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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Amateur Sports Competitions, Sports

Mission: Disabled Sports USA provides national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in sports.

Results: Over 60,000 people with disabilities served this past year through our 100+ chapter network.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 60,000

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: Warfighter sports: offers sports rehabilitation for severely wounded warriors in military hospitals and communities across the u. S. Through a nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters. Since 1967, disabled sports usa has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the iraq and afghanistan wars, offering over 30 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities. Contributions cover all expenses for participation of the warrior and a family member, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals. Since 2003, more than 6,000 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage.

ski spectacular: each year for over 25 years, disabled sports usa has conducted an annual national winter sports symposium that offers instructional programs in adaptive winter sports. Each year, the ski spectacular attracts over 800 participants from over 30 states and several foreign countries, for a week of activities. This includes training of local ski instructors and coaches in the latest adaptive ski techniques for amputees, spinal and head injured, blind, those with neuromuscular disabilities like cerebral palsy and developmentally disabled. It also includes race training clinics for youth, wounded warriors and others; learn to ski and snowboard classes; nordic ski training; fun races and chapter development seminars.

chapter services: disabled sports usa provides services to its community based chapters operating locally in over 100 locations in 38 states. These services are designed to enable the local community non profit chapter to provide safe and effective sports rehabilitation programs to people with disabilities in their communities. Services include: instructor and coach training in adaptive sports; grants to operate programs and purchase adaptive equipment; seminars in program administration, volunteer recruitment and training, marketing, fundraising, and risk management; insurance; promotion of local activities on a national level and other ongoing technical assistance.

skitour and summerfest: disabled sports usa also supports a nationwide series of "learn to", race training and instructor training clinics held by local dsusa chapter in states throughout the usa. This includes "skitour" for winter sports and "summerfest" for summer sports. Sports include: alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing; golf, water skiing, kayaking, sailing, outrigger canoeing, rafting, scuba, equestrian, cycling, rock climbing, and other activities. Disabilities served include those with amputations, spinal and head injury, neuromuscular disabilities such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy and developmental disabilities.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports USA does a fantastic job at providing disabled vets and others with the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports. I snow skied before I became a paraplegic after a car accident and I learned to sit ski thru their skiing program. It was really exciting to be back on the slopes again! Kirk Bauer and his dedicated team assist programs around the country to open the door of inclusion in sports which often leads to full engagement in their home, community and work. I have been a big fan and supporter for many years.

Carol80

Board Member

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports USA had been one of my favorite non-profits since 1996 when I first met the executive director, Kirk Bauer, at Ski Spectacular -- one of the premier DSUSA events that is held in Breckenridge, CO.

This organization was started by Vietnam veterans in 1967 to help returning veterans with disabilities build confidence by learning to ski. Early on, the DSUSA motto, "If I can do this, I can do anything," was born.

DSUSA has grown over the years and services over 60,000 youth, wounded warriors and adults every year. They have built a nation-wide chapter since that now exceeds 100 in number and provides instruction in over 30 sports. And DSUSA accomplishes this with a small, hard-working staff that allows the organization's dollars to be maximized for its constituents.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports USA has been one of my two key recipients of my charitable contributions for the last 15 years. The reason for my support is the organization's wide reach in serving and supporting people with disabilities and their quest to be involved in physical activity. Since the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, DSUSA expanded its outreach to wounded warriors and has gone on to create Warfighter Sports for this group. This focus has brought worldwide coverage of the topic of what people with disabilities can do.

Donor

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports USA is one of those special organizations that truly impacts the lives of the people it serves. It has been an honor to not only support DSUSA but to attend events and work on projects for DSUSA. I am particularly moved by the volunteers who keep coming back and giving of their time – sometimes donors and volunteers get more out of it. That is the mark of a great organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organization! They have given me several opportunities to compete in different sporting events with other disabled athletes and wounded veterans. The employees and volunteers go out of their way to ensure every disabled athlete has a wonderful experience...no matter what sport they are enjoying. I am looking forward to learning new sports I did not attempt before I was wounded. Now, as a double amputee, DSUSA has helped me achieve new goals such as completing marathons, long distance relays, and climbing mountains...because "If I can do this, I can do ANYTHING!" Thanks DSUSA!

Bill37

Client Served

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) is highly committed organization. It stands by it's "Mission Statement". Their disabled "Warfighter" program helped me as disabled combat veteran find renewal as an individual through sports and helped me realize that it is not what you can't do but what you can! Since joining their program my overall health has substantial increased. I have lost 60 pounds and have been able to get off all but one of my medications. I directly attribute this to getting active again through their sports programs. DSUSA was their for me when I needed them. Finally, DSUSA ensures their supportive donations are utilized to the max for their programs. "Thank you DSUSA for helping me live my life again!".

Board Member

Rating: 5

DSUSA truly changes lives every day. Through our extensive Chapter network and programs DSUSA has continued to rebuild lives through sports since 1967. From our nation's most severely injured soldiers to a young child with spinabifida DSUSA puts on daily smiles 365 days a year to thousands.

Sandy20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer/ski instructor for over 10 years. This is a fantastic organization. I have received more than I've given by teaching skiing to persons whose lives are challenged. DSUSA is the "tops" in recreational therapy. They need more support.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For almost everyone, 9/11 was an extremely devastating American tragedy, for us it hit a little closer to home. My husband is a NYC firefighter and was on duty the day of September 11. We are blessed to say that he survived that horrific day, however, he still suffered from the tremendous loss of his brothers and of all the innocent people he tried to save. Our relationship with DSUSA started right after the fires were extinguished and the dust settled at Ground Zero, their compassion for our family was the glimmer of hope that we desperately needed. Their generous invitation for our family to attend The Harford Ski Spectacular changed our lives forever. Nine short years, after her first time on skis, our visually impaired daughter put her Harvard education on hold and competed in all five alpine ski events in the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic games. How do you thank an organization like DSUSA? You become a loyal volunteer for both their winter and summer events that they run throughout the country. You see we have been lucky enough to witness first hand their motto "If I can do this, I can do anything". Our family feels an enormous amount of gratitude to DSUSA and we will always be loyal supporters of this wonderful organization that truly can change lives!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for this organization for 10 years. It has been an extremely rewarding experience assisting people with disabilities , youth, adults and wounded warriors, to get back into sports within their communities. helping to provide them with the opportunity to realize their dream of participation in sports with their abled bodied friends and family is truly amazing. DSUSA has been providing wounded warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan these opportunities free of charge, and by my helping to support their efforts by volunteering, I believe I am showing them how much I appreciate their service to our country.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For years, I battled with coping with the debilitating effects of the physical and emotional wounds I endured from combat in Iraq. With no network of other wounded veterans, and without the realization that organizations like DSUSA even existed, I lost sight of what was possible to achieve physically with my wounds. It wasn't until I was able to connect with DSUSA that I gained the confidence to once again "try". It's only been uphill from that moment. Since then, I've completed two triathlons, two 100-mile bike rides, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, and will soon attempt to summit Denali. A very heartfelt thanks to DSUSA.

Review from Guidestar