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ADS Makes Driving Accessible for ALL members

The ADS believes that the sport of carriage driving and all activities of the ADS related to carriage driving events or carriage driving educational activities should be open to all members of the ADS and that requested dispensations and allowances should be made for drivers with medical necessity. 

Further, the ADS believes the burden of documenting, describing and recording such dispensations and allowances should be minimized as much as practical. Existing documentation requirements may be modified under certain circumstances with approval by the ADS. 

Accordingly, any ADS member requesting such dispensation or allowances (either temporary or permanent) and upon confidentially providing documentation of the cause and nature of such dispensation or allowances will be provided with a certificate listing all requested and approved dispensations and allowances. Such certificates will be honored at all ADS Recognized Events. Certificates issued by the USEF or the FEI under their programs will also be honored at ADS Recognized Events. 

How it works:

The driver will submit the Dispensation Application (located in the right side menu on this page) to the ADS. Drivers requesting Certificates must be ADS members in good standing. 

The application and supporting documentation will state if the circumstances leading to the application are permanent or temporary in nature. In the event that they are temporary, the anticipated expiration date of the dispensation will be noted on the certificate issued by the ADS. 

The driver will accompany the application with medical certification in the form of a doctor’s letter on his/her letterhead describing the driver’s disability as well as the compensating dispensations and allowances requested. The application will list the compensating aids, dispensations, and allowances requested on the application. 

State issued disability permit or placard may be used as supporting documentation only for motorized vehicle allowance (course walking) dispensations. It should be noted that despite the nature of the cause for the requested dispensations and allowances, if the materials submitted show an expiration date, this date shall be used on the certificate issued. Accordingly, anyone applying for a permanent certificate must provide documentation in support of their request. 

The application and supporting documentation will be sent to the ADS Executive Director who will issue an electronic certificate listing the compensating dispensations and allowances including aids, adaptive equipment,  or other allowances requested. 

The driver will include a copy of their certificate with their entries to ADS Recognized Events. 

The Organizer will include a copy of the certificate(s) for each driver in each Official’s packet. 

Dispensation Certificates are valid as long as the driver is a member of the ADS and the certificate has not expired (if temporary).

Para Driving and Therapeutic Driving Resources:

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc. (USDFD), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment.

Their mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving.

The Sybil Dukehart Endowment Fund seeks to provide financial assistance to equip and train disabled drivers through providing scholarship funds to applicants.

USDFD fosters opportunities for drivers to compete in national and international amateur competitions by training and providing financial support for Team USA. Learn more at

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is a federally registered 501(c)3, is committed to the advancement of equine-assisted services for lifelong impact and leads the advancement of professional equine-assisted services by supporting their members and stakeholders through rigorously developed standards, credentialing and education. 

They certify instructors, including Therapeutic Driving Instructors: