Shasta Disabled Sports Speaks to Outdoor Leadership Students

For Immediate Release


REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University Outdoor Leadership students learned about the rewards and challenges of making outdoor activities more accessible to those with disabilities during a recent presentation by Shasta Disabled Sports.

Board member Donna Boyd spoke to about 15 students Dec. 5, explaining the opportunities available to utilize their hands-on outdoor skills and leadership training with the nonprofit organization based in Mount Shasta.

Shasta Disabled Sports, a chapter member of the national Disabled Sports USA organization, offers summer recreation programs; a ski buddy program that connects volunteers with skiers with disabilities; adaptive ski lessons; and adaptive equipment that can be checked out for free to members.

Its mission “is to provide year-round recreational and athletic opportunities for people with special needs,” something the volunteers who work with the organization find immensely rewarding, regardless of the effort involved, Boyd said.

Boyd teaching through video

“You can’t know what it feels like for someone largely trapped in a wheelchair to ski down a slope,” she said. “It’s easy to forget how magical it is for them. But seeing it through their eyes is what keeps me fired up about it.”

Boyd, who also spoke to Outdoor Leadership students last semester, brought some adaptive equipment with her, including a Bi-Ski, Outrigger Skis, and a Snow Slider Walker.

Boyd demonstrating adaptive skis

Boyd has a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership development. As an outdoor professional, she has certifications in ski instruction, adaptive ski instruction, wilderness medicine, and river rescue.

Students and others interested in helping skiers and snowboarders with disabilities can participate in free training this winter at Mt. Shasta Ski Park. Many opportunities exist for helping with Shasta Disabled Sports outings in the summer as well. For more information, email

“We were delighted to bring Donna back to speak to our students with her wealth of education and experience,” said Amy Smallwood, associate professor of outdoor leadership and chair of the Leadership Studies Department. “We hope to teach our students the importance of equality in the pursuit of outdoor adventure and recreation. These activities can and should be made available to anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s great for students to be aware that there are ways to make that happen, regardless of physical or mental disabilities.”

Simpson University is the only private college or university on the West Coast to offer an Outdoor Leadership major. The program is designed to prepare students for leadership careers in adventure-based outdoor programs, outdoor education programs, state and national park systems, camps, and more. Learn more at




Photos by Deanna Sloger / Donna Boyd, a board member of Shasta Disabled Sports, demonstrates adaptive skiing equipment and speaks to Simpson University outdoor leadership students about opportunities to work with those with disabilities.


Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit


Contact: SU Public Relations
(530) 226-4737