Down syndrome association teaching bike riding, push toward more inclusive atmosphere


CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — Children and adults with Down syndrome can struggle to perform day-to-day activities like riding a bike with their friends and family.

One summer program is helping make this challenge an effortless accomplishment for these children and adults.

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio in Circleville works with children and adults with Down syndrome to learn how to ride a bike through the ICan Bike Camp.

For one week, anyone eight years and older will be able to go to the program, pick up a bike and learn how to ride it with the right support and encouragement from professionals.

Olena Cornell, 9, has been learning how to ride a bike even with her vision issues. Olena’s mother, Raina Cornell, also hopes this is an opportunity for her daughter to feel more included with her peers at school, and on the playground playing with her friends.

“We see, as moms, the age difference as they start getting older,” Raina Cornell said. “Some of the kids aren’t as interested in being with her, but if she can do what they do, at the park, the playground, on the bike, I just opened the door for her.”

The bikes are designed to keep everyone safe, said Kari Jones, president and CEO of Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio.

“At the beginning of the week, they’re going to be on these adaptive bikes, but by the end of the week, they’ll be on their own two wheels,” Jones said.

The ICan Bike Camp hopes to encourage children and adults with Down syndrome to get outdoors with their friends and family and enjoy their community.

The camp is looking for extra volunteers to help bikers in the days ahead. If you’d like to volunteer, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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