Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA), one of the nation’s largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, announced that the 100th local chapter has joined the nationwide network of community chapters that comprise the national organization. In its 42 years of operation, DS/USA has grown from a California-based group running one ski program for disabled Vietnam War veterans to partnering with 100 chapters participating in 30 different winter and summer sports, serving youth and adults with disabilities in 38 states from Alaska to Florida and California to Maine.
“This is a momentous occasion for Disabled Sports USA,” said DS/USA President Bob Meserve, a former member of the U.S. Paralympic Alpine Ski Team. “With steady growth for more than four decades, DS/USA will continue to develop and support year-round adaptive sports programs in communities nationwide.”
DS/USA was established in 1967 by disabled Vietnam and World War II veterans from the famous 10th Mountain Division. Their original mission was to help rehabilitate the severely wounded from Vietnam through skiing. When the war ended, DS/USA expanded its mission to serve youth and adults with disabilities, including both civilian and military participants. It also began expanding its chapter network and scope of activities. During the 1970s and 1980s, DS/USA standardized adaptive skiing techniques and worked with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) to incorporate adaptive skiing into their nationwide teaching and certification programs. That process was completed in the early 1990s, with PSIA now offering Adaptive Certification courses nationwide.
“As the founding chapter of Disabled Sports USA, we are proud to be a part of an organization that has grown beyond our wildest dreams. This is testament to the powerful, life-changing effects our programs have on the lives of adults and youth with disabilities.” said Doug Pringle, president of DS/USA Far West and a disabled Vietnam Veteran. “DS/USA’s service to today’s returning servicemen and women brings full circle a tradition DS/USA started during the Vietnam era. We are honored to continue to be a part of this great organization.”
Rob Mueller, managing director of New England Disabled Sports, Lincoln, New Hampshire, said, “Disabled Sports USA is a constant source of guidance and resources, which has been paramount in the success of our program. Since becoming a chapter of Disabled Sports USA in 1992, our experience with this organization has been second to none. The addition of the 100th chapter is a major achievement for Disabled Sports USA and we congratulate them on this milestone. We are very proud to be a part of this family and will continue to hold the mission and values of Disabled Sports USA in the highest regard.”