About Me

My name is Kim. Welcome to my site. 

A bit about me.. I live in the prettiest place in the world, at the edge of the Continental Divide, where I get to ski in an average of 300 inches of powder every year. In the summer I water ski, camp, jump out of airplanes, kayak, drive race cars and whatever else sounds fun at the time.

I'm the Program Director for Vets-Help.org and a Community Leaders Conference delegate invited to Washington DC where I was part of a panel at the Small Business Administration discussing issues faced by our community in accessing information and other SBA services. 

Even my day job is fun. I'm an internet developer and consultant specializing in marketing and event planning relating to the disability community, so I get to plan parties, go to cool events, and give stuff away 

My professional life includes a successful modeling and acting career with a not-too-shabby collection of print, runway, stage, radio, film and television credits, 10 years as Principal Agent at IMAGE Management representing top names in the disability community and 6 years as a writer with 3 years as Associate Editor at Active Living Magazine.

My competitive athletic career began when I was 14 with a selection to the provincial team for nationals and spanned another 6 years. I competed as a swimmer and in track and field for Ontario at the National level and Canada at numerous US National events were I took home a huge pile of medals, some records and a World Achievement Award for my very short lived (about 20 minutes) World Record in Shot Put.

During that time I held Junior Development and Promotions and Fundraising positions on the board of Ontario Amputee Sports Association where I got my sports marketing and event planning start. 

I've produced numerous types of events including fashion shows, concerts, bbqs, silent auctions, gala dinner parties, multi day sporting events both locally and out of state and dozens of trade show exhibitor / vendor trips.

In my spare time I work with a very select number of groups and charities - all programs and organizations that work toward changing the environment to include people with mobility and other impairments in mainstream life as opposed to trying to make us fit in or stay home.

These programs include Unlimbited, my sports club providing equipment, the accessible trailer and funding for skiing and events by other clubs and groups including Moving Forward Foundation from Kalispell MT which arranges activities including a killer sled hockey program, kayaking, zip-lining, handcyling, fashion shows and parties, and Vets-Help.org a national organization providing reintegration services to Veterans. I am the Program Director there, managing the lifestyle programs for Veterans with disabilities.

Oh, and I do it from a wheelchair because I'm a double above knee amputee, which I guess to some people is kind of interesting, but to me it's just the way it's always been. The upside to my situation is the resulting circumstances have left me in a very unique position.

I have the opportunities, the abilities and the time to make a positive change. If you're interested in what I do, or maybe even participating yourself, come on in :).

While you are here being suitably impressed by my awesomeness, please check out my sponsors and maybe even buy a bumper sticker or something..

Let's Hook Up

Lets Hook Up

Are you linking to me? Do you wan't to link to me? You know you do ☺ If so - first of all THANKS!! and second - let me know so I can link back to you. I have the usual facebook, linkedin, socialarchitect and twitter accounts and if your twitter account is predominantly adapted sports or living well with a disability related, I'll add it to the twitter page as well.

Send me a note with the location of the link and if your link fits the site, I'll add you asap. I reserve the right to decline any invitations to link back, for any reason.

Tell me about your link

Services

congierge sign

Consulting and Connecting

Consider me your tour guide and connection to the disability community. Kind of like a disability concierge.. oohh.. I like that.. It fits perfectly. If you need it and it's related to the disability community and it exists, I can probably find it / connect you / make it happen. Things like events, product development and launching, marketing and promotions, and of course, website development.

If you

  • have questions regarding the accessibility of your business
  • have general or specific inquiries about the community
  • want to review the terminology in your marketing materials
  • need a spokesperson
  • are looking for an industry leader introduction
  • have a product to introduce or promote
  • need stock photography
  • need photography or video service referrals
  • are sourcing a marketing vehicle or promotion

I can help with all of that.

My client list is varied and you may even recognize some names. If you feel I might be a good fit, or have an idea, concept, question or a product to review, drop me a note!

Events and projects of all sizes

Event Management

I got my event management start in the 1980's on the BOD of Ontario Amputee Sports Association in charge of Promotions & Fundraising and Junior Development. From there I expanded into disability consumer and trade shows and high level sports events including the 2nd Soldier Ride and Wounded Warrior Project. Some of my past events include silent and traditional auctions, Balloon Bursts, charity dinners, galas, raffles, cocktail parties, concerts, ski events, award ceremonies, trade show participation events, product launches, new product distribution, and racing time trials.

I have experience planning events ranging from a casual bbq to a multi-day, multi-participant, multi-venue event with out of town guests, I've done it all including transportation, meals, accommodation, venue planning, security, credentialing, ticketing, entertainment, community participation and group co-ordination.

I specialize in inclusive planning, ensuring everyone can participate by working with event organizers to identify and eliminate potential barriers to access and full participation using site inspections, consumer feedback and visitability principles.

One of my clients - WD-40

Promotions

What do WD-40, Eureka Tents, Yves Rocher Cosmetics, DrumBum and other companies have in common? They used ME to introduce their products to the disability community. The WD-40 pen dispenser distribution spanned 5 Consumer shows across the USA and got thousands of samples into the hands of thrilled recipients. Eureka Tents followed the same program which included the tent set up in a vignette where people could go inside and touch it. The tent was raffled at each show - tickets were free.

Those are just 2 examples of Promotions I've run. If you have a product or service you'd like in the hands of the largest visible consumer minority group in North America, drop me a note!

Beautiful and handcrafted websites for your use and enjoyment

Website Development

If you're looking for a new Corporate or Personal website and you want it up and running quickly and smoothly without the time and expense of an inhouse IT or web development department, send me a note to discuss your needs. I specialize in Joomla Content Management System (CMS) installation and component / module integration and in most cases can have your website fully operational within a week.

If you just need installation of the Joomla CMS (with or without a template package) I offer same day service.

I operate my own dedicated server, online continuously since 2001 hosting a limited number of sites.

SaaS - Software as a Service packages include hosting and a range of components and tools (CMS, newsletters, chat, ad server, directories, reviews) to get your business online quickly. This is a great option for anyone who wants to test the waters without the upfront software investment.

Get Started

Some FAQS

Some of the more popular questions and answers are here, ranging from my favorite activities to explanations and background of some of the content areas, and other things that don't fit anywhere else. Please check here to see if your question has already been asked. If not, send me a note with it. ☺

What's the story behind the blog name?

The blog name is from when I first learned to drive. My very protective friend always did the hover mom thing and asked if everything was going ok and did I need his help. One day I decided to call him on it. When he said "do you need any help with anything?" I answered with my best perfectly straight face and said "yes actually. I can't turn left. It's becoming a real obstacle for me." He stared at me for a few seconds trying to figure out if I was serious and then said "you're an idiot" and walked away. The moral of the story is sometimes people with disabilities have to deal with bizarre limitations that don't always make sense but are still very real. Since I'm warped, I thought it was hilariously funny and so I use it as my "blog" name..

So Naked Hippies and Friendly Strangers are real?

Yes. Yes they are. I live the kind of life where Naked Hippies in my living room is an every day kind of thing ☺ What else can you expect from someone who once ran away with the circus?.

The Friendly Stranger is my nemesis. I have a nemesis because I consider myself a superhero and all superheroes need a nemesis.. like Boris and Natasha always trying to mess with Dudley Doright. I call them "The Friendly Stranger" collectively because I'm Canadian and we had a meeting and we decided "stupid dirtbags" could be considered mean, and I'm not a mean person. ☺

How do I get a product reviewed?

A SPECTACULAR question. If it's disability or lifestyle or sports related, This includes DME like hand controls, chairs, furniture, electronics (especially bluetooth or home control) sports equipment, clothing, housewares, appliances, apparel and other daily use items.

Contact me for shipping information if your item won't shop to a PO Box.

My Ski Story

snowghosts in good medicine

I remember the first time I ever skied. It was with the local adapted program in an old beat up Mogul Master with a bolted on ski. Even though there were six volunteers with me and we were on the bunniest of bunny hills, I was terrified. I had never been way out in the middle of nowhere on snow before, I didn't know where I was and I had no idea how to move the ski. I'm pretty sure the only words I said the entire time were "DON'T LET GO!!". Every INCH of movement down the almost nonexistent fall line made me certain I was going to die. The day wasn't a total wash though.. I was wearing a really cool hat.

What I remember most from that day is the fact that I was able to do something I had never ever thought possible, and that one hour around the bend on Huckleberry Patch was the beginning of a whole new way of life.

I skied a few times a month over the next 2 years, all really short sessions, with DREAM, using the DREAM gear.

FYI - Program equipment is essentially one size fits none. It's set up for the ease and convenience of program providers and so as many people as possible can be served. That lack of customization gets a lot of people on the hill, but it doesn't necessarily work for the skiers themselves.

my monoski

Through my job as Associate Editor of Active Living Magazine I lucked into a monoski of my own. It was huge but it was mine and I tweaked it so it fit as well as possible. I also met up with an adapted ski instructor who just happened to be a monoskier. hhmmmmm.. a new ski, a monoskiing ski instructor, I couldn't pass up the opportunity so I bought a pass and skied 9 days that winter in a 40 pound Shadow that was bigger than me ☺

Kimberley Barreda and Johnnie Williams in the lift plaza

The next year I shelled out the THREE GRAND for a custom ski and was insanely proud of my oh-so-awesome 26 days on the hill.

That was in 2002. Since then, I've morphed from a sidewalk rolling, path taking city girl to a 50 - 70 days a year raving ski lunatic addicted to all Warren Miller ski porn videos in existence.

I have a perfectly fitted (and appropriately duct taped) Revolution Pro-Comp ski, modified (by me) Superlite outriggers, and an envy enducing selection of skis from a tiny little K2 twin tip to a fully custom Montana Ski Company double rocker all mountain ski that was specifically designed for me. The final pieces to the puzzle are my ridiculously cool blingy goggles and a group of friends that love to ski as much as I do - who don't mind avoiding the cliffs and jumps every now and then.

That combination changed everything. I went from needing everyone they could send to falling asleep on the chair in the sun, kicking it in the Bowl and getting MILES of deep powdery fresh tracks on Hellfire more than once. Proper gear + great friends + a killer hill = AWESOME!!!

None of this would have happened without the help of a group of strangers who spend a lot of time making sure people who wouldn't normally have the chance to ski get that opportunity. Oh and did I mention it's FREE?? Yes, that's right, book a lesson/session with DREAM Adaptive Recreation and you get the gear, ticket AND STAFF for the low low price of NOTHING AT ALL! Come out to the summer event and water ski, jet ski, tube or paddle around - again for FREE.

Obviously monoskis and outriggers are NOT free and the boats don't run on good vibes or tallboys so even though the program is free to use, it's not free to run, and like most small non-profits with a grass-roots mission, the skills and assets of the group are mainly oriented around program provision with whatever funds they can raise between providing services.

That's what the Everybody Rides SKI program does. We provide the FUNDING for staff, lift tickets, equipment and the instructors so people with physical disabilities can get out on the hill and experience the thrill of downhill skiing in a social setting. We also provide financial assistance toward adapted gear and lift tickets so they can ski independently.

If you are a disabled veteran and you are coming to the valley to ski, please contact me BEFORE YOU BUY YOUR LIFT TICKETS.

A bit about me..

My name is Kim. Welcome to my site. 

A bit about me.. I live in the prettiest place in the world, at the edge of the Continental Divide, where I get to ski in an average of 300 inches of powder every year. In the summer I water ski, camp, jump out of airplanes, kayak, drive race cars and whatever else sounds fun at the time.

I'm the Program Director for Vets-Help.org and a Community Leaders Conference delegate invited to Washington DC where I was part of a panel at the Small Business Administration discussing issues faced by our community in accessing information and other SBA services. 

Even my day job is fun. I'm an internet developer and consultant specializing in marketing and event planning relating to the disability community, so I get to plan parties, go to cool events, and give stuff away 

My professional life includes a successful modeling and acting career with a not-too-shabby collection of print, runway, stage, radio, film and television credits, 10 years as Principal Agent at IMAGE Management representing top names in the disability community and 6 years as a writer with 3 years as Associate Editor at Active Living Magazine.

My competitive athletic career began when I was 14 with a selection to the provincial team for nationals and spanned another 6 years. I competed as a swimmer and in track and field for Ontario at the National level and Canada at numerous US National events were I took home a huge pile of medals, some records and a World Achievement Award for my very short lived (about 20 minutes) World Record in Shot Put.

During that time I held Junior Development and Promotions and Fundraising positions on the board of Ontario Amputee Sports Association where I got my sports marketing and event planning start. 

I've produced numerous types of events including fashion shows, concerts, bbqs, silent auctions, gala dinner parties, multi day sporting events both locally and out of state and dozens of trade show exhibitor / vendor trips.

In my spare time I work with a very select number of groups and charities - all programs and organizations that work toward changing the environment to include people with mobility and other impairments in mainstream life as opposed to trying to make us fit in or stay home.

These programs include Unlimbited, my sports club providing equipment, the accessible trailer and funding for skiing and events by other clubs and groups including Moving Forward Foundation from Kalispell MT which arranges activities including a killer sled hockey program, kayaking, zip-lining, handcyling, fashion shows and parties, and Vets-Help.org a national organization providing reintegration services to Veterans. I am the Program Director there, managing the lifestyle programs for Veterans with disabilities.

Oh, and I do it from a wheelchair because I'm a double above knee amputee, which I guess to some people is kind of interesting, but to me it's just the way it's always been. The upside to my situation is the resulting circumstances have left me in a very unique position.

I have the opportunities, the abilities and the time to make a positive change. If you're interested in what I do, or maybe even participating yourself, come on in :).

While you are here being suitably impressed by my awesomeness, please check out my sponsors and maybe even buy a bumper sticker or something..

My Bio

Brief Bio of Kimberley Barreda 

I'm the Program Director for Vets-Help.org and a Community Leaders Conference delegate invited to Washington DC where I was part of a panel at the Small Business Administration discussing issues faced by our community in accessing information and other SBA services. 

I'm a strategist, marketing and product consultant and event planner specializing in reaching the largest visible minority consumer group in North America, with over 30 experience in sports, marketing and promotions.

I am Canadian born in Windsor Ontario, raised in Montreal and Toronto and have traveled and lived for work in Las Vegas, Seattle, Oceanside California, and Treasure Island Florida.

My professional life includes a successful modeling and acting career with a collection of print, runway, stage, radio, film and television credits, 21 national commercials for KMart, McDonalds, Eatons, the New Democratic Party, appearances on the Dini Petty Show, Lifestyle Network, CBC, Divorce Court, Franco Mirabelli, Sears and most recently Native Eyewear Locals Only Project.

I am Principal Agent at IMAGE Management (established in 1996) representing top names in the disability community including Paralympic level athletes, Veterans, Musicans, bands and speakers and spent 6 years as a writer with 3 years as Associate Editor at Active Living Magazine.

My competitive athletic career began when I was 14 with a selection to the provincial team for nationals and spanned another 6 years. I competed as a swimmer and in track and field for Ontario at the National level and Canada at numerous US National events were I took home a huge pile of medals, some records and a World Achievement Award for my very short lived (about 20 minutes) World Record in Shot Put.

During that time I held Junior Development and Promotions and Fundraising positions on the board of Ontario Amputee Sports Association where I got my sports marketing and event planning start.

I've produced numerous types of events including fashion shows, concerts, bbqs, silent auctions, gala dinner parties, multi day sporting events both locally and out of state and dozens of trade show exhibitor / vendor trips handling all aspects including travel, accommodation, meals, credentialing, security and entertainment.

In my spare time I work with a very select number of groups and charities - all programs and organizations that work toward changing the environment to include people with mobility and other impairments in mainstream life as opposed to trying to make us fit in or stay home.

These programs include Unlimbited, my sports club providing equipment, the accessible trailer and funding for skiing and events by other clubs and groups including Moving Forward Foundation from Kalispell MT which arranges activities including a killer sled hockey program, kayaking, zip-lining, handcyling, fashion shows and parties, and Vets-Help.org a national organization providing reintegration services to Veterans. I am the Program Director there, managing the lifestyle programs for Veterans with disabilities.