Boys in a train of wheelchairs

Mission and History

Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) strives to ‘Let No One Sit on the Sidelines’ and operates under a mission to promote and support the optimal development and well-being of youth, adults and military veterans who have a physical or visual disability through the provision of inclusive recreation, fitness and competitive sports activities. GLASA offers opportunities for empowerment through education, leadership and training in collaboration with community-based organizations.


GLASA is still run by the same Executive Director, Cindy Housner, who founded the agency in 1999  in order to provide health and wellness programming to a segment of the population that was not being served in traditional physical activity and health promotion programs. Started with less than a dozen participants, GLASA now serves over 1100 individuals in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin each year through direct programming. Over 3,000 youth and adults are also served each year through education and outreach initiatives. Educational clinics and elite level competitions bring in athletes, teams and families from around the country.


GLASA has demonstrated leadership on a local, regional and national level. GLASA disseminates best practices, serves on national advisory boards and supports systemic change as a recognized United States Olympic Committee- Gold Level Paralympic Sport Club. GLASA has received awards and designations from US Paralympics, Women’s Sports Foundation, and Great Nonprofits.