NISRA offers a wide range of recreation programs throughout the year, for all ability levels and ages, from early childhood through seniors.
Summer Day Camps
Summer day camps give children and teens a chance to make friends, try new activities and simply have fun! Full day camps are offered, along with half day camps in conjunction with some summer school programs. Each camp's individual website page is available in late spring & during camp.
LIFE (Leisure Increases Freedom & Enjoyment) is a year round life skills program, using community-based recreation activities to develop skills and enhance quality of life for young adults with a disability. Participants plan and actively participate in fitness activities, cooking meals, scheduling field trips and doing service projects, as well as other leisure-time experiences.
The program is designed to meet the needs of young adults, ages 22-35, with a mild to moderate cognitive disability. The program will be staffed with a 1:5 participant ratio. For more information, click here for a program brochure including the eligibility requirements. For additional information on the LIFE program or to begin the registration/application process, please contact Emily at the NISRA office.
Early Childhood/Young Children:
Parent/child classes, sensory/motor development classes, and mini-camps stimulate the sensory development, social skills, and learning of young children. Parents enjoy getting acquainted with other parents.
A wide array of activities for children get them moving, exploring, and making friends. Sports such as swimming, bowling, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, karate, learn to ride a bike, ice skating, fishing, and horseback riding offer opportunities to develop skills and learn the rules of the sport in a nurturing environment. Cultural arts such as; private music lessons, pet play, art classes, dance, and outings to live performances introduce young people to creativity and culture.
Sports, adapted sports, cultural arts, cooking, social clubs, fitness, and outdoor adventure activities challenge teens and adults to try new activities and make choices for the ones they will enjoy for a lifetime.
One day outings to local and regional sites offer fun on holidays, school days off, and other days throughout the year. NISRA staff and participants explore many of Chicagoland's newest recreation attractions.
Trips to destinations throughout the Midwest and the U.S. expose groups of teens and adults to places they may never have visited, sights & scenery, and history. Trips range from tent camping to hotel getaways, even cruises.
NISRA provides Special Olympics training programs in numerous sports for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Individual athletes and teams compete locally, and in Special Olympics Illinois competition at the Area, District, and State levels.
NISRA joins with other agencies to host clinics and competition for youth and adults experiencing physical limitations. A number of wheelchair sports and adapted sports for ambulatory athletes are offered.
NISRA staff assists residents with disabilities in the Association's 13 member communities with inclusion into their home park district or recreation department programs. Types of assistance may include provision of adapted equipment, securing and training additional staff or sign language assistance, program modification plans and training member district staff in various accommodations.
Behavior expectations in all NISRA Programs
Although NISRA recognizes that many participants have special behavioral challenges, guidelines have been established to ensure safety and enjoyment of all particpants. The Behavior Code of Conduct expects participants to:
a) Show respect to all participants and staff, and take direction from staff.
b) Refrain from using abusive or foul language.
c) Refrain from causing bodily harm to self, other participants and staff.
d) Show respect for equipment, supplies, and facilities.
A positive approach will be used regarding discipline. NISRA will work closely with parents/guardians to develop behavior management plans. If inappropriate, disruptive or destructive behavior occurs, a prompt resolution will be sought. NISRA reserves the right to suspend or dismiss any participant whose behavior endangers the safety of him/herself or others.