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Community and Internet Resources

Recreation: Sports: Sailing

State Listings:   CA / IL / MA / NJ / NY / RI / WI    (Official USPS State Abbreviations)
Country Listings:   Australia / Canada


International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS) enables sailors of all abilities to participate in the sport of Sailing. International Association for Disabled Sailing works with grassroots efforts, developing countries, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to bring people onto the water at every level of skill, competition and enjoyment. Competition is governed by a series of documents designed to provide a relatively equal playing field, always with the focus of leveling up instead of down. Grassroots, development and awareness efforts are managed through the Development Committee and help new sailors experience the thrill of the sport. Their website features numerous resources and tips on adaptive approaches to sailing. To locate an affiliate in your part of the world, visit their website and click on Contacts.

International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is the world governing body for the sport of sailing, officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).For the Paralympics sailing is governed by the International Association for Disabled Sailing (IFDS), which works closely with the International Sailing Federation (ISF). ISAF is responsible for the promotion and development of the sport internationally; managing sailing at the Olympic Games; developing the Racing Rules of Sailing and regulations for all sailing competitions; the training of judges, umpires and other administrators; and representing the sailors in all matters concerning the sport.

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement. Its purpose is to organize the summer and winter Paralympic Games and act as the International Federation for nine sports, supervising and coordinating World Championships and other competitions. Founded on 22 September 1989 as a non-profit organization, it is based in Bonn, Germany and aims to develop sports opportunities for all people with an impairment from the beginner to elite level. Athletes and the Paralympic Games are at the heart of the Movement. Their performances and incredible stories teach the values of acceptance and appreciation for people with a disability. The Paralympic Movement builds a bridge which links sport with social awareness thus contributing to the development of a more equitable society with respect and equal opportunities for all individuals. Sailing was introduced at the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games as a demonstrative sport and then became a medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. It is now practiced by athletes in more than 70 countries. It is open to athletes with any type of physical impairment and the classification system is based on four factors: stability, hand function, mobility and vision. Athletes compete in three events, which are non-gender specified: single-person keelboats, three-person keelboats and two-person keelboats. At the London 2012 Games, 80 athletes competed in three medal events.

New Sign Jubilee Sailing Trust LTD is an international, United Nations accredited disability charity, promoting integration through the challenge and adventure of tall ship sailing. They provide life-changing adventures to people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of physical ability. Our voyages change lives by improving self-esteem, building confidence, and providing fantastic leadership and life skills. When you sign on, you are signing on to be a member of the crew. They hope to break down barriers and correct misconceptions around disability. They allow people to challenge their own perceptions and prejudices and their voyages enable people to push the boundaries and open themselves up to new opportunities. Although they take people from the UK they also accept people from other places. Although these trips cost, they suggest ways to raise funds for one's trip.


Sailing Alternatives, Inc. is a non-profit corporation offering daily sailing instruction, competitive race training and therapy and rehabilitation to people with many different disabilities. Their staff "help make any adaptations to let people enjoy the sport of sailing." Although located in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, Florida, there are announcements of events for people who may live elsewhere.

Sailing Web offers an extensive list of accessible sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. The website lists accessible sailing clubs, competitions and regattas open to people with disabilities as well as accessible sailboats.

US Sailing via their Sailors with Disabilities program provides adaptive sailing programs in locations throughout the United States. To find a program in your area, visit their website.

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State Listings


Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors is a non-profit organization dedicated to making all aspects of sailing accessible. They offer dinghy sailing every Saturday and keelboat sailing every Sunday out of South Beach Marina, adjacent to AT&T Park. Their keelboat fleet includes four keelboats, each specially rigged and equipped with adaptive features to make sailing the San Francisco Bay possible for people with disabilities. Additionally, we have 23 Access Dinghies, ranging in size from 8 to 14 feet long, all of which are specifically designed for people with disabilities. Some of these are equipped with servo motors so that people with severe physical disabilities can sail solo. Through our sailing programs, participants learn to sail by themselves in the dinghy program and as part of a crew in the keelboat program. Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors, Pier 40, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, California 94107, Sail Mail Number: 415-281-0212 or send Email to: info@baads.org


Judd Goldman Sailing Center offers the adaptive sailing program with the help of the Judd Goldman Sailing Foundation and the Chicago Park District. The Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program (JGASP) includes classroom and on-water instruction for the physically disabled. The fleet consists of eight Freedom 20's, eleven Sonars and four 2.4 meter sailboats. The Freedom 20's were built specifically for disabled sailors and have many safety features that make this boat the premier boat of choice for a disabled sailing program. The Sonar and the 2.4 meter boats are for more advanced racing sailors and are used in world disabled championships, such as the Paralympics. All boats are very stable and will not capsize. For more information, contact the Judd Goldman Sailing Center, Burnham Harbor (one block West of Planetarium), 1362 S. Lynn White Drive, Chicago, IL 60605-2470, call seasonal phone number: (312) 747-7684 or e-mail at: jgasf@juddgoldmansailing.org

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Community Boating, Inc. Boston has a Universal Access Program for people with disabilities. Advance registration is required. Call and speak to Marcin Kunicki at 617-523-1038 extension 24 or email usThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , to make a reservation. Also, please download the 2012 Universal Access Participation Waiver which must be filed out prior to going out on a boat. In the Universal Access Program, persons with disabilities and their guests will have the use of specialized, accessible sailboats and transfer equipment, dedicated staff assistance to get in and out of the boats, and sailing instruction, all for only $1.00! For more information contact, Community Boating, Inc., 21 David Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02114, or call: (617)523-1038 or send e-mail to info@community-boating.org

Piers Park Sailing Center in Boston Harbor offers the Adaptive Sailing Program is a nationally recognized non-profit sailing program which has served over one thousand people with disabilities since the programís inception in 2007. In 2009, US Sailing awarded PPSC as the Best Community Program for disabled sailors. In 2010, we were honored to be designated a Paralympic Sports Club. PPSCís program objectives are to empower our sailors with disabilities to realize their recreational goals using adapted teaching methods and a full array of adapted equipment. Our sailors tell us that while learning the important sailing skills, they are rewarded with a sense of confidence while being challenged by the sport of sailing. The sailing center has a free e-mail newsletter - subscribe on their website. For more information, contact Piers Park Sailing Center,
95 Marginal Street East Boston, MA, 02128, USA, Phone +1-617-561-6677, FAX +1-617-561-0564 or e-mail info@piersparksailing.org

Salem Maritime National Historic Site offers a fully accessible tall ship. If you are in Salem, be sure to visit this historic replica tall ship. Friendship of Salem is fully accessible through a ramped gangway and a wheelchair lift from the main deck to the lower deck. The tall ship is one of many exhibits at this national historic site and is a replica of Salem East Indiaman Friendship launched in 1797. Friendship is open to the public from 9 to 5 in July and August; the rest of the year she is available by tour only. It's always a good idea to call the Orientation Center at Salem Maritime, 978-740-1660, to confirm the tour schedule. Friendship is a fully operational sailing vessel. At this time, however, only NPS staff and her volunteer crew can sail her because of U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

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New Jersey

Adaptive Sailing is a New Jersey based 501c3, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of the Physically Challenged and Visually Impaired. Team building and personal achievement are fostered through their Sailing Programs, adapted to meet the needs of the individual. For more information contact them at Adaptive Sailing, Inc., PO Box 703, Sussex, NJ 07461, Live Customer Care Center at 973-945-2299 or e-mail form on their website.

Rhode Island

Shake-A-Leg Inc. is a non-profit group based in Providence, Rhode Island, that allows the disabled to experience sailing, and uses it as a form of therapy as well. The group has different programs for different age groups and types of disabilities, and sponsors sailing events as well. If you would like more information, check out their homepage or e-mail them at shake@shakealeg.org. They can also be reached via US mail at Shake-A-Leg, Inc., 76 Dorrance Street, Suite 300, Providence, RI 02903, or call (401) 421-1111 or fax them at (401) 454-0351.

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Milwaukee Community Sailing Center offers free adaptive sailing during the summer for people with disabilities. They have partnered with the Office of People with Disabilities of Milwaukee to offer boat rides. For those requiring assistance for boarding a boat they have a hoyer lift and they have a specialty seat for those requiring adaptive seating. Enjoy the freedom and independence of a ride on the Great Lake, Lake Michigan. For more information, contact Holly Davenport at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center at (414)277-9094 or send e-mail to info@sailingcenter.org The Milwaukee Community Sailing Center will be the site of the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships, September 5th-8th, 2013. The Championships are still in the planning stage, information to be forthcoming.

Wisconsin Hoofer Sailing Club - Accessible Sailing, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison offers accessible sailing. You must be a member of the Wisconsin Union to participate in Hoofer Activities. For the Hoofer Sailing Club audio recordings of sailing manuals, as well as sign language interpreters can be provided when requested in advance. In order to make the best and safest accommodations the Accessible Sailing Program offers an assessment and planning opportunity through the UW Adapted Fitness and Personal Training program. This will provide their staff with an opportunity to decide the best way to get in and out of boats and what the best accommodations will be to make your sailing activities as independent and as successful as possible. Adaptive Sailing participants are eligible for a 50% discount on the regular Hoofer Sailing Club price due to a "Bessman" fund to encourage participation in sailing by those with physical disabilities. For more information on joining, call (608) 262-1630 or visit the website.

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Country Listings


Access Dinghy Foundation exists to "make a difference" to the lives of those people who are often the forgotten members of our community - the disadvantaged, the elderly, and the disabled. Access Dinghy is not about disabled sailing, but the inclusion of all people into sailing. Sailing is the ideal catalyst which brings together members of the whole family and community. It integrates disability and helps able bodied people to understand disability, it fosters racial harmony, includes minorities and the elderly as well as females, and involves young children in a clean and natural, environmentally friendly activity which is good for them, and good for the whole community. Through the universal design of the Access Dinghy company to build boats that are easily used, the Access Dinghy Foundation concentrates their resources on the development of what they call "accessible sailing" programs which make sailing available to everyone regardless of age, physical capability and financial status. An example of this "sailing for everyone" philosophy is the enormously successful (www.sailability.org)"Sailability" network that is rapidly expanding throughout the world. People with all levels of disability are welcomed to Access Dinghy sailing. Whilst these boats are not specially designed for those with a disability, the inherent design features allow the most severely disabled sailors to participate. Access Dinghy Foundation Inc, 9/4 Cumberland Avenue, South Nowra, NSW 2541, Australia, Postal: PO Box 5048, Nowra D.C. NSW 2541, Australia Ph: 61 (0)2 4403 0595, Fax: 61 (0)2 4403 0598, or e-mail info@accessdinghy.org

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Disabled Sailing Association (DSA) of Alberta provides Albertans with disabilities an opportunity to access sailing opportunities. In each of their programs they promote independence and community involvement. A DSA membership will give individuals an opportunity to participate in sailing lessons, leisurely and competitive sails as well as in a number of special events. For more information, call (403) 238-0689.

Sail Able Association of Nova Scotia is a registered, non-profit, organization located in the Halifax, Canada area. Their mission is to promote the integration of persons with disabilities into the recreation of sailing for pleasure and/or competitive sailing. Free Spirit Wing on WingSail Able is operated entirely by its members and volunteers who help raise the funds necessary to keep the program afloat. The annual membership fee of only $25 per year allows each member to sail on our sailboat often from June 25 until the end of August. With their two Martin 16ís acquired as a result of a very successful Mobility Cup 2007, they can offer our members the opportunity to learn to sail. Sip and puff technology is now onboard and ready for high quads or others that have difficulty grasping objects with their hands. They also have a Spectrum lift to assist with getting on and off the boat. There is nothing to stop you from getting out on the water, sailing on your own. For more information contact them at Sail Able Nova Scotia, PO Box 33018, Quinpool RPO, Halifax, NS B3O 4T6 or contact them by e-mail at nssailable@gmail.com.

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