A sports program aimed at helping those with disabilities power through perceptions is looking to expand to Binghamton. 

Dallas Georgia Native Taylor Duncan was 4 when he was diagnosed with autism. He dealt with speech, sensory and anxiety issues growing up. Duncan always had a love of baseball, but was often excluded because of the stigma around autism. That’s why he started Alternative Baseball. 

“I wanted to supply something that was for others just like myself that may also be out there waiting for a traditional baseball experience,” says Duncan.

Founded in 2016, Alternative Baseball is a baseball program for people with autism or other special needs ages 15 and older that follows the same rules as Major League Baseball. Duncan says their oldest player currently is 62-years-old. He says autism doesn’t stop when you graduate from school but unfortunately a lot of services for those dealing with it do. He says programs like Alternative Baseball are essential for enriching physical and social skills.  

“Every person deserves the opportunity to play traditional baseball without the fear of judgment,” says Duncan. “They should be accepted for who they are, encouraged to be the best they can be and instilled that confidence needed to fulfill dreams whether it’s on or off the baseball diamond.”

Right now there are 30 Alternative Baseball programs across 14 states and Duncan wants to see those numbers grow. He says to start a program in Binghamton they just need people with a passion to help others to volunteer to coach. He says it’s incredible seeing the impact being a part of a team can have. 

“There is always something, and there’s never a dull moment in Alternative baseball,” says Duncan. “Whether it’s the players realizing that they are capable of so much more than what their peers have led on to them or even what they thought they could do.” 

Those interested in volunteering to coach, umpire or those looking to play can apply and find more information on https://www.alternativebaseball.org/