Recreation Opportunities For People With Disabilities

Recreational opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and skill levels.

Accessible Cape Cod
The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitors Bureau has put together a list of accessible venues, including beaches, playgrounds and trails, accommodations, and a dining guide to accessible restaurants in Hyannis.

Accessible Swimming PoolsOutdoor swimming pool lifts are available at all of the State Parks and Recreation Department’s 20 swimming pools. The pools are free. Contact pool directly for information about other site factors affecting accessibility.

AccesSport AmericaNational, non-profit organization dedicated to the discovery of higher function, fitness, and fun for children and adults with disabilities through high-challenge sports, which include kayaking, windsurfing and water skiing.
119 High Street in Acton
Phone: 978-264-0985
Email: betty@accessportamerica.org

Adaptive Sports New England
Adaptive Sports New England is a Massachusetts non-profit organization dedicated to increasing participation in sports among New England youth and young adults who have visual or mobility impairments.
Phone: 617-982-2763
E-mail: joe.walsh@adaptivesportsne.org

All Out Adventures provides outdoor accessible recreational opportunities throughout Massachusetts for people of all abilities, their families and friends. Summer programs include accessible kayaking, canoeing, hiking and cycling. Winter programs include snowshoeing, x-country skiing & sit-skiing, ice skating, sled skating and snowmobile rides.
214 State Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: 413-584-2052
Email: info@alloutadventures.org

Arcs of Massachusetts – Local Arcs provide a variety of social and recreational activities for children and teens with developmental disabilities. Find your local Arc

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary Offers nine miles of walking trails guiding through a variety of field, woodland, and wetland habitats. A quarter-mile, handicap accessible trail and boardwalk along the bank of Indian Brook. Universally accessible facilities: Nature Center, Restrooms, All Persons Trail.
280 Eliot Street
Natick, MA 01760
Phone: 508-655-2296
Email: broadmoor@massaudubon.org

BSC (Boston Sports Club) Adaptive Swim Program – On Monday and Wednesday evening, between 6:30pm and 7:30pm, BSC Waltham (840 Winter Street) offers an adaptive swim program for children, youth, adolescents and adults with disabilities in our 93 degree therapy pool. Volunteers between the ages of 16-20 from neighboring schools and organizations offer their time to pair with an individual seeking to increase range of motion, flexibility, and strength but most importantly to socialize with other individuals and families. Our adaptive swim program is offered during the school year (September thru May) the cost is $25.00 per session. Our 120,000 square foot, state of the art facility can accommodate families in our men’s, women’s or family changing rooms, fully equipped with showers, lockers, restrooms, towels, and other amenities. If you would like more information about adaptive swim program, call program desk between 9am and 6pm. Call the program manager for more information
Phone: 781-522-2054
Program Manager: 781-522-2512

CAPEable AdventuresOffers adaptive sports & therapeutic recreation activities to local residents and vacationers to the Cape.Phone: 508-566-3298
Email: info@capeableadventures.org

Cape Cod Beaches that are Wheelchair AccessibleCape Days your go to Cape Cod Guide offers a link to wheelchair accessible beaches.

Cape Cod Challenger Club – Offers noncompetitive sports and recreation opportunities for children with disabilities.
Phone: 508-420-6950
Email: info@capecodchallenger.org

Challenger Sport League – Some towns have challenger teams. The goal of the challenger team is to play with no pressure and to educate typical peers and their parents about sportsmanship. The program is available for boys and girls, ages 3 – 19 with all types of physical and developmental disabilities. Call your local town recreation department to find out if they offer challenger sports or visit the Massachusetts little league challenger program website. If you have any questions, please e-mail the Information Officer at MassLittleLeague@gmail.com.

CHD Disability Resources – A variety of adaptive sports provide barrier-free recreational and competitive opportunities for people of all skill levels and age groups, as well as their family and friends. The athletic programs run year-round and include wheelchair basketball, soccer, hockey, cycling, golf, swimming and more. Equipment is available to borrow for a nominal fee, such as: hand-cycles, sport wheelchairs, bi-ski, mono-skis, and bowling equipment. Social outings include movies, dinners, or concerts.
Program Manager: Jessica Levine – (413)788-9695

Children’s Physical Developmental Clinic at Bridgewater State UniversityThe aim of the clinic program is to improve the “total development” of children with disabilities by enhancing vital physical, motor, and aquatic skills and patterns. In addition, the program stresses the improvement of children’s self-esteem by strengthening emotional-social aspects of their personalities through successful involvement in play, recreation, and sport activities.
Phone: 508-531-1776
Email: cpdc@bridgew.edu

South Shore Conservatory Community Voices – An inclusive chorus designed for singers of all abilities, age 16 and up.
Groups meet Wednesday evenings at both our Duxbury and Hingham campuses. Repertoire includes master works, folk and traditional, seasonal, and popular tunes.  These groups perform 2-8 times per year. They also offer creative arts therapies.
Contact Eve Montague, MSM, MT-BC
Phone: 781-934-2731 x20
Email: e.montague@sscmusic.org

Compelling FitnessIn Hanover, provides group and / or individual physical fitness training for children and adults with special needs.
Phone: 339-206-1109
Email: bret@compellingfitness.com

Horseback Riding – PATH International Centers in Massachusetts – Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, PATH International was formally known as North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). Though PATH Intl. began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT).

Jewish Family and Children Services HALO Swim and Sing – A 3-hour social and respite program that offers music therapy and recreational swim for children and young adults with moderate to severe neurological and physical disabilities. This structured program provides regular opportunities for participants to be integrated and interact with members of their community as well as form friendships with the other participants.  RSVP required: Contact Angela Waring, Respite and Recreation Program Manager, at awaring@jfcsboston.org or 781-697-7232.

Kids In Disability Sports (K.I.D.S) – Several specialized athletic programs are available. K.I.D.S. hosts dances, sports banquets, social activities and recreational events throughout the year. Serves individuals and families throughout Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Participants range in age 5-40 and have varying disabilities.
Phone: 866-712-7799
Email: info@kidsinc.us

LIAM Nation Athletics – Sports leagues for special needs children in Tewksbury and surrounding communities in Merrimack Valley. Accommodates athletes of all abilities.
Bombers Baseball, Striker Soccer, Little Reds Basketball.
Phone: 978-902-3661
Email: info@liamnation.org

Mass Audubon Society
Mass Audubon strives to create a welcoming presence for a wide range of visitors, including making our sanctuaries and nature centers more accessible. We’re working hard to ensure that everyone can enjoy the nature of Massachusetts. The public facilities at most of our staffed wildlife sanctuaries are universally accessible, and we have many fully accessible trails. Plus, thanks to a generous grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), many of our sanctuaries now feature a multi-sensory interpretive trail. Accessibility information:
208 South Great Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
781-259-9500
800-AUDUBON (800-283-8266)
http://www.massaudubon.org/

Mass Dept of Conservation & Recreational Universal Access Program – Provides outdoor recreation opportunities in Massachusetts State Parks for visitors of all abilities. Accessibility to Massachusetts State Parks is achieved through site improvements, specialized adaptive recreation equipment, and accessible recreation programs.
Phone: 413-545-5353
Email: DCR.UniversalAccess@state.ma.us

Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital for Children  Wheelchair Recreation & Sports Program – Wheelchair sports and recreation program for children ages 9 to 21.  Horseback riding, swimming and, Wheelchair Athletes Program.   Call for more information. Located at 3 Randolph Street in Canton.
Ray Jackman – Director
Phone: 781- 828-2440

Miracle League of Massachusetts – Provides baseball for special needs children.  Free to participate (includes uniform). Located at Blanchard Memorial Elementary School Ball Field in Boxborough.  For addition information or to register a 5 to 18 year old, contact Lauren Richardt.
Phone: 978-263-3043
Email: info@miracleleagueofma.com

Partners for Youth With Disabilities – Provides mentoring programs that assist young people reach their full potential. Partners provides several types of mentoring programs including one-to-one, group mentoring and e-mentoring. Offers Access to Theatre inclusive program for teens and young adults.
Phone: 617-556-4075
(TTY): 617-314-2989
Email: info@pyd.org

Piers Park Sailing – Provides programs for disabled youth and adults aboard 23-foot sonar sailboats on a no charge basis. Serves those with amputations, paralysis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, autism, hearing impaired, sight impaired and other disabilities. Successfully integrates youth with disabilities into summer youth sailing programs.
Phone: 617-561-6677
Email: info@piersparksailing.org

Spaulding Adaptive Sports – Offers adaptive sports and recreation activities in Boston, Cape Cod and the North Shore.  Includes wheelchair tennis, hand cycling, adaptive rowing, waterskiing or windsurfing.  Contact Mark Priest, Network Registration Specialist.  Adaptive Sports is under Programs and Services / Inpatient Services.

Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) – Provides year round sports training and athletic competition for all persons with intellectual disabilities. Minimum age requirement is eight years of age. There is no maximum age requirement. SOMA summer games offers aquatics, athletics, gymnastics, sailing, tennis and volleyball. Go to above link to search SOMA region that covers your town.
Phone: 508-485-0986.

SPED Child & Teen
Resources include listings of camps, recreation opportunities for special needs children and teens.

Sudbury Adaptive Sports & Recreation – Programs for all ages and abilities. Available programs.
Phone: 978-639-3257
Email: inclusive@sudbury.ma.us

Summer Camps 2018 – MNIP Fact Sheet

Super Soccer Stars Shine – Our unique program uses soccer as a vehicle to teach life skills to individuals with developmental disabilities.  Our innovative curriculum, designed by licensed educators and therapists, promotes the complete growth and development of each player.  Our low player-to-coach ratios encourage and empower players to increase social potential with teammates, build self-awareness and confidence and advance gross and fine motor skills — all while each individual improves at his or her own pace! Located at 1 Thompson Square, Suite 301 in Charlestown. Call for information.  Low pricing options and scholarship applications available.
boston@supersoccerstars.com
Phone: 781-777-7171

Therapy and the Performing Arts
Therapy & Performing Arts programs allow children and young adults with special needs the opportunity to participate in various arts and recreational programs. In addition to receiving therapeutic benefit from these fun activities, the children also gain new and rewarding experiences from which they develop self-confidence and increased motor function. Classes are taught by certified instructors and therapists. Currently The Genesis Foundation is providing grant funding to three programs:

  • Bournedale Elementary School’s Integrated Preschool Music Therapy programming within Bourne Public Schools. This music therapy and enrichment program consists of students in the special education program and their peers, creating an inclusive classroom. This past year, the program averaged 63 preschoolers from ages 3-5, and these students face challenges from such diagnoses as autism, cerebral palsy, and emotional difficulties. The activities of the music therapy program, such as dance and movement activities, singing, repetition and rhyming, greatly enhance the student’s education and allow for improvement in these children’s verbal responses, language development, social interaction skills, and academic development.
  • Wellspring Farm Learning Center hippotherapy program in Rochester, MA: Our grant will support students (in wheelchairs, with autism, developmental challenges, etc) from Carver School system for three months of therapy visits!
  • amplifi Adaptive Music Programs for Life Music education program, Burlington, MA: In partnership with LABBB Collaborative, our grant will allow amplifi to provide weekly music programming to special education students in the Burlington, MA area! This music education program is about learning and expressing through the creation of original music.

To learn more about Therapy and the Performing Arts programs please email office@thegenfound.org.

TILL Autism Support Center – Social programs for those with autism spectrum disorders. Programs include exciting Family Fun Days that include apple picking, rock climbing, sledding, in-door gym time, zoo trips, holiday parties and much more. The Springboard Social Club is a membership club for adults. Small groups, facilitated by trained leaders, meet several times each month for social activities chosen by the group.
Springboard Social Club Dale Belcher at 781-302-4619 or email Dale.Belcher@tillinc.org
Phone: 781-302-4600 or
Email: info@tillinc.org.

TopSoccer Program / Outreach Program for Soccer – Is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with a mental or physical disability.  To find your local TopSoccer Community. For additional information or would like to start a TOPSoccer Program in your community contact  Ray Robinson, Massachusetts Youth Soccer’s Director of Outreach Programs. Ray is also honored to be the national Chairman of the U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Program. Ray’s email address is Rayrobinson12a@comcast.net

Town Recreation Departments:  Most programs are open to participants from neighboring towns. Call your local area city or town recreation department to find out if it has special programming for children with disabilities.

Trail Link – Has a listing of wheelchair accessible trails in Massachusetts

YMCAs are accessible and offer a range of classes. Call your local YMCA to find out what programs are available.
Greater Boston

Find Your local YMCA by zip code

WaterFire Access Program – A water-taxi program at Dyer Street Dock in Providence Rhode Island which provides an unforgettable experience of the art work for children and adults with disabilities to assure that they can join in the most popular arts event in the state and share the experience with their families and friends. Reservations are required.  Each Water Fire Access passenger can bring along one companion.
Phone:  401-273-1155

Waypoint Adventures – Waypoint Adventure programs are uniquely adapted to accommodate people with a wide range of disabilities. All programs are custom tailored to be responsive to the diverse needs of individuals and groups.
Contact: Julia Spruance for programs and volunteering
Email: info@waypointadventure.org or jspruance@waypointadventure.org
Phone: 781-325-7980

Wheelchair Sports & Recreation Association – Offers information about beach wheelchairs, biking, boating and more!
Voice: 850.333.7318 (Florida)
email: wheerus@aol.com

Whole Children – Offers movement, art, recreation, and music programs for infants, children and teens of all abilities. Located in Hadley.
Contact: Maggie Rice, Director
Phone: 413-585-8010
Email: info@wholechildren.org

 

Additional Links

Physical Activity and Recreation Resource Guide Massachusetts (Updated May 2015) (PDF)

Access Recreation Boston – Connecting people with disabilities to accessible recreation opportunities

 

Fact Sheet last updated on: 5/08/2018