The United States Adaptive Recreation Center was founded in 1983 to ensure that access to skiing is available to people with many types of disabilities. The USARC believes people are empowered when they undertake and succeed at challenging outdoor recreation. In 1989, the first full-time, on-site adaptive ski school in Southern California was established at Bear Mountain Ski Resort. Adaptive water sports and summer camping programs were added in 1993, and continue to evolve today. The USARC collaborates with schools, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and park and recreation departments to serve children and adults with cognitive or physical disabilities. After testing themselves on the snow, water or land, participants learn new skills and redefine their abilities, enabling them to feel the freedom of recreating independently or with families and friends. This often results in increased self-confidence and greater success in academic, professional or personal life challenges.