In 1993, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, we developed a program, Families Integrating Together, for families who have a child with a disability to receive the supports they need to fully participate in integrated family outdoor vacations and adventures. We discovered many families have an interest in sharing adventures together, but lacked the means, know-how or energy to plan and conduct multi-day family outings that include a child or parent with a disability. Research told us that many of these families simply never took vacations together. So Wilderness Inquiry created a program where we provide additional support in the form of staff, personal care attendants, adapted equipment and financial assistance to help make the outdoors accessible for all families.
Today, Families Integrating Together is one of our most successful programs, and, in typical Wilderness Inquiry fashion, it has been seamlessly integrated into all of our family adventures. Single parents, grandparents, siblings and families from all walks of life participate together on fabulous outdoor adventures to place like the Headwaters of the Mississippi River, Yellowstone National Park, or the Apostle Islands. The best part is the diversity of families present on these trips makes them especially enriching for everyone. Our accessible family vacations represent the very best methods for inclusion and social integration–the core of our mission.