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Welcome to the Montana Swimming disability swimming page.  The Montana Swimming Diversity, Disability, Equity, and Inclusion Chair is Susan Huckeby

Montana Swimming and USA Swimming encourage people with disabilities to participate in the sport of swimming and facilitates their inclusion in USA Swimming programs through education and collaboration.

U.S. Paralympics Swimming event website:

The web site listed below contains information for swim meets hosted by U.S. Paralympics Swimming for athletes with an impairment.

 This site is updated regularly with dates for competitions, as well as coaches clinics for athletes with impairments.  


Article 304.3.2 - USA Swimming's Code of Conduct (page 94 - 2020 Rule book)

Discrimination in violation of the Amateur Sports Act which requires that USA Swimming must provide an equal opportunity to athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials to participate in the sport of swimming. Athletes must be allowed to participate and compete to the fullest extent allowed by the Rules and Regulations. Discrimination against any member or participant on the basis of age, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, genetics, mental or physical disability, or any other status protected by federal, state or local law, where applicable, is prohibited.


Interested in education to support children with special needs in your programs? The Aquatics for ChildrenwChallengesChildren With Challenges online course and Children With Challenges Workshop are targeted to Aquatics Management personnel and Swim Coaches, providing ground-breaking training and information to help you and your staff achieve your program goals. For more information on Children With Challenges course options, or to register, for step one (Children With Challenges online course), click here!
ASCA Certified Coaches: Receive 15 ASCA Credits. 

Disability Resources and Articles:

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: Guide for LSC's  PDF

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: A Guide for Swimmers and Parents PDF

Get Involved: Competition Opportunities for Disability Swimmers   PDF

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: A Guide for Coaches PDF

Pocket Guide to Officiating Swimmers with a Disability (Rule 501)   PDF

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: A Guide for Officials PDF

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: Hints for Starters Starting Disabled Swimmers PDF

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: Officials Get Involved PDF

Officiating for Disability Athletes   PDF

Including Swimmers with Disabilities: Guide for Meet Directors and Safety Personnel PDF

Safe Sport Best Practices for Coaching Athletes with Disabilities PDF

Safety/Rick Management and Including Swimmers with Disabilities PDF

A Blind Swimmer's Guide to Tapping PDF

Personal Assistants for a Swimmer with a Disability PDF

Article 105 Case Studies: Including Disabled Swimmers in Meets PDF

Model Inclusion Policy for Swimmers with a Disability PDF

ADA - It's Impact on Youth Sports PDF

ADHD 101 - Tips and Strategies for Coaches PDF

Waiver for a Coach with a Disability PDF

Americans With Disabilities Swimming Pool Guidelines March 2012 PDF

Officiating Swimmers with a Disability:

 Article 105 Officiating Swimmers with a Disability Tri-fold Pamphlet

Officiating Swimmers with a Disability: Course used to teach officials about officiating swimmers with a disability. (Thank you Colorado Swimming for sharing!)  Click for PDF file of course.

  • Target Groups for Course and Some Key Responsibilities
    • Meet and Deck Referees
      • Athletes or athlete representative are required to inform referee of impaired swimmer and request accommodations.
      • Meet Referee is the final decision on Disqualifications
      • Meet Referee will determine if accommodations can be met and will instruct officials as to the accommodations/modifications.
    • Stroke and Turn Officials
      • Officials observe swims based on rules.  Officials are instructed to become familiar with Article 105.5 (this is encouraged during training of new officials).
      • An impaired athlete does not have to inform the referee because they do not want to be officiated under Article 105.  This is their choice. 
    • Coaches 
      • Senior Coach – Swimmers who are at the High School Level and swim with HS can be a member of club swimming, and impaired swimmers are not always aware of this opportunity.
      • Age Group Coach – athletes as this level are wanting to be involved in club sports, are competitive, and are involved with friends.
      • Both set of coaches can help athlete be competitive, grow both athletically and socially.
      • Can help athletes move to Para if warranted
  • Rationale for Course
    • Face to face conversation, instruction and discussion is always better. It helps with comprehension and development of programs.  It also provides the means to offer support to all affected groups.
    • Explanation of what impairments are and different impairments in each group. Provide specific examples.
    • Instruct officials on what they should be aware of when observing swims. (Article 105 of USA Swimming Rulebook)
    • Show what support staff is and how it looks
    • What starting devices are and examples of types
    • How modifications look for an impaired swimmer and what happens during observing swims
    • How rules are observed and implemented
    • How integrating impaired swimmers into clubs affects swimmers

USA Swimming Disability Motivational Time Standards: These time standards  are intended to foster and promote the inclusion of athletes with a disability within USA Swimming LSC, and other, championships. They provide a fair, equitable and structured approach by using a combination of three groupings of similar disabilities for athletes.  Additionally, they provide qualifying/motivational times tailored to different levels of competition including LSC, Zone and Sectionals.

Introductory Letter and FAQ Answers

LSC Para Motivational Times

Zone Para Motivational Times

Sectional Para Motivational Times

Training and Competition Articles:

Competition Opportunities for Disabled Swimmers PDF

SWAD Progression Outline for Swimmers PDF

Training and Conditioning for Swimmers with Disabilities PDF

Stroke Mechanics for Swimmers with Permanent Disabilities PDF

Performance Capabilities of Swimmers with Disabilities PDF

Moving to the Next Level: Swimming Instruction for Swimmers with Disabilities PDF

Web Resources:

USA Swimming -- disability swimming webpage

USA Down Syndrome Swimming website

US Paralympics Swimming webpage

Challenged Athletes Foundation webpage

Americans With Disabilities website

Coaching Communication with Deaf Athletes website

Accessibility Instruments Measuring Fitness and Recreation Environments (AIM FREE) Manuals


Disability Swimming Information

 U.S. Paralympics Swimming provides an avenue for athletes with disabilities to compete against athletes with similar impairments. U.S. Paralympics Swimming is a supplement to USA Swimming not a substitute for it. Swimmers will benefit from all USA Swimming and their local club has to offer including being a part of a team, regular local competitions, motivational standards and championship meets. U.S. Paralympics Swimming provides additional avenues to compete both nationally and internationally as well as clinics, camps, national team membership and support services, just like elite able-bodied swimmers.

In order to compete in a para-swim meet, an athlete needs to undergo classification. The classification process determines sport classes for the athlete which in turn provides a more level playing field in competition. There are 14 classes: 10 for physical impairments, 3 for athletes with visual impairments and 1 for cognitive impairments. Classification is most often conducted in conjunction with a U.S. Paralympics Swimming competition providing swimmers the opportunity to receive their sport class, experience classified competition and become acquainted with other athletes and coaches involved in the sport all in the same weekend.

The following link will assist you as you begin to
explore para-swimming

If you have questions, please feel free to contact either Jamie.Martin or Queenie.Nichols

USA Swimming Disability contacts are:

Tina Dessart, USA Swimming Staff Liaison for the Disability Swimming Committee

Jim Peterfish,  Committee Chair