Project Detail
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Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Gateway to Adventure  

Wilderness Inquiry (WI) is a national leader in providing outdoor recreation and adventure programs for fully integrated groups of persons with and without disabilities. Its mission and accomplishments in serving tens of thousands of program participants in wilderness settings from Alaska to the Everglades have been featured in print and broadcast media throughout the United States. WI has developed an innovative Universal Program Participation Model (UPPM) to guide its planning, staffing, and provision of accommodations for adventure-seekers irrespective of their physical abilities. In this project WI, along with the University of Minnesota and other service provider partners will reinvent the UPPM to better serve persons with cognitive disabilities (i.e., mental retardation, brain injuries, autism and impairments of cognition). The focus of this project is developing, testing, and training other organizations in this model and creating an Internet clearinghouse to disseminate the model. Over the three-year project, more than 1,200 people with cognitive disabilities will be introduced to outdoor adventure activities, more than 200 will be trained, and at least 150 will participate in a 5-7 day adventure trip in an integrated group of people with and without disabilities. Moving from a philosophy of immersion to an approach that supports and develops social competence represents a major breakthrough in the delivery of outdoor recreation programs for people with cognitive disabilities. If widely adopted, this model would create major systems change and significantly increase the quality and quantity of opportunities for integrated outdoor recreation for people with cognitive disabilities. Project Status


Funder Department of Education
Fiscal Year Funding $69,371.00
Current Award Period 2008-2011
Project Number H128J080019
Principal Investigator Milligan-Toffler, Sarah
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 5: Where Can I Turn For Services? (Services)
Subcategory Community Inclusion Programs
Strategic Plan Objective 5O. Not specific to Question 5 objectives
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Wilderness Inquiry
State/Country Minnesota
Web Link 1 Gateway to Adventure (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Gateway to adventure | $0.00 | 2011 | H128J080019