Adaptive sports are played by people with physical, cognitive (e.g., Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury) or visual disabilities.
Recent studies indicate that disabled Veterans who participate in adaptive sports report benefits such as:
- less stress
- reduced dependency on pain and depression medication
- fewer secondary medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension)
- higher achievement in education and employment
- more independence
Both “Paralympic” and “adaptive” can be used when referring to recreational sports for those with a physical or visual disability. To keep things simple, we use the term “adaptive sports” when referring to the programs we are promoting. The Paralympic Games is the second largest elite sports competition for people with a physical or visual disability and runs parallel to the Olympic Games, hence the prefix ‘Para.’
The U.S. Paralympics website also has a chart that will help you determine the sports available to you based on your disability.