Beauty and Impairment
Whitney Johnson

    Beauty is extremely difficult to precisely define because everyone has varying opinions about what is beautiful.  The quote that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" sums this up very well.  One definition of beautiful is something that is excellent of it's kind.   This is a vague definition but it gives a good idea of what is beautiful while at the same time still allowing people to have opinions of their own.  Beauty is connected to movement in this way.  Athletes are excellent of their kind in some form or another.  Special athletes with impairments are beautiful because of the sheer fact that they are moving, exercising and competing even with their impairment.  They have the attitude that they can do anything and they act on it.  Disabled people are able to do so much with just a little help.  These web sites include different organizations which provide the guidance needed for those with impairments.  Whether one is blind, deaf, or in any other way physically impaired, there is an organization out there willing to help.  They believe that it is important for everyone exercise to stay healthy.  They give those with impairments an outlet to show how excellent in athletics they can be and this is what is beautiful.

 The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (
This site encourages everybody to exercise - regardless of any disability someone might have.  They believe that it is important to exercise in order to keep our bodies healthy.  They encourage and support people with disabilities.

 Disabled Sports USA (
This site offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent physical disability.  It is a nonprofit national organization.  They work with those who have almost any kind of impairment imaginable.  Their home page has a quote that says: "If I can do this, I can do Anything."

 The National Sports Center for the Disabled (
This is a non-profit organization that provides recreation for children and adults with disabilities. The NSCD is headquartered in Colorado and provides summer and winter programs.  Participants build self-confidence through the different activities that they do.

 ACT & Region Disabled Sport & Recreation Association Inc. (
This organization  provides opportunities in sport, recreation & fitness for all people with a disability: intellectual, mental health, physical, sensory. This is an Australian based company.

 America's Athletes with Disabilities (
This company's mission is to promote and sponsor sports, recreation, fitness and leisure events for children and adults with physical disabilities. These events are held every year, across the country, under the banner of the Victory Games. The Victory Games provide children and adults with disabilities crucial and valuable experience in personal growth and achievement.

 Special Olympics (
This is a perfect example of what is beautiful.  These athletes are excellent of their kind. The special olympics oath is: "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.  This site is the headquarters for the Special Olympics.

 Wheelchair Sports, USA (
This organization has been directed and developed by wheelchair athletes and wheelchair sports enthusiasts themselves, individuals with a first-hand understanding to the values of participation. They have developed their own rules and governing structure for the competitions.

 Ethel Louise Armstrong Foundation (
This foundation is aware of the needs of people with disabilities in the United States and throughout the world. Their goal is "Changing the Face of Disability on the Planet."  They are affiliated with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).  They support professional organizations that work with people with disabilities.

 Pal-O-Mine Equestrian (
This organization is a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding program that brings benefits to those with disabilities by 'stretching' both mind and muscles. For someone who can't walk, see, communicate, etc., riding a horse allows them to experience a new sense of freedom.  This organization truely believes that movement for those with impairments is beneficial and beautiful.

 USA Deaf Sports Federation (
This organization's mission is to provide year-round training and athletic competition in a variety of sports at the state, regional, national, and international level for developing and elite athletes and also to assist athletes in developing physical fitness, sportsmanship, and self-esteem. Their goal is to provide deaf and hard of hearing children and adults with opportunities to compete with their peers as well as the larger society of athletes worldwide.

 United States Association of Blind Athletes (
This is the official site of the USABA.  They want to change the attitudes of the blind or visually impaired.  They believe that because someone is blind doesn't mean that they are in any way inferior to other elite athletes. They provide world class coaching and training for the blind or visually impaired.