For 30 years, Gwen Allard has been a passionate leader in the adaptive skiing industry-from teaching and program management, to publishing guides and establishing national certification standards.
Gwen began her career in 1968 as a ski instructor at a small ski area in Schenectady, NY. In 1974, she decided to move to Gore Mountain in New York where she received her Professional Ski Instructor’s of America (PSIA) certification and was known for successfully teaching mentally and physically-disabled skiers. Gwen’s motivation to learn more about teaching people with disabilities began with the birth of her son who had spatial difficulties. Her friend and fellow instructor also had a daughter with Cerebral Palsy.
While at Gore Mountain, Gwen mentored under Bruce Gavett, an early adaptive leader in the East. Gwen’s passion for adaptive skiing led her to create one of the first disabled ski programs in New York at Gore Mountain. She directed the program from 1974 to 1982, and it eventually became a training center.
From 1983 to 1984, Gwen made severa1 contributions to adaptive skiing. As co-chair of the New York State Select Committee on Winter Sports for the Disabled, she helped publish a reference guide listing all recreational facilities in the state that were accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, Gwen researched and established a national certification standard for disabled ski teaching. It was accepted as the P SIA national educational system and standard for all divisions in 1984.
The PSIA-Eastern Division established an Education Foundation corporation in 1984 and Gwen became its executive director. The program is now nationally recognized as an educational leader in adaptive skiing.
In 1998, Gwen established the first PSIA Adaptive Examiner College at Winter Park/A-Basin for divisional adaptive examiners.
For her dedication and many contributions to adaptive ski teaching and adaptive skiing, Gwen Allard has earned induction into the National Disabled Ski Hall of Fame.