Get Active: Adaptive Sports for Kids

Disabled Sports USA

While schools and universities already make accommodations such as electric doors, accessible restrooms and elevators available to students with disabilities, an additional type of offering is slowly finding its way into institutions nationwide. Adaptive sports have been on the rise over the past few years, with more and more schools and community centers integrating them into their facilities’ programs. For children with disabilities, sports can be an outlet for releasing tension, building confidence and improving their social skills. These benefits, as well as countless others, can lead to a significant increase in a child’s self-esteem and perception of his or herself and their varying abilities. Disabled Sports USA has over 100 chapters located across the country. In Ohio there are two chapters; “Three Trackers of Ohio” which caters to alpine skiing, snowboarding, and hand cycling, and also “The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition” which gives the options of paddling, kayaking, cycling, sailing, water skiing, ice skating and sled hockey.

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, students with disabilities have the right to participate in their school’s extracurricular activities, including organized sports. Although a recent change, the growing availability of such offerings has made it possible for kids with disabilities to no longer feel limited by their physical conditions. Empowered by the opportunity to be on a level playing field with their peers, children with access to such programs have reported an overall better attitude toward life with a disability.

A number of adaptive sports have already been incorporated at certain schools and community facilities, including rugby, tennis, golf, basketball and swimming, with many more joining their ranks as time passes. Ask about adaptive sports at your child’s school or a Disabled Sports USA chapter near you and get your kids on the road to athletic success!

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