Recreation is an essential part of every person’s life. Most city, county and state recreation departments provide a wide variety of recreation programs and services for everyone in the community. According to The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, recreation programs must provide a reasonable accommodation so that people with disabilities are able to participate. This is called inclusive recreation.
Inclusive recreation means that a person with a disability who would like to participate in a recreation program and meets all basic requirements of the activity including; age, height, weight, and skill, should be able to participate in that program.
Inclusive recreation does not require that recreation departments provide segregated recreation programs exclusively for people with disabilities. Rather, it requires that people with disabilities will be included in already existing programs. Inclusive recreation does not require that a person who does not meet the basic activity requirements shall be included in an activity. For example, if a toddler slide at a pool requires that participants be under 48″ tall, a child who is too tall should not use the slide. Another example would be a if 16 year old wanted to sign up for a day camp program for 8-10 year olds, the camp is not required to enroll the 16 year old, since he does not meet the basic age requirements.
If an individual would like to participate in an activity, an accommodation should be requested at the time of registration. At that time, a representative of the program will negotiate an appropriate adaptation for the individual. Since each person is an individual, each adaptation will be different. For example, a child with a hearing impairment participating in swim class may need to be in a smaller group and the teacher may need to be in front of the child and close enough so the child can lip-read the instruction. A child with cerebral palsy in the same class may need an adult to physically hold him while he is in the water.
Accommodations are also provided at community events. This may include accessible parking, a special seating area for people who use wheelchairs, sign language interpreters, or information signs in Braille. Those who feel they will need extra accommodations at an event should contact the organizers prior to the day of the event.
For more information about inclusive recreation and The Americans with Disabilities Act, call The Arc at 734-729-9100.
Phone code: 1904