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Thursday, April 25, 2024

WDSRA: Transforming lives through inclusion


Imagine a dad’s heartfelt wish for his little girl – to experience the same joys and connections as her peers.

I recently met a dad who was learning about the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) for the very first time. Like any dad, he just wanted his little girl to have the same experiences as other little girls her age. He shared how she liked to dance. But when in dance class, she just couldn’t seem to stay focused and struggled to connect with the group.

After a few more questions, we introduced inclusion services to him. We explained that together we will collaborate to help meet the goals he has for his daughter. We will find strategies to help her focus better and help her make those important peer connections.

If one of those strategies is one-on-one assistance, we explained that the goal is to seamlessly blend the one-on-one support staff into the group setting to ensure that his daughter can participate without feeling singled out. You could see the wheels turning.

One-on-one assistance can ensure that a child can participate without feeling singled out.

Then dad shared her less than ideal summer camp experience. We told him we not only have summer camps but a full line up of programs for every interest, every age and every season. His eyes grew when he thought about how significantly different summer could have been. Then he thought about what the future might look like.

And when we mentioned that WDSRA never charges for any inclusion services, including one-on-one support, his jaw literally dropped.

As each moment of our conversation passed, you could physically see the shift from despair to hope. We love these moments!

WDSRA inclusion services address the unique needs of each individual. Inclusion focuses on personalized strategies to enhance the experience and participation in group activities like dance classes or summer camps. Inclusion can help the budding dancer find her spotlight or help a happy camper embrace new adventures.

WDSRA’s mission is to enrich lives, connect communities and create fun through inclusive recreation opportunities. It’s about making a positive difference in the lives of families and individuals. This is all while fostering a sense of belonging so each individual can reach their full potential.

The dad’s reaction – from his eyes growing at the thought of better summer experiences to his jaw dropping at the news of free one-on-one support – highlights the importance of spreading awareness about WDSRA programs and services. Please help us spread the word… YOU can change the life of one person or a whole family!  

To learn more about WDSRA inclusion services or programs, visit www.wdsra.com or call us at 630-681-0962.

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Sherry Manschot
Sherry Manschothttp://www.wdsra.com
Sherry Manschot is the Marketing/Public Relations Manager at Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. She can be contacted at sherrym@wdsra.com. Learn about WDSRA at www.wdsra.com.


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