You are here

Accessibility For All: Archer's Challenge + YMCA of Austin

10/14/2017 - 8:00am
TownLake YMCA
Challengers are encouraged to raise $500 per registrant

For the first time, the YMCA of Austin is partnering with Archer’s Challenge to create an immersive kick-off event that celebrates and promotes accessibility in public spaces for all. Challengers at the kickoff event will be able to participate in several in-chair team and solo activities and enjoy outdoor music, food and fun from 8 a.m. to noon. Activities at the TownLake Y include participating in a wheelchair weights class, a solo workout using accessible and adaptive equipment, and a 3.25-mile relay roll around the Town Lake trail.


Who is Archer? 

Archer was born with cerebral palsy and has spent his life in a wheelchair, but he has always accepted every challenge life has thrown his way. That doesn’t mean he accepts every obstacle, however. Archer works to remove obstacles to serve others better. In high school he conceived his first challenge when he’d had too many run-ins (including one in a rainstorm) with doors that he just couldn’t open on his own. He began with the humble goal and ended up with enough money to buy 5 automatic doors at AISD schools, a ramp and overhead roof. 

This is Archer's Second Annual Challenge. In October 2016, over 600 brave residents of Austin took Archer's Challenge and along the way they changed their perspective, raised funds, and created enormous awareness in our community.

How can you particpate? 

  1. Register as a Challenger and fundraise $500 to create more accessible spaces in our community. 
  2. Participate in the TownLake YMCA Challenge by choosing one (or more) of the activities below: 
    • The 4-Person Relay Roll: 

      The objective of this challenge is for a 4 person relay team to roll out from the YMCA TownLake and work together to complete a 3.25 mile loop. Teams will roll from in front of the Y, to Mopac, around to Pfluger Foot Bridge and back to Y. Each team member will roll approximately 8/10ths of a mile. There will be volunteers stationed at each exchange point to signify the transfer and to cheer the teams on. In addition team members will be the mobile support and encouragement along the trail. The 3 nonrolling team members will assist through the more difficult terrain and work to engage passersby who are interested in or curious about Archer’s Challenge. To enhance the duration of the time the challenge is visible and avoid trail congestion for regular users caused by the relay, 2 teams at a time will be sent out with a stagger of 5 minutes between each flight. This can be adjusted based on feedback from volunteers on the trail.

    • Pool Transfer: 

      The objective is for a solo challenger to experience a series of transitions needed to use the pools (lap or therapy). Challengers will roll from the main lobby and back to the pool area where they will use the locker room to change from street clothes into a bathing suit, roll on to the pool deck, and transfer to the appropriate pool access point. Once they have entered the pool of their choice, they will work backwards through the process. (Estimated length of the challenge is 20 min.)

    • Wheelchair Weights Class: 

      The objective of this challenge is to complete a 30 minute trainer led group strength class. Approximately 25 challengers will be led through the building to the Group/Ex studio where they will set up their personal work out stations with the appropriate equipment, complete a strength program designed specifically for wheelchair users by the YMCA TL PT team and re-rack their equipment. The class will be monitored by 5 trainers/volunteers who will assist and spot where needed.

    • Prescribed Solo Cardio/Strength Workout:

      The objective is to complete a solo workout using designated accessible equipment and equipment perceived as accessible. The YMCA PT staff will coordinate a 30-40 minute session using our hand crank, the Sci-Fit, Magnum ADA and other adaptable equipment. Challengers will not only get a great workout designed by professionals but also have an opportunity to report out on the challenges and accessibility of the design.

    • Facility Audit:

      In this challenge, challengers will be asked to fully experience the facility in a roll through of TL from top to bottom. Challengers will be asked to rate the facilities accessibility from all angles. They will be looking at, access to staff, area entryways, turning radius in all areas, bathroom usability (this includes sinks, paper towel and soap dispensers, doorways and stalls, shower facilities, directional signage for mobility different and so much more. There will be an audit form for feedback, which the YMCA will have the opportunity to take into advisement and seek to improve the experiences of all who come through our doors.

    • The Full Roll:

      This challenge is not for the faint of heart and will only be attempted with a team of trail support. The objective of this challenge is to try to experience the circumference of a trail loop in the same way a typical trail user might, but in a wheelchair. This is an extremely difficult challenge and is recommended to those who really love to push themselves far beyond their comfort zone. This challenge is in no way a simulation for the experience of another person’s life in a wheel chair. It is also not necessary to complete the loop to achieve the purpose of the overall challenge but it certainly offers a bit more time viewing the world from a different perspective. Due to time limitations, those who choose this challenge will not be eligible to engage in the other challenges.