HELENA -- According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, more than 12 percent of Montanans have a mobility disability. During the winter months, individuals with a disability can find themselves secluded in their homes due to a lack of available opportunities and difficulty getting around in the winter.
The Montana Independent Living Project is now looking to provide an outlet to anyone with an adaptive ice skating program. Joel Peden, an advocacy coordinator for MILP, says the basis of the program is aimed at providing an outlet for individuals with disabilities, but the program is for everyone to be able to enjoy time on the ice together.
"We really want to go beyond people with disabilities, because we don't want to be segregated. We want to play with everybody else." Peden said. "It could be as simple as a family who has a child who has never been able to go on the ice and participate with the family as a whole will now have that chance, because the equipment will be housed at the (Helena) ice arena all the time, free of charge to use and there for anybody who wants to try it.
The program will also incorporate sledge hockey at competitive and club levels, to accompany ice skating activities.
MILP will be holding two more informational meetings on the program on Aug. 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Aug. 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at their office in Helena.