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Welcome to the February 2019 issue of the Amputee Concierge Newsletter, and thank you for being a part of our ever-growing community of support! 

Over the past month we have received a tremendous response and engagement from our community, and we could not be more excited to continue to grow and evolve with you! 
 
This month's issue is an exciting one! We feature our first guest contributors. We're thankful to these strong individuals for sharing their stories and insights. Their journeys are filled with adversity and empowerment: each a shining example of strength, and overcoming adversity. Thank you Lacey and Erin for contributing to this newsletter, and for the amazing things you do within your communities. Your work is meaningful and we’re honored you are sharing a little piece of yourself on this platform.  

A new location from Accessible Boulder is also featured in this issue, as well as some other exciting news from our community highlighting upcoming events.   
Enjoy! 
                                                  - Craig 
Featured Q & A of the Month

Lacey Henderson answers our question of the month. I had the pleasure meeting Lacey last year in Austin, TX. She is a person I look up to, and I hope to inspire others as she does. Lacey is a Paralympian, motivational speaker, writer, blogger, social media influencer, and that's just to name a few! But most importantly, a person!

Click ‘Support Lacey!’ below to connect to her personal website and blog. We encourage you to explore her writing more and please give her your support!
Do you consider yourself to be disabled? 

"At the end of the day, I do consider myself to be disabled. For lack of a better word, that was the one assigned to our particular group and at the end of the day; when my leg comes off my physical abilities significantly change. I think acknowledging and honoring ourselves, and our respective disabilities leads a way not only for self acceptance, but for growth and strength that encourage us to overcome the obstacles that are included with having an unconventional body."
- Lacey Henderson 
 
Support Lacey!
Each month we will present a question to you about life, perspective, and circumstance with the intention of sparking conversation and ideas. 

Shared experiences and perspectives are often undervalued and this a is space that can bring value and empowerment back to ourselves, while being inclusive to everyone.
Community Member of the Month
Hi, My Name is... Erin Ball
Photo by Jon Nicholls

Written by Erin Ball
legacycircus.com
kingstoncircusarts.com
@erinballcircus

My story goes back a lot further than the time of my accident but that’s the book version…it’s so long and complicated that a short piece can’t do it justice. 

I will say that at the time of my accident, I was not in a great place. On the outside, I was running a business in a field that was and is a huge passion of mine but there were some things in my personal life that were not what I wanted them to be. I was performing and teaching circus arts which I consider to be a huge honour. I was in a relationship that was on its way out and we had quite a bad night. 

I went for a drive after a big fight. I often drove to clear my head. I also often walked in the woods to clear my head. The difference that night was that I was in a particularly unclear state of mind and it was winter. 

I live in Canada. It was March, 2014. It wasn’t THAT cold for Canada but I was not dressed to be out in the woods, alone, at night. My boots were not water proof. 

Photo credit: LEGacy Circus performing at the St John's International Circus Fest. Photo by Alick Tsui

I had been driving for hours and I made a decision that instead of turning around to get gas, I parked in the middle of nowhere (it turned out to be a hunting camp though I didn’t know it at the time) and I got out of my car. I can’t remember if I left my phone in the car or if I just didn’t have service. 

I walked for awhile, through snow and puddles. It was quite swampy. My feet got wet. I sat down for awhile to think. I felt really stuck in my life and the woods seemed like a place where I could think and get clarity. I did…but it took a long time and it was quite the journey to get there. 

When I went to get up, I could not feel my feet. They were completely numb. I could not walk. So I crawled. I thought I knew where I was going but I had gotten completely turned around. I thought my car was just up ahead but the woods opened up to a clearing and around the edges, for as far as I could see, there were trees. That was when I knew I was in trouble. I screamed for help over and over but no one came. Continue reading... 

Share Your Story
In The News

Winter on Wheels - Wheelchair Experience and Scavenger Hunt

Join Topher Downham of the City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks Department and Craig Towler of Amputee Concierge to learn what it's like navigating the city by wheelchair. Try wheeling through the Main Boulder Public Library while accomplishing basic tasks and, weather permitting, roll outside to get a feel for how people dependent on wheelchairs get where they need to go. Topher and Craig are excellent and highly experienced guides with eye-opening stories. Afterward, we might even walk and roll over to the St. Julien for continued conversation and happy hour!

This event is one of three walks we're hosting through our Boulder Walks partnership with the City of Boulder for Winter Walk and Bike Week: https://bouldercolorado.gov/goboulder/winter-walk-and-bike-week

Walking Movement Leader: Darcy Kitching is a co-owner of the Walk2Connect Co-op and is the Walk2Connect collaborative storyteller. She loves a great walking story - read the stories she has collected (http://walk2connectstories.tumblr.com/), and watch her Ignite Boulder talk on walking (https://youtu.be/K77_bl8GTTc).

Schedule, Planning and Transit: Meet us just inside the Canyon Entrance to the Boulder Public Library (in the Canyon Gallery). We'll get acquainted, then start rolling through the library at about 4:05. Park in the library lot (be sure to enter your license plate number at the kiosk for 90 minutes free), or take the 205 bus down Canyon or the Skip bus down Broadway to meet us.

Trip Notes:
~ No dogs, please.
~ This experience will primarily be indoors, but do bring weather-appropriate clothing (jacket, hat, gloves) in case we get to walk and roll outside.

Cancellation Policy: This walk will take place rain or shine and will only be canceled in the event of extreme weather conditions. Contact [masked] with any questions about whether the walk will happen.

Welcome Waivers: Please fill out the online “Welcome Waiver” (http://www.walk2connect.com/welcomewaiver/) or download, print, sign, and turn in a hard copy if this will be your first Walk2Connect walking experience this year.

Sign Up
More News

Bicycle-Friendly Driver Course

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

No matter how we get around, safety is a shared responsibility. Join a course on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6 - 7:30 pm at 1101 Arapahoe Ave. to learn how you can be a bicycle-friendly driver. Topics include:
  • Common crashes between motorists and bicyclists and how to avoid them.
  • Legal and illegal behavior for both motorists and bicyclists.
  • And more! 
Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a Bicycle-Friendly Driver certificate and sticker to display on their vehicle. Register for the course, or learn more about the Bicycle-Friendly Driver Program.
Learn More
Register Now
Accessible Location of the Month
 
 
This month's accessible location is the Boulder Creek Path, in Boulder Colorado.

In support of Winter Walk and Bike Week and the fact that the Boulder Creek Path is used year-round, we thought this was the perfect time to highlight it. You may be familiar with this amazing local path, but did you know it's very accessible as well?

Photo Credit http://marinatower.org 
The Boulder Creek Path: Boulder’s Spine of Goodness
 
By Graham Hill, Executive Director of SharedPaths Boulder
 
Every community needs a place that brings the people in for no particular reason but has the dynamics that are attractive to all people! That place in Boulder is the Boulder Creek Path!
 
On top of all the activities that people seek via the Boulder Creek Path, it is a place that welcomes all. In a sense when a place has mass appeal, it tends to blossom as a place for a comfortable outing for anybody. If you live close, far, you may have considerations needed for disabilities or you’re new to the area it is an inviting place.

 
Photo Credit: Darcy Varney Kitching, Collaborative StorytellerBoulder Program Director, Walk2Connect CooperativeBoulder Walks
The recent new design of the Library/Civic Park area is a place that has many in mind! It offers easy graded paths that extend access to the creek and other nearby locations. Additionally a new wide bridge that serves as the connector from downtown to 11thstreet provides breathtaking views of urban nature. Giving comfort, and allowing an urban escape within the curtain of a busy place is what makes for a grand public space.
 
SharedPaths Boulder is an organization established to partner with GO Boulder and numerous other community businesses and organizations to further enhance the culture of all of Boulder’s 75 miles of paths. Thru public engagement with programs anchored through our sustaining stewardship initiative, we are committed to building community for safe mobility and enjoyable experiences for all!
 
Photo Credit: Darcy Varney Kitching, Collaborative StorytellerBoulder Program Director, Walk2Connect CooperativeBoulder Walks
The contiguous SharedPaths with 80 tunnels gives people safe passage away from main street, and gives them access to an assortment of activities from walking, biking, skating, fishing, tubing, soccer, basketball, tai kwon do, baseball, football, tennis, cricket, playgrounds and the list goes on. The Boulder Creek Path is not only a place for access to amazing outdoor hobbies but further allows safe passage to all parts of town. 
 
Inherently, the Boulder Creek Path is a place for calm. A night journey can bring you closer to the hoots of Great Horned Owls, or a Tuesday morning stroll could give you a glimpse of a hungry mule deer in the creek, nature remains a constant. With a thriving trout population, and nearby kids fishing ponds, the Boulder Creek Path is a near home to many beautiful forms of life. Taking the time to nurture yourself, feeling the vibe or gliding to work, the Boulder Creek Path is a sweet place waiting for you!
Photo Credit: Darcy Varney Kitching, Collaborative StorytellerBoulder Program Director, Walk2Connect CooperativeBoulder Walks
Each month we highlight a business or location chosen from our communities that provides equal access to everyone and is a shining example of what being accessible truly means! Do you have an accessible location in your community that you love? 
 
Submit Location
Goals For This Newsletter
When building a community of support, I feel that it’s important to communicate and discuss important topics and issues with others that will encourage deeper thinking, reflection, and potential help relative to our situations. I wanted to provide a user-friendly source for sharing and reading this information, delivered right to your inbox. 

At the bottom of each newsletter, you will see tabs you can click to answer our featured question of the month, share a location that meets your mobility needs, share your story, or submit any questions you might have. We will review these responses, and select a response for each category to be featured in a future newsletter. 

My goal is for this newsletter to evolve into whatever we want it to be over time. So, I’ll also be asking for any feedback/ advice you might have and how to improve, as well as ideas for new sections we can add. We’ll be starting with a monthly or bi- monthly release.
We Want to Hear From You! 
  • Featured Question of the month: Do you consider yourself to be disabled? Is this a hard question for you to answer - why?
Submit Answer
  • New Accessible Location of the month: Do you have a favorite spot around town that caters to your mobility needs? We’d love to hear about it! 
Submit Location
  • Community Member of the month: Would you like to share your story? We’d sure like to hear it! 
Share Your Story
  • What questions do you have? This newsletter is intended to bring you the info you need, so ask us what's on your mind.
Submit Your Questions Here
Thank you! 
I would like to personally thank you for being a part of the Amputee Concierge community, and for your support in helping me bring my vision to life! I believe that with a strong community accompanied by equal access to information, for free, we can create the inclusive community that we all need and deserve. All services, and information provided through Amputee Concierge and Accessible Boulder will always be offered for free.

Information that is necessary and essential to maintaining a person's quality of life should always be available free of charge to the people in need. However, if you are in a position where you can contribute financially, your help is greatly appreciated and will help ensure a bright future for this resource. Please see the links below to the donation page, or simply share this email with someone in need. 
Donate
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