In 1977 Australia played host to sixteen (16) nations from the Far East and South Pacific Region at the FESPIC Games. The Games were conducted in Sydney in November 1977 and were hosted by the Australian Paraplegic and Quadriplegic Sports Federation. This was the first time that amputees as a group competed in organised sport for people with a disability.
At the conclusion of the 1977 FESPIC Games, a group of amputees called a meeting and established that there was a genuine need to establish an organisation that would cater for the sporting needs of all amputees throughout Australia.
On March 14, 1981, the Amputee Sporting Association of Australia (ASAA) was formed in Toowoomba, Queensland with its primary objective being to provide the opportunity and incentive for people with amputations and other locomotor disabilities to participate in sport at rehabilitation, recreational and competitive level. This new national body was recognised by the Australian Federal Government and started to receive funding to support its operations.
Australian amputees competed at National Titles, held annually for a number of years from 1981 to the mid to late 1990's and the ASAA were at the forefront of activities now known as 'mainstreaming'. The 3rd National Titles were hosted by the Victorian Association in March 1983. For the first time in Australia one day of the week long athletic competition was conducted in conjunction with able bodied athletes at the Athletics Association of Australia's Australian Junior Track and Field titles.
The 1983 ASAA AGM was conducted in Canberra. President, Ray Andrews and Secretary, Doug Bradford both declined nomination to the Executive and for the first time, ASAA came under new leadership with the Executive split between States. The ASAA Sports Council operated independently, but under the guidance of the ASAA Executive, the ASAA Sports Council introduced thorough and up to date sporting records and a concise and fully operable Australian Rule book (later changed to By-Laws).
In 1984, ASAA were advised of the inclusion of amputee athletes in the first Australia Games being conducted in January 1985. The Games were the first major sporting event in the world that included amputees in the same program as their able-bodied counterparts. ASAA conducted a 100 metre track event for A4 (below knee) and A6/8 (arm) athletes, a 400 metre event for athletes in both classes and the 'main event' the 4 x 100 metre Relay. The ASAA team consisted of Brett Holcombe, Rodney Nugent, Peter Kirby, Stephen Muir, Joe Egan and Stephen Saroglia.
The inaugural Disabled Youth Games were also conducted in 1985 in Sydney, under the joint sponsorship of Westfield, the Australian Government and the New South Wales Government. The Games created the opportunity for all athletes with a disability to take part in a joint multi-disability Games on a national basis. The Games also assisted with the establishment of the South Australian Amputee Sporting Association. Discussions between ASAA and South Australia had been held previously; however no establishment had been made until the Disabled Youth Games in 1985.
Australian amputees have been highly successful at international competitions in many sports such as lawn bowls, track and field, volleyball, shooting, cycling, table tennis and swimming. The team that attended the 1982 FESPIC Games in Hong Kong returned to Australia with 109 medals in total - an outstanding effort by a team tasting its first international competition. Australia finished as the number one amputee nation out of 28 teams which competed in the Far East and South Pacific region. The Australian team was also ranked number one (1) in the world after the 1986 FESPIC Games in Surakarta Indonesia, and the 1992 Barcelona Paralympic Games.
The name of the Association changed from the Amputee Sporting Association of Australia (ASAA) to the Amputees Federation of Australia (AFA). In recognition of the broad range of people with a disability to which the organisation catered and to mirror the name of the international body, International Sports Organisation for the Disabled (ISOD), the name of the Association changed from Amputees Federation of Australia (AFA) to Australian Sports Organisation for the Disabled (ASOD) in 1998.
In 2003, the ASOD administrative office was closed to merge with the office of Australian Athletes with a Disability (AAWD) in Sydney, where it functions from currently.