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Rowing for Para-athletes

Adaptive Rowing

Chicago Rowing Foundation is proud to offer adpative rowing programs at WMS Boathouse at Clark Park. Adaptive programs started during the 2013/2014 Winter Season. By making a few adjustments to our current rowing equipment, we are able to make accommodations to give individuals with a cognitive or physical disability the ability to row. An individual does not need to adapt themselves in order to row; we just adapt the equipment!

Special equipment is used for individuals with disabilities in order to make boats, ergs and indoor tanks more adaptable to their specific needs. Whether you have a cognitive disability such as autism, or you are a quadriplegic amputee, we will do our best to accomodate you. 


accessROW is CRF's adaptive program for physically impaired individuals. Click on the link to learn more.

Pauly's Pals

Pauly's Pals is a peer adaptive program for youth on the autism spectrum. Click on the link for more details.

Adaptive Rower Classifications

Functional Classification (Acronym) Meaning Explanation
LTA Legs, Trunks and Arms LTA athletes have use of legs, arms and trunks, and can row in a standard boat with a sliding seat. These athletes could be single-leg or single-arm amputees.
TA Trunk and Arms TA athletes have use of their trunks and arms, but not their legs. These athletes require a fixed seat in a boat, but may not need a chest strap while on an ergometer. Double-leg amputees and rowers with Cerebral Palsy Class 5 are considered TA athletes.
AS Arms and Shoulders AS athletes have use of their arms and shoulders, with very limited trunk movement. These athletes require fixed seats and chest straps to row comfortably. Cerebral Palsy Class 4 and higher-level spinal cord injury athletes are classified as AS.
VI Visual Impairment VI athletes do not necessarily need adapted equipment- they can row comfortably with a sliding seat and do not require a chest strap. Coaches adjust coaching style to use clear verbal cues to teach technique.
ID Intellectual Impairment ID athletes can be classified as LTA, TA or AS, depending on their disability. Ability to row will depend on the severity of the intellectual disability.

Adaptive Rowing Interest Survey

If you are an adaptive athlete and are interested in rowing with CRF, please fill out the below survey to help us better develop our program to the needs of the community. While we are still working on finalizing details on our adaptive program, we want to hear from you. 

Please take our Adaptive Rowing Interest Survey to help us have a better understanding of who is interested in adaptive rowing.

Adaptive Rowing Interest Survey

Please fill out this interest survey if you would like to be updated with information regarding the adaptive rowing programs, which will start in Winter 2013.

CRF Adaptive Advisory Council

The Advisory Council for CRF is a group of individuals who are influential in the adaptive community of Chicago. Each member brings their knowledge and expertise of congitive and physical disabilities to provide guidance for the development and continuation of our adaptive initiatives. Additional information about our advisory council will be available soon.

For More Information

For more information about adaptive rowing, please visit the USRowing Adaptive Rowing web page by clicking here.