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Instructor training: BASI/IASI/SSS? Alpine/Adaptive?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all, for background for years I've loved sailing with a whole heap of people with various disabilities (www.jst.org.uk if you're interested). Having taken up skiing and thoroughly besotted now I would like to follow a similar path. While it's not a career option for me I'd love to get to the point where I can buddy people abroad and competently help with activities in the UK.

I see IASI's website has a disabilities awareness course and SSS' website a page on adaptive skiing but neither any full courses. I'm aware of some political/organisational challenges in BASI but 1) don't want this to be a BASI supporting/bashing thread & 2) would their challenges impact the quality of skiing/training anyway? So my first query is; is BASI the best route to an adaptive skiing qualification?

In discussions with a couple of people I've had different views on which to do first or both; take the Alpine L1 course then you can use that in Adaptive L1 ... don't worry about the Alpine L1 it's all covered in Adaptive L1. Frankly I'm not experienced enough to be able to judge the best route yet so asking the question; Alpine then Adaptive, Adaptive then Alpine or just Adaptive?

Ta muchly, RobJ.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It's all there - http://www.basi.org.uk/BASI/Courses/Adaptive/BASI/Courses/Adaptive/Adaptive_Qualfications.aspx?hkey=c838d20c-b964-41e9-a2ac-39b898317643

Click into each level and under the Book a Course tab will be a list of the next few courses. L2 will allow you to work on snow.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
moseyp wrote:
L2 will allow you to work on snow.


Where?
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RoboJ wrote:
I'm aware of some political/organisational challenges in BASI but 1) don't want this to be a BASI supporting/bashing thread & 2) would their challenges impact the quality of skiing/training anyway? So my first query is; is BASI the best route to an adaptive skiing qualification?
Yes, of the associations you've listed I'd say that BASI is probably the best option. It offers full courses which run on a regular basis, and offers progression from Level 1 through to Level 3 qualifications. In my experience the Adaptive Trainers are excellent, and off-snow politics certainly won't affect the quality of the on-snow experience (it never has done in my experience).

I did the Adaptive L1 at Hemel and thoroughly enjoyed the course. It had way more "book learning" than any of the courses I've done as you need to develop an awareness of a fairly wide range of disabilities and the adaptions necessary to teach disabled people to ski. Your experience so far sounds like it will help a lot with this. I don't think there is a single correct answer for Alpine L1 first, or Adaptive L1 first as it will depend a lot on your experience and skills. I think you need to be a fairly strong and accurate skier for a lot of the Adaptive course, as things like bucketing a sit-ski takes skill, practice and a fair amount of effort. You also need to develop an appreciation of teaching methodologies, as, for example, teaching a 4-track skier to move from plough to plough-parallel to parallel is going to follow a very similar path to any skier's development. My instinct is to say Alpine first, then Adaptive. This will ensure your personal skiing is at the level and gives you an understanding of the progression typically used for taking a skier from never-ever to first parallel turns. However, if your have done any skiing with disabled skiers, perhaps as a complement to your work with JST, you might be confident that your personal skiing is strong enough and you already have an insight in to the teaching process then going straight for the Adaptive L1 might be an option. Maybe the bets advice is to contact the BASI office and ask if you can email an Adaptive Trainer for their advice.

Good luck with it!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@rob@rar, that's good advice and a very useful post. I'm thinking of taking the Adaptive L1 later this year, and as you mention that there is a good amount of book learning is there any reading you'd recommend to prepare for it?

@RoboJ, in addition to Rob's suggestions, you might want to get in touch with DSUK (Disability Snowsport UK) if you haven't already. They will be able to put you in touch with someone who you might be able to meet at your local slope. http://www.disabilitysnowsport.org.uk/
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@stewart woodward, in mountains
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kieranm wrote:
@rob@rar, that's good advice and a very useful post. I'm thinking of taking the Adaptive L1 later this year, and as you mention that there is a good amount of book learning is there any reading you'd recommend to prepare for it?
If it's the same as when I did my L1 Adaptive (about 4 years ago IIRC) you are sent a couple of resources beforehand (a BASI publication and a CSIA publication I think) which give you enough info for the L1.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@rob@rar, You have crystallised my thoughts on this; Alpine first to ensure my skiing is up to scratch. Makes sense to me, I'm in no particular hurry.

@kieranm, Thanks for the suggestion about DSUK. I'll be volunteering with them at CFe over the next few months so that will give me some practical experience.

Thanks all, really appreciate your replies.
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Not sure where you live but SSCD are based in East Sussex and always looking for volunteers. Providing you can ski they will always put you to use assisting the guides, and do a guides course for £65. They are a "proper" not for profit charity with no paid members making it affordable and accessible for all.

Check out http://sscd.org.uk/ for more details.
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@RoboJ, I can confirm that @rob@rar advice is spot on. I did my adaptive first and was lucky to pass but now I can see that not having the Alpine grounding is limiting me from going forward with my level2.
SSCD is also a great volunteer organisation and I'm now collecting my hours to become a basic guide/instructor (level3).
Helping out at CFe with Jon and the team will give you a great insight into what it is all about.
Hearing the laughter, giggles or just happy grunts when you take people down the slope in a sitski is one of the best noises in the world.
For the last 4 years I've volunteered with Jumbulance who take people with disabilities to ski in Niederau. Down side is we go by bus as we take people with a more severe level of disability. You can find some of the videos on YouTube search for Jumbulance.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
HinCymro. If you are in Wales there is a great kids ski charity that is always looking for volunteers at its Pembrey ski sessions.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@dan100, sorry In Bracknell.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Hi all, been shadowing DSUK in CFe a few times now and it's been an interesting experience. The adaptive element adds a whole different dimension to skiing, not just the sit ski stuff but every sort of ability/disability.

@Cymro66, interestingly I'd heard/seen something about Jumbulance recently but didn't get a chance to look it up and promptly forgot... I'll go take a look now, thank you for the heads-up Smile

@para999fire, I live in Derby but get around - I'll check it out SSCD and see if I can be of any use.

Spoke to BASI this morning who said their 2017 course calendar will be online this week so hopefully can start booking things in diaries. From what I understand once you book the course you get access to the materials too which will be a great help for me.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Hi all - thought I'd update this thread if anyone stumbles upon it in the future for reference.

Pleased to say I passed Alpine at Milton Keynes and Adaptive at Tamworth.

Both courses were really quite intense, to be honest I really didn't think I'd get through either of them at the time. The adaptive came down to the wire on the last few runs of the last day with a borrowed set of skis!

So on that note (and as most people know what's involved on the alpine course) the adaptive course... it's fun with about 50/50 split on snow and in lectures. There's is a considerable amount of book learning which I felt wasn't desperately well supported prior to the course (just a booklet for reference). I read through the booklet 5 or 6 times in the week before hand. I thought the support on the course was exceptional from the trainer. If I was going to do it again I'd invest time in rewriting the booklet and memorising it, that would have taken the stress away from the book learning and allowed me to concentrate on the teaching and kit.

While I scraped through Alpine with rental skis I really could not have completed adaptive on them. Tethering was next to impossible without a solid platform to work from.

I think there's a benefit to having done some prior teaching. There's a lot to learn on the course, new kit and many other factors. You could really do without the added stress of doing that for the first time on the course too.

Thanks for your help previously and good luck to anyone thinking of doing these courses.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@RoboJ, good work!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
That's great @RoboJ
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@RoboJ, congrats on your success and thanks for updating the thread.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I fourth the thanks and congratulations.

If you (or anyone else) who has done the adaptive can recommend any reading material to go through before the adaptive course I'd be very grateful as I'm booked on one in September.
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Great news @RoboJ


@kieranm, read up about disabilities (MS, MD, CP etc.) Pop down to your nearest DSUK club night and have a look at what happens and help out. Even if it is just getting hands on kit and how it looks/feels.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Cymro66, thanks - any specific texts you'd recommend? Familiarization with the equipment is fine - the DSUK team at Hemel run instructor training sessions there which I can get involved with.
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@kieranm getting your hands on the kit will be a huge advantage, even better if you can have a go. I live in Barnet some of the time so I might well see if I can tag on to some of the instructor training for more experience. I was very lucky DSUK in Manchester let me dry bucket quite a bit and have a few runs with volunteers in - seriously couldn't have done it without their support. Over being a competent skier I'd say minimum skiing requirements are; a really solid snow plough which you can get into on a slope, can ski backwards in a plough and are comfortable skiing without poles.

In terms of the academic stuff, you don't need to delve too deep and get overloaded. I found the NHS website provided enough background to get a context to most disabilities. Depending on your learning style deeper reading might help but bare in mind it's a course you can pass with minimal preread. I created a kind of hint sheet which summarised the disabilities covered on one page and helped me self-test, happy to forward to you, have dropped you a PM with my email. As I mentioned earlier if I'd had time rewriting the BASI booklet and embellishing or creating mind maps would have helped me. You don't need to know any more than that's in the booklet, but you need to know it by the end of the course.

My cohort were all Alpine L2 going for 3 and Adaptive was their 2nd discipline so the quality of skiing was quite high (apart from me being the ugly duckling). As I'd just done my Alpine L1 we skimmed the Central Theme but if you haven't done it it's probably worth checking out.

There is the PSIA Adaptive manual available to download, however, be aware some of the techniques are different when tethering. It's an interesting read, but again, not something you'll be expected to know.

Good luck with it. Feel free to ask any questions you need.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@RoboJ, I'm interested to know how the course is weighted between physical disabilities and learning disabilities?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Tubaski we did two assessments, one with the sit-ski and the other with LD etc (Autism, Aspergers, LD). Though the vast majority (~75%) of the time was spent with content relating to physical disabilities and the use of the kit to support those ie bi-ski; bucketing, hand and fixed riggers, tethering.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
RoboJ wrote:
@Tubaski we did two assessments, one with the sit-ski and the other with LD etc (Autism, Aspergers, LD). Though the vast majority (~75%) of the time was spent with content relating to physical disabilities and the use of the kit to support those ie bi-ski; bucketing, hand and fixed riggers, tethering.
I think that's the standard pattern for the L1 Adaptive course.
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Thanks @Roboj, that's really useful background. Much appreciated.
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I am a BASI ski instructor in France and was put in touch with a lady called Catherine Cosby to talk about doing my adaptive qualifications. She has put me in touch with a guy out here in France. I will aim to do his course during next season so as to be able to work with disabled people. I would be happy to attend a BASI course but just haven't found one that is running at a convenient time. Would be interested to hear from anyone else who has worked with Catherine?
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