No Barriers USA History
In January 2012, No Barriers USA merged with Global Explorers to create the new No Barriers USA, an exciting nonprofit endeavor that combines the best of both organizations to more strongly impact the diverse communities we serve.
No Barriers USA was formed in 2005 by a group of friends with a passion for recreation in the natural world. They created an organization based on the assumption that each person, regardless of age, state of mind or physical condition, has a thirst for adventure and a hope for the future that is worthy of igniting. Their inaugural program was a biennial summit featuring innovative technologies that enabled people with and without disabilities to envision a full and active life. Later, programming expanded to include Soldiers to Summits and an online educational resource library.
Founded in 2003, Global Explorers’ mission is to inspire responsible global citizenship by providing life-changing travel experiences for people of all backgrounds and abilities. Since 2006, Global Explorers has offered programs to diverse students ages 14 to 21, including students with disabilities and students from low-income communities. The programs are strengthened through partnerships ranging from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. National Park Service to the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
No Barriers USA actually had roots internationally in Italy… In 2003, Jim Goldsmith, Mark Wellman, Wayne Hanson and Paolo Pompanin joined with a group in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, Dolomiti senza barriere onlus, led by Ugo Pompanin and Miki Maioni, to create an awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities and to encourage the Cortina town fathers to increase the accessibility of their facilities to meet the needs of disabled people, including the aging local population. With funding from the Regione di Venito and the Cortina community, and matched by individual donors in the United States, NO BARRIERS / DOLOMITI was held in Cortina in July, 2004. After a very successful first Festival, a not-for-profit corporation, No Barriers USA, was formed in the United States in 2005.