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ZakopaneGO VIP is about change!

As a person with special needs, you should get the support you need to make your life better.

It can sometimes be difficult to know the ‘correct’ way to discuss special needs. People are often afraid to discuss the topic, not wanting to cause offence. It’s important to remember that a person with learning difficulties or physical limitations is a person first, with individual abilities, interests and needs. There’s no need to stereotype anyone into ‘being’ a condition that they may have.

People with special needs are often wrongly described in the media as “suffering” from a disability, or as being “confined” to a wheelchair. In truth, wheelchairs give their users mobility, they do not confine and many individuals with special needs do not ‘suffer’ from their disability, but rather from society’s attitudes towards them. If we change our attitudes, we can reduce or even end the suffering of many individuals by treating them with the dignity they deserve.

Every person has the right to enjoy the fun of playing sports, the joy of teamwork, the achievement of hitting or kicking a ball, scoring a goal or crossing the finishing line. Even if physical exercises do not interest your child, promoting other activities that involve movement like flying a kite, collecting flowers or rocks, sightseeing, playing computer games and other carefully adapted activities allow players to build skills in a nurturing, non-competitive environment.

Surprisingly, IT technology has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for people with special needs to exercise. There is no need to purchase any specialist equipment, no watching out for weather changes outdoor, and many games can be played on multiplayer settings, also helping develop social skills.

All individuals benefit from regular physical activity and especially children with special needs. We see improvements in muscle strength, coordination, and flexibility, as well as improved cardiovascular efficiency and possibly increased life expectancy. Improvement in behavior, academics, self-confidence and building friendships boosts their self-esteem by getting to experience a sense of accomplishment and possibly the taste of winning or personal satisfaction. It can increase a person’s appetite and improve quality of sleep, decrease health complications like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Essentially, an outlet for their physical energy will help them cope with stress, anxiety and depression.

We strive to ensure that all people with special needs are safe and healthy, have a sense of belonging and reach their full potential.

We aim to increase sporting opportunities for people with disabilities, especially the young, and positively influence people’s experience of sport and outdoor leisure activities.

Most importantly, we wish to promote dignity, acceptance and inclusion for children and adults with special needs within the community.

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In recent years, Zakopane has taken huge strides towards making the city and its surroundings accessible to wheelchair users as well as the elderly. A project called “Zakopane with no barriers” has been at the forefront of the effort. By making the city more easily navigable and buildings shops, hotels and other facilities tailored to suit the needs of people with mobility issues, local governing bodies and businesses have been honoured with awards for resolving long-standing problems that the region was previously plagued by. Among the most notable achievements was erecting a new 1500 square metre shopping centre ‘Szymonek’ in the heart of the city, revamping the stations for the cable car to Kasprowy Peak and the Gubalowka funicular railway as well as a number of hotels and guesthouses.

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