Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program
February 8, 2020
Ellicottville, New York, February 11, 2020 . . . The Lounsbury Adaptive Program (LASP) at Holiday Valley Resort offers lessons to persons with virtually all disabilities, both physical and cognitive. Each student is instructed individually with full emphasis on his/her ability, rather than the disability. The program runs from late December through mid-March and is headquartered in the Adaptive Building adjacent to the Tannenbaum Lodge at Holiday Valley.
The Lounsbury Program has approximately 50 volunteer instructors who are specially trained in adaptive ski teaching methods. More than 70 percent of the instructors are certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). Training follows the Professional Ski Instructors of America's teaching system and the PSIA Adaptive Instruction combined with criteria from Disabled Sports USA.
Adaptive sports are beneficial both physically and psychologically. LASP instills a sense of achievement, independence and inclusion in its students’ lives. The operative word in this program is ‘adaptive’. If someone wants to ski, the dedicated and enthusiastic Lounsbury volunteers will do everything they can to find a way to get them out on the slopes. The focus is always on what a student can do, not on what they can’t. A single lesson usually involves two instructors and sometimes three depending on the severity of the student’s disability and the type of adaptive ski equipment required.
Examples of some of the more frequently encountered disabilities are spinal cord injuries, amputations, Down's syndrome, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, hearing impairment, autism and developmental delay. Results vary, however most are rather outstanding and many students gain new confidence to tackle other activities.
The LASP certified staff conducts a thorough evaluation and will match equipment to each student's needs and personal goals. Many students will ski with standard equipment, i.e., skis and poles. LASP uses many devices to assist in keeping ski tips from crossing and have means to tether a stand-up student in order to control speed, turning and stopping while the student is learning. Students who are able to wear ski boots and stand, but need some support or assistive devices to initiate the turn, might use a slider device. Amputees use a standard ski with outrigger poles, which are crutch-type devices with a small ski on the end.
With certain disabilities the student may have to ski in a sitting position. For these students, there are bi-skis and mono-skis. A bi-ski is a fiberglass bucket seat mounted on an alloy frame with 2 shaped skis on the bottom. The skis are articulated so that the body motion of the skier from side to side puts the skis on edge, therefore easily initiating a turn. The student can use outriggers, either hand held, if they are capable, or fixed if they are not. Bi-skiers are tethered until they can turn, control their speed and stop independently.
The mono-ski differs from the bi-ski in that it has only one standard ski beneath the frame, not two. Mono-skiing requires excellent balance and good upper body strength. An accomplished mono-skier can ski totally independent. He/she can load and unload chair lift and ski without being tethered. This is the ultimate achievement for sit-down skiers.
The major fundraiser for the Lounsbury Program is the Annual Penguin Paddle to be held at Holiday Valley on February 29th on the Yodeler Slope. It is a fun filled day with live and silent auctions, raffles, a barbeque lunch and the penguin slide. To participate in the penguin slide, people don a plastic garbage bag and slide down the bottom of Yodeler on their bellies, penguin style. Children and adults can participate in the slide, the only requirement is a helmet.
Rates are $50 for one lesson. The lesson includes a lift ticket, two hours of private instruction and equipment use. Lessons are by reservation only and must be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the skier, address, phone number, a brief description of the skier’s disability and the requested dates and times. More information about the Lounsbury Adaptive Ski Program is at
About Holiday Valley Resort
Holiday Valley is Western New York’s largest year ‘round resort featuring 60 slopes and trails, 13 lifts, 3 base lodges, slope side lodging and dining, conference facilities, an 18 hole golf course, a tree top aerial adventure park, a mountain coaster and a summer pool complex.
Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville is on the web at www.holidayvalley.com.
Ellicottville is located on Route 219, just 50 miles (90 kms) south of Buffalo and less than three hours from Cleveland and Toronto.
Detailed media information is available at www.holidayvalley.com/media.
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