Adaptive Climbing offers community to people with disabilities

A Flatbush native who survived cancer discovered a feeling through rock-climbing that she wanted to share with others.

News 12 Staff

Apr 13, 2019, 11:04 PM

Updated 1,835 days ago


People with disabilities are finding a community and sense of purpose in an unexpected place: through Adaptive Climbing.
Flatbush native Kareema Batts had survived cancer, but she'd lost part of her left leg.
"I thought I just needed to get out of New York," she recalls. "I was just like really stressed out, really depressed."
To shake things up, she went on a rock-climbing trip in Colorado for cancer survivors. There weren't many people there with disabilities.
"I really didn't think that I would be climbing anything, and I found this place, and it was the first sport where I didn't have to have a guide with me. When I was on the wall, it was just me and it was just me up there," she says. "It was very powerful for me, both emotionally and physically."
Reaching out through local support groups, Batts wanted to share the feeling with others. In 2012, Adaptive Climbing was born.
It hadn't been done before, and she was surprised by the response. And it's only grown with time -- it now numbers over 1,000 members with groups across New York state, in Massachusetts and Chicago.
The original New York City group meets three times a week -- Tuesdays in Queens, Thursdays in Manhattan, and Sundays at Brooklyn Boulders in Gowanus. There's also youth Adaptive Climbing groups.

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