It was another beautiful day in Hawaii as I drove to the Windward side of Oahu to Kaneohe for another race that would be benefiting people with disabilities. It was also a challenging race knowing that we would be paddling into the wind from the start to Mokoli’i Island and around the back. Also knowing that the competition was going to be fierce with guys like Aaron and Riggs Napolean, Noa Ginella, Kirk Ziegler, Jimmy Fit, and the list goes on. It’s always a fun event when it gives you a challenge to try and keep up with all the fast paddlers on the island….
Paddling for Possibilities:
Inspired by the North Dakota Interagency Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT), ATRC together with the University of Hawaii Center on Disability Studies for the first time will host a fundraising program called Paddling for Possibilities on September 15, 2012. The Mokoli’i Paddle Classic is a Stand up Paddleboard(SUP)/Paddleboard/OC1 race at Kualoa Regional Park.
All the money raised will be used to purchase assistive technology, i.e. wheelchairs, hearing aids, iPads, smart pens, hand held magnifiers, etc. for residents of Hawaii with disabilities. We believe that everyone in our family can benefit from assisted technology in education, employment, and/or independent living. Individuals may apply for funding through an application process. All applications will be reviewed by a community based Selection Committee and approved by the ATRC Board of Directors.
At ATRC we will follow up with stories and testimonies of beneficiaries from assistive technology. Over the years, we will continue to share successful stories with you.
What is assistive technology?
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
Nobody made AT more famous than the recent passing of Appleʼs CEO, Steve Jobs. At Apple they referred to it as “Universal Design” or “Universal Accessibility.” Apple Accessibility.
Paddling for Possibilities will help individuals in Hawaii get the the assistive technology that they need. For more information on our programs and services visit us at ATRC Hawaii.
Here are some popular AT devices from our AT Depot Program:
This device shown above is called the Ruby Handheld Magnifier by Freedom Scientific. Intended for individuals with vision impairment or vision disabilities such as macular degeneration, the portable device magnifies text anywhere from 2x to 14x magnification level. While itʼs mainly used for reading, it can be also used to read small labels, prescription bottles, or prices at the grocery store.
The device shown on the above is called the SmartPen by LiveScribe. This AT device is a hand held digital recording pen. Used for taking notes in class, lectures, and meetings. Works well for individuals with hearing impairment, short attention span, and improves note taking and organization skills. The SmartPen may just get that high school diploma or college degree for someone who falls below the education standards.
Below is the race coarse which you can see where we had go to finish the race:
I had a great start and was up in front with Riggs but I guess the only excuse I can use is he has that youth of advantage as well as Noa. On the other hand Aaron, Riggs father is a beast and came from behind and you can be sure that his knowledge and time in the water got him in front of the 12’6 paddlers. I just kept my pace cause I knew there was no way I could catch up with Riggs and Aaron. when we got to the back of the island the wind and the backwash was very tricky and challenging to stay on your board. Aaron had a close call and almost fell but caught himself and kept his feet planted on the board and keeping his place in the race. The second lap was pretty much a done deal with my cardio and I know now why it is important to train. I guess I will be running now (hahaha). Noa Ginella came in first for the 14ft class, behind him would be Kirk Ziegler on his 14ft Kyle Bernhardt board getting second in that class. For the 12’6 class it would be Father Aaron Napoleon and Riggs right behind him for a second place finish overall and 1st for the 12’6 division. I was behind them and got 3rd overall and 2nd for the 12’6 division class riding on a Hobie board.
I love this sport and will keep doing it till I can’t do it no more. It keeps me in shape and also puts a smile on my face. Being around friends and having a great time with each other is another plus.
I would like to thank all the supporters of this event for having such a great venue and can’t wait to be a part of it again next year. Also I would like to thank my girlfriend Tini for her love and support and the pictures she took. It would be impossible to do what I love to do without my big supporters in this sport so I would like to give my appreciation to them as well.
Bomber Floating Eyewear