Archery adapted for physical disabilities

May 5, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Every Wednesday night at the Archery Bow Range, people with physical disabilities are aiming for the bulls eye.

Adaptive Archery is one of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's sport program.

"Obviously, your arms are going to be a big part of it. So, be able to get the bow out and be able to pull strings, we have a number adaptations," said Coordinator Jason Stubberman.

"We have equipment that will hold the tension on the bow strings, that will release it, so you don't have to pull it back. We have mouth tabs that will go on the actual bow strings, and they can use their front arm to hold the bow, and they can actually pull the tension with their mouth," said Jason.

He also said archery is growing in popularity, especially among veterans.

Jeanine Spears is a former paratrooper.

"I have spinal injuries that make it difficult for me to walk distances," she said. "I deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, and I have a traumatic brain injury."

Last summers she took up archery.

"It takes my mind off my physical issues, certainly. And it gives me a sense of accomplishment that can hit those targets with such accuracy. It makes me feel special," she said.

Eli Magana just started archery. He became disabled almost four years ago in a freak accident.

"I like it a lot. I can see the progress every week, as I've been getting stronger, and it's been a lot of fun," he said.

"The program is free of charge. No cost involved. But registration is needed. We do have a few forms to fill out wavers and things like that," Jason said. "We would love to have new individuals out. No worries about any type of physical disability whatsoever. We have every type of adaptive equipment and a lot of trial and error is involved."

The program also has adaptations for people who are blind and visually impaired.

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