ASHA is the largest special hockey organization in the world with 82 member organizations and an additional 20 new and developing clubs. Our organization successfully supports individuals with physical and developmental disabilities to safely participate in ice hockey in an environment which is adapted to the level of ability which they are able to participate. Special Hockey exists for the enrichment of the athlete with a developmental disability. In addition to physical hockey skills, the program emphasizes the development of desirable individual characteristics such as self-advocacy, self-reliance, concentration, working with others, and personal accountability.
We understand the challenges of the individuals who participate in our programs. From a young child with autism to a teen with Down's Syndrome, or a new player with Cerebral Palsy, we have researched best training methods and safety measures to showcase their talents and abilities. Our many programs include some of the most innovative and adaptive coaches in our country. Our Association connects these coaches in a network that continually educates our members on new techniques and safety regulations unique to the population we serve and strengthens our overall programming.
We believe in productive healthy futures and want to extend our therapeutic and life skills programming to emerging programs, their communities, and in the lives of special needs individuals and families.
Involvement in our programs promotes the emotional and physical well-being of our program participants. Players experience success both on and off the ice. Our therapeutic style of programming offers players with disabilities innovative options for behavioral management, physical activity, socialization and communication, and movement goals. Our programs also promote well-being in physical health such as obesity prevention, which is a recognized concern for youth with developmental disabilities.