Beyond Our Boundaries Virtual Tours Inspires Students with Special Needs to Experience Travel Beyond the Classroom

CANTON, Ohio, Oct. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Having a younger brother with autism, Debra Shumard realized how challenging it can be to visualize, spark interest in, and plan a day out for a person with special needs. Combining her knowledge of travel for people with special needs, and an understanding of the importance of community integration, she and her team at her company, Beyond Our Boundaries, developed “Learning Beyond the Classroom” to develop video tours and other products for special needs students.

Shumard poured her imagination and experience into developing the new “Learning Beyond the Classroom: A Day in Pittsburgh” video tour, a 30-minute downloadable documentary featuring Bob, a young man with developmental disabilities who shares the sights of the Pennsylvania city with viewers. For example, he treats those who watch the video to views from the top of the incline and many of Pittsburgh’s famous bridges. And students can talk about the magic of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, laugh and learn at the Carnegie Science Center, watch an expert chef create sandwiches at Primanti Brothers and set sail aboard the Gateway Clipper.

Lesson plans that accompany the kit were created collaboratively between Shumard and intervention specialist Molly Weisel. “A Day in Pittsburgh” allows students to engage in lessons in history, math, English, and more while watching Bob and his friends participate in fun accessible activities throughout Pittsburgh. To watch a video of Weisel explaining her background and why she believes “A Day in Pittsburgh” belongs in special needs classrooms, visit

Shumard founded the special needs travel company Beyond Our Boundaries in 2001. The company provides adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to travel with peers and adult supervision to such places as California, Florida, New York, Boston, and Niagara Falls. Recognizing that some people may not have the funds to enjoy a vacation and others may not have the health to withstand travel, the company decided to offer DVDs, classroom kits and other products.

More information on the videos can be found at including how to take advantage of a 20 percent discount when multiple copies are purchased.

Contact: Debra Shumard, (330) 309-0838; [email protected];;

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