Posts Tagged ‘disabled travel’

Vermont Adaptive Partners with United States Association of Blind Athletes to Host Sixth Annual Winter Ski Festival

February 1, 2013

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) in partnership with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports will host its largest gathering of skiers who are blind and visually impaired at its Sixth Annual Winter Ski Festival in Killington, Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10 at Pico Mountain. Up to 30 athletes with visual impairments will be given the opportunity to learn to ski or race in the sports of Alpine and Nordic skiing, while spending a weekend in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Athletes will be attending from New England states, and as far south as Florida and North Carolina and west to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The event is open to all ages, all abilities and all ski levels. Trained guides and instructors are provided by Vermont Adaptive, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont, which is committed to empowering individuals with disabilities.

This year, a group of five Veterans will join the festivities. The USABA Military Sport Program works to enhance the lives of disabled Veterans and Service Members who are blind or visually impaired and to accelerate their rehabilitation process through sport, physical activity, and recreation; as well as assist in the integration of those individuals back into their local community. Mark Lucas, USABA’s executive director said, “USABA is extremely pleased to partner with Vermont Adaptive to provide an opportunity for skiers who are blind and visually impaired. Now in its sixth year, the event has really expanded with meet-and-greet receptions, Alpine and Nordic skiing sessions, a banquet, and a biathlon demonstration using a sonar laser rifle.”

In addition, six athletes from Vermont were awarded scholarships for their winning essays from a contest held by the Vermont Division of the Blind and Visually Impaired and Vermont Adaptive. Applicants had to write about how sports and recreation help other aspects of their lives and how they would help spread the word to other people about the importance of sports through the programs of Vermont Adaptive and USABA.

Grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veteran Affairs. The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forced.

For more information, visit or contact: Mark Lucas at USABA at: (719) 352-9134 or Tom Alcorn at VASS: (802) 353-7584.

Since its founding in 1976, the United States Association of Blind Athletes, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind.For more information, please visit our Web site:

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports is the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont offering the most diverse program opportunities and unique, specialized equipment. Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to winter and summer sports and recreational opportunities. For more information, visit

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Summer Activities Begin Mid-June for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports Participants

May 25, 2011

For people with disabilities, there are no limitations when it comes to sports and recreation this summer, as Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, the largest year-round disabled sports non-profit organization in Vermont, prepares to offer its recreational programming for the summer and fall. For those who have ever wondered what it’s like to paddle on Lake Champlain, to cycle the Burlington bike path on a tandem bike, to hike along the spine of the Green Mountains, or to explore the many lakes and ponds in northern and southern Vermont, Vermont Adaptive’s guides provide the means to enjoy outdoors in Vermont. Programming at all locations begins mid-June.

“Our volunteers use and teach special paddling techniques, assist with lessons, fit people with disabilities to bicycles, and pilot tandem bikes,” said Erin Fernandez, executive director for Vermont Adaptive. “We have found that sports and recreation can be very empowering for people with disabilities and we are lucky to work with partners throughout the state including Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation, Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, MoonRise Farm, Local Motion and the United States Association for Blind Athletes to offer the extensive statewide programming that we do. Whether it’s paddling on a lake, climbing up a climbing wall or biking along many of Vermont’s paths, our programs become the ultimate equalizer for people with disabilities.”

To the north, Vermont Adaptive partners with The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center to offer adaptive sailing, Petra Cliffs for its climbing program, and Local Motion, a non-profit cycling organization in Burlington, for the biking program on the Burlington bike path. It owns a fleet of kayaks and canoes for the paddling program on Lake Champlain, as well as its southern locations including Chittenden Reservoir, Waterbury Reservoir and Stoughton Pond. All cycling, paddling and climbing programs are lead by Vermont Adaptive staff and trained volunteers.

Programs include tandem and hand cycling, guided bike path trips, climbing trips, beeper baseball for those who are blind or visually impaired, group and private canoeing, paddling and sailing lessons, therapeutic horseback riding, and custom group outings and adventures. Scholarships are available as well.

To register for programs, participants should visit or contact Dave D’Angelo for northern programs at,802.353-3178 or Katie Stillin for southern programs at, 802.353.7584 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            802.353.7584      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. For more information about Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, visit
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