Children with special needs face challenges that other kids don’t. Whether their disability is physical, mental or neurological, children and adults with special needs require extra support with certain activities. Many ski resorts are getting excellent at meeting this need. I have seen some adaptive ski programs at family friendly resorts like Smugglers’ Notch in action. Some are super impressive so I thought I would share a list for families like ours.
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Children with Special Needs Can Shine at These Ski Resorts
Children and adults with special needs face barriers too many places still. So when I find a resource with adaptive or inclusive programs sometimes I want to celebrate. Resorts with Adaptive Ski Programs for Special Needs make my heart happy. Parents of children with unique abilities often feel like their kids are denied experiences that other children have. Finding places with staff that gets it can be a full time job and yet when you find that resort it is invaluable.
The following ski resorts are all about family.
Resorts with Adaptive Ski Programs for Special Needs
I’ve covered Smugglers’ Notch before, so if you’ve read any of my other posts on ski resorts, you know how I feel about this one. It is absolutely amazing. One of my very favourite parts of this resort is how inclusive it is for children with special needs.
The Smugglers’ Notch Adaptive Program is all about providing therapeutic recreation for children of all abilities in a nurturing, supportive environment focusing on fun with what the kids can do and not what they can’t. Because Smuggler’s Notch is both a warm and cold weather resort, the program offers activities which allow kids to socialize in a safe protected way for both warm and cold weather fun. I hope to share more about this program soon because it is truly one of the best I have ever seen. Smuggs is in Vermont and it is easy to access by plane or car. We flew there last January with Porter Airlines from Toronto.
Searchmont resort in Ontario offers a great program for children with special needs. Their program specializes in helping special needs kids learn how to alpine ski in a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment. This program features a variety of equipment types and sizes to meet the needs of almost any disability. They can accommodate and include the visually challenged, hearing impaired, and physically impaired. Their adaptive program focuses on playing to each student’s strengths. Searchmont is in Searchmont, Ontario near Sault Ste. Marie. There are ski and stay packages available here. I have not yet visited this one but was interested to learn they have programs that are appealing to special needs families.
The CADS (Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers) program at Snow Valley runs for eight Sundays beginning every January 10th. Snow Valley is in Barrie, Ontario, not too far north of Toronto. There are many accommodations available in the area if you are visiting. The eight week program of lessons is available to children with special needs of all kinds from paraplegia to autism spectrum, CP, polio, MS, Down’s syndrome, and more. All students are screened to determine their individual equipment and instructional needs and then paired with trained volunteer instructors who best match their needs.
Children With Special Needs Should Never Feel Left Out
The adaptive programs offered by these resorts work hard to ensure that all children, youth and adults with special needs can have a good time in an environment that’s both physically and emotionally safe. Some have built extraordinary programs that you simply have to see to believe. As a parent of children who need extra supports I can’t even express how valuable these programs are to me.