In the early 1960s a small group of dedicated outdoor enthusiasts, led by the legendary Herb Bradley, began offering ski instruction at the old Forbidden Plateau Ski Lodge for people with physical disabilities and cognitive challenges.
In 1992, the Vancouver Island Skiing for the Disabled Society was officially established at Mount Washington Alpine Resort (MWAR) as a non-profit, charitable society. Adapting techniques based on the teaching methodologies of the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance, volunteer instructors have introduced hundreds of students to the thrill of learning to ski and snowboard.
Known today as the Vancouver Island Society for Adaptive Snowsports (VISAS), the program has grown in recent years to a strong and dedicated team of over 100 volunteers/instructors enthusiastically supported by the MWAR operations staff.
MWAR provides space in the main lodge for our organization to call home as well as accommodating us at the Raven (Nordic) lodge. Along with providing subsidized student lift tickets and equipment rental for VISAS participants, they also have trained and responsive staff to assist students on and off lifts if necessary. MWAR has been an active partner in VISAS’s annual Winter Snowsports Festival, Armed Forces Veterans’ Week and our annual fundraising event – the VISAS Awareness Day.
2019 – 2020 Board of Directors
|Chief Training Instructor||Bob Hodgson|
|Alpine Training Coordinators||Mike Vattheuer, James Cooney|
|Snowboard Training Coordinator||Michelle Schaefer|
|Equipment Manager||Mike Vattheuer, James Cooney|
|Ski Race and Skills Development Team Coordinator||Jen Bowlby|
|Snowboard Race and Skills Development Team Coordinator||Michelle Schaefer|
|Herb Bradley Snowsports Festival||Brian Hammett|
|VISAS Awareness Day||Rae-Lyn Hennessy|
|Veterans Festival||Russ Vida, James Cooney|