Volunteer Assistant Manual
About Wasatch Adaptive Sports
Founded in 1977, Wasatch Adaptive Sports believes in empowering people with adaptive needs through recreation. WAS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
To encourage individuals with adaptive needs and their families to realize their potential and engage in active living through year-round recreational, educational and social programs.
Wasatch Adaptive Sports programming focuses on increasing independence and mobility in a social environment.
Instructors and Staff
Our instructors are PSIA certified, paid professionals dedicated to helping our students achieve their goals in recreation. WAS has full-time staff members and instructors. We teach the fundamentals of recreation in order to promote skill development and independence.
We offer unique programs throughout the year that pair the goals of the student with our individualized assessment and teaching progression. Winter programs include skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, indoor cycling, and yoga. Summer programs include cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking.
WAS winter office located at the Creekside Lodge at Snowbird Resort. Lessons are held at Snowbird with some taking place at Alta, Sundance, Solitude, and Brighton. Lessons run from mid-December through mid-April. WAS summer office located in Murray at 417 W Winchester St. Lessons run from May through October.
Who We Serve
WAS serves children, adults and veterans with adaptive needs. Our partnerships and outreach efforts seek to reach local families along the Wasatch Front and in Utah. Partners include University of Utah Healthcare, Shriners Hospital for Children, Intermountain Health Care, George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Neuroworx, Utah Neuro Rehabilitation, and more. We serve out of state students as well.
How We Are Funded
Our organization is funded by the generous support of donors who believe in our mission. We host multiple events throughout the year (Highly Decorated, The WAS Hustle, and the HGGC Steve Young Ski Classic). We also partner with foundations and major donors to meet the growing demand for affordable and accessible recreation. You can view our Annual Report here. Please ask us if you would like information on how to support Wasatch Adaptive Sports.
WAS Teaching Philosophy
Instructors and staff are constantly striving to teach and promote the highest level of independence possible for students in all aspects of their recreation experience. We work with students to create positive rapport and identify their personal motivations and goals, while creating a student-centered experience.
Scholarship Assistance Program
WAS believes that recreation should not only be accessible but affordable; over 90% of students participate utilizing scholarship support. Scholarships are available to all students on the intake form and reviewed by staff for approval.
Volunteer Instructor/Assistant Expectations and Requirements
Volunteers are expected to represent the organization in a professional manner, respecting the students, families and staff of WAS as well as guests and employees of Snowbird, Alta, Sundance, Solitude, Brighton and Woodward other program venues at all times.
Are needed to assist instructors on lessons that require extra support. Provide essential support by assisting with adaptive equipment, socializing with students and developing rapport with caregivers, and other tasks as needed. They will follow the direction of WAS instructors and staff. Any discussion or decision that may affect the student, lesson, or organization will be made by a WAS instructor or staff. Typical requirement is a minimum commitment of one day per month.
- A lift ticket will be provided to use for the duration of each volunteer day.
These instructors have full responsibility for lessons, but are an unpaid member of the team. This position is filled by instructors who have experience teaching and have met the necessary requirements to work one on one with students. Volunteer instructors have days set on the schedule and will be required to maintain those days to receive benefits associated with this role. Requirement is a minimum commitment of 3 days a month. Volunteer assistants who are interested in the volunteer instructor role can discuss more with the Program Managers.
*Volunteers are required to sign a liability release/volunteer agreement, and pass a background check prior to volunteering.
Volunteer Assistant Responsibilities
- Minimum of 18 years old
- Complete all required paperwork
- All volunteers must be covered under a personal healthcare plan for the duration of volunteer service.
- Intermediate skier/biker that has access to their own equipment that is in safe and working order.
- Helmets are required while volunteering for skiing, snowboarding and any biking.
- Help instructors prepare equipment for lesson
- Assist instructors with lessons as needed.
- Work with the individuals’ abilities not disabilities by assessing students’ needs and comfort level.
- Monitor crowd control and assist in lift lines.
- Help stabilize the student when stopped.
- Assist in loading and unloading the chairlift.
- Help bring the equipment to/from the office to the lesson.
- Ask before providing assistance to a student and communicate any and all maneuvers.
- Always ensure the safety of the student and others.
- When in doubt, ask!
Rescheduling or Canceling
WAS takes volunteer schedules into account when scheduling instructors. Canceling days on short notice impacts WAS’s ability to provide the programming.
- Volunteer assistants can schedule days up to 12 hours before lessons.
- You can cancel your own reservations cancellation but please changes made within 48 hours should be accompanied by an email to email@example.com or phone call to the WAS Office at 801.834.0476
Wasatch Adaptive Sports prioritizes and promotes safety in all aspects of the organization. Volunteers are expected to follow WAS safety procedures.
- All volunteers must be able to be reached via phone while assisting with lessons so WAS staff/ instructors can communicate with the volunteer (ringer on, volume up). Please do not use your phone for personal reasons during the lesson.
- In the event of an emergency, volunteers must follow the direction of the WAS instructor or staff member. If no instructor/ staff member is present, call ski patrol or 911.
- Avoid causing additional harm to individuals by rushing in to help in an emergency. Allow yourself time to react and assess an emergency situation. Listen to the concerns of injured individuals and help them as they advise.
- If you have any concerns regarding the safety of your student or yourself (non-emergency), please call the office at 801.834.0476
WAS Safety Code
- Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
- Always wear and use appropriate safety equipment, including helmets.
- People ahead of you and those moving slower than you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
- You must not stop where you obstruct a trail or are not visible from above or around a blind turn.
- Whenever starting downhill or merging into or crossing a trail or road, look in all directions and yield to others.
- Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
- Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas. Follow all traffic laws when riding on roads.
- Prior to using any equipment or lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride, and unload safely.
- Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a supervisor on duty
- New volunteers assistants are required to attend a mandatory training session and demonstrate competence.
- All volunteer assistants must sign the current volunteer assistant manual, complete the volunteer registration and liability release, and pass a background check before signing up for lessons. All requirements must be updated annually.
- All mountain bike volunteer assistants must attend annual mountain bike training or refresher.
Volunteers should wear weather-appropriate outerwear including helmets for skiing, snowboarding, cycling, and mountain biking. If available, a black WAS jacket/vest will be provided.
Winter: Parking at Snowbird is limited, especially on weekends. Volunteers are encouraged to carpool. The UTA Ski Bus also has convenient times and locations. Visit uta.com for the Ski Bus schedule.
Summer: Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to and from lesson locations.
Please note that volunteers are not considered employees of Wasatch Adaptive Sports or Snowbird and are not covered by Workers Compensation.
Lesson Cancellations do to Weather
WAS will cancel lessons based on forecasted weather, significant snowfall/rain, high winds, cold temperatures, dangerous road conditions, poor air quality, and other variables deemed unsafe. Predetermined cancellations will be made by 5 p.m. the day before the scheduled lesson. It is possible a cancellation may occur the day of the lesson due to unforeseen changes in weather or conditions.
- Person first. For example, “a person with a disability”
- Talk directly to the person with the disability.
- Do not assume a person wants or requires assistance.
- Always ask if and how you can be of assistance prior to helping a student.
- The person with the disability knows what works best for their body. Ask what their preferred method is prior to acting.
- Communicate each maneuver you are going to perform and confirm the students’ consent with that plan.
- Treat each student as an individual. Your experience dealing with one type of disability will be unique to each person.
- Ask the student before relocating any mobility devices such as wheelchairs or prosthetics. Be sure they are left in a safe place and show the student exactly where they have been put.
- Be patient and courteous.
We want to hear your thoughts! Please feel free to approach any instructor or staff member at WAS to discuss thoughts or feedback. Occasionally WAS will send out surveys to assess the Volunteer Program and we encourage you to participate. Please note, volunteer status may be revoked at any time for failure to comply with this volunteer manual.
Please contact us at 801.834.0476 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you and thank you for your support of WAS!
On or off-duty, you should be conscious of how your conduct reflects on Snowbird and Wasatch Adaptive Sports. You are expected to exhibit a high degree of personal integrity within your social networks, observe acceptable business principles, and take responsibility for unacceptable conduct. If you choose to discuss Snowbird, Wasatch Adaptive Sports, or any Snowbird/WAS-related matters via social media channels, you are subject to inspection, regardless of whether the information was posted on or off-duty.
- Instructors can share content directly from WAS social media channels at any time.
- Prior to any social media post that includes an image of a student, staff and instructors must verify the student has signed the release which includes the media clause. If the student has signed the NO MEDIA release meaning the participant does not want any photos or videos taken, it will be filed in their participant folder in Adobe.
- No posts of any WAS students who are minors (under the age of 18) are allowed on any personal social media account.
- Photos/ videos may be sent to WAS staff to post on WAS social media accounts. Any photo or video involving a minor should then be immediately deleted from the personal device.
- Only use a student's first name or not at all in a post.
- Do not share any medical or personal information about the student.
- Use positive, person-first language that promotes a high degree of awareness around the WAS mission and the people we and our community of supporters serve.
- Be respectful. Do not post any offensive, harassing, or inappropriate messages.
- All social media posts should be made during off-duty hours.
- Per the WAS Sport Protection Policy:
- There should be no one-on-one online or digital activities between a Covered Individual and a minor/ward athlete.
- Coaches may not “friend” or “follow” WAS athletes who are minors or a part of a vulnerable population through the coach’s personal social media page(s) or account(s).
- Coaches and minor athletes may not “follow” each other. Coaches cannot “retweet” minor athlete message posts without permission of the minor athlete, or their parent or guardian. Coaches should use best judgment and professionalism in the content of their public media posting.
- Social media and electronic communications can also be used to commit misconduct (e.g., emotional, sexual, bullying, harassment, and hazing). Such communications by Covered Individuals or other WAS participants will not be tolerated and are considered violations of this Handbook.
The officers, directors, committee members, employees, and persons served by this corporation shall be selected entirely on a nondiscriminatory basis with respect to age, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or veteran status. It is the policy of WAS not to discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or veteran status in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and athletics, and other administered programs.
Drug-Free Workplace Statement
- In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, Wasatch Adaptive Sports (WAS) has a longstanding commitment to providing a safe, quality-oriented and productive work environment. As a federal grant recipient, WAS certifies that it will provide a drug-free workplace.
- As a condition of employment on such grants, WAS’s leased employees will abide by the terms of this statement and notify WAS of any criminal drug statute conviction not later than five days after such conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace.
- The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, use, or sale in the workplace of a controlled substance, as defined by state or federal law, is prohibited.
- WAS will not condone criminal activity on its property, or on property under its direct control, and will take appropriate personnel action up to and including termination.
- All employees should refer to Snowbird’s Drug & Alcohol-Free Workplace Policy in the Employee Handbook.