Frequent Questions and Answers

What is SportAbility of Iowa?

SportAbility of Iowa is a nonprofit organization that provides adaptive and inclusive sport and recreation programs to people of all ages with physical disabilities and visual impairments throughout the eastern Iowa Corridor.

What do you mean by "adaptive" and "inclusive?"

The word “adaptive” indicates that our activities and equipment are modified according to each individual’s needs to allow successful participation in our programs.

Inclusion means all participate and all belong. SportAbility of Iowa strongly believes in inclusion, and we invite people with and without disabilities to participate in our programs.

Who can participate in Sportability of Iowa programs?

Anyone, with or without a physical disability or visual mpairment, with age-appropriate cognitive functioning can participate in our programs.

What are some benefits of Adaptive Sports?

Recent studies indicate that people with physical disabilities or visual impairments 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
  • greater independence

Do I need to be in good shape to participate in Adaptive Sports?

You can participate in adaptive sports at any level for fun and recreation or to meet personal fitness goals. If you are ready for the next level, you might consider training to become an elite athlete who could possibly compete on the Paralympic level.

What is the difference between Sportability of Iowa and Special Olympics?

The major difference is cognitive functioning. SportAbility of Iowa is a Paralympic Sport Club and offers programs for individuals who have physical disabilities and/or visual impairments with age-appropriate cognitive functioning. Although persons who participate in Special Olympics may have a physical disability or a visual impairment, if their primary disability is impaired cognitive functioning, we regret that our programs do not meet their needs.

How much do Sportability of Iowa programs cost?

Most of our programs are offered free of charge. Some programs, including our camps and clinics, have fees to cover the cost of food, and equipment and facility rental.

What if I can't afford to pay?

Because of the generosity of our donors, SportAbility never turns away those with an inability to pay. If you need financial assistance to participate in one of our programs, please contact us.

My brother has a sport chair he no longer uses. Will you accept it as a donation?

Yes! We welcome all in-kind donations that are in good, usable condition.

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes! SportAbility of Iowa is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

As a veteran, how can I learn more about the sports available to me?

The best way to learn about opportunities is to talk to your VA clinical team who can help you choose the right sport. The U.S. Paralympics website also has a chart that will help you determine the sports available to you based on your disability.

What annual national sports programs can I participate in as a veteran?

The National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic promotes rehabilitation of body and spirit by teaching summer sporting activities to Veterans with significant physical or psychological impairments. The clinic offers such sports as surfing, sailing, kayaking, track and field, and cycling to Veterans who are newly injured from amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other neurological disorders.

The National Disabled Veterans Winter Clinic promotes rehabilitation by instructing Veterans with disabilities in adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing and introducing them to a number of other adaptive recreational activities and sports. Participants include Veterans with spinal cord injuries, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, neurological challenges and visual impairments.

The National Veterans TEE Tournament uses a therapeutic format to promote rehabilitation, fellowship and camaraderie among participants. The TEE tournament also provides legally blind and eligible disabled Veterans an opportunity to develop new skills and strengthen their self-esteem through adaptive golf and bowling events.

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the largest annual wheelchair sports competition in the world. It promotes rehabilitation through rigorous competition in basketball, rugby, softball, handcycling and other sports. This event offers 17 different sports to Veterans who use wheelchairs due to spinal cord injuries, amputations and neurological diseases.

If you have questions that have not been addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

*all FAQ information for veterans taken from United States Department of Veterans Affairs website.

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