I am proud to support Journey Along the Erie Canal.  My friend John Robinson will ride from Buffalo NY to Albany, NY in 17 days.  John is quad-amputee and the founder of Our Ability.  They are raising funds to support the ride.  To learn more about the ride please visit www.ourability.com or call 518-429-9256.  I have also included the Press Release below about the event.  Thanks, Debra.

Journey Along the Erie Canal

With the goal of raising awareness of the ability inside all people, Our Ability will lead the largest event ever for People with Disabilities in New York State beginning June 23 with the Journey Along the Erie Canal, a 17-day bike ride starting in Buffalo and ending in Albany.

Our Ability, Inc., founded by quad-amputee John Robinson, is an organization that mentors and inspires people with disabilities through positive video stories. In 2012, Our Ability traveled to London for the 2012 Paralympics where it experienced the power of inspiration, sport and achievement.

“Our goal is to raise awareness of the ability inside all people and raise funds along the journey to support Adaptive Sports, Accessibility, Education and Employment for New Yorkers with Disabilities through the Disability Educational Forum of New York, a 501c 3 organization,” said John Robinson.

Robinson and members of Our Ability will bike, boat, run and walk across the state, looking to attract thousands to join them and support the mission of raising the consciousness with the public of the ability inside all people.

Joining them will be People with Disabilities, New York State organizations, Disabled Sports USA and local affiliates (STRIDE, Greek Peak and Cape Ability Outrigger Ohana) veterans and what’s hoped to be thousands of supporters. Each day during the Journey Along the Erie Canal, they will be collecting stories and raising awareness for People with Disabilities, all while sharing the beauty of New York State!

The Our Ability cameras will chronicle the ride providing daily video and blog updates on www.ourability.com, as well as through various social media outlets, all the while recording stories for a television documentary. These stories will focus on the inspirational people met along the way, from other people with disabilities to community leaders, athletes, war veterans, parents and children.

In a follow-up to the PBS documentary, Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story, Our Ability will produce a television documentary and ‘web-episodes’ of Robinson, his family and other people with disabilities crossing Upstate New York along the historic Erie Canal.

The lead sponsor of the event is New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID). For more than 35 years, NYSID – a not-for-profit member agency organization – has been meeting the purchasing needs of state and local government agencies while advancing employment for New Yorkers with disabilities.

“At NYSID, our mission is to provide opportunities for employment, an important focus for all New Yorkers – with or without disabilities. What John and his family are doing to raise awareness of accessible tourism in our state is yet another aspect of a fully inclusive life. As the Robinsons prepare to put their best feet forward from one end of our state to another, we commend their inspirational example of the human spirit.”

NYSID acts as a “virtual storefront” for a statewide network of 165 community rehabilitation agencies and private sector business partners to employ skilled people with disabilities in production facilities and community-based jobs.

“We are thrilled that the Our Ability Tour will be taking place along the Erie Canal and Erie Canalway Trail this summer. The event will highlight the many opportunities that exist for people of all ages and abilities to experience the scenic beauty and rich history of the Canal System,” noted Canal Corporation Director, Brian U. Stratton.

“We’re in for an adventure this summer with Our Ability’s Ride! Whether you’re cheering from the sidelines or joining them for part of the trip, you’ll experience the ride of a lifetime along the Erie Canal,” said Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

An estimated 2 million people each year are attracted to events along the corridor (Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, Annual Report 2012, Page 2).

Corporations are being invited to sponsor days along the ride to show support. Volunteers and individual donations are also welcome. To learn more visit www.ourability.com or call 518-429-9256.


John Robinson, CEO Our Ability, Inc.