Inclusion within the Rockford Park District means individuals with disabilities are welcome to participate in the same recreation programs and activities as their peers. Reasonable accommodations are provided to enable an individual’s successful participation in a program.
The Rockford Park District welcomes and supports the participation of individuals with disabilities in all programs and services.
- Consultation on activity modification
- Disability awareness training
- Behavior modification support
- Observation and evaluation
- Visual systems and sensory equipment/toys
- Sign language interpreters
- Adapted equipment (sleds, skate walkers, hand cranked bicycles,sport wheelchairs)
- Varying levels of staff support
Popular programs where individuals with disabilities have been included:
- Lessons (swimming, hockey, ice skating, horseback riding, tennis, golf)
- Day and residential summer camps (Summer Blast, Nature Quest, Camp Lone Oak, Pony Camp)
- Neighborhood programs (Playgrounds, Lewis Lemon and Washington Park community centers)
- Environmental education and recreation
- Youth sports
- Rec nights
Inclusion Services has created successful inclusion opportunities by:
- Implementing a positive support plan for a child with a conduct disorder in a full day summer camp setting.
- Providing an all-terrain wheelchair for a student with a physical disability for full trail access at Atwood Environmental Center.
- Creating and training staff on an enhanced visual system for a camper with a visual impairment.
- Trained staff supported a camper with an attention deficit disorder by providing additional supports such as redirection and positive reinforcements at a sports camp.
- Providing a sign language interpreter for a teen at horseback riding lessons
Parent's Guide to Inclusion Services
Steps to Receive Inclusion Support
- Register for desired Rockford Park District Program
- Check yes where the registration form states, "...does the participant have a disability or medical condition that may require assistance or accommodation"
- A team member from Inclusion Services will contact you within 48 hours to assess needs, level of support and appropriate start date
Inclusion Services Role
- Contact family/guardian to complete full assessment
- Obtain and organize any additional information, equipment and additional support staff if applicable
- Notify program staff of participant's needs and their role in supporting the participant in their program
- Communicate with family any updates, changes or information they need to be made aware of before start of program
- Maintain communication with parents/guardians, support staff, and program staff throughout the course of program
- Recommendations will be addressed based on participant's progress or level of success in program
- Verify the participant meets minimal eligibility requirements of program (i.e., age, registration and level of participation)
- Keep in mind, recreation programs and activities are voluntary in nature. Participation will be encouraged and aided, but not forced.
- Communicate openly with inclusion services staff by providing pertinent information on participant's needs for successful inclusion.
- Communicate absences to inclusion and/or program staff in advance.
- Provide constructive feedback on participant's progress and response to inclusion effort.
"We are so grateful for this program; it is the only summer program I can send my son to and have peace of mind knowing the staff can handle my son's issues. The staff did everything they could to make it a successful experience."
"The inclusion staff were great, super enthusiastic, high energy, and great communication."
"My son has a great summer having the ability to participate in golf and tennis. I am truly at ease when he is there because of the level of understanding that the staff have. Thank you so much!"