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Adaptive Paddling Curriculum

ACA Adaptive Paddling ProgramCanoeing & Kayaking for People with Disabilities

Since 1990, the ACA has been a leader in adaptive recreation by offering training to instructors and program providers in the best practices of inclusive paddlesports.

The ACA Adaptive Paddling Program offers programming to support and enhance the decades strong National Paddlesport Instruction Program. Through train-the-trainer programs, the Adaptive Paddling Program teaches the skills and knowledge needed to outfit, equipment and modify teaching styles to allow people of all abilities to participate in paddlesport activities as safely, as comfortably, and with the same performance potential as all others.

Adaptive Paddling Workshops

At the core of the ACA Adaptive Program, Adaptive Paddling Workshops (APWs) provide the information necessary to seamlessly integrate individuals with physical disabilities into outdoor recreation programs in the context of paddlesports.  APWs focus on five key topics: (1) Language, Etiquette and Interaction, (2) The Legal Context, (3) Cultivating Seamless Integration, (4) Adaptive Outfitting Concepts & Goals, and (5) Mechanics of Adaptive Outfitting for Paddlesports.

These workshops are designed to provide instructors, outfitters, recreation program providers, and rehabilitation professionals with the information they need to integrate paddlers with disabilities into their programs. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, a person may not be excluded from a program just because they have a disability. Program providers need to be prepared to integrate persons with disabilities into existing programs. This course includes classroom, hands-on learning, an on-water pool session and open water paddling.  

An Adaptive Paddling Workshop (APW) has a three-fold purpose:

  • Train currently certified ACA instructors to earn the Adaptive Paddling Instructor Endorsement
  • Educate and provide assisting individuals with an ACA Certificate of Completion
  • Provide a skills course for individuals with disabilities

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