The Adam Webster Fund

Adam Webster was a young boy with special needs who loved dolphins, the beach, and being out on his family’s sailboat. With Adam’s passing at the age of 22 in 1999, O’Neill Sea Odyssey developed the Adam Webster Fund in collaboration with his parents, Tom and Judy Webster. 

The special needs program is part of OSO’s wider vision to eliminate obstacles and to open doors that allow every person access to the rich environmental resources in our backyard, regardless of physical, social, intellectual and emotional barriers. It’s often hard to tell what experience will create a new learning opportunity and intellectual or social milestone in an individual’s journey. That is part of the magic of OSO – every person leaves with their own unique memory of the program. In 2009, the O’Neill Sea Odyssey received the Special Parents Information Network’s “Community Spinners” Award, acknowledging the efforts to serve a traditionally overlooked segment of our population.

How to Apply

Trip leaders can apply to our special needs program during the open application period in spring. More information about the application process can be found on the Trip Request page. The Adam Webster Fund supports four to six special needs trips annually. OSO staff works with trip leaders to ensure that their outing is customized to meet the specific needs of that particular class.


Trip Planning

Please notify our staff of the number of wheelchairs, the spectrum of student needs, and any special requests. There is a maximum capacity of 12 students per trip and we kindly request that each student bring their one-on-one aid. It is helpful for the trip leader to divide the class into two smaller groups based on student needs so our educators can adjust their instruction accordingly. 



Classroom Modifications

The program orientation (survey, lifejackets, and safety talks) can be conducted at a central meeting point to avoid two trips to the OSO education center. The education center is accessible by elevator. For the classroom portion, station activities can be brought to students instead of students rotating rooms.

Onboard Modifications

Wheelchairs can be left on the dock for easy access, or in the classroom for safekeeping (distance from the classroom to the boat is approximately ¼ mile). If a lightweight wheelchair or walker is brought onboard, it must be secured below deck. Students cannot remain in any device onboard that has wheels, even if the wheels lock into place.

Station activities can be brought to students on the net. Instructors can rotate to groups on the net and provide visual aids and textile objects to students. Station educational materials can be taught to grade level or vary depending on student needs. Navigation photos can be taken on the net or at the helm. Students must be accompanied by a chaperone and an OSO instructor if moving around the boat. Weather conditions may contribute to students staying on the net throughout the sail, or having a dockside program. 


To make a contribution in support of the Adam Webster Fund, please contact Executive Director, Tracey Weiss at (831)475-1561 or by email.