Students/Participants (Winter)

Who can learn to ski or ride?

NEHSA offers adaptive lessons to people of all ages and all disabilities. Among the students participating in our stand-up program are amputees, visually impaired, people who have experienced strokes, polio, developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, and any other conditions for which people might require assistance. Students in the sit-down program may include people with spina bifida, muscular sclerosis, or muscular dystrophy as well as paraplegics and quadriplegics.

We provide:
  • All equipment adapted as needed to each participant
  • A full-day lift ticket or trail pass
  • Half and/or full day sessions, with professional instructors and supportive assistants
  • Handicap-accessible lodges, complete with ample handicapped parking
Equipment we Use

All NEHSA lessons start with evaluation of the student’s physical and cognitive abilities followed by the consideration of options in equipment and teaching aids. The goal for many students is to achieve independence and the ability to participate in the sport with friends and family. For other students, alpine and cross-country skiing and snowboarding require ongoing participation in instructor-led sessions. Family members are invited to learn to use adaptive equipment with their family members, if they wish.

Alpine Skiing

Stand-Up Skiers
Some stand-up skiers can ski or ride without special equipment. Three-track skiers use one ski and outriggers. Four-track skiers use two skis and outriggers or a slider. Ski sliders are walker-like devices that help students with balance issues. Tether  and ski tip retention devices might be used as well to control speed and direction. Visually impaired students learn to ski through guided verbal commands.

Sit-Down Skiers

Mono-skiers have good upper-body and arm strength. They sit in a sled-like device mounted on one ski and use outriggers. Mono skiers may learn to ski independently. Bi-skiers have limited control of the upper body and arms. They sit in a sled-like device mounted on two skis. Bi-skiers may become independent or may require assistance with instructors guiding the skis through hands-on steering or using tethers.

Snowboarding

Some snowboarders can ride without adaptive equipment.  For snowboarders require additional assistance, options include tethers and hoops, tandem boards, and outriggers. Instructors guide visually impaired boarders through  verbal commands.

Cross-Country Skiing

Stand-Up Skiers

Stand-up cross-country skiers can often ski without adaptive equipment. For those with balance issues, a snow slider (similar to a walker on skis) might be used. Visually impaired skiers work with instructors who call directions and warn of obstacles.

Sit-Down Skiers

Sit-skis have a seat placed on a frame attached to cross-country skis. This adaptive equipment enables people with limited leg strength to ski. The sit-skier may be able to propel themselves using the arms and poles, or they can be pulled by an instructor in a harness attached to the sit-ski.