Move United and the Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) are continuing their longstanding partnership to enhance professional development for snowsports instructors who serve veterans with disabilities. Through a $50,000 grant from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grant, approximately 175 instructors around the country will be trained in the 2020-2021 winter season.

Instructor skiing down a mountain with training mannequin in a bi skiFunds will support instructor training through 3 channels:

-Instructor training and certification events will be hosted in early 2021 by the following Move United member organizations: Achieve Tahoe (CA), Adaptive Sports Connection (OH), Challenge Aspen (CO), New England Healing Sports Association (NH), Oregon Adaptive Sports (OR), STRIDE Adaptive Sports (NY), Wintergreen Adaptive Sports (VA).

-Free and low cost clinics at the PSIA-AASI National Adaptive Academy, hosted online for the first time this year, in conjunction with The Hartford Virtual Ski Spectacular, December 1-3.  Key topics include Adaptive Snowsports Return To Play, Lift Safety and Evacuations for Adaptive Snowsports, and DEI Insights.

-Three disabled veterans have been selected to participate in On-The-Job Training Programs to support their training in pursuit of a PSIA-AASI instructor certification to help launch a career in the industry or create a pathway to volunteerism in support of veterans and others with disabilities. Promoting a peer support model (veterans helping veterans) is of particular importance, as this strategy is proven to be especially helpful for engaging veterans because of the strong bonds among military service members.

Ski instructor taking an athlete down the mountain in a bi skiWhether a veteran with a disability is learning to ski for the first time, or getting back on the mountain after injury, PSIA-AASI certified instructors help make their time on the slopes safe and successful. The veteran population has a number of unique considerations, and specialized training with adaptive equipment is key to ensure instructors can safely and effectively serve them at their home mountains. PSIA-AASI’s national certification standards mean that no matter where you live, you teach from the same platform and to the same standards as thousands of PSIA-AASI members around the country.

“Move United brings together champions of inclusion to rally for us and with us. We recognize that high quality instruction is critical to the successful development of sport skills. When it comes to winter sports, we are thrilled to continue our long-term relationship with PSISA-AASI to provide the adaptive snowsport community with access to the top training programs available in the United States,” said Move United Executive Director Glenn Merry. “We know that our athletes will benefit from greater safety and excellent skill development from this partnership. Together, we’re building a community where everyone’s included.”

For more information about the PSIA-AASI events and adaptive snowsports resources offered by Move United, visit www.moveunitedsport.org/education or contact training@moveunitedsport.org.

Note: These programs are funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  The opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

About PSIA-AASI

PSIA-AASI hosts a member network of over 30,000 individuals as well as nearly 300 ski, snowboard, and adaptive member schools. Founded in 1961, PSIA-AASI aims to support its members in their personal and professional development in the ski and snowboard industry, to create positive learning experience, and to have fun! PSIA-AASI works to establish certification standards for instructors and develops education materials for their members in an effort to elevate the level of professional instruction in the ski and snowboard industry. For more information, visit www.thesnowpros.org.

About Move United

Move United incites action that leads us to a world where everyone’s included. By providing training for coaches, instructors, and community leaders, we’re redefining disability for those who teach, or want to teach, sport and recreation to people with disabilities. Since 2009, Move United has worked with dozens of sport National Governing Bodies and leading sport agencies to train more than 8000 people from 1,650 organizations. We need leaders more than cheerleaders. We need champions of inclusion. Take action now and sign up for a session: https://www.moveunitedsport.org/education