At the Wampler Foundation, we seek to positively change perspectives among people with and people without physical disabilities.
We imagine that when a child with a disability is born into a family, it must feel like, to the parents, that they’ve been kicked in the stomach. The Wampler Foundation, wants to be the first inspiration those parents “see” to show them a model of a life that can be. We’re seeking to offer parents societal permission to hope for their child, to teach them to expect a life of purpose, an education and a career!
We want parents to adopt this attitude from the beginning of their baby’s life.
We believe that an wilderness environment, away from the loving arms of parents’, is the best imaginable environment to get kids really thinking about their, albeit unique, promising adulthood. Throughout their week, there is a great deal of talk about living with a disability. They talk about plans and logistics during those chats. These are pragmatic talks. How do they, in practical terms, navigate their lives, get any physical assistance they will need, with the intent of maneuvering around their disability to grasp at their lives’ target. This has proved to be a powerful, vital and pivotal tradition in our participants lives. Case in point, our first group of 7 children that attended that “aged out” after each joining us from the age of ten went to college last year! Additionally, these kids find, in the other children, powerful cohorts, allies and confidants. These collective, sturdy friendships arm them all with a brisk confidence as they all look down the road. In short, this experience makes them brave.
We want adults with disabilities to be a much larger part of the work force in America. There is a tremendous amount of human brain power and societal contribution at our finger tips that we will all benefit from when accessed thoroughly. We are excited about the compassionate change in tides as we look first to the babies, then the children and ultimately thriving, purposeful, contributing adults. Additionally, we are working with congress to change legislation and employment standards among adults with disabilities. We have enjoyed positive feedback and are encouraged by the profound change.