Family Manual Fact Sheet – Accessing Community Activities
Where do I look for activity options for my young adult in transition?
Park District Programs – Many communities have park districts that provide activities for children and adults. Programs vary from little league sport opportunities for children to art classes and field trips for adults. There are also park districts that provide inclusion support so that individuals with disabilities have the support needed to participate in these offerings. Check your community listings for Park District contacts in your area. The Illinois Association of Park Districts may also be helpful in finding a Park District near you. www.ilparks.org 217-523-4554
Special Recreation Associations – Many park districts offer programs and activities through special recreation associations. A special recreation association (SRA) is a cooperative formed by 2 or more park district or municipalities who have joined together to provide recreation for their residents with disabilities. These offerings are designed to provide the needed support that individuals with disabilities may require to participate. For more information about SRA’s or to find out about resources near you, check with your local Park District or go to the website for the Special Recreation Association Network of Illinois at www.specialrecreation.org.
Special Olympics – These activities can be provided by any number of sponsoring groups. Schools, service providers, park district and special recreation programs as well as independent groups can set up Special Olympics opportunities. The focus in Special Olympics is on what athletes can do. Illinois supports nearly 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities from communities throughout the state. To find out about Special Olympics opportunities in your area, go to www.ilso.org and check the Local Programs section or call 309-888-2551.
Service Providers – Adult service providers in your area may also provide activities that are available to individuals with disabilities in the community. Contact the local service providers in your area for more information. For a list of service providers in your county, go to the Illinois Life Span website (www.illinoislifespan.org) and use the Search for Advocacy/Service Providers feature.
Community College Adult Education Programs – Most community colleges offer adult education opportunities in addition to their academic curricula. They are usually non-credit workshops and classes designed to teach new skills or learn about an interest area. Examples include workshops in cooking, crafts, photography, fitness, computers, or gardening. Field trips and other hands-on opportunities are sometimes available.
Microboards & Cooperatives – Some Illinois families have used their microboards or formed cooperatives to help generate and support participation in activities. For more information on these options, please contact the Illinois Association of Microboards and Cooperatives. Their website is www.iambc.org or contact the Director at 217-224-4093.
Centers for Independent Living (CIL) – There are 23 CILs in Illinois. Activities are sometimes scheduled through these organizations. Check your area CIL or the website for Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living for area-specific information. www.incil.org 217-525-1308
This is not a comprehensive list, but offers options that have been useful for others. Please let us know of additional resources that were valuable to you!