VA Adaptive Sports

VA Clinical Personnel

Promote Adaptive Sports to Your Disabled Veteran Patients

As part of the medical team behind the successful recovery and reintegration of disabled Veterans back into community, consider adaptive sports as part of your recommendations. A 2009 survey commissioned by Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA) found that 85%of adults with disabilities report that being physically active has significantly improved their quality of life.

As the frontline authority on health for your patients, you should know that the VA National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Office is here to support you and ensure you have the information you need to get disabled Veterans actively participating in adaptive sports at VA facilities and in local sports programs. The Program Office has developed an Outreach Tool Kit that you can request by sending an email to vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov. The Tool Kit includes tools (e.g., posters, stickers and a Fact Sheet / FAQ) as well as recommendations on how to promote the benefits of adaptive sports to your patients, their families, caregivers and other VA personnel. Additionally, here are a few ways you can actively support adaptive sports:

  • Suggest Sports. Put up posters at your medical center or community clinic that invite disabled Veterans to ask you about adaptive sports. You can also hand out stickers, including to co-workers and colleagues or keep a pile on your desk. Both stickers and posters are available to VA personnel from the VA Paralympic Office.
  • Get Out in the Community. Consider hosting a sports clinic at a local gym or recreation center with disabled Veterans who want to try adaptive sports. The VA Paralympic Office can suggest resources to help you, including staff that has successfully held these events. You can also attend events in your area to meet disabled Veterans and learn more about adaptive sports.
  • Partner Up. Use the Sports Club Finder to locate sports programs in your area and connect with local Veteran organizations to share information about adaptive sports programs and resources available to your community's Veterans. Work together to help maximize resources while reinforcing the benefits message of adaptive sports.
  • Spread the Word. Get to know who your local and regional VA Public Affairs Officers (PAOs) are and consider working with them to promote adaptive sports through VA communication channels, such as newsletters, events or website articles. Suggest to your patients who have realized benefits from adaptive sports to contact the PAOs and share their stories.

Adaptive Sports Clinics

Interested in planning an Adaptive Sports Clinic for disabled Veterans at your VA facility? Adaptive Sports Clinics provide disabled Veterans with the tools they need to participate in physical activity as a form of rehabilitation, recreation and recovery. They play a critical role in empowering disabled Veterans to take charge of their own rehabilitation in a way that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Adaptive Sports Clinics prove to disabled Veterans that they can challenge themselves, get fit and obtain a sense of personal accomplishment and satisfaction.

Check out these examples of some easy steps you can take to successfully plan an:

Still have questions? Email us at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov and we'll connect you with expert VA clinical personnel who have successfully planned and implemented adaptive sports clinics.

Want to learn more about programs and services related to healthcare, employment, education and other topics? Visit the National Resource Directory (www.NRD.gov).