Our Mission

The mission of Colorado Discover Ability is to increase the independence, self-confidence, self worth and education of people with disabilities through outdoor recreation.

So what's our story?

Colorado Discover Ability, (CDA), was incorporated in 1980 as the Powderhorn Handicapped Ski Program, Ltd., a non-profit corporation. CDA was initially established to provide educational and therapeutic outdoor experiences to the disabled population in western Colorado, solely through alpine skiing at Powderhorn Ski Resort. Prior to CDA’s existence, disabled individuals in the Grand Valley had no local options for proper training and guidance in adaptive outdoor recreation. In 1987, our name was changed to reflect our vision to provide recreational opportunities in other sports as well. CDA continues to be responsible for the delivery of all adaptive ski and snowboard instruction at Powderhorn.
We began in 2001 to expand into year-round recreational programs and updated our mission to reflect the inclusion of our client’s families and friends. During the summer, CDA’s focus shifts to providing water-based recreation, such as river rafting and related camping activities. CDA has been offering summer Day Camps for children and teens since 2001. With the collaboration of St. Mary’s Hospital and Rocky Mountain Orthopaedics’ therapy staff, a multi-day Camp Freedom for children age 6-12 was added in 2004. Besides the regular programs, various clinics like adaptive cycling have offered locals an access to popular activities on the western slope.
CDA is a member Paralympic Sports Club of the United States Olympic Committee.

What We Do

Independent Participation
CDA programs encourage clients to participate as independently as possible regardless of their disability by using various outdoor recreational experiences. Utilizing a variety of specialized, adaptive equipment and trained instruction, all the sports are tailored to each client’s ability.
Unique Experiences
CDA programs are designed to provide unique outdoor experiences and be transformational. This allows our clients a release from daily life, while simultaneously seeking to identify individual potential. CDA programs have produced incredible results. See what our clients have to say about their experiences in People Stories.

For the individual, the health benefits from exercise and outdoors recreation cannot be denied. More importantly, the mental and emotional growth experienced includes increased self-confidence, self-esteem and more independence that often translates into other aspects of our client’s lives.
Our Volunteers

CDA is powered by a uniquely dedicated and passionate group of approximately 200 plus active volunteers (2020 number) including our Board of Directors. Our volunteers bring a wide range of life and professional skills to benefit our clients and community. CDA has an Executive Director and two full time employees. Thanks to our volunteers, we achieve an excellent return on investment from all donations and grants.

Community Served
CDA offers outdoor recreation programs otherwise unavailable for people with disabilities in western Colorado. CDA disabled clients are primarily individuals with cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, emotional disturbances, and sight and hearing impairments. The total number of CDA participants continues to grow. Seventy percent of CDA clients are under the age of 18. Ninety-eight percent of the CDA client base would be considered in the low-to- moderate-income bracket. CDA provides financial assistance to clients in need; no one is turned away due to financial circumstances.

More about CDA

Our Story
Our People
Our Supporters
Jobs & Careers
All or part of this operation is conducted on Public Lands under special permit from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.


601 Struthers Ave. | 81501
Grand Junction, CO



(Office) +1-970-257-1222
(Fax) +1-970-241-2154
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