Adaptive Skating

The U.S. Figure Skating Adaptive Program offers recreational and competitive avenues for skaters with physical and intellectual disabilities to thrive. Through skating and artistic skill development, skaters will construct a foundation to build success on and off the ice. Rinks, programs and clubs offer adaptive skating programs for skaters of all ages and experiences.

Inspiration to Grow



The Adaptive Program offers two distinct and supportive tracks for skaters with disabilities: Special Olympics and Skate United. Both tracks enable skaters to progress in the sport they love at their own pace. Each offers comprehensive programming in a safe and supportive environment with qualified coaches to assist with well-rounded growth. 

Click here to find an Adaptive Skating program near you

Click here to read the Adaptive Skating Manual

Read about the Skating Accommodation Memorandum (S.A.M.) here

Access the Skating Accommodation Memorandum (S.A.M.) form here

A group of Special Olympics speed skaters race to the finish line wearing hockey skates.

Special Olympics

The Special Olympics track supports skaters with intellectual disabilities to excel in figure skating. This track offers both recreational and competitive opportunities. Programming different depending on your location. Click here to visit the Special Olympics figure skating page for more details. 

Click here to find a Special Olympics program near you

A young skater in a green and black dress competes a program center ice.

Skate United

Skate United encourages skaters with physical disabilities to utilize their skills in recreational or competitive settings. The Skate United track offers opportunities for skaters to develop high-level skating skills. 

Click here to read the Adaptive Skating Manual

Start an Adaptive Program

Ice rinks, figure skating clubs and Learn to Skate USA programs can start their own Adaptive Skating program. Click here to complete the interest form, and we'll outfit you with the tools and resources you need to offer an Adaptive Program for your skaters. 

For additional questions, please contact

Elaine Theisen Fund

Established in 2012, the Elaine Theisen Diamond Fund for Special Olympics and Adaptive Skating provides grants to Special Olympics/Adaptive Skating programs or to member clubs who wish to enhance their operations to attract, involve and encourage new generations of skaters.

Your contacts for this area of interest

Headshot of a Caucasian woman smiling. She has shoulder length red hair with bangs. She is wearing a black shirt and a dainty necklace.
Susi Wehrli McLaughlin
Senior Director, Membership
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Courtney Fecske
National Vice Chair, Adaptive Skating Committee
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Tappie Dellinger
Special Olympics North Carolina Sports Development Team Director