SOLO |  Special Outdoor Leisure Opportunities

Background & History


SOLO was established in 1979 through the St. Joseph County Parks Department, Special Olympics and Memorial Hospital in conjunction with several service organizations. 

Today it operates as its own, independent organization with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status and a board. It is an all volunteer organization with no paid staff.

SOLO is a volunteer program directed by community professionals who contribute to the independence of those who face daily challenges beyond their control. With the aid of special equipment and skilled instructors, SOLO has made skiing a reality for hundreds of disabled individuals in our area for over 35 years. SOLO instructors are trained in adapted ski techniques for teaching physically, visually, and mentally disabled individuals from age 8 to adult.

SOLO currently conducts a downhill skiing program at Swiss Valley Ski Area in Jones, Mich., and a cross-country and snowshoeing program at Rum Village Park in South Bend, Ind.



Disabled Sports USA is a national nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization established in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans to serve the war injured. DSUSA now offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent disability. Activities include winter skiing, water sports, summer and winter competitions, fitness and special sports events. Participants include those with visual impairments, amputations, spinal cord injury, dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, head injury, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions.

The mission of Disabled Sports USA is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs. You can find more information on the DSUSA