The United States Association of Blind Athletes enhances the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity.
Respect: We respect and honor the inherent value and the unique contributions of blind and visually impaired people.
Integrity: We conduct our business transparently, honestly and ethically.
Acceptance: We create an environment of acceptance and seek ways to broaden acceptance of blind and visually impaired people.
Enrichment: We are deeply dedicated to the achievement of each and every athletes potential regardless of ability.
Since its founding in 1976, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), a Community Based Organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. Although an athlete may be blind, he or she has the ability to compete alongside his or her sighted peers. In fact, USABA athletes have served as U.S. Olympic Team members and won medals against sighted competitors. As more blind athletes receive the same opportunities as their sighted peers, the day has come when a blind athlete has competed in a sighted competition - Marla Runyan qualified for the 2000 Olympic Team in the 1,500 meter race event and made the finals. She has also finished as the top American in the Boston and New York Marathons. While athletes such as Marla have had great success, each year more than 30,000 blind and visually impaired youth are left on the sidelines of their schools physical education classes. And only a small fraction of blind and visually impaired youth have the opportunity to participate on either school or club sports teams. Through programs such as our National Sports Education Camp Project, the goal of USABA is to provide more than 3,000 youth with the skills needed to participate in not only their PE classes, but on sports teams alongside sighted youth.
While not every blind child has the ability or desire to be a Paralympian, the skills learned through sports will be beneficial in all aspects of their daily lives. While many blind and visually impaired individuals have heard about their limitations, USABA gives them the tools to experience the reality of success in sports. We value the life-enhancing aspects of sports and the opportunity to demonstrate the abilities of people who are blind and visually impaired. We envision a world in which all individuals who are blind or visually impaired have the same opportunities to discover their athletic potential and pursue their athletic dreams as all Americans.