College of Utah making out of doors recreation attainable for these with advanced disabilities


(Good things Utah) WAYS (Technology Recreation Access Independence Lifestyle Sports) is a highly innovative adaptive program at the University of Utah Health’s Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital.

TRAILS aims to maximize physical and mental health by focusing on year-round activities that can integrate participants with complex physical disabilities (such as stroke, quadriplegia, and other spinal cord injuries) into a daily, active, and independent lifestyle.

I have been associated with the University of Utah for more than 16 years now. We have a strong focus on sports and recreational education for people with complex disabilities… We’re really tapping into a demographic that doesn’t typically get a chance to do much — at least not independently.

Tanja Kari, Paralympic champion in cross-country skiing

Tanja Kari, 10-time gold medal at the Paralympics

What programs does TRAILS offer?

Sports & Recreation

  • Alpine skiing
  • Nordic skiing
  • water sports
  • To go biking
  • mountain biking
  • To swim
  • wheelchair tennis
  • racing teams

Wellness and self-help groups

(TRAILS programs are FREE for participants)

What makes TRAILS different?

TRAILS maintains a vast fleet of devices and technologies tailored to the individual needs of participants (stroke, quadriplegia, spinal cord injury, etc.). The innovative technology used in TRAILS for exercise, recreation and lifestyle programs was designed and built at the University of Utah by students and faculty and then thoroughly tested through the TRAILS programs.

Which central innovation technologies are offered by TRAILS and why now?


The world’s only standalone alpine ski for people with complex disabilities. Electric actuators provide independent rotation and speed variability through the use of a joystick or breath control.

This spring, TRAILS hosted the world’s first TetraSki and Snow’Kart downhill race in Powder Mountain: “The Brian McKenna TetraSki Express,” an annual event that will be held in Powder Mountain each March.

Skiers with complex disabilities competed in a timed giant slalom race. There are plans to host similar races across the country and around the world in the coming years, with a view to one day adding a TetraSki race as an event at the Paralympic Winter Games.

Tetra watercraft:

The world’s first hybrid personal watercraft capable of being independently sailed or electrically powered by people with complex physical disabilities through the use of a joystick or breath control.

Participants can participate from June 9th FREE in water sports like kayaking and sailing and they can try the Tetra Watercraft at East Canyon Reservoir. Families are also invited to participate.

For more information and to participate in adaptive watersports & cycling/mountain biking:


(801) 581-2526

**This segment contains sponsored content