Leading the Way

Developed in partnership with world-renowned blind mountaineer and Board member Erik Weihenmayer, our Leading the Way program unites students of mixed abilities on incredible adventures around the world. With help from another Board member, Bill Barkeley, Leading the Way has grown to include programs for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Participants gain unparalleled skills as leaders who focus on building a shared vision, encouraging independence and teamwork, learning from mistakes, questioning assumptions, promoting trust and embracing adversity. All participants learn the adaptive skills necessary to fulfill their roles as members of a diverse team striving to accomplish a common goal.

2015 Program Details 

Leading the Way Expedition to Peru for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

We will post more information about this program by the beginning of December. 

2014 Program Details 

Leading the Way Sound Academy for Blind, Visually Impaired and Sighted Students:

Location: Upper Half of Colorado River
Ages: 15 - 19

Itinerary: *subject to change

DAY 1: Travel to Phoenix, AZ then venture to a retreat center for orientation.
DAY 2-4: Get to know your teammates while engaging in a meaningful service project.
DAYS 5-10: Raft and explore the upper half of the Colorado River. Learn about life on the river, geology, desert ecology, and river folklore. Camp on the river banks.
DAY 11: Hike out of the canyon via Bright Angel Trail and visit the canyon rim. Overnight in Flagstaff.
DAY 12: Return to Phoenix and travel home.


We are offering two trips, each tailored to specific populations:

Sound Academy works with students who are blind and visually impaired, as well as sighted. 

Peru Expedition is for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. 

Ideal candidates demonstrate leadership experience and leadership potential in their application. For more information, contact Kaitlyn Millen, Specialty Programs Coordinator at kaitlyn.millen@nobarriersusa.org.

How to Apply

Please look for our upcoming 2015 applications to become available soon!

Stay Tuned for 2015 Program Announcements