Grand Canyon Trip Options for People With Disabilities

Disabilities & Grand Canyon Rafting

Photo submitted by Right to Risk

There are many Arizona adventures to choose from. We pride ourselves in providing persons with a wide range of disabilities the opportunity to experience the Grand Canyon on a multi-day Colorado River rafting trip. Whether it for recreational therapy or pure vacation enjoyment, AzRA supports the National Park Service’s (NPS) primary goal “to develop and coordinate a system-wide comprehensive approach to achieving the highest level of accessibility that is reasonable,” and hopes to continue leading the way with all Grand Canyon river concessionaires in providing trips to persons with disabilities.

People with Disabilities go Grand Canyon Rafting

Photo by Susan Detering

In 1991, AzRA began developing a plan and obtaining the resources needed to safely aid persons with disabilities in rafting the Colorado River. In the years following and to this day, AzRA continues to collaborate with non-profit organizations that specialize in offering and executing recreational opportunities for persons with disabilities.

Trip opportunities now go beyond trips organized by non-profit groups to include trips organized by families and friends, as well as encouraging persons with less severe disabilities to mainstream on previously scheduled trip dates when possible.

Accessible Toilet System by Susan Detering

Accessible Toilet System by Susan Detering

AzRA has found different trip options suite varying levels of abilities. Upon discussing your disability and needs with our office and management staff, we will assist you in choosing the trip option that may best suite you. It is important that you provide a complete description and be honest to yourself about your abilities. Be specific if you have medical needs or if you require a personal assistant. Our primary concern is participant safety while providing an enriching experience for all guests.

Tracking System by Susan Detering

Tracking System by Susan Detering

Through the years we have had many passengers with a variety of disabilities. Some of these passengers have decided to integrate into an existing river trips. For example, we accommodated an adult who was diagnosed with autism and mildly mentally impaired Down syndrome. Despite her disabilities, she was a good swimmer and an experienced hiker and camper. After carefully discussing the trip options and the physical and mental demanding nature of the trip with her mother, we collectively decided an eight day mainstreamed motorized trip was an appropriate option for her. To accommodate her social anxieties, we agreed to keep the trip capacity to 12 instead of the regular 24. No other major accommodations were necessary besides educating the guides about her needs.

Another example is a family and friends group who booked an entire one boat motor trip to ensure and accommodate the needs of their teenage son who is confined to a wheel chair and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We can add a ramp to ease getting the wheel chair on and off the boat, a chariot system to assist with getting the wheelchair on side hikes, a specialized toilet system, and tracks for the sand to provide freedom for movement around camp. The assistance equipment requires more space during transport and extra time is also allotted for adjusting to using the equipment. We collectively decided a chartered motorized trip was the most accommodating trip option. The trip itinerary and daily time table was designed around the capabilities and needs of the son.

Whatever your challenge may be, we commit to discussing options with you. Please contact one of our experienced reservations team to being the process. Call today, 1-800-786-7238.