Ski Utah Press Release

Public Relations Director

National Ability Center Joins Forces with Splore

Two Leading Adaptive Recreation Programs Join to Provide Unparalleled Services for All Abilities

PARK CITY, UT (January 2017) – The National Ability Center and Splore have joined forces to become one of the nations’ most extensive providers of adaptive outdoor recreation and adventures from their home base in Utah. Splore’s programming will be operated by the National Ability Center offering a unique combination of programs, which will significantly increase opportunities for individuals and families of all abilities to get out and explore. Over past four decades, both organizations have positively impacted hundreds of thousands of lives through adaptive recreation programs.

Based on a 26-acre ranch in Park City, Utah, The National Ability Center provides more than 30,000 adaptive experiences each year through a network of partner venues including Park City Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, Solitude, Brighton and the Jordanelle State Park.  Through this new combined business partnership, Splore will provide a mobile arm to the organization’s operations helping individuals of all abilities to access and experience adventures in addition to destinations such in Salt Lake City, Moab, across Utah’s Wasatch Front, the Unitas, western Colorado and beyond.

Splore began in 1977 shortly after Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act took effect (a piece of legislation that effectively made it illegal to deny a person with disabilities access to any federal property due to the disability). Inspired by river raft trips conducted with friends with unique abilities and disabilities, Splore founder, Martha Ham, began her crusade at that time to develop adapted and accessible river trips. In 1980, Ham incorporated as a not-for-profit organization and acquired commercial permits on Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest land, as well as for sections of the Colorado and Green Rivers.  These permits continue to be the backbone to the services Splore provides. Today, Splore programs expand beyond the river to provide all sorts of accessible outdoor adventures for persons of all abilities.

Through a shared history of foresight and innovation, both of these organizations anticipated a growing community need in the disability space and launched small programs. With a combined 70 years of expertise in the field of adaptive outdoor recreation, their collective vision of inclusion and empowerment extends to a national and international scope today.

“Splore and The National Ability Center were innovators early on with respect to the accessibility movement,” said Meeche White, founder of the National Ability Center. “Together we have much to celebrate in having served so many people with disabilities throughout the years and now we can be even more effective as we merge our energies and resources.”   

Based in Salt Lake City and operating across Utah and Western Colorado Splore’s adventure trips include whitewater rafting, indoor and outdoor rock climbing, cross country skiing, standup paddleboarding, canoeing and snowshoeing.   The National Ability Center had its first outdoor adventure with Splore in the summer of 1988 for a rafting trip in Moab, Utah.

“Splore has always believed that everyone, regardless of ability or income, deserves the opportunity to live life to the fullest, which is also a founding principle of the NAC,” said Martha Ham. “Combining with the NAC is a landmark moment for Splore. For many individuals, their adventure trip with Splore was often the first time they experienced any type of outdoor adventure. Whether clients are taken into the heart of the mountains or the vast desert canyons, our extensive training and experience assures them a fun, memorable, positive experience. I hope everyone will join in helping this blending of communities as I am thrilled for what this unification will mean for so many.” 

Annually, Splore has provided more than 5,000 outdoor adventure days throughout Utah and Western Colorado. The National Ability Center provides more than 30,000 experiences for individuals of all abilities. With the addition of Splore’s operations, those services now increase to more than 35,000 annual experiences.

“I am thrilled to move into this new venture and humbled by the opportunity to carry on the incredible legacy Splore has established,” said Gail Barille, The National Ability Center’s chief executive officer. “Joining forces enables us to expand both the mission of the NAC and Splore to reach more kids, veterans and families in need and take them further than they thought possible. Together, we will continue to push the boundaries of recreation for different abilities and explore the possibilities within each of us. “

To learn more about the National Ability Center combining business with Splore, please contact Christa Graff with Graff Public Relations, LLC, at 435.640.7921 or