Started as an initiative funded by the NZSIA in 1974, Disabled Snowsports New Zealand (DSNZ) became incorporated in 1976 as the NZ Association for Disabled Skiing. In 2008 DSNZ integrated with Snow Sports New Zealand (SSNZ) the National Sport Organisation for Snowsports.
The Adaptive Division is now a fully-fledged division with a renowned qualification for instructors wishing to work in this rewarding sector of the industry.
The original concept of the DSNZ was to teach New Zealanders with physical disabilities to ski at Coronet Peak and, if successful, Mt Hutt and Ruapehu too. The success was enormous. They soon had disabled ski weeks at each of the main ski areas and within three years were able to fund regional adaptive instructors in paid employment at the major ski areas. Volunteer helpers (ski buddies) were trained to work with clients from the very beginning.
Under the guidance of NZSIA, the first instructors courses for DSNZ were delivered in 1980. At this time the DSNZ Adaptive Instructors Cert was the only qualification of its type available and it was attracting strong international participation. For some time the Adaptive Cert was administered and delivered outside of the NZSIA, however in 2002 the Adaptive division was re-created and is now a valued arm of the NZSIA.
Adaptive have a Divisional Representative on the NZSIA Executive Committee who liaises between between the Alliance and SSNZ, plus a Course Coordinator responsible for the management and delivery of the qualifications themselves.
A Level One qualification was introduced in the 2011 season and a Level Three qualification is in development.