Dan Minnich '07 honored for Waypoint Adventure's programming with people with disabilities
The Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education honored Dan Minnich '07, co-founder and co-director of Waypoint Adventure, for his company's mission to introduce people of all abilities to adventure programming.
Selected as the key note speaker in April 2018 at the "Roots of Innovation" conference, Dan said, "I based my talk on the assumption that I’d been invited to give the keynote because the programs Waypoint leads are often labeled innovative. I think it is an unfortunate reality that programs which include the 20% of the US population who have a disability are labeled innovative. Of course people with disabilities should be included in adventure education programs - they are people!"
Waypoint’s mission is to challenge people with disabilities to discover their talents and strengths through the transforming power of adventure. Since 1980 the company has facilitated over 700 programs and included more than 8,000 participants in adventures. It serves people with a variety of disabilities including blindness, autism, developmental delays, paralysis, serious physical conditions, brain injuries, hearing impairments, Down Syndrome, mental illness, and others. Waypoint partners with schools, social service agencies, hospitals and state agencies to provide programs as well as offering programming to individuals from the general public.
Dan said, "Without the OE program, I would not have started Waypoint. The OE program prepared me with the technical skills to lead adventure programs, the soft skills to facilitate programs as educational opportunities and not simply as a guided trip, and it gave me some preparation for the administrative side of running a business."
"It really was an honor to have the opportunity to speak to a room full of my mentors and peers about the reality that people with disabilities are often not participating in adventure education," he said. "I was excited to be able to share a few stories of how Waypoint’s programs are changing this for people in my community and the impact the access is making in their lives."
Check out Waypoint Adventure at: http://www.waypointadventure.org