USA Deaf Sports Federation (USADSF) serves as the national governing body of deaf sport organizations in the United States. Its purpose is to regulate the rules of competition for affiliated organizations, facilitate the participation of US teams in international deaf competitions, and promote human rights and equity through sports.
In sports, hearing loss creates disadvantages that are not as obvious as others, which means deaf athletes are prone to experiencing difficulties because their needs are easily overlooked or forgotten. Deaf athletes benefit from adaptations that are specific to their needs, such as the use of a light flashing system instead of starting guns or buzzers, and having officials employ hand signals and flags instead of whistles. Full access to communication is also a critical factor in the success of any athlete.
In deaf sports, all needs are met and all participants have full access to communication. Deaf sport organizations provide opportunities for athletes with hearing loss to compete among their peers at recreational, amateur or master levels.
Additionally, there are athletes who find deaf sport events to be the first or only opportunity to interact with other deaf people. The shared interest in sports brings together all kinds of D/deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired people and creates new opportunities for friendship and networking within the greater deaf and hard of hearing community. Playing among peers fosters a sense of solidarity and a feeling of camaraderie that is priceless.
In its over 70 years of existence, the USADSF has produced national champions, international record-breakers and Deaflympic medalists, all in the everlasting pursuit of excellence.