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. 

Adaptive Skating Manual

Skating Accommodation Memorandum (S.A.M.) Q&A

Skating Accommodation Memorandum (S.A.M.) Application 

adaptive skaters all stand in a line as they perform on the ice. They are all wearing light blue dresses with a dark blue neckline and belt. One male skater wearing a matching long sleeve blue shirt and black pants holds the hand of the skater in the front of the line.

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. 

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

Click here to read the Skating Accommodation Memorandum (S.A.M.) Q&A

Click here for the Skating Accommodation Memorandum (S.A.M.) Application 

Start an Adaptive Program

Ice rinks, figure skating clubs and Learn to Skate USA programs can start their own adaptive skating program. For questions on how to start an adaptive skating program, 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
U.S. Figure Skating logo
Courtney Fecske
National Vice Chair, Adaptive Skating Committee
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Tappie Dellinger
Special Olympics North Carolina Sports Development Team Director