Removing the Barriers Initiative, RTBI, recognizes that worthy organizations often get pressed down just trying to keep their programs going. They need a friend to just step up and give an unexpected hand.
We have done things as simple as helping a group home to get a needed wheelchair to creating and funding a camp for people with special needs. From creating an equestrian program for a special needs community to providing special dual tricycles to organizations. We donated a MobiChair so Barney, who was 50 years old and totally wheelchair bound his entire life, could take his first swim in a lake. And the special chair is available to any in the community who need its use.
One of our current projects is to get special golf car shuttles that accommodate wheelchairs into communities and on campuses that need shuttles. It may cost less to include people with mobility issues than to leave them out.
Our biggest undertaking to date is to include people with disabilities into the fun of the water. Our project is called Stirring Waters and it is an aquatic experience that is completely inclusive of people with disabilities – even severe disabilities. Stirring Waters will be built in Polk County, Florida, which is the poorest metro county in Florida and one of the 20 poorest in the nation. Imagine being within minutes of some of the most exciting water parks in the world, but not being included in their daily operation. Being within an hour of a gulf coast or ocean beach, but not being able to enjoy it.
RTBI wants to provide Stirring Waters so the group home will have a place to take its residents where they will have FUN and know they are welcome. So the person who is totally immobile will be able to be placed on a tube and float the lazy river right next to a future Olympic athlete.
Strategic alliances are being formed to create Stirring Waters. Award winning architects have volunteered to design both the landscape and the buildings. The Health Services Department of a local four year college is volunteering to help with the design of every facet to make sure it is inclusive and appropriate. The local business community is coming together, from the Chamber of Commerce to the one person business to help bring Stirring Waters into reality. And even other nonprofit organizations are partnering in fundraising efforts.
RTBI won’t own or run the facility as we will partner with an existing nonprofit for its operation. But, we will work to create a special trust fund so the money will always be there to keep Stirring Waters alive and well.
While we are starting in Florida, we have already provided assistance in Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana.
We work on the principle that you are not limited by your resources but by your vision.