All Kids Bike® Launches Inclusive Learn-To-Ride Program for Individuals with Special Needs
New offering brings cycling instruction to adults and middle and high school students with developmental disabilities
RAPID CITY, S.D. – AUGUST 22, 2023 – All Kids Bike, the nonprofit organization equipping schools with everything needed to teach children how to ride a bike, today announced the launch of its Inclusive Learn-to-Ride Program, a new initiative that empowers participants with the skills and confidence to ride a bike, despite age, developmental disabilities, or challenges with neurodiversity.
“Our new program is set to revolutionize the way we approach inclusivity in physical activity and achieve health equity,” stated Lisa Weyer, executive director of the Strider Education Foundation, the 501(c) (3) nonprofit that operates All Kids Bike. “Unfortunately, the lack of awareness and understanding surrounding cycling as a mobility aid creates substantial obstacles for disabled individuals in accessing public spaces and facilities. Cycling offers individuals with disabilities not only a means of mobility and transportation, but an effective way to improve health and well-being.”
While measuring the therapeutic effectiveness of programs that teach people with developmental disabilities how to ride a bike is new, preliminary studies indicate that such programs are effective and linked to improvement in participating in daily routines, interacting with peers, having positive self-esteem, and participation in community and extracurricular activities.
“The All Kids Bike Inclusive Program has been such an amazing experience for my autistic students,” echoed Erika Seaman, an Adapted PE Teacher at Exton Elementary in Exton, Penn., who piloted the program. “Learning to ride in this program has given my students more confidence in themselves and has provided an outlet for exercise and play with their families and peers. I can’t say enough about this program and am excited to continue it for years to come.”
To help implement and manage the Inclusive Learn-to-Ride Program, All Kids Bike has hired Katie Christy as Program Coordinator with responsibilities for onboarding and supporting schools as they adopt and use the program. In addition to a master’s degree in strategic leadership, Ms. Christy holds a bachelor’s degree in outdoor education and has experience as a park naturalist, a ski and bike patroller, and a triathlon coach.
The All Kids Bike Inclusive Learn-to-Ride Program is well-suited for schools with middle and high school special needs classrooms and community care centers for adults with disabilities. It is offered at a cost of $5,000, which includes 8 Strider balance bikes, pedal conversion kits, and helmets; teacher training and curriculum certification; and support for as long as the program is running. The equipment has a lifespan of 7 to 10 years, ensuring a lasting impact and potential reach to hundreds of individuals per fleet. Organizations may apply for the program at www.allkidsbike.org.