Wagon rides are not typically wheelchair-friendly. So when staff member Judi Savacool caught wind of a wagon ride equipped with a wheelchair lift she jumped on it – literally and metaphorically. Among the many roles Judi plays in her Living Resources group home, she is the unofficial “travel agent” for those who reside there. In all the researching and arranging of adventures she has done for her residents, she has found that although many venues claim to be “handicapped accessible,” they typically do not have adequate supports for adults with disabilities who are dependent on wheelchairs. Public restrooms pose particular barriers to some members of her group who need adult-sized changing tables.

After a few phone calls to confirm that this would be a good fit for her group, they were off on a road trip to Wagner Farms Events Center in Rome, NY. The two-hour journey was filled with excited anticipation of adventure and enthusiastic singing to music on the radio.

When the group got there, they experienced everything you could wish from a late summer day on the farm; wagon rides, sunflower and corn maze mazes as well as snack shop and farm stand. There were two wagons that were fully ADA compliant, complete with wheelchair lifts, and the mazes were wide and covered with grass, allowing wheelchair riders and their Super Hero staff to safely and pleasantly explore the grounds. What resulted was a feast for all the senses: they felt the rumble of the wagon beneath them and tractor in front of them, they saw giant sunflowers and took in their fragrant scent, heard the sounds of birds and the laughter of those around them, and enjoyed their meal from the snack shop, which always tastes better in the open air.

All who participated loved the experience from beginning to end and plan to return again!