LivAbility Magazine
The illustration represents a summer sky with fluffy clouds and added green, yellow, blue and purple lines and squiggles.

Is an inclusive recreation program the right choice for your child?

Story by Lane Gram & Sara Bright

Inclusive summer recreation programs continue to grow in Arizona. Lane Gram, of the Mesa Parks and Recreation Department, and Sara Bright of the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center share their best advice for finding an adaptive recreation program for your child.

Is an inclusive recreation program the right choice for your child? Consider the following questions:

  • If school-aged, does your child’s current classroom activities or goals prepare him/her for an inclusive recreation experience?
  • Has your child shown an interest in the program, activity or subject matter?
  • Is he/she comfortable and able to
    function appropriately, with or without assistance, in inclusive environments (malls, restaurants, parks, etc)?

Examples of available accommodations include:

  • Ongoing training for inclusion support staff ASL for the Deaf and hard of hearing
  • Adaptive activity equipment and/or supplies
  • Accessible transportation
  • Assistance in the provision of health care

Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center 360 Summer Camp

Specializes in all-inclusive adaptive sports for ages 6 through 14 in the Phoenix area. The camp is delivered by a professional and experienced staff and includes recreational games, inclusive sports, indoor climbing and aquatic activities.

Arizona Magic of Music & Dance
AZ Magic Summer Camp

Participants spend Monday through Thursday preparing for a Friday public production.

Arizona Youth Soccer Association TOPSoccer

The program is geared toward player development rather than competition and is available to anyone ages five and older who has a mental or physical disability.

Civitan Foundation
Camp Civitan

 15-acre wheelchair-accessible facility in Williams for children and adults with developmental disabilities offering week-long camp sessions throughout the summer and weekend adventures once a month during the rest of the year. Activities include a variety of enriching and fun experiences that promote positive self-esteem, teamwork, socialization and healthy activities.

The H.E.A.R.T. Center
Enrichment Camps

Offers a variety of inclusive camp opportunities over winter and summer breaks. At its core, the camp is therapy- based. It provides a highly trained team while creating an individualized therapeutic plan for each camper.

City of Mesa
Parks, Recreation and Community 

Facilities Offers alternative choices through specialized recreation activities geared specifically
for individuals with disabilities ages eight through adulthood, offering a wide variety of opportunities including sports, recreation and social opportunities.

City of Scottsdale
Afterschool and Summer Programs

Population-specific afterschool and summer teen programs for teenagers with disabilities ages
12 through 22. There are inclusion services for children with disabilities in the city’s mainstream afterschool and summer programs. The programs offer activities including fitness, cooking, social skill development and community excursions.

City of Tempe Adapted Recreation – Camp Challenge Summer Day Camp

A summer day camp for ages 5 through 21 with developmental disabilities. Camp participants enjoy arts & crafts, games, swimming, music, field trips, bowling and many other activities!