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Accessible Acres Originators Jared & Sue Sargeant

In this blog I am spotlighting a married couple who is teaming up to develop and run an up and coming nonprofit organization called Accessible Acres. I cannot tell you how exciting this news is for the special needs community and their families. Having a safe place for individuals with disabilities is extremely important. What makes this facility different from other outdoor venues? Jared and Sue will be giving access to everyone regardless of limitations. Sue's educational background and experience will be valuable in helping to make adaptations to help give more opportunities for all. I had the honor of providing occupational therapy in one of Sue's classrooms for several years. We also shared the great experience of coaching bocce together for a Tuscarawas County Special Olympics Team. Therefore, I know how much heart and soul will be put into this amazing nonprofit organization. There is no doubt in my mind that Accessible Acres will be a top notch facility with a family friendly atmosphere. I am ecstatic for Jared and Sue and what a treasure this will be for the community. I recommend everyone to take a few minutes to read all about Accessible Acres.

1.) Tell me your name and a little bit about yourself professionally and personally?

Sue Sargeant, Intervention Specialist for 18 years, currently teaching at Carrollton High School in the Cross Categorical Classroom.  Jared Sargeant, construction manager at Case Farms.  We currently live in Bolivar and are building in Dellroy.  We have two daughters, Evie who is 22 and Gwen who is 13.

2.) Tell the readers about the non profit you started.

We were fortunate enough to purchase 80 acres of land from Buckeye Basset Hound Club in Dellroy, OH.  We started a non profit organization, 501(c)3, entitled Accessible Acres.  Accessible Acres is designed to be a place for people with disabilities to interact with animals and nature.  We will have horses and some other animals, possibly a donkey, goats or sheep and who knows what else!  There are currently trails to explore the woods and we will be reclaiming the pond area for fishing.  We are looking at youth hunting experiences along with adapted hunting experiences.  Our goal is to have things wheelchair accessible so anyone can enjoy Accessible Acres!   

3.) What is your role?

Jared and I are the originators of Accessible Acres.  This is our dream.  Due to my career as a teacher and also as a former coach for Special Olympics, we have been BLESSED with meeting so many wonderful people with disabilities.  We want to be able to give them experiences that are not always easily accessible and have them in a safe place that is dedicated to them.

4.) What are some of the challenges of your role?

We first have to build our home before we can have animals out there.   We are scheduled to break ground in June.  One of our biggest challenges will be funding, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.  Although we are comfortable around horses and have been around them, we will be first time horse owners and are anticipating a lot of new challenges!  Also, we will need to find the right horses for us, which will be calm around new people and enjoy trail riding.  

5.) What are the rewards?

Even though we are only in the beginning stages, we have already hosted my class twice!  My class was the first ever visitors to Accessible Acres in the fall and they enjoyed it so much they voted to go back in the spring.  We enjoyed hiking, games, a cookout and relaxing in the clubhouse.

6.) What makes your organization unique from other programs?

I am unaware of any other place like Accessible Acres.  We are forming the entire idea around the people it is intended for.  

7.) Please highlight some of the events/activities that will be offered. 

 Hiking in the woods, interactions with animals, fishing, hunting events, we want to have a pavilion for picnics and a small stage for karaoke and other fun activities.  Games are set to include a horseshoe pit and a bocce court.

8.) How can people reach you with questions or find out more about all the great programs you offer?

We have a FaceBook page titled Accessible Acres where you can post or message us.

9.) How can people donate or directly get involved with this great organization?

I am 100% sure we will be in need of volunteers once we are built and have animals!   We are a 501(c)3 and you are able to donate as a tax deductible donation.  

Best wishes to Accesible Acres on this New Adventure!

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