Tag Archives: adaptive sports

New England Disabled Sports: Winter Activities

About New England Disabled Sports
New England DisAbled Sports is a national recognized program which provides year round adaptive sport instruction to adults and children with physical and cognitive disAbilities.

Their programs allow individuals with disabilities to enjoy a boundary-free environment, enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family, as well as provide access to equipment and instruction that might otherwise be unavailable.

Their Mission:
The Mission of New England Disabled Sports is, through sports, to change lives affected by disabilities. Download New England Disabled Sports brochure

Their Vision:
They envision a world where disabilities are not barriers.

Their Values:

  • They embrace volunteerism
  • They foster community
  • They strive for excellence
  • They listen to and learn from everyone
  • They nurture personal development through high-quality training and instruction
  • They strive for diversity

Winter Activities

Alpine Skiing

Mono skiing
The mono ski is a device used mainly by people with limited use (or absence) of the lower extremities. A mono ski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern mono skis interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a “ski foot,” a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski’s binding. A mono skier use outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a mono ski; advanced mono skiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

Bi-skiing
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance. People with these impairments might bi-ski:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputees
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Spinal bifida
  • Severe balance impairment

Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance.

3-Track & 4-Track skiing
3 track skiing is defined as skiing on one ski with outriggers to maintain balance. The student is able to stand on one ski and maintain dynamic balance with the assistance of outriggers (poles). 4 track skiing is very similar to 3 track but the skier has 2 feet on skies, rather than one.

Visually Impaired
Alpine (downhill) skiing is one of the rare opportunities available that allows the blind individual to move freely at speed through time and space. It provides the opportunity to embrace and commune with the primal force of gravity, thus experiencing the sheer exhilaration of controlled mass in motion, in a physically independent setting.

For those with Visual Impairment, a sighted Guide is needed. For lesser impairment the guide may simply need to ski a short distance in front of the skier to show the way. Skiers with greater vision loss or who are totally blind will generally ski using a headset arrangement to give audible instruction.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding has become very popular with New England DisAbled Sports students. People with cognitive or physical disAbilities are able to participate and experience the thrills of riding the mountain. The number of snowboarding lessons increases each year as the sport grows in popularity within our community. New England DisAbled Sports offers ski and snowboard lessons daily throughout the winter season.

Snowshoeing
Come explore the snow trails and fresh air of the mountains covered in snow while snowshoeing. Enjoy a winter hike in the woods from the more stable base of snowshoes. Take in peaceful scenery while working to improve your physical fitness level, balance and spatial awareness. You’ll love it!

Winter Biathlon
A seemingly unlikely combination of events – one is an aerobic activity (skiing or running) which requires strength, speed and endurance; the other is a passive activity (shooting) which requires concentration and a steady hand (difficult after you’ve been skiing, running or walking all out!).

Easy Ways to Adapt Sports for Kids with Disabilities

Step up to the plate, take the game-winning shot, leap across the finish line – the thrill of sports is nearly impossible to compare or match to that of another activity. For kids with a disAbility or other mobility limitations, sports can seem intimidating, as if they were a task too difficult to complete. With adaptive sports on the rise and more and more athletes with disAbilities making waves with their skill, kids of all ages and abilities should be encouraged to participate in these exciting activities. With a few modifications, even the most demanding sports can be completely accessible.

Basketball
Wider and lower hoops make this fast paced game a simpler competition. Use buckets, hula-hoops or even boxes can provide a larger targeted area, making it easier for kids to make those winning shots. Lower the “hoops” to a manageable height to boost your child’s confidence in their game.

Baseball
Tees aren’t just useful in golf; they are an excellent way to allow kids to take better aim when hitting a baseball. This sport, amongst others, can improve a child’s hand-eye coordination and focus, as well as instill a sense of teamwork in them.

Volleyball
Beach balls can quickly transform the sport of volleyball into a fully inclusive activity that’s sure to be a blast for everyone. The light beach balls are not only easier to hit, but they allow more time for players with disAbilities to react after the other team’s move. Balloons are another great alternative.

Whatever your sport of choice is, all it takes is a little ingenuity to adapt it to suit a child with a disAbility. Invite your kids’ friends over for backyard Olympics or stir up some friendly competition with your child – not only will sports allow kids to be more active, they’re a great way of improving social skills and abilities.

CAPEable Adventures: Adaptive Sports & Recreation

CAPEable Adventures (CA) is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) chapter of Disabled Sports USA. DS/USA is a national nonprofit organization formed to promote adaptive sports and outdoor recreation.

CAPEable Adventures, Inc. was established in 2007 by a group of individuals on Cape Cod to address the growing desire of local physically and mentally challenged children and adults who would like the opportunity to participate in sports and outdoor recreation. Co-Founder and President Craig Bautz is a T9 Paraplegic who has instructed, competed and participated in adaptive sports for 25 years bringing with him a great deal of knowledge in the field of adaptive sports and therapeutic recreation. Cape Cod offers numerous opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, biking, kayaking, fishing, camping, swimming, the opportunities are endless – and they are now more accessible through programs made available by CAPEable Adventures.

Not only can CA provide services to local residents, with this region being a destination for travelers, CA can provide services to individuals vacationing on the Cape. Having access to adaptive equipment and instruction while traveling can only increase the enjoyment of the Cape’s natural beauty, and allow physically and mentally challenged individuals to enjoy their travel experience alongside their family and friends.

By participating in therapeutic recreational activities challenged individuals improve muscle strength, coordination, equilibrium, balance, endurance, self-esteem, self-confidence, independence, and socialization skills.  But most importantly, participants gain personal fulfillment through accomplishment – something that can translate positively into their everyday lives.

For more information please visit their website at: www.capeableadventures.org

Travis Mills Foundation Retreat

The TMF retreat, located in Maine, will provide fully accessible facilities dedicated to serving the recreational and reintegration needs of combat-wounded veterans and their families. The retreat will fill a vital role in the recovery, camaraderie, spousal support, reconnection, and relaxation needs of our disabled veteran families.   Upon completion of extensive renovations, veteran families from all over the United States will be invited to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, site-seeing, campfires, adaptive sports, and spa treatments like massage, facials, and yoga.

For more information and updates on their progress to fully renovate and rehabilitate the property please visit The Travis Mills Foundation Retreat website. If you would like to show your support by donating to the Travis Mills Foundation you can do so here.

VA Adaptive Sports Program

Mission Redefined
Your courage, your determination and your drive all led you to serve America proudly. Those same characteristics will also lead to satisfaction and success in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans of all ages and abilities report better health, new friendships and a better quality of life when participating in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans who are physically active simply have more fun! To get started, take some time to review the many sports opportunities available to you by reaching out to your VA clinical team.

Get started by learning how disabled Veterans can benefit from adaptive sports. If you have questions, contact them at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

2015 Schedule of National Events
2014 Annual Report to Congress

The Grant Program
The Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces (ASG Program) provides grant funding to organizations to increase and expand the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces have to participate in physical activity within their home communities, as well as more advanced Paralympic and adaptive sport programs at the regional and national levels. Learn more»

Training Allowance
Interested in becoming a Paralympic athlete?
The VA National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Office provides a monthly assistance allowance for disabled Veterans as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 322(d) and Section 703 of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 for qualifying athletes training in Paralympic sports.

Through the program, VA will pay a monthly allowance to a Veteran with either a service-connected or non-service-connected disability if the Veteran meets the minimum military standards or higher (e.g., Emerging, Talent Pool, National Team) in his or her respective sport at a recognized competition. Besides making the military standard, an athlete must also be nationally or internationally classified by his or her respective sport federation as eligible for Paralympic competition within six or 12 months of a qualifying performance.

Athletes must also have established training and competition plans and are responsible for turning in monthly and quarterly reports in order to continue receiving the monthly assistance allowance. The allowance rate for an athlete approved for monetary assistance is the same as the 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) rate, which in FY 2013 ranged from $585.11 up to $1,104.64 per month, depending on the number of dependents.

Download the VA Training Allowance Standards

Download the VA Training Allowance Briefing

To learn more about the specific sport standards or the monthly assistance allowance, email them at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

Warfighter Sports

Warfighter Sports have provided 8,200 wounded warriors and family opportunities to participate in more than 30 sports since 2003, free of any costs.

The mission of Warfighter Sports is simple:
Provide adaptive sports to severely wounded warriors free of cost. Thanks to generous supporters, they have supported 1,500 wounded warriors just last year alone.

Apply To Be  A Warfighter Here

Warfighter Sports Individual Training Grants
Warfighter Sports is offering grants to veterans and members of the armed forces with permanent physical disabilities who do not have nearby access to adaptive training in the sport of their choice.

Grant funding can be used to assist with participation expenses associated with their individual sport goals. Successful applicants will be awarded grant funding as well as Warfighter Sports apparel to wear during their participation.

The goal of this program is to help veterans and members of the armed forces with permanent physical disabilities gain independence in their chosen sport, so that even if an adaptive club is not available nearby, they have the ability to participate in non-adaptive programs alongside family and friends.

Grants of up to $1000, per warrior, per year are available on a rolling basis until all funds have been spent. Funds are only distributed once valid receipts and reports have been received by Disabled Sports USA. Applicants will be notified if their grant is approved within 21 business days of their submission.

Grant Qualifications:

  • Veterans or members of the armed forces with a permanent physical disability* who do not have nearby access to adaptive training in their chosen sport
  • Veterans or members of the armed forces with a permanent physical disability* who are seeking advanced training, competitive or classification opportunities in their chosen sport
  • $1000 maximum grant awarded per year
  • Must participate in qualified sporting activity (see application for specific list)

*i.e. spinal cord injury, amputation, vision impairment, traumatic brain injury, nerve/joint or muscle damage that permanently impedes function.

 Sample Expenses Covered:

  • Travel expenses to train in an adaptive sport if not offered locally
  • Travel to attend classification opportunities or Paralympic competition
  • Coaching fees for individualized instruction
  • Adaptive sports equipment not covered by the VA

Reporting Requirements: 

The following is to be submitted no later than two weeks post-activity or by September 1, 2015 (whichever is soonest)

  • Brief summary of program outcomes (one paragraph)
  • Photo of participation in activity (preferably while wearing Warfighter Sports provided apparel)
  • Provide valid receipts for expenses

New England DisAbled Sports: Winter Activities

New Englands Disabled Sports- Winter Activities

About New England DisAbled Sports
New England DisAbled Sports is a national recognized program which provides year round adaptive sport instruction to adults and children with physical and cognitive disAbilities.

Their programs allow individuals with disAbilities to enjoy a boundary-free environment, enjoy outdoor recreation with friends and family, as well as provide access to equipment and instruction that might otherwise be unavailable.

Their Mission:
The Mission of New England DisAbled Sports is, through sports, to change lives affected by disAbilities. Download New England DisAbled Sports brochure

Their Vision:
They envision a world where disAbilities are not barriers.

Their Values:

  • They embrace volunteerism
  • They foster community
  • They strive for excellence
  • They listen to and learn from everyone
  • They nurture personal development through high-quality training and instruction
  • They strive for diversity

Winter Activities

Alpine Skiing

Mono skiing
The mono ski is a device used mainly by people with limited use (or absence) of the lower extremities. A mono ski, also known as a sit-ski, consists of a molded seat mounted on a metal frame. A shock absorber beneath the seat eases riding on uneven terrain and helps in turning by maximizing ski-snow contact. Modern mono skis interface with a single, ordinary alpine ski by means of a “ski foot,” a metal or plastic block in the shape of a boot sole that clicks into the ski’s binding. A mono skier use outriggers for stability; an outrigger resembles a forearm crutch with a short ski on the bottom. People new to mono-skiing are often surprised to see how much terrain is skiable in a mono ski; advanced mono skiers can be found not only carving turns on groomed runs but also skiing moguls, terrain parks, race courses, glades and even backcountry terrain—in short, wherever stand-up skiers can go.

Bi-skiing
A bi-ski is a sit ski with a can be skied independently like the mono-ski with hand-held outriggers, or can be skied with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers. The skier moves his or her head, shoulders or hand-held outriggers to turn the bi-ski. The bi-ski has a lift mechanism for getting onto a chairlift. It can also be used to accustom a new sit-skier to the snow before moving to a mono-ski. Bi-skis are used by people with upper and lower limb impairments and with poor balance. People with these impairments might bi-ski:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Amputees
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Severe epilepsy
  • Spinal bifida
  • Severe balance impairment

Outriggers are metal elbow crutches with the tip section of a ski pivoted on the bottom of the crutch. Some outriggers have adjustable brakes attached to the back edge of the ski to give some speed control. Outriggers are used to aid balance and/or to give support. Outriggers are used by mono-skiers, bi-skiers and standing skiers needing aid with balance.

3-Track & 4-Track skiing
3 track skiing is defined as skiing on one ski with outriggers to maintain balance. The student is able to stand on one ski and maintain dynamic balance with the assistance of outriggers (poles). 4 track skiing is very similar to 3 track but the skier has 2 feet on skies, rather than one.

Visually Impaired
Alpine (downhill) skiing is one of the rare opportunities available that allows the blind individual to move freely at speed through time and space. It provides the opportunity to embrace and commune with the primal force of gravity, thus experiencing the sheer exhilaration of controlled mass in motion, in a physically independent setting.

For those with Visual Impairment, a sighted Guide is needed. For lesser impairment the guide may simply need to ski a short distance in front of the skier to show the way. Skiers with greater vision loss or who are totally blind will generally ski using a headset arrangement to give audible instruction.

Snowboarding
Snowboarding has become very popular with New England DisAbled Sports students. People with cognitive or physical disAbilities are able to participate and experience the thrills of riding the mountain. The number of snowboarding lessons increases each year as the sport grows in popularity within our community. New England DisAbled Sports offers ski and snowboard lessons daily throughout the winter season.

Snowshoeing
Come explore the snow trails and fresh air of the mountains covered in snow while snowshoeing. Enjoy a winter hike in the woods from the more stable base of snowshoes. Take in peaceful scenery while working to improve your physical fitness level, balance and spatial awareness. You’ll love it!

Winter Biathlon
A seemingly unlikely combination of events – one is an aerobic activity (skiing or running) which requires strength, speed and endurance; the other is a passive activity (shooting) which requires concentration and a steady hand (difficult after you’ve been skiing, running or walking all out!).

 

Easy Ways to Adapt Sports for Kids with Disabilities

Step up to the plate, take the game-winning shot, leap across the finish line – the thrill of sports is nearly impossible to compare or match to that of another activity. For kids with a disAbility or other mobility limitations, sports can seem intimidating, as if they were a task too difficult to complete. With adaptive sports on the rise and more and more athletes with disAbilities making waves with their skill, kids of all ages and abilities should be encouraged to participate in these exciting activities. With a few modifications, even the most demanding sports can be completely accessible.

Basketball
Wider and lower hoops make this fast paced game a simpler competition. Use buckets, hula-hoops or even boxes can provide a larger targeted area, making it easier for kids to make those winning shots. Lower the “hoops” to a manageable height to boost your child’s confidence in their game.

Baseball
Tees aren’t just useful in golf; they are an excellent way to allow kids to take better aim when hitting a baseball. This sport, amongst others, can improve a child’s hand-eye coordination and focus, as well as instill a sense of teamwork in them.

Volleyball
Beach balls can quickly transform the sport of volleyball into a fully inclusive activity that’s sure to be a blast for everyone. The light beach balls are not only easier to hit, but they allow more time for players with disAbilities to react after the other team’s move. Balloons are another great alternative.

Whatever your sport of choice is, all it takes is a little ingenuity to adapt it to suit a child with a disAbility. Invite your kids’ friends over for backyard Olympics or stir up some friendly competition with your child – not only will sports allow kids to be more active, they’re a great way of improving social skills and abilities.

Adaptive Sports for People With Disabilities

People with disabilities are capable of anything they set their minds to — and sports are no exception.

Adaptive sports, otherwise known as para-sports or sports for people with disabilities, are just that. These sports promote mobility, community and excitement while offering physical benefits for people with disabilities.

Adaptive sports span a broad spectrum, from mild modifications on traditional games to the invention of brand new sports as a whole. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just looking to jump into the action for the first time, there’s sure to be a sport for you.

Traditional Adaptive Sports
Many adaptive sports are a nod of the cap to mainstream sports, such as basketball, soccer, baseball, tennis and hockey. Not surprisingly, there are youth and adult leagues for both individual options (like fishing, bowling and Bocce) and team activities.

General formats typically remain the same and may serve as a great entry point for newcomers to pull from their familiarity of the sport and its strategy. Joining a team is also a great way to make new friends, establish workout partners, find a carpool buddy and build community. Not to mention, sports are a great excuse to burn calories, and maybe even get some fresh air.

Interestingly enough, adaptive sports and their athletes have inspired brilliant technology for participants with disabilities. Whether you are paraplegic, blind or have some other disability, if you use a wheelchair, wear a brace, drive a mobility vehicle or have other equipment to accommodate your needs, para-sports have options for you. Adaptive technology is available for a wide range of sports and includes a variety of equipment, such as:

  • Ringing soccer balls
  • Forearm fishing supports
  • Retractable-handle bowling balls

The goal of this type of equipment is to provide you more independence and freedom so you can focus on the fun.

Adventurous Outdoor Para-Sports
If traditional is a bit too tame for your liking, many adventurous outdoor sports are also out there.

From horseback riding and biskiing, kayaking and even downhill biking, adaptive sports are conquering the court, the slopes and everything in between. Not unlike their traditional counterparts, adventure sports are a great way to reclaim range of motion, build muscle, clear the head and get a healthy kick of adrenaline from time to time.

Some athletes, like Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham (born with Spina Bifida), have even broken into the extreme sports venue, proving sometimes a wheelchair ramp can be inspiration for larger ramps.

Where to Start
It’s easy to start a new sport or join a team. As long as you keep a few of the fundamentals in mind, you’ll be having a blast in no time.

Here are some basics to help you dive in:

  • Search your community for leagues and events
  • Join a team and/or find a mentor (someone who can show you the ropes)
  • Upgrade your equipment if you’re really serious
  • Practice makes perfect

Remember that everyone had to start somewhere and athletic skill is often the accumulation of effort. What’s most important is a willingness to learn and a desire to have fun.

And chances are, there is a team somewhere looking for a person just like you!

Play from your Chair: Sports that Don’t Require Adaptive Equipment

Staying fit with wheelchair sports
Wheelchair sports have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. From Olympic competitions to locally organized events, more athletes with disabilities have discovered the excitement and thrill of competition that can be found in adaptive sports. Although designs have been made to make even the most challenging activities available to those with limited mobility, such as adaptive surfboards, skis and more, there are also a number of sports that do not require the use of any special equipment and can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels and abilities.

Archery
Unleash your inner Katniss Everdeen/Legolas Greenleaf and experience the exhilaration of a bulls-eye shot. While archery may not be the first activity you think of when sports are brought up, it’s actually a great form of exercise, building arm strength, hand-eye coordination and focus.

Table Tennis
Table tennis allows wheelchair users and able-bodied people to compete head-to-head against each other, making this a truly inclusive sport. Its ability to accommodate multiple levels of players has made table tennis one of the most popular sports for wheelchair users. It is even an integral part of many rehabilitation programs!

Bowling
Unlike many other sports, bowling offers the opportunity to enjoy food, drinks and good times with friends while actively competing against each other. This unique characteristic makes this a popular sport to enjoy while on a nighttime outing and is something the whole family can enjoy.

Basketball
Although wheelchair basketball can be physically demanding, it is also incredibly rewarding. While certain aspects of the game may be modified at the request or needs of certain players, a hoop, a ball and a love of the game are all the requirements for this competitive sport.

With the growth in popularity of adaptive sports, it’s the perfect opportunity to get involved! Round up some friends and get on the road to athletic achievement.

Adaptive Sports and Accessible Recreation Programs for Massachusetts residents with disabilities

Adaptive Sports and Accessible Recreation Programs
for Massachusetts residents with disabilities

Wheelchair Vans Massachusetts



NOTE: Glossary words are highlighted. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.

What are adaptive sports and recreation programs?

Adaptive and accessible sports and recreation programs are recreational activities that are modified or designed to allow people with disabilities to participate. Almost any type of recreational activity can be adapted or made accessible for people with physical, visual, cognitive, or emotional disabilities.

 

 

Adaptive and accessible sports and recreation programs include a wide range of activities:

  • indoor and outdoor
  • cold weather and warm weather
  • team and individual
  • inclusive and disability-specific
  • for children, for adults, for families
  • for people with physical, intellectual, and/or emotional disabilities
  • competitive and leisure

Adaptive and accessible programs give children and adults with disabilities the freedom to participate in mainstream activities, to gain self-confidence, and to develop physical abilities and social skills.


Am I eligible?

Many adaptive and accessible sports and recreation programs are open to everyone. Open programs customize their activities to meet the needs of participants, regardless of the type of disability.

Some programs are disability-specific. Disability-specific programs may limit participation to people with certain types of impairments.

You should check with the programs that interest you to see if they have any restrictions.


How much does it cost?

Many adaptive and accessible sports and recreation programs are free, but some charge fees. Financial aid, scholarships, or sliding fee scales are usually available for families and individuals who need assistance.

You should check with the programs that interest you to see if they charge fees. If they do, ask about financial assistance if you need help paying.


What programs are offered in the state parks and recreation areas?

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) oversees the state’s Universal Access Program. The Universal Access Program provides adaptive and/or accessible outdoor recreation programs for people of all abilities in state parks and recreation areas throughout Massachusetts.

Activities vary from park to park. Programs include adaptive skating, skiing, sledding, and bicycling; accessible beaches with beach wheelchairs; sensory nature walks; accessible trails, fishing sites, camping, and boating; and adventure games. All of the state outdoor swimming pools have pool lifts for accessibility.

For information about specific activities, visit the following DCR web site pages:

The DCR works together with nonprofit organizations to offer some of the state park adaptive recreation programs. (SeeAll Out Adventures below.)


Where can I find adaptive sports and recreation programs?

The Massachusetts Universal Access Program offers a wide range of activities in state parks and recreation areas.

Other adaptive sports and accessible recreation programs in Massachusetts include:

(Note: For additional programs, see Directories below)

  • AccesSportAmerica
    Web site: AccesSportAmericaAccesSportAmerica, a national nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, offers high-challenge sports and training programs for children and adults of all disabilities. Programs are offered year-round in the Greater Boston area. High-challenge sports include adaptive windsurfing, outrigger canoeing, surfing, water skiing, sailing, rowing, wall climbing, tennis, soccer, and cycling.Contact: 978-264-0985; Contact Us
    Programs: AccesSportAmerica: Participate
  • All Out Adventures
    Web site: All Out AdventuresAll Out Adventures is a nonprofit organization that provides year-round outdoor activities for people with disabilities and their friends and family. Programs are inclusive, allowing children and adults of all abilities to participate together. All Out Adventures runs programs for the state Universal Access Program and the Statewide Head Injury Program.Programs: Our Programs
    More information: Frequently Asked Questions about eligibility, waivers, costs, and types of equipment
    Contact: Contact Us
  • CHD Disability Resources Adaptive Sports and Activities
    Web site: CHD Adaptive Sports and ActivitiesCHD Disability Resources’ barrier-free sports and recreation programs are open to anyone with physical disabilities or visual impairments in the Springfield MA area. Adult and junior sports programs include sled hockey, swimming, cycling, golf, wheelchair basketball, soccer, and more. Adaptive sports equipment is available for borrowing for personal use.Telephone: 413-788-9695
    Brochure: CHD Disability Resources
    Facebook: CHD Facebook Wall
  • Kids in Disability Sports (K.I.D.S.)
    Web site: K.I.D.S.K.I.D.S. is a volunteer-run non-profit organization based in Lowell MA that provides a wide range of sports and recreation activities for children and young adults with special needs. K.I.D.S. specialized athletic programs serve families throughout the Merrimack Valley, and include team sports such as basketball, baseball, and soccer; as well as swimming, horseback riding, martial arts, golf, bowling, and many other activities.Programs: Our Activities
    Signups: Join K.I.D.S. – New Member Registration
  • Little League Baseball – Challenger Division – Massachusetts
    Web site: Massachusetts Little League: Challenger ProgramThe Challenger Division is a special division of Little League baseball for boys and girls with physical and intellectual disabilities, ages 5 through 18 (or completion of high school). Players are placed on teams according to ability, not age, and volunteer ‘buddies’ help out as needed.More information: Challenger Division
    Locations: Find a Challenger Division
  • Paralympics USA and Paralympic Sport Clubs
    Web site: U.S. ParalympicsU.S. Paralympics is the division of the U.S. Olympic Committee for athletes with physical and visual disabilities. The U.S. Paralympic Team participates in the Paralympics, a competition for elite paralympic sport athletes, held at the same time and place as the Olympics.Paralympic Sport Clubs are community-based programs where youth and adults with physical and visual disabilities can take part in paralympic sports regardless of skill level.

    Locations: Find a Program Near You

  • Special Olympics – Massachusetts (SOMA)
    Web site: Special Olympics MassachusettsThe Massachusetts Special Olympics offers a wide range of Olympic-style individual and team sports and training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Activities are year-round, and include Winter Games, Summer Games, special tournaments, and training. The cost is free.Sports and Dates: Sporting Events
    Sign up: Get Involved as an Athlete
    Local programs: Find a Program Near You
  • Sudbury Inclusive and Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program (not limited to Sudbury residents)
    Web site: Inclusive and AdaptiveSudbury’s Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program provides year-round affordable recreation activities for children and adults with disabilities, regardless of hometown. Programs include adaptive skiing, skating, fencing, power soccer, yoga, Taekwondo, and dance. Scholarships are available.Telephone: 978-443-1092
    Signups: Online registration
  • TOPSoccer – Massachusetts Youth Soccer
    Web site: TOPSoccerThe Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer) is a community-based youth soccer program for children with physical or mental disabilities. Each program is different and is designed to meet the needs of its team members. The emphasis is on learning skills and having fun.Leagues: TOPSoccer Leagues and contacts
    More information: TOPSoccer resources
  • Ultimate Sports Program
    Web site: Ultimate Sports Program – Association for Community LivingThe Ultimate Sports Program (USP) – “Social Inclusion Through Sports” – teaches sports to children with disabilities alongside their friends. The USP runs programs in various Western Massachusetts locations. All programs are free, and include swimming, basketball, sled hockey, baseball, Taekwondo, wiffleball, bowling, rock climbing, and more.Current Programs: Ultimate Sports Program Current Programs
    Signups: Contact Us

Directories

Other Massachusetts adaptive and accessible sports and recreation programs are listed in the following directories:

Local YMCAs and ARC Chapters also offer adaptive and accessible recreation and sports programs for their members and the community.


What are the laws regarding adaptive and accessible sports and recreation?

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. In Recreation Access Rights Under the ADA, the National Center on Accessibility outlines some of the rights created by the ADA with respect to sports and recreation:

  • right to the most integrated setting:
    People with disabilities and those without disabilities should be able to participate in activities alongside each other to the maximum extent possible
  • right to participate:
    People with disabilities should be able to take part in any type of activity available to people without disabilities, as long as all essential eligibility requirements are met
  • right to reasonable accommodations including adaptive equipment:
    The provider of an activity must make reasonable adjustments to allow people with disabilities to participate
  • right to an assessment or evaluation:
    People with disabilities should not be prohibited from an activity due to a perceived safety risk without an evaluation of actual risk after accommodations
  • no disparate impact:
    Any change in rules or policies (for example, budget cuts) cannot have a greater impact on people with disabilities than people without disabilities
  • same fees:
    People with disabilities cannot be charged more than people without disabilities for inclusive activities, whether or not special accommodations have been made
  • no substantial public support for discriminatory programs:
    State and local governments cannot provide substantial support (e.g. free or reduced cost use of public facilities) to organizations that discriminate based on disability
  • reasonable changes to rules and policies:
    If a rule or policy change does not fundamentally change the nature of an activity and allows people with disabilities to participate in that activity, then the rule change should be allowed. This includes allowing disability-related unusual behaviors that do not pose a direct threat to participants.

Exceptions to the ADA rules can be made in three cases: if the accommodation costs too much; if the accommodation is too difficult to make; or if the accommodation fundamentally changes the nature of the activity.

The ADA rules apply to government facilities and programs, nonprofit organizations (such as YMCAs), and private organizations (such as health clubs and gyms). The only exempt organizations are private membership clubs and religious organizations.

Other ADA guidelines related to sports and recreation include: