Adaptive Skiing Program Helps Disabled Hit the Slopes

By: Melanie Niemann Email
By: Melanie Niemann Email

January 20, 2011

Patients from the Woodrow Wilson Rehab Center are gearing up for a weekend on the slopes at Wintergreen. The resort is turning its focus to current and former members of the military, drawing attention and participants to programs like Adaptive Sports.

The Adaptive Ski Staff holds regular lessons for physical therapy students throughout the season.

"They incorporate physical therapy outside the clinic and they are able to use adaptive skiing to give their patients a more functional outcome," said Kelly McGaughey, a physical therapist herself.

Massey Teel has been involved with the program for years and is excited to see some changes this winter thanks to a blizzard of grant money.

"It's nice to see our program growing. It's being able to offer extra services to the disabled members of our community. We have an extra large grant this year from Disabled Sports USA, which has allowed us to do several extra programs."

Jan. 21-23 is Wounded Warrior Weekend. After some special instruction from the staff, Veterans with permanent disabilities will hit the slopes using adaptive ski equipment. While it brings certain challenges, a trip down the mountain makes everything worthwhile.

"I think, especially with people who have long injuries like an amputation, it gives them something fun that they can look forward to, something they can do with their family and in their community forever," said McGaughey.

The weekend Wounded Warrior program is full, but anyone that qualifies can enjoy that special treatment any day of the week.

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