Portland, OR. A nonprofit serving disabled children is holding its annual “All Ability Tri4Youth” event. Unlike the in-person event seen above, for 2020 FACT Oregon is going online, and finding the format is allowing for more creativity and state-wide participation. The free event is open for registration and participation until August 22nd. Registrants can send in footage or pictures of activities to be included in a compilation video shared via social media.
For the past three years, FACT hosted the event at Tualatin Hills District Park, where participants swam, biked, and ran for a total of 2.53 miles. This year FACT decided to embrace the flexibility virtual participation allows while keeping with the theme of “2.53”. Participants can choose to do any activity for 2.53 miles, 2.53 minutes, 253 reps, etc.
“We can get very creative; however you want to participate, you can participate,” support supervisor Karen McKenney emphasized. “It’s just a really good way of promoting a fun and fit event without letting the momentum slide, so hopefully next year we’re back up and running in person.” All registrants will get a medal and can purchase a commemorative t-shirt.
She noted the added benefit of families from around the state not having to travel to Portland this year, which enables a much broader demographic of their base to participate. “We were trying to draw families from across the state since that’s who we serve. So now if you live in Baker County in Eastern Oregon, you can still participate, which is a really cool positive.”
This event falls is just one of the ways that FACT facilitates connections between families within their community. The grant-funded nonprofit (self-described as “an organization that is by families for families“) specializes in providing information, training, resources, and support to families and professionals navigating disability, in addition to building person-centered one-page profiles for kids. The website includes a support line and a variety of general resources as well as COVID-19 specific information for families.
Since the start of the Pandemic, FACT has been conducting webinars surrounding special education through distance learning, which have all been recorded and are available for free on their website. The organization offers over 150 training, workshops, and learning summits throughout the year on a variety of subjects for parents, teachers, and professionals navigating disability services and awareness.
“For families with disabilities, it’s common to feel incredibly isolated, just in general – and then to throw a pandemic on top of it! So we’re hoping that holding an event like this could be a way of keeping people engaged, knowing that there are other families out there like them doing the same kinds of things,” Karen added. “Anything to help families feel like they can make it through this. We’re all in this together; we don’t know what to expect and we’re doing the best we can with the news that we’ve got.”
About FACT Oregon:
FACT empowers Oregon families experiencing disability in their pursuit of a whole life by expanding awareness, growing community, and equipping families.