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VA paralympic program officials launch website for disabled veterans

Members of the Air Force wheelchair basketball team compete May 18, 2011, at the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. One of the highlights of the new Veterans Affairs paralympic program website is the "Success Stories" page, which features disabled veterans and their stories of how participating in adaptive sports has positively impacted their lives.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios)

Members of the Air Force wheelchair basketball team compete May 18, 2011, at the 2011 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo. One of the highlights of the new Veterans Affairs paralympic program website is the "Success Stories" page, which features disabled veterans and their stories of how participating in adaptive sports has positively impacted their lives. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Desiree N. Palacios)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Department of Veterans Affairs officials have launched a Paralympic Program website as part of the VA's ongoing commitment to support the rehabilitation and recovery of disabled veterans through participation in adaptive sports.

"Adaptive sports participation among disabled veterans has many proven benefits such as increased independence, reduced dependency on pain and depression medication and stress reduction," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "Providing resources for disabled veterans to participate or compete in adaptive sports supports the holistic wellness of veterans, which is a key component of VA's veteran-centric care."

One of the highlights of the new website is the "Success Stories" page, which features disabled veterans and their stories of how participating in adaptive sports has positively impacted their lives. Veterans who participate in adaptive sports at any level, as well as Paralympic competitors, are encouraged to submit their stories and share their challenges and triumphs with the entire veteran community.

The site also provides users with a comprehensive overview of the benefits of disabled veterans participating in adaptive sports, sports by disability, training allowances, the VA Paralympic Grant Program, and resources for caregivers and VA clinical personnel.

Another resource is the "Sports Club Finder" feature, a searchable database developed by U.S. Paralympics specialists that connects disabled veterans with local sports programs throughout the country.

"We are excited about the launch of this new website and all that it offers to the disabled veteran community," said Christopher J. Nowak, the national director of the VA Paralympic Program. "It is full of information disabled veterans, their caregivers, VA clinical personnel and veterans service organizations will find useful. It also highlights our partnership with U.S. Paralympics and contains information on our mission to sustain participation in adaptive sports among disabled veterans in local community-based sports programs."

For more information, visit the website www.va.gov/adaptivesports or send an email to vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

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