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Teaching Visually Impaired how to Parallel Turn - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtmt
Hi Cassina: Great job for your first time giving it a try. A couple of thoughts to remember. First, is your friend a couch potato or is she an active and or athletic person. The question of how vision impared is she and for how long will direct you as to what to expect. Does she ski with a buddy or just go with instructors a couple of time a season? Knowing your student's background is very important especially when skiing with a disabled person.

You become the senses that the person has lost. So, the person's safety is foremost in all that you do together. So when you start out you need to know her fears, as well as her strengths. When you were in the lodge did you watch her move around by herself?, use a guide dog, or use the buddy system? That will tell you alot about what might happen on the hill.

Before you put on skis, did you review the type of communication you would use with her? If she has skied for a few seasons then she may have some types of verbal communication she's comfortable with (ie-commands). For instance, the agreed commands that will be used on the hill will be very important to set up before you go out there with lots of noise. How do you tell her to turn right or left or straight, or stop, and or STOPPPP!!!!., in an emergency?

Skiing with a vision impaired person means you are wearing three hats. The first is her guide and buddy; next is her instructor; and finally you're her personal ski patrol friend. So, first build confidence in the lodge then proceed to the slope. Be sure you're up to date on what she already knows and has comfort with before moving on to the next level of activity. Don't move off green terrain until she and you are totally safe and control turning in each direction, speed control, and stop on command. Until those points are reached it's too soon for more advanced terrain and skiing activities. You must set a good foundation or you're an accident waiting to happen.

After all that, now you're ready to move up the hill, still moving safely and controlled in all that you do with her. Basic guiding might sound something like this: At the start, "And forward, hold, hold, hold, and right turn, hold, hold, hold, and left turn, hold, hold, hold, and stop." No inflection, no nervous exciteable voice tones, just confident mono-tone only. This type of communication creates confidence and support. Few words are very important her, as they tend not to confuse the skier, who has to follow your every word and sort them out among snow guns, traffic, ice noise, etc. One last word of caution, before ever using any additional equipment with any skier adaptive or not. Understanding its proper use is a very critical safety issue as some other instructors here have mentioned. Finally, if adaptive ski teaching is of interest to you, be sure to get into a training program where you can be taught properly. You will find lots to do and a whole new world will open up to you.

Two suggestions: First go to the PSIA web site and search under Adaptive. PSIA has many great articles, books, and training manuals available to both coaches and the non-member public. It's a challenge, but alot of fun.

PS: I'm a former Eastern Adaptive Examiner, currently a Level III Alpine and Level III Adaptive coach. Best of luck.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
Hi

I had a chat to the instructor today with respect to the fact that of the 2
blind skiers I had helped only one knew how to side slip and in the situation that I required him to side slip it came about as a result of him
skiing off course on to a black run and I was able to get him to side slip
down. As for the other blind skier she had not been taught how to side slip and the instructor told me that side slipping is not taught to beginners today. Is this correct as I was taught side slipping on my very first day
prior to being allowed on the lift
post #32 of 44
cassina - in which countires system? etc etc etc...

You ask someone in one country and then proceed to check that advice it with someone in a different one... the two teaching systems may or not be the same... etc etc etc....
post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
cassina - in which countires system? etc etc etc...

You ask someone in one country and then proceed to check that advice it with someone in a different one... the two teaching systems may or not be the same... etc etc etc....
I am in New Zealand and was of the impression that structured ski teaching was the same the world over due to the fact that many
southern hemisphere instructors head north in the southern summer
and vise versa. You raise an interesting question in that maybe you
could learn quicker or have better quality instruction to ski in one country than another depending on the ski instruction standard set by the ski instruction controlling authority of that country. I am not an instructor
myself.
post #34 of 44
well many(most) of the instructors I ski with teach 2 seasons each year.... but they say the teaching progressions are not the same.... IIRC the ski school at my regular resort gives them an "orientation" type thingy the first time they arrive explaining what the progression is for the school... so they are all sort of on the same page...

For higher level skiers it does not seem to matter... (good skiing is good skiing) bar the odd quirks - like the canadians will try to make you hunch more

but you were speaking of beginner teaching and that does seem to vary.... eg snowplow/wedge/DTP
post #35 of 44
Oh and that was for regular lessons....

As I stated before our disabled system in Australia is very different to that in North America... we do not have the segregation - our system is integrated into the normal ski school.... So i simply book a lesson with the ski school stating my needs and present my disabled passport when paying for it. Only myself and the ski school need to know that I have even booked an instructor for a disabled lesson... as far as the rest of the world is concerned I am just another client... I have seen a few classes with an amputee learning with friends in regular high school group recently. Of course ski school has simply sent an instructor with disabled quals to take the class.
post #36 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
well many(most) of the instructors I ski with teach 2 seasons each year.... but they say the teaching progressions are not the same.... IIRC the ski school at my regular resort gives them an "orientation" type thingy the first time they arrive explaining what the progression is for the school... so they are all sort of on the same page...

For higher level skiers it does not seem to matter... (good skiing is good skiing) bar the odd quirks - like the canadians will try to make you hunch more

but you were speaking of beginner teaching and that does seem to vary.... eg snowplow/wedge/DTP
Interesting to know there is a world wide difference in the way skiing
progression is taught. While I dont record the reason why I was taught
the side slip as a first day beginner it is surprising that it is not internationally taught on the first day on skis as having side slipping skills I percieve as being quite important for any level of skier who may find themselves on a too steep slope, possibly due to bad weather or taking a wrong turn as the guy I was with did.
post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
Oh and that was for regular lessons....

As I stated before our disabled system in Australia is very different to that in North America... we do not have the segregation - our system is integrated into the normal ski school.... So i simply book a lesson with the ski school stating my needs and present my disabled passport when paying for it. Only myself and the ski school need to know that I have even booked an instructor for a disabled lesson... as far as the rest of the world is concerned I am just another client... I have seen a few classes with an amputee learning with friends in regular high school group recently. Of course ski school has simply sent an instructor with disabled quals to take the class.
All NZ Disabled Skiing Instruction is managed independantly of the ski schools at each ski field. That is not to say if you were disabled and wanted a specialist instructor from a ski school they would not try and help you. In all the NZ job ads I have seen for ski school instructors there has never been any requirement for an additional adaptive qualification.
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
...
As I stated before our disabled system in Australia is very different to that in North America... we do not have the segregation - our system is integrated into the normal ski school....
disski, that can really vary in the states for different reasons. For instance, with children, sometimes the parents want to them to stay mainstreamed, oftentimes people don't know about the disabled programs, which mostly are managed separately from the ski schools. (most in the states are staffed by volunteers, with each program having only a few pros.)

I have taught people with disabilities both as part of the regular ski school and as part of a disabled program. (And, no, my certification is not in one of the disabled disciplines.)
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassina
All NZ Disabled Skiing Instruction is managed independantly of the ski schools at each ski field. That is not to say if you were disabled and wanted a specialist instructor from a ski school they would not try and help you. In all the NZ job ads I have seen for ski school instructors there has never been any requirement for an additional adaptive qualification.

our jobs do not either... but to meet IPSA standards our APSI level 2 accredited need another teaching discipline.... disabled is one of the possibles.... ski school simply record the data in computer....

If my regular instructors are not around we will run through the certifications of the "possibles" that i have not skied with... that gives us some idea what we are looking at...

Ditto if other disabled clients ring to book.... I have given up a disabled cert instructor and switched to another in order to free up a disabled cert instructor for a late request (like on the spot - my changes gave them 2 days).

(for example my canadian instructors are not disabled certs from memory - I can ski with most empathetic and not dogmatic instructors - adaptability is the key)

I like this system because I can have a guy who is an instructor trainer - but also disabled cert... best of both worlds from my perspective....

The deal is all disabled skiers get 50% discount on lifts/lessons.... accompanying guides receive free lift tickets (from memory the second part - I need no guide and that is recorded in my passport - so I cannot be given a "freebie" for friends - hence I do not pay attention to that bit... when I HAVE been helper i have season pass anyway)
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles)
disski, that can really vary in the states for different reasons. For instance, with children, sometimes the parents want to them to stay mainstreamed, oftentimes people don't know about the disabled programs, which mostly are managed separately from the ski schools. (most in the states are staffed by volunteers, with each program having only a few pros.)

I have taught people with disabilities both as part of the regular ski school and as part of a disabled program. (And, no, my certification is not in one of the disabled disciplines.)
ah - tell me more? I can't seem to locate many that will deal with the whole thing via regular ski school. In fact one "normal" ski school gave me very short shift for daring to email them...

Whistler refuse point blank to deal with it - so I guess all Intrawest places would be the same...

Aspen looked the best so far - have to deal with Challenge Aspen but they were prepared to get my regular instructor for me from aspen ....
post #41 of 44
well, I teach at an intrawest resort, and have been assigned children with disabilities within a regular group lesson. (and was able to speak with the caregiver about the type and degree of disability.)
post #42 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles)
If your ski school allows it, get a couple of outriggers, and ski with them, experimenting with the different ways of setting lengths and how it affects skiing. That way, you'll be able to give a better perspective to clients as to how it affects their skiing.
Did not get a chance to play with length settings but we were told of the
adjustments in a seminar so if a client wanted an adjustment done we could do it for them. I am not an instructor just involved as a guide up and down the mountain/helper.
post #43 of 44
it (the tenor of your posts) makes it sound to me like you should transition to instructor. If you can do as well as you can write about, you should be teaching.
post #44 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles)
it (the tenor of your posts) makes it sound to me like you should transition to instructor. If you can do as well as you can write about, you should be teaching.
Thanks for the compliiment and I think I would enjoy teaching
but my own skiing ability has been assessed as being not up to instructor
level and while I would agree that would be case as far as racing, moguals and black slopes full off rocky outcrops (or trees) go. I feel for about 75% of clients I would be fine.

Another issue is my age 48 where as most ski areas like to choose instructors under 30. I do feel despite my age as I learnt to ski at 33 and can still remember what it was like being a beginner
I feel I would have a valuable advantage in my ability to relate to early to
intermediate learners that qualified instructors who learnt to ski when they were kids perhaps do not have. For example in one of my earliest posts I said how I introduced a visually impaired skier from a snow plough to parrallel by getting her to put the tails of her skis together after she had made a turn and while the instructor told me that I should have told her
to put her feet together my reason for telling her to put her tails together
was to avoid any perception she would have of having a crossed tip fall
as I remembered having many when I was learning. She did say that she
felt more comfortable with my instruction than the instructors despite the
fact we were both saying the same thing. It was good to get a reply from
a specialist instructor that had tried this idea with the visually impaired also.
But as I now know methods of ski teaching vary from country to country
and I hope to be helping more disabled skiers thoughout the season and
may develop/pickup other tips to enrich the skiing experience for the disabled and it might be worthwhile to forward them to the ski instruction
certifying authority for inclusion in future instructor training. There is certainly a lot more for me to learn as far as assisting other disabilities and
I will no doubt not be able to help everyone but it has been an enjoyable
challenge so far
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