I attended the 2017 No Barriers Summit in Lake Tahoe, CA in June. This is the one conference each year that I will not miss. This year my agenda included whitewater rafting and rock climbing. With over 800 people all breaking barriers, this conference pushes your boundaries by allowing you to accomplish what you think is impossible.
This year’s conference was held at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Village. The landscape was beautiful with views of the snow topped mountains. The hotel was accessible with elevator access throughout, accessible parking at the entrance and many doors that open automatically.
I stayed in a standard room but the conference worked with the hotel to make the bathroom accessible. Accessible rooms at disability related conferences are a hot commodity. No Barriers is the only disability related conference that I have attended that brings in their own equipment to make the bathroom accessible in standard rooms. They installed a handheld shower and put a shower transfer chair in the bathtub. The bed was low enough for me and the light switches were push button, no twisting required.
I went whitewater rafting on the first day and used the AdventureMaker Chair which allowed me to sit higher in the raft and up front. I have been rafting twice before this but sat in the bottom of the raft in the back. The AdventureMaker Chair made the experience so much better! I got wet from every splash! The water level was so high that we went over a dam with a five-foot drop! Scary but amazing!!
The second day I went rock climbing! I tried rock climbing two years ago at the No Barriers Summit but only made it up five feet. This year, I climbed 45 feet! They have a pulley system that when you pull down you go up. Lots of pull ups! I couldn’t push the pulley back up straight, so they added a rope on it so they could help me pull the pulley back up. When they would pull this rope though, it would add a spin! Just hanging from a rope, 45 feet in the air was pretty nerve racking, especially while spinning!
The No Barriers Summit is like being an entrepreneur. In both cases, you push boundaries and take risks! I believe in the No Barriers motto – “What’s Within You is Stronger Than What’s in Your Way.” As an entrepreneur, I remind myself of this motto when I question the work I do. The No Barriers life is not always easy. What’s within you?