I have something I'll share! I've been with Adaptive Ski at the Santa Fe Ski Area for 6 years now. I had my first visually impaired student last year. I took the assignment because someone else was afraid to do it because she stated she "had no training for that!" Neither had I. But I did it anyway. We had a great time and Feliz started skiing well even though she had broken her ankle the previous year due to a bad experience. Her parents asked for me again this year. I also went to the Hartford Ski Spec in Breckenridge on Dec 5-9, 2010 and actually took clinics on teaching and guiding for V.I. students. Then I came back to Santa Fe.
This past week, I had a new visually impaired student to teach. She was a 7 year old girl from Tulsa, OK. She had one skiing experience in France at age four, so it was like starting anew. I worked with other instructors, but was the lead instructor for this student for 6 days of lessons. I did miss 2 days of the lessons due to other commitments but on the third day with this little girl, she was skiing solo! We were able to get her to let go and ski between us with just verbal commands to turn, slow down and stop. She could ski the most difficult of our beginner runs without holding on to anyone or any thing and did it from top to bottom.
We spent the next two days just skiing with her and also working with her dad on how to verbally guide her down the hill. By the time she was ready to leave on Friday, her dad could talk her down the hill, making it possible for her to ski with her family in the future. We became great friends, Annie and me! I can't wait for her to come back again.
Her folks are going to try to bring her back before this ski season ends! The best comment she made all week was when I asked her after she solo'd the first time. I asked her, what was it like skiing without holding on to anything? She replied that it was like "flying like a bird!" You just can't beat that for being rewarding!!!