Adaptive Lesson Description:
A lesson tailored to meet the individual needs of people who require specialized equipment or teaching techniques. Adaptive skiers may have cognitive, developmental, or physical disabilities. A disability is a condition that may be physical and/or mental that affects a person’s cognition, movement and mobility, sensation, and/or activities.
A Bi-Ski is a type of sit-ski that has a molded seat mounted on two alpine skis. Since the seat is mounted onto a pair of skis, the base of support is wide, and center of gravity is low which makes this piece of equipment ideal for participants with balance or strength issues. The bi-ski gives more stability and a quicker learning curve than the mono-ski. Bi-skis are capable of independent use when the skier uses handheld outriggers but can also be controlled completely by instructors. People with the following diagnoses may use a bi-ski: leg amputation, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cognitive disabilities, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and spinal cord injuries.
A mono-ski is a type of sit-ski that has a molded seat mounted onto a single alpine ski. Mono-skiers use handheld outriggers to help maintain balance and initiate turns and steering. Operating a mono-ski independently takes a lot of coordination, strength, and balance. Loading and unloading off the lift can be done independently with practice. Common diagnoses for people who use mono-skis include leg amputation, mild cerebral palsy, post-polio syndrome, spina bifida, and spinal cord injuries among others.
A slider is a piece of adaptive skiing equipment that looks similar to a walker and is binded onto a pair of alpine skis. Sliders are useful for participants who have never skied before and have serious balance issues. A slider is often used as a transitional piece of equipment that is eventually replaced by handheld outriggers. Sliders are typically for beginner terrain only.
Two-track skiing is when the skier is skiing with two alpine skis and is either tethered from the back to the instructor or is skiing independently.
Three and Four-Track Skiers
Three-track and four-track skiing is a form of stand-up skiing using handheld outriggers. Outriggers are essentially forearm crutches with small skis at the tips. Three-track skiers ski generally ski with one ski and two outriggers, leaving 3 tracks in the snow. Four-track skiers ski with two skis and two outriggers, leaving 4 tracks in the snow. Participants who are three or four track skiers typically have issues with balance, strength, or endurance. Three-track skiers typically do not have the ability to stand on both legs, due to limb loss or deficiency. Some common diagnoses that may cause someone to use the three-track skiing system may include amputations, hemiplegia, polio, and cerebrovascular accidents among others. With the help of the outriggers, three-track skiers can still maintain an athletic stance. Four-track skiers may have a diagnosis that leaves them with weakness in the legs. Some of these diagnoses may include cerebral palsy, stroke, incomplete spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and traumatic brain injury among others.
Visually impaired skiers have a variety of skiing equipment options depending on their level of impaired sight. One option would be to ski using a bamboo pole that connects the participant to the instructor. This method allows the participant to be in physical contact with the instructor by holding on to the bamboo pole. This allows the participant to get the feel of skiing down the hill in a controlled environment. Another option is for the participant to ski in front of the instructor while being tethered from behind with webbing. This allows for the instructor to help initiate turns while the skier is being relatively independent in a safe way. Another option is for the skier to ski independently while the instructor is skiing along with them giving the skier verbal commands, either from in front of the skier or behind.
Adaptive snowboarding consists of a traditional snowboard lesson with specific modifications done to the equipment or to the way the lesson is taught depending on the disability.