Bristol CC Outdoor Education Centre situated in the village of Parkend in The Forest of Dean

Tuesday 31 January 2012

Planning for Disabled Canoeing

We have taken wheelchair users canoeing several times in the past and have always managed with manual handling to lift them either directly into the canoe or into their wheelchair secured inside the canoe. We have carefully risk assessed techniques and procedures for managing such sessions but have recently reviewed these to take account of using our new mobile hoist. This now allows us to safely lift heavier and less mobile disabled students into and out of a canoe. We have been practicing the techniques required ready for running a canoeing session with a disabled student in March.

Generally taster sessions with disabled students are done with them comfortably and stably sat in a rafted canoe surrounded by beanbags and cushions to provide the necessary support. This still allows them to use a paddle if they can and means they are not dangerously secured into the boat in the extremely unlikely event of a capsize. It is more-or-less impossible to capsize a rafted canoe on sheltered inland water. If you want to find out more about canoeing with disabled students e-mail the Centre Manager and ask for a copy of our information sheet on 'Canoeing With Disabled Students'

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