Parenting Special Needs Magazine - March/April 2017

I Can Bike, I Can Shine

Vanessa Brinkley 2017-03-17 12:29:29

iCan Shine CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO AUDIO VERSION OF THE ARTICLE. In a world where so many say “I can’t...” one organization is putting “I Can” back in everyone’s vocabulary. The nonprofit, iCan Shine organization is bringing quality recreational programs like iCan Bike to individuals with disabilities all over the US and Canada. Founder and Executive Director, Lisa Ruby, started the iCan Bike program in 2008 after meeting Inventor Richard E. Klein, Ph.D. creator of the roller bike. She said she took one look at the equipment and could not believe how brilliant it was. The roller bike looks and acts like a conventional bicycle except it has a regular bike wheel in the front and a roller wheel in the back, allowing the rider to go from very stable to a little bit of a wobble. The wobble is increased as the rider advances, allowing the bike to do most of the teaching in regard to learning to balance. The next step in learning to ride through this five day program is the tandem bike. Also different from a conventional tandem bike, the rider sits in the front and a staff member sits in the back, allowing the rider to be evaluated on obstacles they may be having such as pedaling, steering, and leaning. A big component of iCan Bike is limiting instruction with verbal communication and simply having the rider’s body and brain learn the skill by doing the skill. By the end of the program the possibilities of transitioning to a conventional bicycle are closer at hand. “By creating a supportive, safe and caring environment, removing every small obstacle to reduce fear and anxiety, and celebrating every small victory, we allow people to focus on the task at hand while having fun and feeling good about themselves.” The iCan Bike program focuses on teaching the individual, as they serve people of all different abilities. They identifying how each person learns and tweaks the program for maximum success for each individual, always remembering the core values the organization instills. The core values at iCan Shine are EXTREMELY important to those involved in the organization. The staff is trained to make decisions in the field using these values. Compassionate Service We provide excellent service, recognizing our customer’s – participants, families, hosts, volunteers – individual and collective needs. As stewards of this amazing program, we find joy in interactions and connections with every person we encounter. Integrity We are an organization that our customers can trust. We are honorable, ethical, sincere, honest & accountable in everything we do. We consistently seek and speak the truth in a straight-forward manner. Respect We value people, recognizing individual uniqueness and celebrating diversity. We focus on abilities rather than disabilities, as we work for the highest level of success for each program participant. Quality We are committed to the delivery of the highest quality programs to exceed the expectations of our customers. Innovation Innovation implies a try… fail… adjust process. We recognize failure as successfully learning how not to do something. We use the insight gained to make better decisions to strengthen future ideas and efforts. We honor and reward the efforts of the innovator. Learning and Teaching We foster a culture of learning & teaching both inside and outside the organization. We believe that knowledge and experience are gifts to be exchanged, everyone having something to learn and something to teach. By sharing knowledge freely, listening and learning together, we lift each individual equally to create a unified, loving, safe, supportive environment where all are the best they can be. Lisa feels... “the greatest impact we make to the world is to help individuals with disabilities believe in themselves and gain confidence and self-esteem. This often carries over to many other aspects in their life.” Though, as a nonprofit, funding is always an issue, the organization serves a huge territory; 35 US states and 4 provinces in Canada. Lisa hopes to bring “Shine” to every state and every province, for programs to one day be more affordable for host organizations, and that they can continue to increase the number of programs available. As the iCan Shine organization expands its recreational programs with iCan Dance and iCan Swim, they are always looking for hosts and volunteers. If you are interested in hosting one of these programs in your area, or would like more information on participating, visit to learn more.

Published by Parenting Special Needs Magazine. View All Articles.

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