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!
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!
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 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!
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.
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!
Haakon Lang-Ree 10/30/2013
Beverly, Thank you so much for your kind endorsement. We love what we do! Cindy Smith Disabled Sports
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!
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.
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.
I've never met a more devoted, happy, supportive, and hard working group. The Disabled Sports organization is truly amazing and I have seen so many people's lives improved through getting out on the mountain and skiing. The people that use the program would not be able to get out there without the support of Disabled Sports and their selfless and committed staff and volunteers.
We have 2 boys that have autism. My wife found Disabled Sports 6 years ago and we decided to take the boys to Tahoe to try skiing. I was amazed that their instructors had the boys skiing on the first day and we have been coming ever since. In addition we have taken the boys white water rafting, jet skiing, biking, amd sailing among other things. The boys love coming to Disabled Sports and they have a great bond with their instructors. The staff of Diabled Sports is awsome and it is so great to see people with disabilities enjoying activities that you did not think was possible.
Excellent set of instructors who go the extra mile to serve people who need the extra help. Keep up the good work!