Children with developmental disabilities benefit from participating in a variety of recreational activities. Sometimes it is helpful to participate in activities with typically developing peers. Sometimes set up to meet a child’s special needs are needed. This list is a starting point for families looking to find recreation activities for their child.
General Activity Resources and Centers
Genesee Parent Magazine
Genesee Parent Magazine has resources for families with special needs children that include recreation and camps in the Rochester area.
Rochester Kids Out and About
Rochester Kids Out and About Provides details of child appropriate events in the Rochester NY area.
Rochester Museum and Science Center
The Rochester Museum and Science Center houses exhibits, a planetarium and offers a wide range of family and child experiences
YMCA of Greater Rochester
As a community organization, the YMCA focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility
Pieters Family Life Center
Pieters Family Life Center is a recreation center that offers educational, social, and wellness support that is inclusive to all people.
New York State Inclusive Recreation Resource Center
New York State Inclusive Recreation Resource CenterPromotes and sustains participation by people with disabilities in inclusive recreation activities and resources.
New York State Parks
The Access Pass permits residents of New York State with disabilities, as defined in the application, free or discounted use of state parks, historic sites, and recreational facilities operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
AbilitYoga was started by a team of two experienced occupational therapists to provide unique adaptive yoga therapy for children with special needs, either developmental disabilities or special healthcare needs, in the metropolitan Rochester, New York area.
Local Sports Opportunities
AutismUp has a series of family gatherings on trail walks around Rochester to promote the health and wellbeing of families
Rochester Rookies is a junior wheelchair sports program dedicated to enhancing the quality of children's lives by teaching athletic skills, fostering independence, building character and helping families realize their child's full potential through programs, advocacy and services. Featured sports include track & filed, swimming, archery and table tennis.
The EquiCenter located in Mendon, New York, provides therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, vaulting and horsemanship (equine facilitated mental health) sessions.
Purple Pony is a therapeutic horsemanship program located near Rochester, NY. They provide equine opportunities to persons with disabilities and diverse needs.
Rochester Ice Cats
members of Special Hockey International - a division of USA Hockey; Rochester Ice Cats is an organization that specializes in providing training in the game of ice hockey for individuals with developmental disabilities SportsNet
SportsNet provides inclusive sports and recreation opportunities for people with physical challenges. Working with area organizations, sports clubs, recreational facilities, and sports professionals, the goal of the program is to create a great sports experience for people of all abilities
Cape Ability Outrigger Canoes
Cape Ability Outrigger Ohana Inc. aims to provide the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to gain confidence and dignity through participation in paddle sports, recreation, and related educational programs.
Shared Ski Adventures (SSA)
is an adaptive learn to ski program that helps people with disabilities become independent skiers. Shared Ski Adventures is a recreational program of CP Rochester that takes place at Swain Resort in Western New York SSA is the largest adaptive ski program in the greater Rochester area.
Webster Central School District
Webster Central School District & SEPTA sponsors sports programs for children with special needs-ages 5-21. Provides a list of various sports opportunities with the appropriate contact information Webster Schools - Groups & Organizations
The Special Olympics aims to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Through their participation in Special Olympics New York athletes gain confidence and build a positive self-image.
Empire State Games for the Physically Challenged
Empire State Games offers competition in a variety of adapted sports, plus fitness for young people with physical challenges. The program is free to athletes and spectators through the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and supported by local volunteers. Open to ages from 5-21 years with many different divisions available.
National Sports Opportunities
United Cerebral Palsy Association
UCPA Home This has a list of sports and activities that one with Cerebral Palsy may participate in along with the necessary additions such as equipment to make participating in these activities possible.
General Information on Recreation and Disability
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability
provides many different resources specific to physical activity, research and general information on different conditions.The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability Home Page