Get To Know Our Mission

The National Ability Center empowers individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs.

Who We Are

We are the seekers and explorers, the fun-makers and adventurers. We believe life doesn’t stop unfolding just because we have a (dis)ability. We’re adaptive. Our NAC family draws from decades of experience working with people of all abilities, harnessing the power of specialized equipment, techniques, teaching methods and over 1,900 volunteers.

What We Do

We adapt to make recreation and outdoor adventures accessible to people of all abilities – 365 days a year and across the state of Utah. We’ve got basecamps in Park City, Salt Lake City and Moab! Together, we start with “I CAN,” dream big and cherish every win – be it Paralympic gold, or quality time spent with family and friends.

Who Can Participate

Whether you are a never-ever, an accomplished athlete or somewhere in between, we welcome you, your family and your friends. Most programs cater to those with a different ability, or (dis)ability, and many have been designed with inclusion as a first priority.

Inclusive Programming

As a leader in adaptive recreation and outdoor adventures, we rally around the belief that our differences make us stronger, and that recreating together can change our world. By including family and friends in programming, we strive to reinforce relationships and build support systems that extend beyond the initial program experience. Ask us how you, your family and friends can adventure together.

How It All Began

An Adaptive Sport History

Meeche White and Pete Badewitz, a Vietnam Veteran, start Park City Handicapped Sports Association (PCHSA) – now the National Ability Center, from their home. A grant from the Disabled American Veterans of Utah funded ski lessons for veterans at the base of Park City Mountain.
Meeche serves as Chief of Race for the International Special Olympics Winter Games Alpine Venue in Park City.
Martha Ham, the founder of Splore and Ken Sleight Expeditions, host the first accessible rafting trip on theGreen River setting the foundation of Splore.
Under Martha Ham's leadership, Splore is registerd as a non-profit. Splore soon acquires coveted commercial permits on Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest Land and sections of Colorado and Green River.
Park City Handicapped Sports moves its headquarters from Peter and Meeche’s home to a small 300 sq. ft. office at the base of the Park City.
Park City Handicapped Sports Association hosts its first “Learn to Ski” event with instructor training followed by hands-on instruction for people with disabilities. Over three hundred people attend. The summer cycling program begins and the first outdoor camping trip is planned.
NAC hosts the first Huntsman Cup Alpine Ski Race and our Equestrian program begins.
Splore begins to offer year-round programing in Salt Lake that includes rock climbing, canoeing, and cross-country skiing.
Meeche takes a team of six Special Olympians to Schladming, Austria for participation in the International Special Olympic Winter Games Invitational. This is the first time in the history of Special Olympics that American athletes travel outside the United States of America.
Meeche goes to Austria with the Special Olympics team as Special Olympics Alpine Team USA Head Coach.
National Ability Center operation offices moves from David to its current “temporary building” (the trailer) at the base of Park City Mountain Resort.
Meeche travels to Korea on an exchange program to teach disabled skiing.
26 acres of land are donated anonymously at Quinn’s Junction on the eastern edge of Park City.
Meeche White travels to Toronto to serve as the advanced course technical delegate at the 1997 International Special Olympics Winter Games.
Splore expands, moving to a new location, increasing paid staff, and growing participant and community partner numbers.
Bronfman Family Recreation Center & Ranch dedication. National Ability Center headquarters moves to its current location.
Meeche White serves as the ADA Manager with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.
International outreach goes to Thailand after National Ability Center staff solicited input from schools for individuals with disabilities from countries around the world.
The National Ability Center bobsled team beats the Jamaican bobsled team.
After 23 successful years at the helm of the National Ability Center making her vision into a reality, co-founder, Meeche White, retires.
The National Ability Center Equestrian Program receives Premier Accreditation from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horseman Ship (P.A.T.H.)
18 National Ability Center Athletes compete at the Sochi, Russia Paralympic winter games.
No Barriers USA hosts its annual Summit in Park City, UT in partnership with the National Ability Center.
Splore celebrates 40 years of changing lives by challenging and expanding one’s notion of ability through meaningful outdoor adventure.
Splore and the National Ability Center join forces, with Splore making up the adaptive outdoor adventure arm of the National Ability Center.

Newsletter

Stay up-to-date with our latest programs, events and #AdaptiveNation stories.


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