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Adaptive Equipment for Outdoor Recreation Helps Make the Environment Accessible

Chris Clasby, a former employee of UM’s MonTECH (Montana's Assistive Technology Program), is featured in a recent Montana PBS episode of "Backroads of Montana.” You will see how Chris uses adaptive equipment to continue experiencing the outdoors after his accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Chris floats down the Missouri River on a modified raft using an adapted fishing rod that works off compressed air. He operates the casting and reeling with his chin. He moves the controller left and right to cast and presses down to reel in the line. “It's the same feeling I had when I fished before I had a disability. Disability does not define you. I’m still the same person I was. It's the same exact thing.”

BRM-logoYou will also see Chris “trudging” through the snow to find the perfect spot to hunt elk, and then helping haul the elk out of the woods using his power wheelchair. Adaptive equipment for the outdoors provides access to the environment and improves the quality of peoples’ lives, which then increases their ability to live independently and pushes the limits of what is possible. See the episode at the following link: http://watch.montanapbs.org/video/2365129761/

Chris now serves as the Peer Advocacy Program Coordinator for Summit Independent Living Center in Missoula, Montana, where he facilitates the Rural Institute’s Living Well with a Disability classes: http://livingandworkingwell.org/living_well_program/default.cfm.

CONTACT: MonTECH, http://montech.ruralinstitute.umt.edu/ or 406-243-5467

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