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Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Sports Organizations for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Want to learn more about your favorite sport? Follow the links below. They'll lead you to resources that can help you learn all about sports and recreational opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired.

These resources have been organized into two groups. The first group of links will take you to organizations, associations and web sites that have general sports and recreation information. The second group of links are for specific sports not covered at the other sites.

General Sports Links

  1. Blind Sports Organization

    Mission from their website: "We will promote, provide, and advocate sports, recreational, and social opportunities for the blind and visually impaired.

    Blind Sports Organization
    465 Maplewood Road
    Springfield, PA 19064
    Phone: 302-836-5784

  2. Disability Sports Web Page

    The site was created by the instructor and students in a graduate course in the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University. It has information on laws relating to sports and people with disabilities, resources, and Internet links to various sports-related organizations.

    Disability Sports Web Page
    Department of Kinesiology
    132 IM Sports Circle, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

  3. International Paralympic Committee

    The IPC's web site has a wealth of information about the Paralympic Games and its sporting events. Events in which athletes who are blind or visually impaired typically participate are: cycling, equestrian, goalball, judo, swimming, alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. Accompanying the information about each sport there is often a list of associated links.

    International Paralympic Committee
    Adenauerallee 212-214, 53113 Bonn, Germany
    Phone: +49 (228) 2097-200
    Fax: +49 (228) 2097-209

  4. National Center on Physical Activity and Disability

    The NCPAD has an extensive searchable database of articles on sports-related Programs and Facilities, Equipment Vendors, Conferences and Symposiums, and Books and Published Resources for people who are disabled.

    National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
    1640 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608-6904
    Phone: (800) 900-8086 (voice and tty)
    Fax: (312) 355-4058

  5. Palaestra Magazine

    Palaestra Magazine is a quarterly publication with a focus on adapted physical activities. It is especially geared toward parents with children who are disabled.

    PALAESTRA: Forum of Sport, Physical Education & Recreation For Those With Disabilities
    Challenge Publications, Ltd.
    PO Box 508, Macomb, IL 61455
    Phone/Fax: (309) 833-1902

  6. Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi State University

    This web site, operated by the Mississippi State University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, has an extensive list of sport- and recreation-related associations and organizations for people who are blind or visually impaired.

    Mississippi State University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision
    P.O. Box 6189
    Mississippi State, MS 39762
    Phone: (800) 675-7782
    TDD: (662) 325-8693
    Fax: (662) 325-8989
    E-Mail: B. J. LeJeune:

  7. U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)

    The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) has helped thousands of blind and disabled youth discover their own potential in school, sports, and the achievement of their own personal dreams. The organization has more than 3,000 blind and visually impaired athlete-members representing nine different sports: alpine and nordic skiing, goalball, judo, powerlifting, swimming, tandem cycling, track and field and wrestling. Many of these athletes go on to compete in the Paralympics held in conjunction with the Olympic Games. Visit the USABA web site for general information about each of these sports and for a calendar of upcoming competitions.

    The United States Association of Blind Athletes is pleased to announce that the National Headquarters Offices have moved to the U.S. Olympic Sport House in Colorado Springs, CO. USABA's new contact information is:

    1 Olympic Plaza
    Colorado Springs, CO 80909
    Phone: 719-866-3224

    “In alignment with our strategic plan and our vision to be the nation’s leading sports resource provider for people who are blind and visually impaired, the move into the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport House further fosters our organizational growth which can only better serve our athletes," said Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director. He continued, "I would also like to thank the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind for providing office space to USABA for over twenty years.”

    The U.S. Olympic Sport House is also home to several National Governing Bodies, including USA Boxing, USA Weightlifting, USA Judo, USA Badminton and USA Taekwondo.

  8. Achievable Concepts: Adapted Recreation & Sporting Equipment

    This Australian company makes and distributes adapted sporting equipment, including beeper balls and other sporting goods that can be used by people who are blind or vision impaired. They also offer "Recreation & Sport for People Who are Blind or Vision Impaired", a guidebook written by Peter Rickards with Vision Australia, contains recreation options, tips, equipment, rules, and helpful hints for playing a range of sports. Activities include: chess, gardening, music, crafts, and social activities. A good source for ideas. To order, visit the Achievable Concepts web site using the following contact info:

    Achievable Concepts
    Adapted Recreation & Sporting Equipment for People with Disabilities & the Aged

Specific Resources

Beep Baseball
  • National Beep Baseball Association
    2231 West 1st Ave.
    Topeka, KS 66606-1304
    Phone: (785) 234-2156
  • Rails for the Blind may be purchased from:

    American Blind Bowling Association
    315 N. Main St., Houston, PA 15342
    Phone/Fax: (724) 745-5986
  • American Blind Golfers Association
    300 Carondelet St.
    New Orleans, LA 70112
    Phone: (504) 891-4737
  • The United States Golf Association
    PO Box 708
    Far Hills, NJ 07931
    Phone: (908) 234-2300
    Fax: (908) 234-9687
    Horseback Riding
  • North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA)

    The NARHA is a non-profit organization that promotes the rehabilitation of individuals with physical, emotional and learning disabilities through equine-facilitated activities. There are more than 600 NAHRA-member therapeutic riding centers in North America.

    North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA)
    P.O. Box 33150
    Denver, CO 80233
    Phone: (800) 369-RIDE (7433)
    Fax: (303) 252-4610

  • The Achilles Track Club (ATC)

    The Achilles Track Club (ATC) was founded to encourage people with disabilities to participate in long-distance running with the general public. The ATC is an international, nonprofit organization that provides support, training, and technical expertise to runners at all levels.

    Achilles Track Club
    42 West 38th Street
    NYC 10018
    Phone: (212) 354-0300
    Fax: (212) 354-3978

  • John's Nautical Links List

    This exhaustive list of maritime links includes a rich section of links for those interested in disabled racing and sailing. Among the links listed are: Blind Sailing International, Disabled Sailing on the Web, and Sailing Alternatives.

    John's Nautical Links List

  • >International Foundation For Disabled Sailing

    The International Foundation For Disabled Sailing is responsible for disabled sailing around the world, and working with its members to further promote and support the sport. This includes sailing for people with physical disabilities, blindness, deafness and learning difficulties and covers all aspects of sailing including recreation, training and racing.

    Click here to visit the International Foundation For Disabled Sailing home page:

  • I sea No Ships

    This website is not only just for blind people who like sailing, it will give other information on subjects that affect the blind community. "I hope to list blind groups and organisations that will be useful to you. I am registered blind myself since 1992 with retinitis pigmentosa. The first people who I met with any sight loss was at a blind club called Foresight in 1986."

    Click this link to visit the I See No Ships website at

    Scuba Diving
  • Handicapped Scuba Association International (HSA)

    HSA International offers recreational diving opportunities for people with disabilities. It also provides certification for diving instructors who wish to work with disabled divers.

    HSA International
    1104 El Prado
    San Clemente, CA 92672-4637
    Phone: (949) 498-4540
    Fax: (949) 498-6128

  • Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped, Inc (SABAH)

    SABAH is a Buffalo, New York-based not-for-profit educational corporation that provides instruction for people who are blind or visually impaired in how to ice skate.

    The Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped
    1200 East and West Road
    West Seneca, New York 14224
    Phone: (716) 675.7222

  • Ski for Light, Inc.

    Ski for Light is a program of cross-country skiing benefiting blind, visually-impaired, and mobility-impaired individuals and their guides.

    Ski for Light, Inc.
    1455 West Lake Street
    Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
    Phone: 612-827-3232

  • American Blind Skiing Foundation (ABSF)

    The ABSF provides an educational skiing program for people who are blind or visually impaired.

    The American Blind Skiing Foundation
    227 E. North Ave.
    Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
    Email: htm

  • American Blind Skiers, Inc.
    2325 Wilshire Blvd.
    Santa Monica, CA 90403
    Phone: (213) 828-5514

  • Bold Outdoor Leisure Development/Challenge Aspen

    In addition to snow skiing, B.O.L.D./Challenge Aspen offers a variety of sports opportunities for people who are blind or visually impaired. During the winter they offer alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice-skating. Summer activities include hiking, biking, rafting and a rock climbing camp.

    B.O.L.D./Challenge Aspen
    P.O. Box M
    Aspen, CO 81612
    Phone: (970) 923.0578
    Fax: (970) 923.7338

  • The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD)

    NSCD provides year-round competition training to ski racers with disabilities. Summer recreation opportunities include biking, hiking, in-line skating, sailing, therapeutic horseback riding, white water rafting, baseball, fishing, rock climbing for the blind, and camping.

  • USA Swimming

    USA Swimming, the official body governing America's Olympic swim teams, offers detailed info for swimmers who are blind or visually impaired. This includes information for coaches, event organizers, and athletes. Visitors can also order brochures on topics such as hosting an adaptive event.

    USA Swimming
    One Olympic Plaza
    Colorado Springs, CO 80909
    Phone: (719) 578-4578

    Water Skiing
  • USA Water Ski

    USA Water Ski hosts water ski tournaments for athletes with disabilities. Blind athletes also do not use special equipment and are assisted by another water skier who serves as a guide. Among the competitions within each tournament are slalom, tricks and jumping events.

    USA Water Ski
    1251 Holy Cow Road
    Polk City, Florida 33868
    Phone: (863) 324-4341
    Fax: (863) 325-8259
    Email: Questions

Stephen Jolley has a unique collection of streaming audio links focusing on cricket and rugby among other subjects. The most interesting recent addition is the second of two radio information services for the blind that broadcast online. Click this link to visit Stephen Jolley's website.

1 comment:

Ron said...

What a great listing of those organizations related to sports for the blind and visually impaired. There is one more that would be of interest to the blind and visually impaired called The Blind Judo Foundation which introduces blind and visually impaired individuals to the sport of Judo. Some of their athletes ultimately compete in the Paralympics. More about the Foundation can be seen at

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