BlazeSports Conducts CDSS Training Workshop in Colorado Springs

US Paralympic staff member and BlazeSports Board member Tim Willis participates as a guest lecturer during the second day of Colorado Spring CDSS training.

BlazeSports directors Ann Cody, Jeff Jones and Dan Humphreys are conducting Level I and II Certified Disability Sport Specialist training in Colorado Springs, CO on November 18 and 19. Twenty participants are in attendance at the workshop. Upon completion of the two days of training, the participants will receive their CDSS certificates denoting their enhanced expertise in sport and physical activity for people with disabilities.

Dan Humphreys, Director of BlazeTEC, shares his insights on disability sport with the Colorado Springs audience.

The CDSS program was initiated in 2011 to fill a void. No certificate training programs to enhance the knowledge and capabilities of persons interested in working in Paralympic sport and physical activity existed. Through the BlazeSports Institute for Applied Science (BIAS), the knowledge-base and courses for the different levels of certification were developed. BlazeSports has begun training interested persons now from all over the world through its Annual International Paralympic Sport Conference as well as these workshops.

Director of Sport and Community Programs, Jeff Jones, shares his knowledge of wheelchair fitting with the audience.

Through their participation in the CDSS program, volunteers, coaches, and professionals can all demonstrate to employers and organizations that they are leaders in disability sport. The credential signifies the ability to provide safe, effective programming and knowledge of the latest research in the field. Further, the certification enhances existing credentials such as CTRS, CPRP, PT, OT, and others by demonstrating specialized knowledge in disability sport.

Ann Cody, Director of Policy, speaks to the group on Advocacy and the ADA.

Through BIAS, professionals can be credentialed as one of four levels of Certified Disability Sport Specialist (CDSS). These levels of accreditation are based on educational background, professional/work experience, continuing education, completion of the BIAS/CDSS Curriculum, and successful completion of exams. The BlazeSports staff works closely with candidates to determine which level of certification is appropriate for their individual situations.

Level I focuses on developing and certifying competencies in areas such as risk management, injury prevention, wheelchair maintenance and repair, person-first language, the ADA, and wheelchair transfers. Upon completion of the CDSS Level I certification, the individual will possess the skills necessary to deliver safe, appropriate, and effective programming to the standards of best practice.

Level II builds on the fundamental skills developed in Level I and cultivates the abilities necessary to offer direct programming at the highest standard possible. Course topics include planning and goal setting, Paralympic sport structure and classification, mental skills training, wheelchair sizing and fitting, and the role of technology in disability sport. With the CDSS Level II certification, the candidate will have the knowledge and the ability to implement disability sport programming that exceeds the basic provision of services.

Level III certification is designed to help hone the skills of those who are looking to become leaders in disability sport on a regional and national level. The Level III curriculum will further educate candidates on current issues in disability sports, event management, sport administration, gender issues, and advanced topics in mental skills training and disability sport technology. After attaining CDSS Level III, professionals will have the set of tools that will empower them to affect change not only in their local program, but also on a national scale as leaders in the disability sport movement.

As he or she pursues CDSS Level IV, the highest level of certification, the candidate will study subjects necessary for leadership on the international level. Level IV topics include current issues in the Paralympic movement, sport for peace and diplomacy, international exchange programs, and disability sport development in Third World countries. Upon completion of the Level IV program, the individual is certified as possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to serve as a global leader in the Paralympic Movement.

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