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OAS Ski Day at Mt. Bachelor for visually impaired


On Wednesday, March 11 th , OAS will be holding its eighth annual ski day for Central Oregon students who are blind or have visual impairments (VI) at Mt. Bachelor.

Students participating have a diverse range of vision abilities, and the ski day is all about having a safe, fun day where vision impairments are not an obstacle.

The partnership between OAS and the High Desert Educational Service District allows approximately 14 students throughout the area as far as La Pine, and as young as seven years old, to ski and snowboard with OAS guides.

The guides will be giving out loud but gentle commands to help steer the skiers down the mountain. In addition, guides may also use other appropriate techniques such as tethers or bamboo poles to help provide guidance where needed.

The OAS guides are skilled and knowledgeable thanks to the ongoing guidance and training from local skier Nancy Stevens. Stevens was born blind but hasn’t let that stop her. She has cross-country skied for over 40 years and competed in Nagano, Japan, through the U.S. Paralympic Cross Country Ski Team. Stevens has generously provided ongoing demonstrations, clinics, and techniques on how to guide skiers who have visual impairments. Stevens often explores tiny tricks with the OAS team such as running fingers over the bindings, gliding along on one ski, how to describe how skiing ought to feel, how to verbalize commands, communicate obstacles ahead, and more.

All this preparation by OAS guides helps students find their inner skier or rider, overcome the obstacles of a vision impairment, and overall have a successful school day outside on the snow.

For more information about the VI Ski Day and OAS, please contact Oregon Adaptive Sports at or at 541-306-4774.

Then, on Saturday, March 14 th , at Mt. Bachelor there will be a blaze of colorful and vibrant costumes to recognize and celebrate OAS’s Junior Racers.

Racers coming out are young children under the age of 18 from all over the Central Oregon area who have an ambulatory disability (an physical disability that requires the use of a sit-ski). These junior racers are a big deal because when they put their mind to it, they can do anything.

Racers will have access to the thrill of skiing through Oregon Adaptive Sports who provides a comprehensive adaptive ski program.

All of the racers will get to use a sit-ski, a piece of adaptive ski equipment which utilizes a bucket style seat with skis underneath it.

Racers can use handheld outriggers for balance and steering and/or can be assisted with an instructor using fixed outriggers and tethers (reins attached to the back of the sit-ski). Racers can turn by using their head and shoulders and by using the handheld outriggers.

Such pieces of adaptive equipment give a satisfying experience to even those who thought it wasn’t possible. There will be approximately twelve racers representing the OAS Junior Racers event along with their families. Together, everyone will get to celebrate the mountain life and enjoy a pizza party catered by Mt. Bachelor. And of course, the boas, hats, accessories, and colorful suits for the popular costume contest will be a great practical touch to the event.

For more information about the OAS Junior Racers program and OAS, please contact Oregon Adaptive Sports at or at 541-306-4774.

About Oregon Adaptive Sports

Oregon Adaptive Sports has been breaking barriers in Central Oregon since 1996, providing people with disabilities and their families’ opportunities for outdoor recreation. Our goal is to nurture the human spirit and foster self-confidence and independence. We currently offer instructional programs in alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding, at both Hoodoo and Mt. Bachelor ski resorts as well as summer programs through throughout the great Bend area. To prevent cost from being a barrier to participation, we rely on the support of hundreds of volunteers, businesses, donors and sponsors.

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