Special Olympics welcomes all athletes with intellectual disabilities, (ages 8 and older) of all ability levels, to train and compete. To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must have an intellectual disability; a cognitive delay, or a development disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. Special Olympics believes in the power of sports to help all who participate to fulfil their potential. For Special Olympics athletes, excellence is personal achievement, a reflection of reaching one's maximum potential-- a goal to which everyone can aspire.

Paralympics welcomes athletes with a physical disability. To participate in the Paralympic Games, athletes must fulfil certain criteria and qualifying standards in order to be eligible. The Paralympics are about elite performance sport, where athletes go through a stringent qualification process so that the best can compete at the Games. 



What is DWA and what are the benefits?

Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA) is a Not for Profit, Public Benevolent organisation with deductible gift recipient and income tax exempt charity status. DWA assists its members to participate in snowsports without financial disadvantage.  

   Benefits:

  • Concessional rates on lift tickets and private snowsports lessons with a certified adaptive instructor.
  • Access to DWA’s adaptive equipment including sit-skis, outriggers, sno-wings and other adaptive equipment.
  • Accessible accommodation in NSW at Finskos Lodge, Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre and in Victoria at Howman’s Gap Alpine Centre, Falls Creek.
  • DWA-organised camps at Thredbo, Perisher and Falls Creek. Adaptive Snowsport Guides DWA-trained volunteer guides are available to all DWA members.  Guides may be requested by any DWA member requiring extra assistance at DWA-affiliated resorts. Guides assist DWA members at DWA-affiliated resorts. DWA guides assist with equipment, loading and unloading the lifts, and communicating with instructors, lift attendants and other mountain staff. 
  • Adaptive equipment - DWA members have access to the DWA fleet of adaptive equipment, which is designed to maximise skier and rider mobility.  
  • Camps - DWA camps are the perfect way to experience adaptive snowsports. Camps are run in a relaxed, safe and friendly environment . They cater for all standards of skiers and riders and offer on snow instruction and tailored support.  



Can I be Visually Impaired and Snowboard?

You can Snowboard as a visually impaired individual; however, if you are interested in competing internationally, only Para Alpine and Para Nordic has a Visually Impaired class. 

What experience do I need?

You can start your Para Snowsports journey at any level! DWA is a great place to start to build your confidence and independence. From there the Multiclass Event is a fun way to compete and show your skills.

How Can I get better?

Lots of time on snow! Australian ski resorts offer adaptive instructors and DWA provide members camps throughout the season (https://www.disabledwintersport.com.au/camp-programs)


This link will direct you to the Para-sport Equipment Fund - Para-sport Equipment Fund | Paralympics Australia

As futher grants and funding oppertunities become available they will be updated here. 

How Can I compete?

The Multiclass Event is a great opportunity to start your competitive Para Skiing and Snowboarding journey - https://www.interschools.com.au/home-nsw-act-qld-sa/multiclass-opportunities/

What is Para Futures?

The Snow Australia Para Futures is a Talent Identification (TID) initiative by Snow Australia with support from Paralympics Australia (PA) and Disabled Wintersport Australia (DWA). The program seeks to provide opportunities for athletes with physical or visual impairments discover opportunities in the sports of Para Alpine, Para Snowboard and Para Nordic. 

Do all resorts offer adaptive lessons?

The list below are the Australian resorts that offer adaptive instructors and that are affiliated with DWA.