Recreational activities are a wonderful way for people with and without disabilities to meet, interact and–with a little luck and effort–establish friendships. The following list is designed to give you a glimpse of the wide variety of activities that people can do together. These resources do not necessarily purposefully bring people with and without disabilities together, but with a little ingenuity it’s not too difficult to envision how it can be done. A given activity may not be available near where you live, either, but that doesn’t mean you can’t seek out local people who share that interest and–using the resource as both inspiration and a guide–make something happen in your area. Have fun!
People with disabilities have connected successfully with people without disabilities in countless activities. Your local chapters of The Arc, DDS-funded Family Support Centers and DDS-funded Autism Support Centers can help you find local activities. You may also have luck calling the Massachusetts Statewide Information and Referral Line at 211.
Below is a partial list of activities you can check out. Please click on each resource link below for more information.
Created to be part of a national movement towards inclusion, All Out Adventures (AOA), Inc. delivers quality outdoor recreation programming to people of all abilities, their families and friends. Provides customized instruction to both groups and individuals. Also provides consultation with existing agencies to promote the dissemination of the most updated knowledge in adaptive recreation & assistive technology solutions. Easthampton-based.
Programs include residential and day camp; all-inclusive recreation and sport programs; and respite programs which give participants an opportunity to engage in social and recreational activities, while their families get a much-needed break from the demands of caregiving.
Exceptional Vacations is dedicated to providing high quality vacation opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and special needs. We ensure a safe environment that promotes integration, socialization, friendship and fun. Vacation packages are all-inclusive (including lodging, supervision by experienced, professional staff, ground transportation, meals, and all activities), and are available to individuals with special needs who are age 18 and over.
The FUN and FRIENDS CONNECTION was created to provide a forum for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and caregivers to access positive recreational and personal enrichment opportunities via the World Wide Web.
Check out school tracks, local parks, etc.
NCPAD is an information center concerned with physical activity and disability whose goal is to provide people with disabilities with options, information, and resources to help them pursue whatever kind of activities they think they would enjoy. Website includes a directory of programs in Massachusetts which offer accessible activities and camps for people with disabilities. Also provides extensive collections of information on specific exercises and activities, technologies, nutrition and health, health promotion, relevant research, and more.
Verge Inclusive Athletics (Team Verge) is a volunteer 501c3 nonprofit, free running and wheelchair club for youth and adults of all abilities, with and without special needs, dedicated to improving the health and lives of its participants by helping them to expand their limits in a fun, safe, team environment with the individual support and challenge they need for success and athletic, social, and personal growth.
Coached team practices all year. Participate in track and field, cross country, road races, trail running and team events. Join for fun & fitness, to prepare for racing, to prepare for inclusion in mainstream/school sports. www.teamverge.org
Search Beyond Adventures annually operates over 150 supervised, assisted tours for adults with developmental disabilities. Vacations are to diverse destinations, ranging from theme parks, music venues, national parks, cruises, and international locations. Monthly tours depart to Orlando and Los Angeles, and frequent mini-bus tours depart MA to regional destinations, with convenient pick-up points in Boston, Newton, and along the Mass Pike. Care providers are welcome to participate at reduced rates. Call 800-800-9979, or visit the web site below for more information.
Special Olympics is an international organization dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. Special Olympics offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round training and competition in 26 Olympic-type summer and winter sports at no charge to participants.
Check with your local town/city hall, United Way, etc