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2018 Summit Highlights

The ACA hosted the second Adaptive Paddling Summit on November 2-4, 2018. The event was organized in partnership with Adaptive Expeditions and partially funded through a grant from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. The event was held in Weeki Wachee Florida at the Boating In Florida Facility located in Weeki Wachee Spring State Park. Here industry leaders came together in a collaborative environment to learn from each other, refine best practices, and celebrate the latest innovations in the field of adaptive paddling. 


Location: Weeki Wachee, Florida

Date: November 2-4, 2018

Venue: Boating In Florida Facility, Weeki Wachee Spring State Park

Partners: (webpage)

Summit Program: (PDF)



  • Kevin Carr
  • Crystal Skahan
  • Anne Wessman
  • Morgan House
  • Nick Miller 
  • Adam Masters
  • Marcel Bieg
  • Pauline Halstead
  • Dawn Callan
  • Joe Moore
  • Joan Arnold
  • Angela Meyer
  • Meghan Overton
  • William L Hall III (Wes)
  • Lora Woodward
  • Nancy Uschold
  • Terri Everett

Highlights from 2018:

  • Introduction of the new Advanced Communications course and presentations highlighting the curriculum
  • Paddling with Manatees in crystal clear spring waters
  • 2 Tracks of educational presentations were offered to help participants focus their experience: Presentations were offered in the tracks of Advanced Communications and Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Exciting on water demos and events for paddlers of all experience levels
  • High performance paddlesports presentations from Paralympians and coaches
  • The latest in adaptive equipment demonstrations
  • Whitewater rafting specific adaptive equipment previewed and demoed for the first time

 Special Events:

  • Saturday Evening BBQ Banquet
  • Keynote Banquet Presentation by Dawn Callan from Canada’s Adaptive Paddling Program
  • Banquet Round-Table Discussion with Question & Answer Session
  • Adaptive Paddling Workshop


  • Over 85 Members, Recreation Specialists, Paddlers & Instructors Represented 
  • Over 30 States Represented
  • Over 80 Different Adaptive Organizations Attended

 Additional Training in:

  • ACA Adaptive Paddling Endorsement

Post Summit Survey Testimonials:


"Great event. Thank you for hosting and sharing knowledge."


"It was exciting to be in a place with so much excitement for adaptive paddling.  I am grateful that the ACA has dedicated energy to this community and I would love to see it."


"Loved being in tent classrooms next to the water.  Exceptionally well organized.  I learned more than I expected." 


"I'm glad I attended the event and I learned a great deal." 


"Cost of of conference and travel well worth what we learned. Just today watched a video of 5 blind veteran kayaker running the Grand Canyon." 




"It was wonderful to meet like-minded paddlers.  Despite being from Canada, Dawn and I made some excellent contacts.  The sessions were all helpful.  Over the years of offering adaptive kayaking I have created and used equipment.  It does not take much money to get adaptive paddling going. I appreciated being in warm water!"


"Exceptionally useful and right on target. All I disliked were the fire ants."




more Event Calendar

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Sugar Island Encampment

8/7/2019 » 8/10/2019
2019 ACA Sprint & Paracanoe National Championships

10/4/2019 » 10/6/2019
Instructor Trainer Conference

ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.

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