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Achieve Tahoe

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Camps, Health, Health Care, Sports, Sports Associations & Training Facilities, Winter Sports

Mission: Achieve Tahoe's mission is to provide affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence in people with disabilities.

Results: Achieve Tahoe serves over 500 children and adults with disabilities each year, provide over 3,000 outdoor recreation experiences.

Target demographics: people with disabilities

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 500 people with disabilities and their families.

Geographic areas served: California regionally

Programs: Achieve Tahoe provides meaningful opportunities for people with disabilities to develop physically, mentally and emotionally through our therapeutic recreation and sports rehabilitation programs. Our programs include: Adaptive snow sports, waterskiing, various paddle sports and Four-wheel drive backcountry adventures.

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

The impact that Achieve Tahoe has had on our family is hard to put into words. They have given us a priceless gift, the ability to ski together as a family. When we walked in the door three years ago we had no idea our lives would be forever changed. The entire team at Achieve, including staff and volunteers, are comprised of incredible people. Miles has always been treated the same as any other little boy who wants to rip up the mountain, no one ever doubted his abilities. This set the stage for him to develop his confidence and grow to love this sport, skiing is now his passion. Mike, who is now in his second year as an Achieve volunteer, recently passed his Alpine Level 1 instructor exam and is well on his way to becoming adaptive certified. Rose and Reid are growing up at Achieve, learning the ropes, one day they will be out on the mountain in their own Achieve jackets. Thank you will never be enough.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Para-skiing last winter is the absolute most fun I’ve had since I’ve been in a wheelchair. (Nine years)
Being outside in the snow, fresh air, and going fast was so awesome.
I’m very grateful for the staff and volunteers who made this the best experience ever!
Kristine

Client Served

Rating: 5

My ten-year old is an above the knee amputee. He took five days of lessons last April at Achieve Tahoe. He'd skied a few times before elsewhere but always needed a lot of assistance. By the end of the week, he was taking the lifts by himself and making it down all the green slopes on his own. His instructors encouraged him to use outriggers, something he'd been reluctant to do, which really helped. They worked on adjusting his boots to get the proper lift and angle on his prosthetic leg. All of the instructors were so patient, encouraging and highly skilled. We are huge fans of the organization and can't wait to ski with them again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My brother has skied with Achieve Tahoe almost every year for the last 15 years. We started with Scott, who was an absolutely phenomenal instructor and have had multiple amazing instructors since. The first time we skied with Achieve Tahoe, I remember this experience so vividly because it was really one of the first times the my brother and I were doing something physical together since his car accident. It was such a thrill for both of us. Having trustworthy, fun, and engaging instructors made my brother want to continue to come back and have amazing experiences. I look forward to it each year. I am so happy Achieve Tahoe exists and love what they do for the community. If you are considering skiing with them, you absolutely should!

2 Jeanine B.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 25 year old son who was raised with a love of the outdoors, has spent the last several years unable to participate in most recreational activities due to increased anxiety associated with his autism diagnosis. Fortunately we discovered Achieve Tahoe a year ago, and what a remarkable year it's been. This incredible organization has provided patient encouragement from skilled and enthusiastic instructors. It's been a year of remarkable firsts. From bravely attempting kayaking, jet skiing, and water skiing to his first time on skis, the opportunities they've provided have contributed to his growing sense of pride and the enjoyment he once found in recreation. Their kind support has given him back the confidence he once had to challenge himself to try new things.
From baby steps to giant leaps. Thank you Achieve Tahoe for all you have done and continue to do!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son has been participating in Summer and Winter Sports for over 25 years. The wonderful loving staff and volunteers have taught him to overcome her fears and know that...I can do it! From being dragged he is now first in line

Kristin Thompson M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 8 year old son has a new lease on life. He loved learning to ski last winter and it made him feel so independent. The instructors were outstanding and all of the support staff were top notch. We couldn’t have dreamed of a more inclusive, safe and professional experience.

1 Janine S.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Achieve has transformed the trajectory of our two kids on the spectrum! They have helped build their physical and social confidence by patiently and compassionately taking things at their pace, skillfully coaching them and encouraging them along the way. This experience on the slopes and out on the water with their winter and summer sports programs has had a ripple effect - improving every area of their lives, as they feel so much more capable of what comes their way. We can’t say enough great things about Achieve! Thank-you for everything you do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe has offered my son the opportunity to experience snow skiing and water skiing in a manner I never thought possible. The professionalism of all involved was awesome and more importantly the care and respect given to each participant and their family was wonderful. We are huge fans and will continue to be a part of the Achieve family.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son learned to ski with this organization about 12 years ago when he was about six. He has learning disabilities which prevented him from doing group lessons and regular private lessons were beyond our budget. The patience of the staff here was incredible and he developed the confidence to progress quickly. Skiing has become his sport, he loves to be out on the mountain & can now beat me down the blacks. I am eternally thankful for the staff of Achieve Tahoe for enabling my family to all enjoy memorable holidays on the slopes.

Cami A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Every ski season we spend 4 glorious days brings our students with disabilities to learn and improve their snow skiing skills. Each year the amazing volunteers and Achieve staff make it “The Best Day Ever!” For all of our students! We can’t say enough amazing things about Achieve Tahoe and all who make it such an amazing experience!

Jessica H.8

Client Served

Rating: 5

AChieve Tahoe has made a huge difference in our family’s skiing experience at Tahoe. We never thought it would be possible to ski with our disabled son, Jody. AT got our non-verbal, cognitively and physically disabled five year old to use the chair lift, ski down mountains and enjoy a sport for the first time. Josy is now almost 13 and is beating his big sis and parents down the mountains. We are thankful to the dedicated, kind and enthusiastic staff at AT.

Josy is very proud of his accomplishments and can feel like a regular guy when he is out on the mountain. He feels like a champion. Thank you Achievetahoe!!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful people. Caring, patient, enthusiastic and fun! They have given my children with Autism a sense of confidence, achievement and sheer joy that they haven’t got anywhere else. I cannot recommend them highly enough!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter Bailey waterskied with Achieve Tahoe this past summer! They were absolutely amazing with her and the instructors were top notch! Can’t wait for her to try snow skiing with them!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experience with AT was as an instructors guide. My family and I had been skiing Alpine for years. We all noticed and appreciated what the organization was doing-- it blended what we all love to do ( experience skiing and boarding-outdoor activities) along with just helping folks out. What struck me as a special add on, was simply giving parents of our younger participants to have just a few hours to enjoy the mountain or just kick back. Once my kids left the house, and I had a bit of time available I started volunteering.
I was overwhelmed with the mission and selfless people at the organization. Soon thereafter I was honored to be asked to join the board and have served for the past 6 years.
I am still as amazed and enthusiastic about the mission and all the great people that volunteer and work at AT. No better organization to give time, effort and donations.
JohnKruger

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see former patients that I have cared for at Children’s Hospital Oakland take to the slopes with Achieve Tahoe! Masha is one of my favorite students! I’ve’ volunteered here for many years and seen amazing transformations!

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an amazing organization! They were kind, patient and so knowledgeable. I grew up on skis but never thought it would be something I could share with my son. My son had brain cancer at age 3 and is now 14. He is non verbal and walks only sometimes with the help of a walker. Thank you Achieve for getting him on the mountain! You gave us a day the whole family could enjoy together. Achieve Tahoe is truly a gift.

Annemarie N.

Client Served

Rating: 4

August,2012...A Day that changed my life forever.I was a Single Mom of a 3 yr old son. Working 2 Full Time(yes,FT) jobs and still able to workout 6days a week and play with my boy.
I was handling transportation at San Jose Airport. A passenger needed a cab, I grabbed her 75lb bag with my left arm, let her in the cab and lifted the rear hatch with my right...Fully extended,right knee on rear bumper to stable.....Cab driver put cab in Reverse....That moment put me in a wheelchair and severely injured left shoulder....Drs said(6 to be exact) Id never walk again...7th Dr, 7 procedures,got me upright,but with a cane...
I went to Achieve to get back SOME of my adventurous soul and being able to ski downhill in a bucket,made me cry with joy.
Some dont understand how important ut is to get back your independence,your adventurous self..
The Team at Achieve Cheered me on and let me learn how to use the bucket ski and by the middle of the mountain,first pass, I did it!
The Instructors spoke so clearly and made it known that they were RIGHT THERE,if I needed..I felt like Batman on the Downhill!
THANK YOU for giving that day to me..My son was able to snowboard next to me and his eyes were tearing up as well....

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been skiing with Achieve Tahoe for over a decade. I have paraplegia and use a sit-ski. The instruction has been unparalleled. And, the lessons are fun. Through Achieve Tahoe, I have been able to ski with my family, and my young adult children now work as lesson assistants there. I recently joined the Achieve Tahoe board because I believe so strongly in the organization and its mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Truly dedicated people from instructors to administrative staff trying to make a difference to those that gifted in a different manner.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Finding myself clinging to a rock climbing wall a good 20+ feet up, I realized in a light-bulb moment my fears and anxiety had vanished. The Staff at High Altitude Fitness had guided me with truly caring encouragement as they shared their passion to convince me to take the first hand hold. Then the first step. Then the next step. Before long this big old Vietnam Vet got lost in the joy of accomplishing something I never thought I would or could ever do! I had achieved a level of positive growth so sorely missing in my life. Achieve Tahoe had given me an oppertunity to challenge myself without any pressure or rules. They presented me an oppertunity with no strings attached. I finally achieved a dream even if it wasn't Half Dome or El Capitan. Along with the younger Veterans with me, we learned more than rock climbing, we learned there are Folks that care and want to be a part of our healing. Something Vets from my era are not used to receiving. It's humbling but, oh so rewarding to start to grow after all these years. Thank you, Achieve Tahoe.

Doug P.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization has the specialized equipment and instructional methods that allow anyone with any disability to participate in snow skiing. I learned to ski on one leg and later how to ski in a monoski in which you ski sitting down. The experience changed my life and started me thinking about what I could do instead of what I could not.

Board Member

Rating: 5

We ski, we are a skiing family and we were worried that our son would never be able to ski. When he was 4.5 we found Achieve Tahoe and never looked back. He is now a skier! He is now 11 and skis with Achieve Tahoe every year, multiple times a year. He much prefers to ski with Achieve Tahoe than he does with us. The instructors are amazing. They have taught him to ski and they make the lesson fun and engaging, so much so that he always wants to go back. We are thrilled that we have Achieve Tahoe as a resource for our son with disabilities. With the help of Achieve Tahoe we are able ski as a family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe helped our 5 year old son with ASD learn to love skiing! After a few failed attempts in "regular" group ski lessons and trying to explain our son's special needs to various instructors - a ski program director suggested we try lessons through Achieve Tahoe.

What am amazing program! Our son wanted to learn to ski, but he needed the 1:1 attention of the Achieve instructors and volunteers to ensure he was safe and able to effectively communicate back/forth, they also watched for his sensory break needs to prevent overload.

WOW- we were amazed at the dedication of the staff, kindness of the volunteers and all with a high-level of expertise in working with children and adults with special needs. I felt welcomed and enjoyed meeting other parents while we waited for loved ones. Our son is now able to ski unassisted with our family and he feels so proud of his new lifelong skill- this is something we 100% attribute to his positive learning experience at Achieve Tahoe. We feel fortunate to have found Achieve Tahoe and I hope other families and individuals with special needs can benefit from this wonderful program.

ChrisMoran

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered with Achieve Tahoe’s winter ski program for the past few years, and have always been impressed by the staff’s dedication in providing adaptive sports programs to people with disabilities. This group’s longevity — it was founded in 1967 – speaks to its expertise in delivering programming and in managing a nonprofit organization. I am one of a large group of Achieve Tahoe volunteers; we all receive extensive annual training on how to provide an adaptive ski lesson, and specialized trainings are offered throughout the season. It is so rewarding to work with a client and watch him or her have fun, maybe overcome a fear and accomplish a goal. I have gotten so much more out of this program than I have put in.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe is one of the most respected adaptive recreation programs in the world. Achieve Tahoe is consistently the leader in education, training, recruitment, community outreach, raising awareness and providing skilled services to people with physical and intellectual challenges. It is a privileged and an honor to be included in this amazing organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe helps people achieve their dreams, and it's not just the participants either. Achieve has helped me understand what I am passionate about and how I can change the world through volunteering. Achieve Tahoe is truly an organization that changes lives.

1 jweast

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was paralyzed in a skiing accident at Alpine Meadows when I was 16 years old. It took me 3 decades to return to the sport of skiing and now it's all I can think of at times.
I have Achieve Tahoe to thank for challenging me to do what I didn't think I ever could again. I have Achieve Tahoe to thank for showing me that I can get through the stormiest of winter days. I have Achieve Tahoe to thank for keeping me safe while I experienced the amazing adrenaline of flying down the steepest of snow-covered mountains. I have Achieve Tahoe to thank for some of the happiest days of freedom out of my wheelchair; days of snow skiing, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and tubing on Donner, white water rafting on the American and 4-wheeling on the Rubicon Trail. Blessed by their laughter and kindness and forever grateful to the staff at Achieve Tahoe.
Jenny Weast

1 Dado B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe, an organization of angels helping children with disabilities get involved with adaptive sports and recreation activities, while providing all the support and equipment necessary.
My doughter is on the autism spectrum and skiing with achieve has been amazing for her and for the whole family. She really enjoys the time on the slopes and she loves the team of dedicated volunteers.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 12-year-old son Matthew has developmental delays and has been an Achieve Tahoe skiing participant for several years. We can’t speak highly enough about the quality of this program and the ways in which they have enriched his experience outdoors, not to mention the ways it has enriched us as a family by showing all of us that he can learn to ski and love it. The staff is so organized and very accommodating. We are constantly amazed at the professionalism and dedication of the volunteers who have worked with Matthew—they are so patient and tireless in their work with him! He loves going there, seeing Marina and all the instructors he has come to know and love. It’s such a welcoming environment and we are greeted with smiles and enthusiasm every single weekend. We are constantly recommending this program to all of our friends and would unequivocally recommend any family to check this program out—you will be delighted with the doors it opens for your child and your family!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe works miracles.

When I first signed my autistic son up for ski lessons, I assumed it was really just babysitting. I never thought he would actually learn to ski. Was I ever wrong!

Not only can he now actually ski, he loves it. The people at Achieve Tahoe made it a fun, positive experience. They are realistic in goals, but also never give up on a kid. They kept working with him to get him up on skis, onto the chair lift, and onto real slopes. I am amazed and humbled by all they have done with and for him.

It's been a gift for our whole family. When we had a special needs child, I thought our skiing days were over. Thanks to the people at Achieve Tahoe, we are able to something I never thought possible - go skiing!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Achieve Tahoe for 6 years and I love everything about this organization. Volunteering for them is one of my favorite things that I do. I love meeting all the participants and their families and watching the joy that is brought to all of them when the participants gets to engage in one of the activities that the program offers. The memories that are created are memories that last a lifetime. The staff and other volunteers are all hard working, compassionate, and enthusiastic people. I can't say enough positive things about this nonprofit.

Micah Y.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love Achieve Tahoe! I started off as an intern and have stayed with the program for 3 seasons now! The inclusive atmosphere and constant push for independence are only part of what makes Achieve Tahoe great. All the staff at Achieve Tahoe are dedicated to providing a once in a lifetime experience, and we constantly push our students to think “If I can do this, I can do anything!” There’s simply nowhere in the world quite like Lake Tahoe, and Achieve Tahoe helps to make it so special!

Jill B.1

Client Served

Rating: 5



“Achieve Tahoe is the greatest! We have attended the winter skiing program and just got back from the summer program. I can't say enough about this program and the people who work and volunteer. We had so much fun kayaking, tubing and jet skiing. Our person, Felicia, was amazing. She made us feel comfortable and that we could do it. I never thought I could kayak and I did it! I also got to hang out with Keegan who was my ski instructor last winter. Thank you Achieve Tahoe for the opportunity for us live and love life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, who has Spina Bifida, started in this program 6 years ago. The instructors and staff are encouraging and fun, yet challenge him to go beyond his perceived limits. He's now independent on his mono-ski but keeps up with his lessons as he loves the program and learns something new every time . This is an amazing life changing program!”

George S.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The team at Achieve Tahoe are so wonderful. My son, Jon (quad CP with minimal balance or body control, full time power chair user) agreed to his first lesson in December, after lots of convincing aka telling him he was going to try it regardless :). The whole team, Mika (sp?), Shawnna, Camille, and everyone else are so positive and encouraging...speaking and interacting directly with Jon!! (Not us parents) Jon was a bit scared and nervous at first but after the first run he really began to enjoy it, he even asked to go again! This is a really big deal for Jon as he never asks to do any of the numerous activities we've pushed him to try in the past. Thank you so much!

Since the first lesson, Jon has gone skiing with Achieve Tahoe two more times this season and each time he enjoys even more. What a great experience. We are very thankful and looking forward to next season!

2 Katherine Hayes R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Achieve Tahoe has changed the lives of so many people, and for the better!

I have volunteered and worked at this wonderful organization for many decades. Achieve Tahoe is a non-profit that operates and provides year-round activities for participants with disabilities and their families.

For someone who spends numerous hours rehabbing in a hospital, enduring visits to the physical therapist and occupational therapist, a visit to our program is a breath of fresh air.

The participants partake in outdoor activities, learning how to enjoy life, engage in exercise that is FUN, and have a social outlet for themselves and their family.

To say that Achieve Tahoe works miracles on a daily basis is not an overstatement.

1

Former staff

Rating: 5

Incredibly dedicated and enthusiastic staff...volunteers eager to help...a perfect setting for our disabled participants. This organization is the best Non-Profit I have ever been associated with. For years it has been making a difference in the lives of thousands of disabled folks and their families.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with this program, winter and summer, for over 10 years. It is an amazing program! We work with people with all sorts of disabilities and help them experience the outdoors. Programs include waterskiing and wakeboarding, snowskiing and snowboarding, kayaking, 4 wheel drive trips, bicycling and much more!

As an example, I've helped blind people ride bikes, paraplegics and quadraplegics to waterski and snowski. We work with kids, adults, disabled veterans, you name it. The program has ongoing training for it's volunteers, so we can really offer a great product to our students. I highly recommend Disabled Sports Far West to volunteers and participants.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization helped me leave my wheelchair, find the mountaintop, and ski down! Every chain of limitation associated with my disability was broken by this agency - I went from looking at the snowy mountains and wondering what everybody was doing out there to full immersion, all inclusive, thrilling participation in winter and summer sports because of DSUSA-Far West. I pushed my body beyond my limits, viewed glorious landscapes and made new friends for a lifetime. I can't say enough about this organization, they will stop at nothing to include anyone with any disability in the wonderment of outdoor recreation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our sons have participated in both winter and summer sports with DSUSAFW since 2008. They snow and water ski almost every year, and as a family we have enjoyed the 4WD backcountry day trips the past 2 summers. The staff and volunteers are all tops, from management and the office to the folks on the lake/slopes/trails.

The first time I saw our son with Cerebral Palsy skiing down the slope at Alpine Meadows, I cried. Never did we think this boy who had just begun to walk independently would be SNOW SKIING at age 5!! He now loves skiing and looks forward to his sessions with excitement.

At our last waterski session, the staff patiently encouraged our other, very strong-willed but cautious son to try skiing without the outriggers and holding the rope on his own, something he had been very hesitant to do the past session. He succeeded, and left the lake that day with a huge smile on his face and pride in his accomplishment.

There is no way on our own that we could provide the equipment and other necessary resources to enable our boys to participate in these activities. We are so thankful that DSUSA exists to make these experiences possible for our sons and so many others affected by disability.

Thank you, DSUSAFW!! You rock!



1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Disabled Sports USA Far West (DSUSAFW) for about three years. I've also attended numerous events with my nephew, who is a program participant. I can't say enough good things about DSUSAFW in terms of both the programs and the staff. This is a true gem of an organization and one that renews my faith in humanity over and over again.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with several nonprofits assisting persons with disabilities and Disabled Sports USA Farwest is one of the best due to their focus on skills development and independence for their clients. I am amazed every time a client succeeds at a skill that no one ever expected them to conquer. And it happens Every Day at a Disabled Sports event.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As volunteer at DSUSA-FW ,was used to seeing people energized by the freedom of skiing but one day saw a female positively radiant after her first day on the hill. Introduced myself and asked how her day was One thing led to another and we have now been happily married for 12 years. We still ski and thank DSUSA-FW for bringing us together.

2 LStrawn

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love this organization! Making sports accessible to everyone is a crucial part of creating true community where everyone has a place and everyone belongs. As parents of a child with disabilities, Disabled Sports presents us with opportunities to see our kid out there, trying new things and gaining confidence. Thank you!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Disabled Sports for 3 years now and have seen complete transformations in lives. By helping get people out to do fun, adventurous and exciting sports they help people who are handicapped realize that there is still excitement to be had in this life. To see a smile on the face of someone that comes to Disabled Sports for their first time means the most to me. I know we are helping develop stronger people who have the confidence and experience to get out and live life no matter how challenging it may be. They might only get out once a year and Disabled Sports makes that experience amazing. Something they will never forget. I know I will remember it as the best thing I have ever done. Thanks again to the Team at Disabled Sports USA!
Brian D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our church has a session dedicated to the disabled, and this year arranged a ski-trip to Alpine Meadows in Tahoe. My autistic brother learned to ski for the first time as part of this trip. His teacher was Matthew Drexel, and we were all very moved by his dedication to my brother. He was very cheerful and friendly, and taught my brother with the same level of respect as a non-handicapped person. Thanks to Matt, my brother had the time of his life learning to ski. I look forward to going again!

(Link to a video of the lesson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXLasYhUNwQ)

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband, a wounded warrior and I had the privilege to participate in their adaptive sports program this summer. The experience was nearly overwhelming as the kindness and the entire event were amazingly well organized and executed.

Every one from Disabled Sports USA Far West was great and they deserve all the consideration possible. Seldom have we encountered a more caring, professional and energetic group of people who made our experience one that we'll remember until the end of our days.

Thank you Disabled Sports USA Far West, you're the best!!!

SSG Kelly D. Strong, Senior Combat Medic 870th M.P. Co., 49th M.P. BN, US Army, retired

Kornelia Strong, Department of Veterans Affairs Caregiver-Mentor

Client Served

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports truly made our Ski trip to Tahoe an AWESOME one. Our son is autistic and I (dad) have had such a tough time trying to get him skiing. We had tried various one-on-one lessons at some of the large resorts, but it wasn't until our experience with Disabled Sports (@ Alpine Valley) that things really clicked. My son LOVED it. The instructors were amazingly patient with him. I couldn't recommend them enough.

Julie154

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a client of TASS, the name I warmly remember for over 20 years. My son started there in the 90's. I was poisoned by the contaminated L-tryptophan while I was pregnant. He was born with the disease, lived in a lot of pain and had a lot of leg problems. They were so patient with him even on the days he could barely get out of bed. They would wait. He had become over weight and hated life. Every winter we came and spent a week. My son grew to not only love skiing, but also to love himself. They were all so loving and empathetic my son gained emotional strength as well as becoming an advanced skier, forward and backward. They loved to ski with him. It was hard to tell he was disabled.

During my divorce he was put in the middle by my X and struggled. He stopped coming with me. They all banned together and tried to get him to come. It was like having an extended family. I realized at this point I could take the lessons and grow for myself. I had already been skiing for 30 years and thought I knew everything. They turned my skiing around, made it less stressful on my legs and helped me to regain the love of skiing I had lost due to the pain of which I lived.

I would name names, but I fear I might forget one. The instructors, staff and administrators are ALL some of the nicest caring people we have ever met. My son has been back to get hugs a few times in the last few years and everyone has a big smile for him. I will mention one person who was a major player in my son's leaving the poor me's and becoming self confident. It was Bill who not only is in a wheel chair, but also a champion skier. It helped my son see that if Bill could do that much he could, too.

I even went last year knowing I couldn't ski due to an ankle fracture. I needed my hug fix and got it. Look out you guys, I am coming in February as I always do. It is my birthday present I give myself every year. I live in PA.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports are amazing for working with us; disabled! I am a fairly new paraplegic and they taught me both snowskiing and waterskiing. To be able to teach someone of any level injury in a way that they can excel is awesome! I feel so fortunate to have a fabulous group to be able to get out and enjoy sports. Since I have a very high standard as a business manager, I really appreciated the professionalism and care I received from all those I have encountered at Disabled sports. And, I really have to Thank Bill Bowness for teaching, encouraging and helping me appreciate all that we can do in the snow, in the water and out and about. Thank you to all at Disabled Sports!

Mike97

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a BK amputee that needed a lesson in skiing deep powder. Mother Nature delivered a HUGE storm the day of the lesson. I assumed the lesson would be canceled due to extreme weather. I was pleased to learn they teach in all kinds of conditions. After the lesson, I was so impressed, I signed up as a volunteer. I’m starting my 3rd year.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started skiing with Disabled Sports USA at Alpine Meadows 15 years ago. I never thought I'd enjoy the slopes again after being paralyzed from a car wreck 32 years ago. I have had so much fun wiping out on the intermediate slope and gliding down the bunny slope. My life is full! People cannot believe that I can snow ski. I tell them its all because of Alpine Meadows adaptive ski program.

Love you guys!
Shirley

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am fortunate enough to have experience with DSUSAFW both as a volunteer and as the guardian of a client. I became involved because I wanted to make sure that my nephew has access to outdoor recreational opportunities. He's only six years old, but the staff of DSUSAFW went out of their way to make sure that he could participate. Thus far, we've had him out in the bi-ski, during their snowsports program, and out on the water ski, during their summer watersports program. The expertise, enthusiasm, and kindness embodied in the DSUSAFW staff is truely outstanding.

Because we (i.e. my nephew and I) had such a great experience, I've now enrolled to be a snowsports instructor. I've already participated as a volunteer during their summer watersports program and was blown away by the quality of the program and how easy staff made it for volunteers to just jump in and get involved (while ensuring client safety and enjoyment, of course). I am very much looking forward to becoming more involved and doing more fun things with my nephew and all the other wonderful people at DSUSAFW.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is so important in the life of our family! It makes a true difference and provides kids and people of all ages not just with opportunities to do things they wouldn't be able to do otherwise, but with tools and confidence to pursue their dreams in life and with the powerful "I can" attitude. What they do is truly remarkable and goes well beyond just the activities - it's character building!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is absolutely fantastic and much needed and appreciated. We live in San Francisco and before we moved here and found Disabled Sports Far West at Alpine Meadows my family member had never participated in any sports due to their disability. This place has really revolutionized my family members' attitudes toward what they are capable of doing and experiencing. We've participated in both monoskiing and summer sports and adventures and have never been disappointed. My family members entire outlook on life has really been affected in a positive way by our experiences with the incredibly dedicated and kind volunteers and paid staff at DSUSA Far West. We have donated in the past and plan to do so in the future because we know that all of the proceeds they collect go right back into the program. It's cliche to say that the staff and volunteers are angels at places like this- but in this case there are few other words that adequately capture the kindness and dedication that these fine people bring to their work. We are really lucky to have such a place within driving distance of San Francisco and we are already planning some winter trips up to Alpine to see our many friends again this year. If you are uncertain as to whether to donate to this organization, I suggest you take the opportunity to go to Alpine Meadows this winter and go observe the staff working with people of all ages and levels of ability to see the joy they bring to students and family alike. You'll be transformed, and you may just want to volunteer.

1 Nancy138

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is the most wonderful organization! My son learned to snowboard here, and as a kid with learning disabilities he would NEVER have been able to make it in a typical group class. He grew confident in his skills and loved the time he spent with his counselor / teacher, and as a parent I felt completely secure that he would be safe and in great hands.

He has since gone on to winter weekend trips with his dad, who is a lovely skier - and my son can keep up with anything they try. The solid foundation in skills and confidence will be a life-long treasure.

Love you, Disabled Sports USA Far West!

Beverly A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Disabled Sports USA Far West is an awesome organization! We live in San Diego, Ca. But make the 14 hour trip to Tahoe every winter to take our 31 year old son, Zach, with Cerebral Palsy, adaptive skiing. We have been doing this for at least 14 years. Their program is superior to any in S Cal. Haakon, the director, is an excellent leader and has developed a great staff and volunteer team who work tirelessly, year after year, with very little turn over. That tells you they have a work ethic, culture and teamwork that gives first timers or seasoned participants a consistent, quality experience each time they come. The ski instructors and volunteers are excellent skiers, well trained in safety, have great skills in working with a wide variety of disabilities and treat each person as if they are the most important person In the world! It is the finest non-profit we have experienced in 31 years! Skiing is Zach's favorite experience of the whole year thanks to Haakon and his team!

Comments ( 1 )

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Haakon Lang-Ree 10/30/2013

Beverly, Thank you so much for your kind endorsement. We love what we do! Cindy Smith Disabled Sports

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't express how wonderful Disabled Sports is! They helped my son get on skis- something that I never ever though would be possible. This was last winter, 8 months ago, and it still gets me choked up thinking about it. An incredible program with a fantastic staff!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Kind patient joyful staff/volunteers who help others gain life skills like confidence and self-esteem that endure well past the day in the snow.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This year will be the fourth year in which my son has been served by Disabled Sports USA. This is a great organization with a fabulous staff of patient, caring ski instructors who know how to bring out the best in their clients. Even though my son has a neurological condition that impacts his balance and reflexes, they know how to coax him into trying his best on skis. He loves every lesson he has with them and is growing in confidence every year. And best of all, I think the lessons are improving his coordination and balance. All year long, he proudly tells his school mates that he loves skiing. You are in safe hands with this terrific adaptive ski school at Alpine Meadows.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have participated in the adaptive ski program for the last three years and it is so fantastic in every way - the instructors are excellent, the staff is professional and friendly, and the opportunity to be on the mountain priceless. Disabled Sports is providing critical opportunities for physically challenged individuals to experience sports and nature, and the equipment to make them happen.

Dean C

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing instructors, and a great service to all people with special needs!

Kieve W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great program that helps to build confidence and provide the freedom that many may have lost. The inspirational experience for all that are involved is not something money can buy, nor is it measurable by any means. It's a win-win for everyone.

As a volunteer, people thank and praise me for helping out. However, I am the one that is grateful for the eye-opening opportunity this program and the participants have provided. It helps me to keep going when I'm down on my luck or face with big obstacles in life.