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Research survey: could specialist ski holidays help those with a disability?
I am a qualified ski instructor and in 2013 I moved to the Swiss Alps to follow my ambition of living an active life in the mountains.
I love the mountain environment and everything it offers: breathtaking views, the majesty of nature, skiing in the winter and summer hiking through rolling scenery. My 91 year old grandmother is physically disabled and has significant sight loss which makes everyday life a struggle, however, I wanted to be able to share my mountain life with her and did exactly that last December when I arranged for her to not only visit me in Switzerland but also have her very first ski lesson in a sit ski - a specialist piece of adapted ski equipment. It was a dream come true for her and got me thinking...
...would more people benefit from the experience of being in the mountains, skiing for the first time, achieving something they thought would be impossible?
I would love to open up these opportunities in the mountains to others and would like to understand if ski holidays for the disabled are something you would be interested in and benefit from?
I would be grateful for any time you can spare to complete the short 10 question survey at the link below. If you would like your responses to be kept anonymous please select the relevant box in the survey.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you would like any further information about adaptive skiing or have any thoughts or suggestions it would be great to hear from you.
What is adaptive skiing?
Adaptive skiing enables those with any sort of disability to experience the thrill of snowsports. Lessons are given by specially trained instructors with adapted ski equipment, when necessary, for example a sit ski (a chair on skis, quite literally), outriggers (crutches with mini-skis on the bottom to provide stability) or reins which the instructor can use to help guide students. Adaptive instructors are also trained to teach those with learning difficulties who might struggle in ski school groups. Depending on the level of disability the skier could ski fully independently, but everyone gets to experience the wonderful feeling of fresh mountain air on their face as they glide down the mountain.