Outdoors Without Limits, a 501-C (3) organization, seeks to empower people to reach their potential in a setting that breaks down barriers and removes stereotypes in the great outdoors!
The Mission of Outdoors Without Limits is to promote awareness and teamwork between disabled and non-disabled individuals through education and outdoor recreational activities. Outdoors Without Limits chapters create outdoor recreational opportunities through teamwork and partnership. The person-to-person bonds created at OWL events foster hope, confidence, self-esteem and independence in people with disabilities. For the non-disabled partner, OWL diminishes stereotypes through the life altering experiences promoted.
Outdoors Without Limits is an all-inclusive program and welcomes participation from all people, regardless of age, faith, race or disability. A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, and developmental or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person’s lifetime.
A disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. Impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.
As defined above by the World Health Organization, the outdoor recreational events and programs developed and offered through Outdoors Without Limits provide opportunity for those we serve by eliminating activity limitations and participation restrictions to allow interaction between the person and the outdoor features of our society that most take for granted.
Sixty-eight million people in the United States live with a disability.
In 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a national survey, finding just over seven million disabled people participated in wildlife-related recreation; 11% of the disabled population compared to 39% of the non-disabled participating population. Research has confirmed a link between physical activity that takes place outdoors and positive health outcomes. There is also evidence that both being outdoors and viewing natural scenes can reduce stress.