Any sport can be played by someone who is blind or visually impaired – it just takes a little ingenuity! Many sport-specific adaptations can be made to include those with a disability. Typical adaptations in blind sport include audible equipment (ex. beeping, bells, buzzers), additional personnel (ex. designated ‘spotters’ or ‘guides’), various specific equipment alterations, sound-based directives, and many more.
Blind and visually impaired athletes have the same opportunity to train and compete at national and international levels as their “able-bodied” counterparts. The very best share the Olympic dream as they aim for the Paralympic podium. Those ambitious few who choose to endeavour in sport are eligible to receive funding through various government-funded programs such as the Athlete Assistance Plan (federal) or Quest for Gold (provincial). These programs are designed to assist high performance athletes achieve their goals, and Ontario Blind Sports Association is the highway to their destination.
If you are not looking to seriously compete, we are more than happy to help you in taking part in sport for fun! We welcome those of all abilities and work extremely hard to provide everyone with the best possible sport experience. Information about how to Get Involved can be easily found here on our website. If you are visually impaired and wish to play sport, we really hope you will consider joining us!
To learn more about our sports, visit the “sports” drop-down menu or click the links below.
Goalball is “the” blind sport as it was created specifically for the blind and visually impaired. Goalball is an indoor court game developed with the unique skills of these athletes in mind and is played around the world. Developed in the late 1940’s, it has been played at the Paralympic level for almost 50 years!
Athletics is very popular among visually impaired athletes, who compete in most track events (ex. 100m to the Marathon) and in most field events (ex. Shot Put, Discus, Javelin, High Jump, Long Jump and Pentathlon).
Judo is an all-encompassing sport that challenges many elements of human movement such as strength, flexibility, balance, coordination and agility.
Powerlifting works to improve your strength, power, resilience, and mental fortitude to be more competitive in all other sports. This is a sport where VI competitors compete on an even level with sighted competitors.
Swimming for persons with a visual impairment is a sport that has been practiced for many years. Swimming offers many benefits and can be enjoyed and practiced from the junior level well into one’s senior years. The benefits of swimming are immense: it offers a great full-body workout that is easy on joints and can also be used as a form of relaxation.
Wrestling offers equal opportunity for participation, allowing visually-impaired athletes to measure their skills against both their sighted and non-sighted peers. The modification that allows for neutral-play is very simple: CONTACT; that is to say, constant contact between the blind wrestler and their sighted opponent.
5-a-side Soccer (a.k.a. “blind soccer”) is an adapted version of ‘the beautiful game’ that is played at the Paralympic level by blind athletes.