Founded in 1967, Disabled Sports USA is a charitable organization that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness through participation in sports. What began as a program to serve Vietnam veterans has since grown into one of the nation’s largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, annually serving more than 60,000 wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA offers programs in more than 40 summer and winter sports through its nationwide network of more than 120 community-based chapters operating in 42 states. For more information, visit www.disabledsportsusa.org.
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for severely wounded warriors including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Since 2003, more than 10,000 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence, and uniting families through shared healthy activities. For more information, visit www.warfightersports.org.
Empower YOUth Sports provides youth with disabilities the opportunity to experience the power of adaptive sports. Opportunities are provided to more than 20,000 youth annually in over 30 sports through DSUSA’s nationwide chapter network as well as through school-based athletic programs. The goal of Empower YOUth Sports is that no one sits on the sidelines because of a disability. For more information, visit www.disabledsportsusa.org/programs/empower-youth-sports.
Kirk M. Bauer, JD
Executive Director, Disabled Sports USA
U.S. Army, Retired
Kirk M. Bauer, JD, has been CEO of Disabled Sports USA since 1982. A combat wounded veteran from the Vietnam war, he was twice awarded the Bronze Star for heroism and is the recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds in combat, which resulted in amputation of his left leg above the knee.
Throughout his life, Bauer has been dedicated to promoting sports for people with disabilities. For his work, he has received the “Lifetime Achievement” award from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, & Nutrition; “The George Steinbrenner Sports Leadership Award” from the U.S. Olympic Committee for lifelong contribution to Olympic/Paralympic Sport; and in 2006 received a Presidential Appointment to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. Bauer was appointed by President Bush to represent the USA in the 2006 Winter Paralympic Games in Torino and the 2008 Summer Paralympic Games in Beijing.