. Imagine getting to go to the State Disability Sports Indoor Track Meet, and compete with other kids who use wheelchairs. For the first time in your life you sit at a starting line of a REAL race.. no head start, no guaranteed win. You experience the sense of competition for the first time as the starting gun goes off. With all your power you take off wheeling around the indoor track... eyes fixed straight ahead, heart pounding. You hear the crowd in the stands cheering for you as you round the curve headed towards the finish line... and as you cross it your Dad comes out of the stands to pick you up and proudly proclain "Thats MY Son!"

It does not matter where you place, it is the fact you are allowed to give your best, and be rewarded with that. Blue, Red, White ribbon ... the color itself doesn't matter so much as does the fact you finally truly EARNED it all by yourself.

WOW... Empowering Todays Youth Who Use Wheelchairs To Be The Best They Can Be And To Believe In Themselves.

WOW Special Events
When raising a special needs child, it often may seem there is not a great deal to do as a family. One thing WOW offers is the opportunity to try new activities, visit new places, and find new ideas for family time.

The annual fishing trip is one where the kids can get out and enjoy the fresh air, while sharing a interest with siblings and parents. So far WOW Oregon has had jinxed fishing trips with no catches, but there has been no shortage of laughter and fun. The families are learning of new areas that have access, as well as a new skill their child has that the family can all enjoy.

Often the only barrier between a wheelchair and a group activity is creativity. Where there is a will there is a way. Almost all sports have been adapted for wheelchairs,as well as recreation sites. this includes zoos, museums, hiking trails, campgrounds, and more. Where there is a will... there is a way.. if you will only believe.

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last updated: 8/6/02