Resources for Adaptive Sports, Recreation & Fitness

Reach for Fitness: A Special Book of Exercises for the Physically Challenged by Richard Simmons
This book was published in 1986, so it’s old, but still useful. There are simple exercise and nutrition programs for adults and children – both with lots of pictures to demonstrate the exercises.  Richard Simmons presents the exercises for kids in a fun and creative way.  There’s also Appendix that shares the common barriers to exercise and precautions for specific medical conditions.   A couple of my own personal cautions with this book – it’s Richard Simmons, and sometimes I found his “cheerleader enthusiasm” to be obnoxiously upbeat.  More significantly, I don’t think people with physical challenges could do some of the exercises he suggests – if we could lift our legs, we wouldn’t be in a wheelchair.  All this being said, still a worthwhile book for Fitness, especially so few resources are available. 
Conditioning With Physical Disabilitiesby Kevin Lockette

Published in 1994, authored by physical therapists and certified strength and conditioning specialists who share the successful exercise prescriptions they created at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Step-by-step descriptions and illustrations show how to perform the exercises correctly.  It’s a dense book with a lot of technical information, which makes it very comprehensive.

When Working Out Isn’t Working Out: A Mind/Body Guide to Conquering Unidentified Fitness Obstaclesby Michael Gerrish

Author Michael Gerrish, a certified and experienced trainer and a psychotherapist offers a a unique book in that focuses on emotional barriers, energy blocks, and societal pressures that may contribute to not working out.  There is a checklist to identify which working out challenges apply to you, a list of ways to overcome the problem, and resources to turn to for help, if you decide you need it.  This book is for all individuals who want to work out, and is not specifically focused on disability.

Disabled Sports USA
Provides national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs.  A directory of chapters in most states throughout the U.S. is provided.

Adaptive Sports Center
The Adaptive Sports Center (ACS), located in the beautiful mountain town of Crested Butte, Colorado, provides year-round outdoor adventure activities for people with disabilities and their families. Winter programs include adaptive instruction for alpine skiing, Nordic skiing and snowboarding. The ASC also has an extensive summer program with activities including boating, cycling, rock climbing and horseback riding.

No Barriers
A community of modern day pioneers who use the experience of nature to promote innovation, education and assistive technologies that create transformative life experiences and inspire people with challenges to live full and active lives.

Everyone Outdoors

This blog is a community resource in Massachusetts for people with disabilities and their families, and friends who enjoy the outdoors and are looking for new recreation possibilities.  This site provides information about upcoming outdoor opportunities and has a robust listing of accessible places to explore.

Ability Trip

A centralized resource for accessible travel information – a travel guide – for the community of disabled travelers and their companions.  The site provides information on the current state of accessibility by destination including logistics, accommodations, activities, restaurants, and emergency services.

Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide

A comprehensive guide with tips for traveling locally and internationally, including suggestions for accessible attractions and accommodations.

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (EAAT)
Promotes equine-assisted activities and therapies to assist children and adults with physical, mental and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse.  Has a “Find a Center” tab to search for an equine center in your local area.

National Arts and Disability Center (NADC)
Their mission is to promote the full inclusion of audiences and artists with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.  Their information is aimed at artists with disabilities, arts organizations, museums, arts administrators, disability organizations and agencies, performing arts organizations, art centers, universities, arts educators, and students.  The web site offers free resource directories.

Mixed Ability Dance Resource Directory
The following dance companies and groups are comprised of dancers with and without disabilities. In addition to performance, many of the dance companies also provide dance instruction, workshops or training.

Theatre Companies Resource Directory
A directory of theatrer companies with performers with disabilities.

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