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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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)
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.