iCan Shine offers bike program at Lannon

Lannon Elementary School was the location of a five-day summer program designed to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle. The iCan Bike program is offered through the iCan Shine nonprofit organization. Trained staff use adapted bicycles and a specialized instructional program to help individuals with disabilities accomplish this major milestone.

Riders, who are age eight and older, attend one 75-minute session each day for five consecutive days where they learn to ride while accompanied and encouraged by volunteer “spotters.” Over the course of the week, the bikes are continually adjusted to challenge riders appropriately as they gradually discover the skill and joy of riding. The program boasts an 80 percent success rate in helping individuals independently ride a two-wheel bicycle.

The iCan Shine organization conducted more than 90 iCan Bike programs in 2012 in 32 states and two Canadian provinces, serving nearly 2,500 individuals with disabilities. Sponsored by the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin and the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin, the camp at Lannon served 20 campers, with one family coming from as far away as Appleton.

Hamilton High School freshman Elizabeth Hahn was one of the participants in the iCan Bike program offered at Lannon Elementary School this summer. Bikes are adapted to match the skill level of participants and continually adjusted as their skills develop. Elizabeth was successful in riding her own two-wheel bike by the end of the five-day program

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