Research survey: could specialist ski holidays help those with a disability? — Scope | Disability forum
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Research survey: could specialist ski holidays help those with a disability?

emilymlv Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited October 2017 in Research and opportunities
I am a qualified ski instructor and in 2013 I moved to the Swiss Alps to follow my ambition of living an active life in the mountains.

I love the mountain environment and everything it offers: breathtaking views, the majesty of nature, skiing in the winter and summer hiking through rolling scenery.  My 91 year old grandmother is physically disabled and has significant sight loss which makes everyday life a struggle, however, I wanted to be able to share my mountain life with her and did exactly that last December when I arranged for her to not only visit me in Switzerland but also have her very first ski lesson in a sit ski - a specialist piece of adapted ski equipment.  It was a dream come true for her and got me thinking...

...would more people benefit from the experience of being in the mountains, skiing for the first time, achieving something they thought would be impossible?

I would love to open up these opportunities in the mountains to others and would like to understand if ski holidays for the disabled are something you would be interested in and benefit from?

I would be grateful for any time you can spare to complete the short 10 question survey at the link below.  If you would like your responses to be kept anonymous please select the relevant box in the survey.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  If you would like any further information about adaptive skiing or have any thoughts or suggestions it would be great to hear from you.

Best wishes,

What is adaptive skiing?
Adaptive skiing enables those with any sort of disability to experience the thrill of snowsports.  Lessons are given by specially trained instructors with adapted ski equipment, when necessary, for example a sit ski (a chair on skis, quite literally), outriggers (crutches with mini-skis on the bottom to provide stability) or reins which the instructor can use to help guide students.  Adaptive instructors are also trained to teach those with learning difficulties who might struggle in ski school groups.  Depending on the level of disability the skier could ski fully independently, but everyone gets to experience the wonderful feeling of fresh mountain air on their face as they glide down the mountain.


  • Boychris
    Boychris Member Posts: 19 Connected
    Hi Emily, i read with interest, something i would loved to had a chance when i was younger but now, with severe spinal problems, as well as lung and heart problems following on from 2 strokes, much of my life is a wheelchair, with a carer. But i only can see one major huddle for the Disabled person, 
    As a past very well traveled person, i always found that travel insurance was over the top with premium prices being requested when ask about a disability, But for some, to travel in addition to the standard travel insurance for the disabled person he or she would levied a sky high premium for intending to take part in a dangerous  Activity. regardless of the sport, ie sking, scuba diving , ski diving etc etc these companies would increase the premiums 3 or 4 fold just because we are disbled  not fair i know. So unless you can get an Travel insurance Company involved to offer a realistic premium for us the disabled, i personally feel the take up would rather small just because of Cost.
  • emilymlv
    emilymlv Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thanks so much for your comment. It's really helpful to hear about the difficulties you face taking any holidays, not just sports/activity based breaks. I know skiing is not the cheapest of holidays for anyone and costs can be higher for the disabled which I recognise could affect the number of people who would be able to go on a ski holiday of this sort. I know there are some (summer disabled holiday) companies out there who recommend insurance companies for those with disabilities and I will certainly take a better look at them. I would be nervous of advising to use a specific company (I am very much not an expert in travel insurance!) but I will bear in mind the cost of insurance in my overall pros and cons. Thanks again!


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