Skiing is for Everyone!


Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS) is dedicated to assisting individuals with a disability lead richer and fuller lives through active participation in recreational and competitive alpine snowsports while fostering a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction for the volunteer/instructor.

The outdoor activity of skiing, whether it be a ski trip to a mountain ski area or a ski week at a local ski area, provides an ideal opportunity for individuals with a disability to integrate meaningfully in a positive and rewarding way with their peers.

Skiing has proven itself to be an extremely user-friendly sport for persons with a physical or intellectual disability.  Alpine skiing is accessible to persons who are visually and/or hearing impaired (partially or totally), amputees, paraplegics, quadriplegics, as well as those who have spina bifida, cerebral palsy or a coordination / balance / mobility loss from a  brain injury and cognitive disability to name just a few of the disabilities that can participate.

CADS has developed training and certification programs using adaptive techniques and specialized equipment that has been developed such that even those with zero mobility can and should participate. With certified instructors and adaptations to equipment, even those with multiple disabilities can enjoy skiing.

Adaptive skiing is quite simply a caring, therapeutic happening between individuals who enjoy an adventure. It just seems to bring out the best of the student, the instructor and their supportive friends.  Skiing allows an excitement and fluidity of motion, rarely accessible to persons with a disability.  It provides an opportunity to develop a skill, the mastery of which, helps develop the personal confidence required to face, accept, and challenge the realities of day-to-day living.

For some, it opens the door to the possibility of having fun; for others, it provides a very special camaraderie, not otherwise possible or available.  For some, it’s return to living; for others, it’s a spur to go on and tackle the unknown!

For more information

Adaptive Skiing Equipment

There are many types of adaptive equipment to assist an individual to participate in the sport of Alpine Skiing. A brief list would include but not limited to:

Please Contact the resorts directly to find out about available services or visit the CADS Program website to find a program near you.

Content Courtesy of Canadian Association for Disabled Skiing

How to get Started

CADS is dedicated to promoting, thorough it’s provincial programs and resorts with certified CADS instructors, the physical and mental well-being of persons with disabilities through healthy recreation and to ensure the quality and maintain the standards of its CADS Certification Program.   There a number of different methods that one can participate in either skiing or snowboarding including:

Visually Impaired, Skiing with Guide

  • Totally blind
  • Partially sighted – 6/60 or 20% field of vision

Skiing with 2 skis & 2 poles

  • Single above knee amputee skiing on prosthesis
  • Below knee amputee-single or double – skiing on prosthesis
  • Slight polio – skiing on limbs
  • Other disabled, e.g. cerebral palsy, – skiing with  2 skis and 2 ski poles

3 Track – 1 ski and 2 Outriggers

  • Above knee amputee skiing on one leg
  • Below knee amputee skiing without prosthesis
  • Polio or persons with a disability and ski on one leg
  • Double leg amputee skiing on one prosthesis

2 skis and 2 Outriggers

  • Double above knee amputee using prosthesis
  • Polio – with braces
  • Cerebral palsy and persons with other disability having necessity to ski 4 Track

Arm Disabilities (amputees, paralysis, congenital malfunction)

  • Double – unable to use poles
  • Single – able to use one pole

Others Disabilities

  • Cognitively delayed / Autism Spectrum Disorder / Down Syndrome
  • Multi-disabilities
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Adaptive Snowboarding

Sit-skis, including Bi-ski and Quad-ski for paraplegics, quadriplegics, weekness of Lower Limbs

  • Sit-skis, including bi-ski and quad-skis are suitable for those for whom extended standing is not an option, providing seated support and independent mobilty.

For more information on how to find a local program near you visit the Provincial Programs page of the CADS website:

Content Courtesy of Canadian Adaptive Snowsports (CADS)

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This post is also available in: French