Bike Ride Emphasizes Workplace Inclusion

Jun 30, 2016

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Riders on the 4th day of the annual Journey Along The Erie Canal Bike ride made a stop in Fairport Wednesday afternoon.

OurAbility is an organization that works to advocate for employment and workplace accessibility for those with disabilities, and has been hosting the ride for 4 years. The goal of the ride is to emphasize the ability inside everyone, from riding the Erie Canal, to finding meaningful employment.

John Robinson is the CEO of Our Ability and is one of the riders. He says the physical challenge of the race, isn’t the hardest part.

"Hard is trying to find a job when you can’t, hard is waking up every day with a dramatic physical challenge, hard is a developmental disability and people pick on you, hard is depression when people don’t understand, that’s what hard is."

Robinson says passing through towns all across the state and seeing them really understand the importance of inclusive and fulfilling employment for their community members with disabilities is what keeps the team riding.

Nine people served through the Arc of Monroe County’s Fairport Day Services program greeted riders with a reception on the canal Wednesday afternoon.

Nate Zelesnikar  is the Administrator of Day Services and Arc Health Services. He said he is happy to be part of a ride helps promote the abilities of everyone.

"It’s also a big function as far as representing people with disabilities that can work and can do a lot of things in the community that are meaningful, that are functional, just like any one of us."

The 12 day ride continues across the state, and the riders hope to get Albany by July 7th.