Accessibility nonprofit Endless Highway holds annual partner picnic

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Kids, families, friends, and community partners came out to the annual Endless Highway’s Partner Picnic Sunday afternoon.

The nonprofit has been working since 2011 to close the “adaptive gap” and make Monroe County more accessible to those with physical disabilities. They primarily focus on providing adaptive equipment to help create inclusive experiences for physically disabled people. These experiences usually focus in sports, recreation, and the arts.

Saturday, they celebrated all the groups that help them further that goal.

“It’s just a great time, great atmosphere,” Endless Highways founder Rob Tortorella said. “You know, adults, kids families friends, everybody comes out and just enjoys a summer picnic.”

The picnic was held at Basil Marella Park in Greece, and included free Dinosaur Barbeque as well as free Kona ice cream. The park is the site of one of the only completely wheelchair accessible  playgrounds in Monroe County, according to Tortorella.

“Things that people take for granted — sometimes in these situations for people with disabilities, they’re not provided the same opportunity,” Tortorella said. “So we try to break down the barriers, create an environment that is inclusive.”

Saturday’s picnic was also a chance for those who use endless highways services to get to know each other and enjoy the bein autiful weather.

16-year-old Simone Cravatta, who uses a wheelchair to move around, first got involved with Endless Highway when they gave her an accessible sled to play hockey. She spent her day with 15-year-old Giana Bisnett, who gets around using an electric wheelchair. Bisnett got involved with Endless Highway after she helped build the accessible playground.

Both girls said they enjoy participating in all the activities Endless Highway offers.

“It helps people come together and be able to get to know other people and not feel…” Cravatta said.

“Alone,” Bisnett supplied.

“Alone, yeah,” Cravatta said. “You don’t want to be feeling alone, because — that sucks.”