New Resource: Adaptive Sports Booklet

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on February 13, 2023 # News

Bird WatchingAdaptive sports and recreational activities help people lead lives defined not by what they can’t do, but by what they can.

Playing sports boosts overall physical health, reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease, high blood sugar and weight gain, and improves mood and self-esteem. Joining a team, or developing new hobbies, can also provide critical social connections that bring joy to life.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation recently published “Adaptive Sports and Recreation,” a booklet that provides a comprehensive overview of the array of sports and recreational opportunities available to people living with paralysis, from local bowling and soccer leagues to Paralympian-level training. It contains tips for avoiding injuries, information about veteran-specific programs and competitions, and an in-depth sampling of organizations and institutions across the country that offer activities ranging from boccia and cycling to community choirs and bird-watching clubs.

In addition, the booklet spotlights the experiences of individuals like Virginia Rose, a retired high school English teacher who sustained a T10 injury when she was 14 years old. About two decades ago, on a whim, Rose attended a birding seminar at the Travis Audubon Society in Austin, Texas. She arrived at the event curious; she left a convert.

“I was totally hooked,” she says.

Rose, who has never let the wheelchair limit the scope of her life, quickly became an avid birder, leading local classes and walks, and eventually launched Birdability, a non-profit dedicated to making birding inclusive and the outdoors accessible to everyone. When the National Audubon Society heard about the effort, they invited Rose to speak at its annual conference and collaborated on a crowd-sourced accessibility map that now includes more than a thousand birding sites around the world.

“I found lifelong purpose and community,” Rose says. “The empowerment that comes from opening a door, looking in, and saying, ‘I can do that.’ And that’s for anything, not just birding.”

“Adaptive Sports and Recreation” can be downloaded directly from the Reeve Foundation’s publications page or ordered in print from an Information Specialist.

Additional information on paralysis-related topics ranging from bowel and bladder management to sexual health is available from the National Paralysis Resource Center by contacting an Information Specialist at or by calling 1-800-539-7309.

Photo by Freya Mc

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.