ACA Adaptive Paddling Program
Since 1990, the ACA has led the adaptive recreation industry, training instructors and program providers in the best practices of inclusive paddlesports.
Supporting and enhancing the decades strong ACA National Paddlesport Instruction Program, 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. APW involve hands-on learning in both a classroom and in calm, protected waters.
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 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.
APW have a three-fold purpose:
Provide ACA instructors an opportunity to earn the Adaptive Paddling Instructor Endorsement
Provide non-ACA instructors an opportunity to earn the ACA Certificate of Completion
Provide a skills course for individuals with disabilities
Certificate of Completion
For non-ACA certified instructors
Nationally recognized documentation of successful completion of the APW
Evidence of training to integrate adaptive theory and techniques into your program
Certificate of Completion does not allow you to teach as an ACA certified instructor
For currently certified ACA Paddling Instructors
Additional credentialing on your current ACA instructor certification
APW can be used once as the Update portion of your ACA Instructor certification maintenance requirements for all ACA paddling disciplines except Safety and Rescue
In order to lead the ACA 2 or 4 day APW you must be an Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer
Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer
Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainers are certified to lead 2 or 4 day APW and have authority to issue Adaptive Paddling credentials (Certificate of Completion and Instructor Endorsements)
To start an Instructor Trainer candidacy you must first be a currently certified ACA Instructor with the Adaptive Paddling Endorsement for 2 years
Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer candidacy is a mentoring process that is completed over multiple APWs in different venues
During the mentoring process you must successfully demonstrate all criteria in the Guide to Becoming and Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer
Adaptive Paddling Instructor Endorsement Criteria (PDF)
Guide to Hosting an APW (2-Day / 4-Day)
Guide to Becoming an Adaptive Paddling Instructor Trainer (Word / PDF)