Access to Adventure Panel

Are you interested in getting outdoors but not sure how? Have a challenge to overcome or know someone who does? Are you interested in helping others overcome a disabilities in order to connect with outdoor recreation? Be part of our panel discussion and hear from experts in this arena.


Dene Red River 2012Dene Berman, PhD, is a practicing psychologist at Lifespan Counseling Associates. He is a Clinical Professor in the School of Professional Psychology at Wright State and Instructor of Social Work and Criminal Justice at the University of Dayton. He is a co-author of The Promise of Wilderness Therapy and the Backcountry Classroom. Dene is the former President of the Wilderness Education Association. He is an Instructor Trainer for the American Canoe Association.


Amanda Young

Amanda Young

Amanda Young, Miss Wheelchair Ohio USA 2016, has done it all from being the adaptive program coordinator for Eaglemount Bozeman at Bridger Bowl in Bozeman, Montana to working with AMGA guides to develop rescue techniques for adaptive climbers. She has been a professional ski and kayak instructor for ten years and an Alaska Range mountaineer; developing safe mountaineering and rigging techniques for inclusive climbing teams.

   Amanda’s focus of adventuring without limits takes her around the state of Ohio and the world identifying barriers to travel and collaborating with state and national officials to make travel and access to adventure inclusive, because everyone should have access to the adventure in their life! You can find Amanda outside photographing the beauty around here and enjoying every adventure she happens to find!

Amy Purdy

amy-purdy-sochi-30Amy Purdy underwent a double leg amputation and a life-altering experience but that did not hold her back. Challenging herself to move on with her life, she attained goals that even those who have both legs struggle to achieve. Amy is now a world class snow boarder, 2014 Paralympic Medalist, Dancing with the Stars finalist, author, actress, model and clothing designer and a testament that the only limits are the ones we place on ourselves.

James J. Terpenning

James Terpenning

James was born in Vietnam in 1968.  He contracted polio after birth and was placed in an orphanage in Vietnam.  Around the age of three, James was struck by bomb shrapnel while at the orphanage.  In 1976, James was adopted by Robert and June Terpenning of Nanuet, New York.

In 1982, James was introduced to disabled sports and started competing in swimming and wheelchair basketball sporting events. In 1992, James moved to Ohio to play collegiate-level basketball for Wright State University, but the team folded just when he arrived.  He stayed and graduated from WSU in 1998

James represented the USA in swimming during the 1988 Seoul, Korea Olympics– receiving Gold and Bronze and again 1992, Barcelona, Spain. With Basketball James represented the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association at a basketball tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and in 1996, represented the USA in Rome, Italy.

In 1990, James participated in his first Wheelchair Tennis US Open in Irvine, California and took 1st place in Division B.  And in 1991, participated in his second Wheelchair Tennis US Open in Irvine, California and took 2nd place in division A.

In 2009, The Terpenning Family was a recipient of the Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

Joy Nix

Joy Nix rowed in high school Joy Nix
and college in Seattle Washington & Austin TX. She went on to become the Director of Outreach at Three Rivers Rowing Association (three time USRowing Club of the Year) where she directed all of the inclusive-oriented programming. As a USRowing Level 3 Certified coach, she founded First Row; a grant-funded program for inner city youth attending Pittsburgh Public School. One of her athletes went on to receive a full scholarship to Oregon State University after only 2 years in the program. She also developed a nationally recognized adaptive and para-rowing program for people with disabilities. When she left the club adaptive program had 47 athletes training for competition. In 2014, she joined USRowing as their Talent ID Manager, touring the country visiting 56 of the current adaptive program sites. Her goal was to scout athletes and scout rowing programs. In February 2015, she moved to Hamilton OH to be the Director of Rowing for RowAmerica Hamilton – a combined venture with a national rowing firm, RowAmerica and a local non-profit Great Miami Rowing Center.

Maddison Mattey

MadisonTASCMaddison grew up in Athens Ohio, and is a recent graduate of Ohio University in Recreation Management. She has been involved in TAASC programming for nearly 10 years, first as a participant in the alpine skiing and waterskiing programs, then as a volunteer, and currently as TAASCs Program Coordinator. She is certified in adaptive waterskiing, and is an ACA Level 1 kayaking instructor with an adaptive paddling endorsement.