Co-Founder Speaks Out: Challenged America 2015 A New Beginning
As we begin the 38th year of Challenged America, we are proud of the many accomplishments made in introducing sailing as a successful therapeutic activity and a stepping-stone for the disabled to [once again] enter into the workplace.
With changing times and the 3 or 4 key Challenged America financial supporters no longer with us (having passed away or now unable to help, due to health), dramatic changes were in order, and the charity’s (Disabled Businesspersons Association) board of directors is currently in the reinventing phase for the Challenged America Program, as well as the four other programs in the charity.
The question posed to the board is: “If you could start all over again, given what you already know, what would you do differently?”
Experience is a great educator, and having been on the cutting-edge in techniques and practices, adaptations and accommodations to equalize – for all – the ability to safely sail and race a vessel independently alongside and against other (able-bodied) sailors, in both small and larger vessels, in inland, coastal and ocean passages, has taught us much. Today, many around the world use the experience and adventures of sailors in the Challenged America Program as their template and protocol.
Right now we’re seeking the donation of a larger offshore sailing yacht, whether classic, racer or racer-cruiser, able to accommodate a crew of 12 to 25 (or more) sailors.
From this donation, the type of educational, team-building and life-enriching adventures will be plotted by the board…to include, but not be limited to having a paid staff, interns, structured educational programs for Program participants, recreational and occupational therapists, educators and other professionals, and loved ones of the disabled
An advisory group, to include DBA board members, will be meeting in the first quarter of 2015 to plot out the future direction for Challenged America, and their resulting recommendations will be posted afterwards.
Do you have any thoughts, suggestions or recommendations to give to this advisory group – related to the mission of increasing the successful workplace outcomes of the disabled, through the Challenged America Program?
Do you know of or have a larger sailing vessel that could satisfy, either immediately or in the very near future, the needs of the Challenged America Program?
Have thoughts of a joint venture or collaboration?
Looking forward to your response and how you can contribute to the new adventures in the Challenged America Program.
Email your questions, comments and suggestions to