Champions of Change
Joel Berman is the founder and Executive Director of Adaptive Adventures, where he has spent the last 12 years creating unique outdoor sports programs to improve the quality of life for children, adults, and military service personnel with physical disabilities. Joel has devoted himself to breaking down physical and social barriers so individuals with physical challenges can participate in sports. His philosophy, and that of Adaptive Adventures, is that cost cannot be a barrier to participation. Joel Berman lost his left leg above the knee in a Chicago, Illinois railroad accident in the summer of 1983. After graduating college and undergoing rehabilitation, Joel entered the workforce achieving senior management positions at several prominent Chicago financial institutions. Realizing that there were very few organizations that catered to teaching sports to the physically disabled and wanting to get back into action, Joel established Adaptive Adventures, which is driven by its belief in ‘freedom through mobility.’ The program has served thousands of individuals with physical disabilities – some even going on to participate in the Paralympics. Joel is very proud of the accomplishments of Adaptive Adventures and plans to continue serving the physically disabled community.