National Sports Center for Disabled

Author: Alfred - Contact: NSCD -
Published: 2008/12/11 - Updated: 2018/10/12
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: The NSCD is widely considered the largest and most successful-outdoor therapeutic recreation agency in the world.


The NSCD was founded in January 1970 when Winter Park Resort's ski school director agreed to teach skiing to a group of children with amputations from The Children's Hospital of Denver.

Main Digest

Three decades later, the NSCD is widely considered the largest-and most successful-outdoor therapeutic recreation agency in the world.

Each year, thousands of children and adults with disabilities take to the ski slopes, mountain trails and golf links to learn more about sports-and themselves. With specially trained staff and its own adaptive equipment lab, the NSCD teaches a variety of summer and winter sports to individuals with almost any mental or physical disability

NSCD programs are available for all levels of ability, from beginner to advanced:

Programs Currently Offered by NSCD
Winter Summer
Alpine Skiiing (downhill) Rafting
Ski racing Therapeutic horseback riding
Nordic skiing (cross country) Mountain, hand-crank, and tandem biking
Snowboarding In-line skating
Snowshoeing Sailing
Backcountry hut trips Golf
Rock climbing
Sport camps

Years of experience and thousands of student success stories have positioned the NSCD as the primary resource and training center for adaptive recreation programs around the country. For 15 years, the NSCD has hosted adapted sport symposiums that attract ski instructors, therapists, and recreation specialists who are developing or enhancing their own programs. In fact, the NSCD has provided training to the founders and staff of nearly every adaptive ski program in the country.

Participants come to the NSCD from all 50 states and about a dozen countries.

Lessons are taught by a certified staff and a corps of 1,000 dedicated volunteers who also set up race courses, help students with adaptive equipment, and assist with fundraising events and office projects.

From daytime ski lessons to overnight hut trips, the NSCD will launch its 33nd year of programming with activities designed for children and adults of all abilities. Winter activities include lessons in skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, as well as special programs designed for families to learn to ski together. Summer programs include sailing, rafting, biking, hiking, camping, therapeutic horseback riding, in-line skating, golfing, rock climbing and more.

Founded in 1984 by three-time world disabled alpine ski champion Paul DiBello, the NSCD Competition Program is the largest of its kind in the United States. The program is also home to the Winter Park Disabled Ski Team, which has consistently dominated competitions throughout North America. The competition program has placed dozens of racers on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, including 15 athletes who competed in the 2002 Salt Lake Paralympics and brought home a combined 20 medals in alpine events.

The NSCD Competition Program operates on two levels:

The NSCD is widely considered a leader in its field, and the organization has been involved with the development and training of hundreds of programs around the world. The Pioneer Division, specifically, has a mission to provide professional development opportunities to public or private recreation centers, ski areas, schools, and adaptive programs. Workshops, training sessions and symposiums are designed to assist administrators, managers and employees in offering access to facilities and sports programs and providing opportunities for people with special needs.

Custom Workshops

NSCD staff members travel to program sites and design workshops with the unique facilities, staff, and volunteers in mind.

Topics include: facilities review, program structuring, use of volunteers, instructor training, learn to ski, equipment review, disability and medication training, athlete evaluation with regard to disability and equipment, and much more.

Specialty Training

Individuals who want to learn more about adapted sports programs travel to Winter Park, Colorado and participate in workshops relating to raising funds, hosting special events, teaching people with disabilities. Participants are also invited to observe NSCD lessons at Winter Park Resort.

Instructor Training

Each winter, the NSCD hosts a variety of clinics designed to prepare volunteers and instructors to teach alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, and snowboarding to individuals with disabilities.

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Cite This Page (APA): Alfred. (2008, December 11 - Last revised: 2018, October 12). National Sports Center for Disabled. Disabled World. Retrieved June 24, 2024 from

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