Access to nature is integral to the human spirit. It is for the greater good, the whole of humanity, enabling people of all ages and abilities to connect and be reawakened in our natural world. Access Ability Wisconsin works to make nature accessible to everyone by providing opportunities for individuals with mobility challenges (whether acquired at birth or later in life) to access nature and outdoor recreational experiences with minimal environmental impact while promoting access, inclusion, equity, and healthy living. They provide outdoor wheelchairs and trailers at no cost* to help individuals explore nature and create their own outdoor adventures. They strive to increase public access to nature and recreational opportunities while promoting environmental stewardship from education to leadership. They collaborate on community-driven programs and services that empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and all ages, and they encourage organizations and individuals to engage in transformational thinking around experiences and assumptions as an individual and organization. How are you walking the DEIJ talk? Learn more about the transformational thinking that is needed in the conservation arena about including people of all abilities and how your organization or community group can learn from what AAW has to offer.

Monica Spaeni, Founding member and President of AAW

Recorded April 8, 2024

Monica Spaeni, Founding member and President of AAW, has a passion for the outdoors, nature, and animals. One of Monica’s passions extends to helping others to have easy access to the beauty she greatly enjoys. Out of that passion came Access Ability Wisconsin, where she can truly share Outdoors Access 4 All! Monica has served on the board of directors of conservation, health, natural resources, and various other nonprofit and public organizations. In addition, she graduated from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) with a BS in Mathematics and later graduated with an MS in Instructional Design and Distance Education. A few accomplishments include Conservationist of the Year (2022) Wisconsin Wildlife Federation; AARP Purpose Prize Awardee (2018); Jefferson Awardee (2016); Certified HE Safety Instructor (2010 · present), Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources; Certified Living Well With Chronic Conditions Facilitator (2011-2019), Stanford University Graduate School of Business; NYC Marathon 6th place in female handcycle division (2008); and Ms. Wheelchair WI (2007, 2008).