Ski for Light Offers Blind and Disabled a Path to the Slopes


Events are held across the country.

When Steven Senteney lost his vision and hearing 10 years ago, he thought his life was over, the Scottsbluff, Nebraska Star Herald reports.

“I’d learned to ski in the 1980s and was an avid skier,” Senteney said. “Now I wasn’t able to do a lot of the activities I used to do in the past.”

But during his first painful year of adjustment, he heard about a program called Black Hills Ski for Light, a winter program at Deer Mountain in South Dakota.

Since 1979, the Black Hills Regional Ski for Light program has offered downhill and cross country skiing, along with snowshoeing for visually impaired and mobility impaired people.

“I started attending about eight years ago and realized I could still keep on skiing despite my deafness and blindness,” Senteney said. “I realized my life wasn’t over with and with alternative solutions I could do just about everything I did before — except for maybe driving a car.”

Across the country, similar events are held each winter.

According to its website, Ski for Light is an all-volunteer not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 1975. It was created by a group of Norwegian-Americans who were familiar with a program in Norway, the Ridderrenn, and the success that program had enjoyed over the years in teaching blind/visually-impaired and mobility-impaired people the Norwegian national sport of cross-country skiing.

You can learn more about the program here.

Read more of Steven Senteney’s story here.

How To Qualify