Once in while I meet someone who has no idea what Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) is or does.

That is when I go into my cheerleader mode. You see, I am a big fan of helping individauls blossom. I welcome the opportunity to share how WDSRA programs and services does exactly that for people with special needs.

When in cheerleader mode, I usually start by sharing our vision. For forty years our vision has been Equal Fun for Everyone. It has been aspirational for a long time. But as both the world around us and the opportunities for our families has changed dramatically over the years, so has our vision.

WDSRA has an incredible history of bringing special recreation to families. It has been an amazing journey. We have heard countless stories of how the experiences through special recreation can leave an indelible mark on individuals. For some, it may be through the social nature of our programs; for others, it may be through the recreational outlet.

There are two cornerstones upon which we are built. First is the belief that a person should be able to focus on his/her abilities rather than disabilities. It should be about an individual discovering what they can do through fun, creative recreational and social opportunities in the best possible environment.

The other is the community-based nature of our programming. The ultimate goal is to provide opportunities that allow everyone to reach their potential while creating deep, meaningful connections to their community. That means that programs, like ballet and basketball, are held in community outlets such as schools and Park District facilities. It provides the chance to identify with people and places that are familiar creating a strong connection to the community and the world around them.

Through it all, everyone has the opportunity to develop their imagination, independence, skills and courage that goes with them beyond their time at WDSRA. Our new vision reflects that and more.

I am thrilled to share our new vision with you:

Opening a World of Untapped Potential and a Lifetime of Possibilities.

Our new vision reflects the intrinsic nature of what our participants can gain in their lives both in and beyond our programs. It also guides us to be true to our mission of Developing Individuals through Recreation as we continue to be participant-centered. Additionally, it reminds us that we are committed to supporting families and aspiring to helping our participants achieve their hopes and dreams.

I hope you are as excited about this new vision as we are at WDSRA. We have grown right along with our families and together we have come a long way.