Adaptive Sports Association Winter Volunteer Handbook 19-20
Please read through each section of the handbook, then check yes, print name and date on the bottom to acknowledge understanding.

The mission of the Adaptive Sports Association is to provide outdoor sport and recreational experiences for people with disabilities. These activities are provided regardless of individual financial limitations and create an atmosphere for learning and enhancing self-esteem.

ASA is a qualified not-for-profit organization [501(c)3], and as such is not funded by any state or federal agency. We are entirely dependent upon our members’ donations, grants, program fees and fundraising events for monies to sustain our programs. We ask all volunteers to become ASA members by making an annual donation to the organization at a level compatible with your personal finances.

The Adaptive Sports Association was founded in 1983 by Dave Spencer, is a chapter member of Disabled Sports USA and is a qualified not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The employer ID number is 94-2938093 and the state exemption number is 98-05441.
ASA recruits potential volunteers through media and by word of mouth. We are responsible for training our adaptive ski and snowboard instructors to meet the standards outlined by our training staff. ASA is made up of volunteers, paid staff and a volunteer Board of Directors. Volunteers are supervised by paid staff, who in turn report to the Board of Directors. The ASA Board of Directors and staff reserve the right to make additions or deletions to this handbook if and when necessary.
These policies and procedures cover general guidelines for all volunteers at ASA. Certain disciplines have additional documents that detail policies and procedures specific to the disciplines. These include tethering stand-up and sit-down skiers, mono/bi, 4-track (including slider and walker), visually impaired, and ski bike. It is the responsibility of the instructor to understand and follow all applicable policies and procedures for the disciplines in which they are instructing or assisting. Copies of these additional documents are available in both hard copy and electronic form and can be obtained from the program office. Questions should be directed to the ASA Program Director. ASA carries Commercial General Liability insurance coverage for all covered activities. As a trained ASA volunteer instructor, you are covered under that policy should an incident occur. However, ASA has no health insurance or workers’ compensation insurance for volunteers.

OBJECTIVE: Provide safe, fun, and meaningful adaptive lessons to ASA students.

1. Lessons are scheduled in advance using the sign-up sheets in the Dave Spencer Center or via email, phone calls or Facebook. Sign up for days on which you would like to teach. If you aren’t needed on that day, we will notify you ahead of time. If you don’t hear from us, come in that day to teach - we are depending on you.

2. PLEASE call at least 48 hours in advance if you cannot teach on a day for which you signed up: 970-385-2163 (if you need to reach someone immediately, you can call the ASA cell phone at 970-403-6522). Please DO NOT call administrative staff at home or on personal cell phones! We’ll get the message just as quickly if you leave a voicemail at the mountain.

3. Check in and get your lift ticket at the Dave Spencer Center by 9:00 AM on your scheduled teaching day. Lessons start at 10:00 AM and end at 3:00 PM. Arriving one hour prior to lessons ensures that you have enough time to prepare. Many school groups arrive before 10:00 AM to get geared up.

4. Read your student's file and ask administrative staff any questions you may have. Check to ensure your student has filled out the proper paperwork and notify administrative staff if not complete. Be sure to greet your student immediately upon arrival.

5. Ask appropriate questions to determine student's physical capacity, stamina, and endurance. Example: What kind of physical exercise do you do every week? Have you experienced any symptoms of altitude sickness? Did you eat breakfast this morning?

6. Make sure your student has a lift ticket.

7. Equip your student, including appropriate clothing for the day, proper boot-fitting, sunscreen, etc. (We have plenty of extra clothing, hats, gloves, sunscreen & more - if you need something which you can’t find, just ask us.)

8. Have a safe, fun lesson with your student.

9. Stay with your student during the lesson. Be sure lunch arrangements are made prior to the start of the lesson. Volunteers are usually not required to spend their lunch break with students.

10. At the end of the day, complete your student's evaluation form in the student's file, and return the equipment to the appropriate place, including any adaptive equipment.

11. If an accident/incident occurs, after safety has been ensured for everyone involved, an incident report form must be filled out immediately upon returning to the Dave Spencer Center. (See also the section on accidents & reporting)

12. Report any damaged/unsafe equipment to the program staff.

1. ASA Membership at ANY financial level (this could be $100 or $1)

2. Ability to comfortably ski/snowboard blue runs (intermediate level or better).

3. Ability to communicate effectively.

4. Patience, persistence, sound judgment & enthusiasm.

5. Willingness to listen, follow directions and adhere to ASA teaching techniques and policies.

6. Willingness to increase knowledge and skills related to various disabilities.

7. Appearance, dress, personal hygiene, ski courtesy, and behavior which meet Purgatory Resort and ASA standards.

8. Ability to act in a professional manner at all times.

9. Willingness to have fun.

We welcome volunteers under the age of 16 on a case-by-case basis. All ASA volunteers under the age of 16 are deemed “shadow” volunteers. Anyone who is wanting to participate as an ASA volunteer who is 15 years and younger must be completely hands off on lessons. Please contact the Program Director with any questions.

Safety: Your first priority is to ensure the safety of your student at all times.
Fun: Make the day fun! Your student should leave wanting to ski again.
Learning: A safe, fun environment for your student is ideal for learning. It will be extremely difficult to make any progress with skills if your student doesn’t feel safe and/or isn’t having a good time.

1. Complete all required trainings (or equivalent):
a. Orientation: 1 hour off-snow (orientation or equivalent is required). Orientations will be held at the Durango Rec Center.
b. Introduction to Teaching Skiing/Snowboarding Progressions (SKI/SB A): on-snow (required for all new volunteers– covers teaching progression)
c. Introduction to Teaching Disabilities (SKI/SB B): on-snow (required for new volunteers– focuses on adaptive equipment and techniques and how they relate to teaching progression)
d. Returning Volunteers have their choice of two days of clinics, one being either Ski/SB A or Ski/SB B.
e. Two shadow days with mentor (new volunteers): on-snow– working with an experienced instructor (mentor) with an actual student (required) additional shadow days may be added if desired or deemed necessary.
f. Specialty Clinics: the following clinics are elective but highly recommended: Mono-ski/bi-ski instruction, Visually Impaired instruction, 3-track instruction, 4-track instruction, Ski/snowboard improvement, PSIA certification prep, Advanced instructional clinics, Various other advanced training clinics. All ASA Clinics are based upon the skills and standards developed and distributed by PSIA/AASI-RM. Continuing education opportunities will be offered throughout the season for interested volunteers.

2. Background Check:
a. National criminal background check. This can be filled out online by visiting our website and looking on the Volunteer Forms page. This must be filled out every year!

3. Membership dues (even if it’s $1, any amount you can afford).

1. Daily Lift Passes: Volunteers will be issued a complimentary daily lift ticket on days they teach lessons or attend training clinics. If you are scheduled to teach and your lesson is cancelled after you arrive that morning, every effort will be made to find you a job. If you are not needed, you are still eligible for a free lift pass for that day. Tickets will be issued through the ASA winter program office at Purgatory.

2. Discounted Skiing: Volunteers with ASA have the opportunity to earn discounted skiing at Purgatory either through a daily voucher program or a season pass program. The daily voucher program will work as follows for the 2019-2020 season. For each day that a volunteer works at ASA (after initial training clinics), they will receive a voucher for a $45 lift ticket that will be redeemable at any Purgatory ticket office (Maximum of 5 vouchers per season).
a. These $45 tickets are transferable and can be GIVEN to friends and family members. Please do not abuse this privilege by selling, as this is a huge benefit for ASA volunteers and we do not want to lose it.
b. All efforts are made for someone to be in the office all day, but things happen. Someone WILL (a staff member or office volunteer) write vouchers for earned tickets every day from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM. If you arrive after that time and no one is in the office, call the staff cell phone number (970-403-6522). Please be patient with us if we are not in the office, we are on the snow assisting (or teaching) lessons or floating. We will get down to write vouchers ASAP.
c. Season Passes: Volunteers who work on average three days per month are eligible to
purchase a significantly discounted season pass from Purgatory. ASA volunteer tenant passes will cost $319 for the 2019/2020 season. A signed letter of understanding outlining all the requirements for the program will be required to purchase the season pass. Passes may be revoked if the commitment is not fulfilled. Season pass holders (tenant passes through ASA) are eligible to earn coupons for $45 transferable lift ticket after they have completed their required 10 days of volunteering (also, max of 5 vouchers). If you purchased a Purgatory Season/Power Pass, you are eligible for vouchers after your training clinics have been completed. Please see the program staff if you are interested in a season pass.

3. Ski and Snowboard Clinics: Free ski and snowboard improvement clinics, adaptive ski and snowboard clinics and adaptive certification training are offered to ASA volunteers. Clinics are taught by ASA adaptive trainers and Purgatory Ski and Snowboard School instructors. Check the training calendar or inquire at the Program Office for dates and times.

4. PSIA/AASI Certifications: Volunteers are encouraged to further their education in teaching snow sports. PSIA/AASI is the national governing body for professional ski and snowboard instructors. Joining the organization is a great first step in furthering your education as an instructor. It also provides great “pro deals” on all sorts of winter equipment. Membership is $123 per year. ASA will provide preparatory training for instructors pursuing PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) or AASI (American Association of Snowboard Instructors) certification. ASA will also pay half of registration fees for relevant PSIA/AASI trainings or certifications (at the discretion of program staff). ASA will typically not pay toward “credit clinics” needed to keep certifications current. Transportation and lodging will typically not be covered by ASA.

5. Dave Spencer Center: How cool is it to have a nice, warm place to put on your boots and gear up for a day on the snow instead of changing in the parking lot? Feel free to use the Dave Spencer Center as your “home base”, even when you aren’t volunteering. Please remember to stay out of the way when we’re busy with students and to leave your stuff on shelves or under benches. Doors lock promptly at 4:00 PM.

6. Pro Deals: Volunteers who are eligible for an ASA season pass are also eligible to join our “Expert Voice” team. Expert Voice offers qualified pros discounts on over 125 (not just ski related) brands. Join by going to, creating a profile, and searching for the Adaptive Sports Association. Once you apply to join our team, we will "approve" your application and you will have access to the deals. Please be respectful and follow each manufacturer’s guidelines for purchasing.

7. Discounts: We are finalizing this program for the 19/20 winter season and will have a full list available at trainings. These discounts are for volunteers only. Relatives and friends are not eligible. To qualify for discounts, volunteers must complete all required trainings and be an active member. A volunteer discount card will be issued by office staff once training is completed.

Believe it or not, not all volunteers are avid skiers or snowboarders. We have plenty of need for:
a. Answer phones, take messages
b. Sign in volunteers
c. Prepare new student files
d. Pull student files for next day
e. Miscellaneous tasks such as typing, filing, errands, copying, etc.
f. Assisting with volunteer appreciation
a. Registration for events
b. Race gate keeping, greeting, announcing, starting
c. Photography
d. Transportation
e. In-town public relations
f. Poster distribution
g. Picking up items
h. You name it - what special skill could you donate to ASA?

1. Uniform: Your uniform consists of an ASA jacket, name tag, and dark pants (no jeans please). ASA jackets are not to be worn when free-skiing/snowboarding or on days you are not teaching. Please do not attach daily lift tickets to ASA jackets. Any time you are in uniform, please behave appropriately and professionally, since you are a reflection of ASA and Purgatory! ASA jackets are not to be taken home, unless you are assigned one by the program staff. Jackets are assigned only to instructors who work two or more days each week, and must be returned at the end of the season.

2. Helmets: All participants and volunteers are required to wear a helmet while participating in ASA programming or while skiing in uniform. Failure to comply with this policy will result in dismissal from the program. ASA maintains an inventory of loaner helmets if you or your student do not have one. Proper selection and fit of helmets will be covered during the indoor training portion of the Ski A clinic. If you have questions about selecting a helmet, please see the program office.

3. Bathrooms: FOR LIABILITY REASONS DO NOT GO INTO THE RESTROOM ALONE WITH YOUR STUDENT. Volunteers are not required to assist students who need help using the restroom. If a particular student is in need of assistance, we will typically require a family member, counselor, teacher, or staff member to be available to assist the student.

4. Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: It is absolutely prohibited for ASA volunteers or staff to use alcohol or other recreational drugs (legal or otherwise) while taking part in ASA programs, wearing ASA uniforms, or using ASA equipment. Any violation of this policy will result in immediate termination. Alcohol is strictly prohibited at the Dave Spencer Center. Smoking is not allowed while in ASA uniform.

5. Binding Checks: ASA strongly encourages and advises on-snow volunteers to have their bindings tested by a qualified ski shop. This usually costs about $10.00 and ensures that your bindings will release when needed. Be aware that older bindings may no longer be “indemnified,” meaning the manufacturer will no longer take responsibility if they malfunction. Technically, you are not even allowed on the lifts with non-indemnified bindings. If you have questions about your bindings, you can check with ASA’s equipment manager or with a local ski shop.

6. Employee/Volunteer Protection (Whistleblower): It is the intent of Adaptive Sports Association (ASA) to adhere to all laws and regulations that apply to the organization. If an employee and/or volunteer reasonably believe that some policy, practice or activity of ASA is in violation of law or public policy, said employee and/or volunteer shall file with the Executive Director or any member of the Board of Directors a written complaint describing the alleged wrongful activity, policy or practice. The complaining employee and/or volunteer shall also provide ASA with a reasonable opportunity to investigate and correct the alleged wrongful activity. The protection described below shall extend only to employees and/or volunteers who comply with these requirements.
ASA will not retaliate against an employee and/or volunteer who in good faith has made a protest or raised a complaint against some practice of ASA, or of another individual or entity with whom ASA has a business relationship, on the basis of a reasonable belief that the practice is in violation of law, or a clear mandate of public policy.
ASA will not retaliate against an employee and/or volunteer who discloses or threatens to disclose to a supervisor or a public body, any activity, policy or practice of ASA that the employee and/or volunteer reasonably believes is in violation of law, rule or regulation mandated pursuant to law or is in violation of a clear mandate of public policy concerning the health, safety, and welfare or protection of the environment.

The lift operators, trained by the ski area, are responsible for the safe operations of the lift. Ultimately their judgment will determine the actions of ASA participants and volunteers. Remember, lift operators are your friends! Please treat them as such. Conflicts with mountain personnel should be avoided. If they do arise, they should be directed to the ASA Program Director to handle. (Cell #: 970-403-6522)
Communication with lift operators: Clear communication with lift operators is vital. The lift operators should be made aware of any special needs prior to entering the lift loading area. If you ask for a slow on the load, do not assume you will receive a slow on the offload. Communicate those needs with both the lift operator at the bottom and at the top of the chairlift.
1. The lift operator should be positioned to stop the chair in the event of a mis-load. DO NOT ask the lift operator to assist with a load with a moving chairlift as this could interfere with their ability to hit the emergency stop button. Problems caused by a stop are less significant than those occurring from a mis-load.
2. If it is determined that the lift operator’s assistance is necessary to load a specific student, ask the lift operator to stop the lift then assist with the load and then restart the lift.
3. If the lift is running, ask the lift operator to stay within arm’s reach of the emergency stop button.

Loading and Unloading Procedures
1. Simulate/practice loading and unloading with new students prior to using the actual lift (using a stationary bench).
2. Explain the lift process in detail and establish commands with the student and co-instructors prior to riding.
3. Ensure your student can ski the slopes serviced before venturing onto lift-served terrain.
4. It is the instructor’s responsibility to ensure ski/snowboard equipment is in good working order, and all retention straps and loose clothing/equipment are secured prior to entering the lift-loading area

Riding the Lift
1. Students, staff and volunteers should always ride with the lift bar down.
2. A tether line or safety retention strap is recommended for all inexperienced sit- skiers, as well as any for any other conditions/disabilities that have an increased risk of unpredictable movements and/or falling (i.e. epilepsy/seizures, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy)
3. Any participant who has had a seizure in the last 12 months is required to wear a seizure harness with a tether line on every chair.
4. No more than one sit-down student should ride per chair.
Downloading the Chairlift
1. Downloading (riding down the mountain on a lift) is allowed on Lift 1 (the six- pack) and Lift 4 (Twilight). Be sure to get clear instructions from the lift attendant.

Chairlift Evacuation
1. In the event of a chairlift evacuation, clearly communicate your participant’s needs with the ski patrol responding. Each year, ski patrol conducts evacuation training with adaptive equipment. They are responsible for the evacuation. Follow their instructions.

1. Stay with your student. Ski patrol needs you to advise them of special needs your student may have. Get someone else to report the accident. First, call ski patrol 970-385-2178 Second, call the ASA office 970-385-2163 or the ASA cell phone 970-403-6522.

2. Report exact location of accident. Know the names of the runs you are on. Trail right (skier’s right) or trail left (skier’s left) are as you look down the mountain. Give nature of injury. Example: head, neck, leg, bleeding, possible broken bone, etc.

3. Cross skis/board on uphill side of injured person, sticking up out of the snow and visible uphill.

4. In general, do not move the injured person or take skis/snowboard off, as this could cause further injury. If it is apparent that the injured person is lying awkwardly and that gently removing the skis/snowboard would reduce pain, use your best judgment.

5. If you have a student that requires assistance from ski patrol or other outside help or who takes a fall resulting in their equipment releasing, YOU SHOULD NOTIFY THE ASA PROGRAM OFFICE AND FILL OUT AN INCIDENT REPORT BEFORE YOU LEAVE THAT DAY.

6. Employees, volunteers and directors should refer all media inquiries to Ann Marie Meighan, Executive Director, or in her absence to Klancy Nixon, Program Director.
ASA In-Town Office (970) 259-0374
ASA Mountain Office (970) 385-2163
ASA Cell Phone (970) 403-6522

1. Notify ASA office immediately and provide Information to ASA Staff including:
a. Your location
b. Name of participant
c. Age of participant
d. Last place participant was skiing
e. Where you were skiing
f. Color of clothing
g. Next communication point
h. Any information that may lead to the location of the participant
i. The staff member will take responsibility to begin the search for the missing participant by notifying Mountain Patrol.
j. Initiate documentation to be turned in and reviewed by ASA staff
k. If any instructor finds a lost participant from the ASA program or from the Purgatory children’s ski school, contact the appropriate ski school office so that staff can be informed. Keep the lost participant with you until you receive further directions.

Individuals with degenerative diseases should be reassessed each day they ski/snowboard. They continually face changes in physical endurance, stamina and ability. ALWAYS ask specific questions of your student: Do you work out? Are you as strong physically as your last ski/snowboard experience with us? Where are you comfortable starting your lesson today? NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING!

Skiing can be enjoyed in many ways. At ski areas you may see people using alpine, snowboard, telemark, cross-country, or other specialized ski equipment, such as that used by our program. Regardless of how you decide to enjoy the slopes, always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce. Observe the code listed below and share with other skiers the responsibility for a great skiing/riding experience.

1. Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
2. People ahead/downhill of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
3. Do no stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above.
4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail look uphill and yield to others.
5. Use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
7. Prior to using any lift, have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.
KNOW THE CODE, IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY Note: You are encouraged to teach the responsibility code in all lessons. Increasing the awareness of safe skiing/riding is an important element of your job.

ASA reserves the right to terminate any volunteer for any reason.

In addition to daily clientele, walk-ins and return visits of previous students, ASA participates with various groups to expand the availability of skiing/snowboarding to more people with disabilities.
1. San Juan Shredders: The San Juan Shredders is a weekly ski program designed for local participants, primarily with cognitive disabilities. Students will go through several weeks of training. This training will culminate with a huge, fun, race event called ShredFest. This will be the biggest day of the season, taking place Friday, March 13th. Not only is this race the most exciting day of the year for these athletes, but for the community as well.

2. Scholarship/Learn to Ski Weeks: These skiers spend four days skiing with us and stay in the homes of Durango families. Their experiences are the greatest testimonials about ASA accomplishing our mission. Students’ stories relate how wonderful it is to do something previously unimaginable. They are experiencing a sense of new-found freedom and accomplishment. They give the highest praises to our dedicated crew of volunteers. Our program and volunteers truly change lives for the better! Evening activities such as potlucks or meals in local restaurants are often scheduled. Volunteers are very welcome to attend these events.

3. School Groups: Many local schools send groups of students to us. They ski as much as twice per month, or as little as once a season. In any case, their days with us are wonderful and memorable experiences.

4. Other Groups: Various disability support groups (such as Community Connections, San Juan Center for Independence, etc.) send groups of students to us. Typically, these groups ski 2-3 times per season.

DAVE SPENCER SKI CLASSIC –Teams of 5 skiers raise money for ASA and compete for prizes on the race course. This takes place the last weekend of February. Volunteers are encouraged to form teams to participate in the event or work with participants with disabilities. Costumes, of course, are encouraged!

Purgatory Resort 2019-2020
Although ASA is not a part of Purgatory (we are more like a private contractor or commercial tenant), the resort is the major benefactor to this organization. Without Purgatory’s significant donation of facilities, staff, lift tickets, etc. ASA would not be able to offer the opportunities to people with disabilities that are now provided. All interactions with the staff and volunteers at Purgatory and with the general public should be polite, professional and should reflect positively on the ASA community as a whole. All issues should be directed to the ASA Program Director- 970-403-6522.

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