At Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) we like to say there are two ways to play. The first way is to enjoy WDSRA recreational programs designed especially for persons with disabilities. The second way is through inclusion services which provide the necessary accommodations that allow individuals with special needs to participate alongside their peers in regular park district programs. Accommodations might include a higher staff-to-participant ratio, adapted equipment, or behavior management support, just to name a few.
This service, provided by WDSRA through the Naperville Park District (as well as eight other local park districts), is provided at no cost to the participants’ families, who pay only the regular cost of the park district program.
Free services you say? What’s the catch? Good question. While these services are free to families, the cost is absorbed by WDSRA and the local park districts. In the past five years, WDSRA has experienced a 29 percent increase in inclusion participations.
I am happy to report, however, that the challenges relating to the increased demand and associated costs have not gone unrecognized by the community. Recently, the WDSRA Foundation was delighted to receive a grant from the Exchange Club of Naperville to help fund inclusion services for children with disabilities enrolled in Naperville Park District summer camps. In addition, our annual charity auction held in March was such a success that our staff was left awed and inspired by our supporters’ collective generosity. This generosity allows WDSRA to continue providing quality recreational programs and inclusion services for individuals with special needs. Indeed: Equal Fun for Everyone!
To find out more about WDSRA, visit www.wdsra.com.