Looking to get involved in adaptive sports? Check out some awesome organizations we’ve compiled below! We started with groups that are local to us in New England and the Mid-Atlantic so if you’re out of the regions we’ve covered so far, shoot us a message, and we’ll get you connected! We believe there is an adaptive sport or activity out there for you whether you have a physical or developmental disability, visual impairment, or other adaptive need!
Adaptive Sports Resources
“In 1976, Dick Traum, an above the knee amputee, found himself approaching middle age and out of shape. After joining a local YMCA, Dick began running – small distances at first and then, eventually several miles. Within a year, Dick became the first amputee to run a marathon. It was the NYC Marathon and the experience was life changing, bringing a powerful sense of achievement and self-esteem. In 1983, seeking to provide that same opportunity to other people with disabilities, Dick created the Achilles Track Club, now called Achilles International.
Adaptive Sports USA
“Adaptive Sports USA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Founded in 1956, Adaptive Sports USA is a national leader in promoting active, healthy lifestyles for youth and adults with a disability. The organization is a gateway to sanctioned regional and national competitions and provides access to global opportunities for its members through its role as the only United States member of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation.”
Adaptive Sports USA hosts Junior Nationals. This year’s event will be held in Denver, CO from July 19-24.
American Special Hockey Association
“The American Special Hockey Association proudly serves over 90 special hockey teams across the United States and represents over 4,000 registered members. Our member programs provide a variety of play levels for special hockey teams which welcome individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities the opportunity to safely enjoy the sport of Ice Hockey. Our member teams proudly welcome their communities into the game of hockey by inviting families & volunteers to be actively involved with our extraordinary programs. Contact us to find a team near you!”
Challenged Athletes Foundation
“To provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The Challenged Athletes Foundation believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.”
CAF is well known for their Access For Athletes Grant Program which assists in purchasing adaptive equipment and activities for people with disabilities.
Disabled Sports USA
“Disabled Sports USA’s mission is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.”
Paralyzed Veterans of America
“Since 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America has been on a mission to change lives and build brighter futures for our seriously injured heroes. We’ve had a single-minded mission—to empower our brave men and women to regain what they fought for: their freedom and independence.”
PVA co-hosts the National Veterans Wheelchair Game – “the largest annual wheelchair multi-sport and rehabilitation event in the world” – with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”
United States Quad Rugby Association
“Smashing Stereotypes One Hit at a Time is the main message of our players and our sport. Quad rugby is a tough, give-no-quarter game. Our players’ lives – their successes and trials on and off the court – are a continuous example of smashing stereotypes. The sport is about ability and competitive fire. It is testament to the spirit of our great athletes, their humanity, and the intensity of our game.”
USA Disabled Hockey
USA Hockey’s disabled hockey program provides playing opportunities regardless of a discipline. Currently, there are six disciplines recognized and supported by USA Hockey throughout the nation, including blind/visually impaired, deaf/hard of hearing, sled, standing/amputee, special hockey and warrior hockey.
In addition to its six disciplines, USA Hockey also oversees a number of events within its disabled hockey program, highlighted by its Disabled Hockey Festival, the largest hockey event of its kind. Other initiatives USA Hockey manages include the Disabled Hockey Workshop and USA Hockey Sled Classic, presented by the NHL.”
Since its formation in 2001, U.S. Paralympics has been inspiring Americans to achieve their dreams. Through relationships with hundreds of organizations across the country including National Governing Bodies/High Performance Management Organizations and Paralympic Sport Clubs, U.S. Paralympics is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people with Paralympic-eligible impairments every day with educational opportunities and sports programming.
VA Adaptive Sports
“Disabled Veterans of all ages and abilities report better health, new friendships and a better quality of life when participating in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans who are physically active simply have more fun!”
VA Adaptive Sports works with local VA Hospitals to provide adaptive sports and therapeutics to disabled veterans while also hosting events including the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, and National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic