Sponsored Project

One Hand Clapping

David Vassar
Sally Kaplan & Cheryl Cutting

A journey down the river inside the Grand Canyon transforms the lives of six recently disabled individuals. Six athletes with disabilities will mentor six more recently disabled students for two weeks under the tutelage of the awe-inspiring wonder of nature and majestic master itself - the Grand Canyon. Many who have ventured by raft down the river in the Grand Canyon describe the experience as life changing, life threatening and impossible to put into words. One can only glean its power by delving in. Unlike climbing a mountain with an expansive view, going into the canyon is like going into the center of the Earth. You are physically isolated with a strip of light above you. You turn inward. You begin to contemplate. By day two, you forget what time it is. By day three, you forget what year it is or where you live. How to cope with moment-to-moment decisions grow more complex when faced with white water rapids or waterfalls catapulting forty feet downward. There is no hiding in the Grand Canyon. Existential questions like who you are; what is important in life and what it means to be alive arise. You can freeze one minute or die of heat and dehydration the next. You can move from the serenity of the riverbank to the tumultuous rapids with pumping adrenalin, only to return to the peace of an evening campfire. This is the reality of the Grand Canyon - transformative for any ordinary individual who risks the journey. What makes our story extraordinary - what sets our characters apart and raises the stakes to the extreme is each of the individuals we will follow - both students and mentors - have physical disabilities. One Hand Clapping hopes to ignite a paradigm shift in the way society perceives, responds to and interacts with people with disabilities.