Disabled Sailing

Photo of a disabled person sailing a small boat
Disabled sailor sailing a small boat.

Sailing for people with significant physical disabilities got its start in Canada in 1989, when Sam Sullivan used a British-made Sunbird dinghy to launch the first few sails at the Jericho Sailing Centre on English Bay. Today, the Disabled Sailing Association of BC (DSA-BC) operates eight specially designed Martin 16 sailboats and hosts between 800 and 1,000 sailing experiences annually at Jericho and more from its affiliated branches in Victoria, Chemainus and Kelowna. Inspired by DSA-BC and Sam Sullivan's efforts to expose more and more people with very high levels of physical disabilities to the sport, adaptive sailing has now spread across Canada, throughout the US and around the world. Disabled sailing now plays a major role in the Summer Paralympics every four years.

Photo of a sailing assistant with a disabled sailor.
Assisted sailing.

Canada – national

Canadian Yachting Association: Sailors With Disabilities:

The AbleSail Network website has a list of links to other sites for disabled sailing organizations in Canada by province. See AbleSail Network's member programs are not-for-profit organizations that provide accessible sailing programs.

U.S. – national

Sailability: https://www.sailability.org/

US Sailing: Sail Without Limits—Adult Adaptive Sailing

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The Web Diva for the Accessible Techcomm website since 2012. Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. STC member since June 1979. A founder and former webmaster for the STC Special Needs Committee, which became the STC AccessAbility SIG (2001-2011).