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Disabled Sports USA and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Grant


As a chapter of Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), Adaptive Expeditions submitted a proposal within DSUSA’s 2018 Veteran Administration Grant. AE proposed to lead development of a new American Canoe Association (ACA) Adaptive Paddling Program Instructor Endorsement, likely to be called the
Advanced Communications Adaptive Paddling Endorsement (AC-AP Endorsement).

The AC-AP Endorsement curriculum will cover best practices for paddlesport instructors to effectively, efficiently, and seamlessly integrate Veterans and all others who have vision impairment or blindness, speech and/or language impacts from Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as individuals who have hearing impairment or deafness. AC-AP Endorsement curriculum will include effective strategies for teaching and learning, risk assessment and management, and effective facilitation of on-water group dynamics for paddlesports programs that include individuals requiring alternative and advanced communications to participate with a high level of success.


The goal of the ACA curriculum development summit shall be to codify the most effective strategies for teaching and learning, risk assessment and management, and effective facilitation of on-water group dynamics for paddlesports programs that include individuals with these disability types. Each summit day will include focused conference room time as well as on-water implementation trial and error.


An application to participate in the 3-day and 3-night ACA curriculum development summit will be created and distributed by early November. Application questions will be designed to assess the applicant’s ability to successfully contribute to the development of the new curriculum. Applicants will be selected based on:


1.) Demonstrated and documented expertise in relevant subject matter.

2.) Demonstrated ability to convey subject matter expertise to sport or outdoor recreation instructional programs in clear, concise, layman’s language.

3.) Demonstrated knowledge of ACA curriculum (especially teaching and learning theory), the ACA Adaptive Paddling Program, and familiarity with ACA process and procedures for adopting new curriculum.


Adaptive Expeditions announces an opportunity to help develop a new Advanced-Communications Adaptive-Paddling Endorsement (AC-AP Endorsement) for ACA: Canoe - Kayak - SUP - Raft - Rescue, the National Governing Body (NGO) for paddlesports.

Travel expenses, single occupancy lodging, per diem, and all meals will be covered for 10-11 selected applicants. Participants will be expected to arrive at the beachfront Barrier Island Education Center at Camp St. Christopher on Seabrook Island, South Carolina in time for dinner on Sunday, May 6, 2018. We will work through 7:30pm on the evening of Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Lodging will be provided on May 9 for those wishing to depart in the morning on May 10.

The resulting product will be a new national level instructor credentialing that will benefit Veterans and all other people who have vision impairment or blindness, hearing impairment or deafness, as well as speech, language, and/or perceptual impacts from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and / or other Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), such as stroke, brain tumor, etc.

Each of the three days will include 9 to 10–hours of session-time, split equally between conference room based theory development and on-water trial and error theory testing. Selected participants will be required to produce 8-10 hours of work (research and information synthesis) prior to the summit.

This project was made possible with funding from Disabled Sports USAand U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of any other party.
Please follow the link below for more information and to apply:




For additional information, please contact Joe Moore.

ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling, stewardship support to help protect paddling environments, and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration, and recreation.

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