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Resources by Topic >> Recreation

General Resources

The Art and Drama Therapy Institute
327 S St, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-526-2008 (voice) | 202-832-2474 (fax) | 202-261-0201 (TTY)

The Art and Drama Therapy Institute, Inc. (ADTI) is a medically supervised, therapeutic day treatment center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ADTI is located in an economically deprived part of Northeast Washington, D.C., less than three miles from the White House. The institute's innovative approach to the care and treatment of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through the use of art, music, movement, and drama therapies, along with innovative behavior management techniques, has been hailed by the President's Committee on Mental Retardation and The Washington Post as “a national model.” ADTI is home to the Therapeutic Noh Theater®, the first ensemble with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the world to perform Therapeutic Noh Theater®, directed by Master Teacher, Dr. Sirkku M. Sky Hiltunen.

Art Enables
2204 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002
202-554-9455 (voice) | 202-554-9456 (fax)

Art Enables is an arts-and-enterprise program for teens and young adults with developmental and/or mental disabilities from throughout DC. If you become an Art Enables participant: You come to the studio on scheduled days to create and market your own art under the guidance of professional artist-instructors. Your artwork is exhibited and sold in shows at the studio via retailers around the city and at galleries, markets, and special events throughout the region.

620 Pershing Dr. , Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-565-4567 (voice) | 301-565-1699 (fax)

ArtStream is a regional organization based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area whose mission is to create artistic opportunities for individuals in communities traditionally under-served by the arts.

Autism Society - DC Chapter
5167 7th Street, NE, Washington, DC 20011
202-561-5300 (voice)

ASDC provides monthly support meetings for parents, siblings, and other caregivers to freely discuss their unique needs and interests. Summer Camp Program for Children and Adults with Autism - one week residential summer camp for children and adults with autism through the District of Columbia Autistic Educational Program.

Autism Society Sensory Friendly Films Program


Boating in DC Adaptive Kayaking (Summer) Program
Potomac Avenue, SE & First Street, SE, Washington , DC 20003
202-337-9642 ext. 40 (voice)

Have you wanted to experience kayaking? Boating in DC is offering an Adaptive Kayaking Program at our Ballpark Boathouse each Friday (July 31st through September 25th).

  • Reduced cost of only $5 per session for program participants and $10 for guests, including family members, friends, caregivers or staff members.
  • No prior kayaking experience is required.
  • Individuals of all abilities are encouraged to attend.
  • Kayaks, lifejackets and paddles are included.
  • Boathouse staff are not able to assist with any personal care.
  • Wheelchair accessible port-a-john is available on site.
  • In the event of bad weather we will cancel the program. If you are registered (required) you will be notified as soon as the decision is made.

Camp Virginia Jaycee
P.O. Box 648, Blue Ridge, VA 24064
(540) 947.2972 (voice)

Camp Virginia Jaycee is a summer outdoor recreational and educational program for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Chateau Nightclub
3439 Benning Rd, NE, Washington, DC 20019

The Chateau is the place to go hand dancing in the District (or, really, anywhere). Thursday through Sunday, this club is filled with oldies DJs and a middle-aged clientele that definitely knows how to dance. Many of the people here are regulars who also attend dance classes. This is the best place to enjoy DC's own version of swing dancing.

Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, Inc
Pleasant View Farm 22500 West Harris Road, Barnesville, MD 20838
301-916-2040 (voice) | 301-916-2656 (fax)

Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, Inc (Circle of Hope) is a nationally accredited non-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to encouraging the physical and mental development of children and adults with developmental, psychological, or physical disabilities. Circle of Hope's equine-facilitated approach incorporates cognitive, behavioral, psychological, and physical goals to increase self-confidence, self-esteem, physical independence, and social awareness.

DC Center for Therapeutic Recreation
3030 G St, SE, Washington, DC 20019
202-698-1794 (voice) | 202-645-5118 (TTY)

Therapeutic recreation programs and services are offered to both District residents and non-residents with or without disabilities. Classes include: Aromatherapy, spring break camp, weight training, and water exercise and water sports.


Disability.gov connects people with disabilities, their families, and the organizations that support them to important information about:
  • Disability benefits (guides, programs, applications, etc.)
  • Civil rights (ADA information, accessibility guidelines, employment rights, complaint procedures, etc.)
  • Community life (history of the independent living movement, personal care assistance services, sports and leisure activities, etc.)
  • Education (IDEA and IEP information, teaching materials and strategies, classroom supports, college prep, etc.)
  • Emergency preparedness (inclusive emergency planning, disaster recovery assistance, emergency service accessibility, etc.)
  • Employment (career planning, workforce development, internship programs, hiring and recruiting information, etc.)
  • Health care (disability and condition information, services and providers, caregiving options, financial assistance, etc.)
  • Housing (housing laws, home buying guides, supportive housing options, home modification, etc.)
  • Technology (accessible technology guidelines and standards, assistive information technology, assistive educational technology, financial assistance, etc.)
  • Transportation (laws, travel guides, providers, vehicle modification, safety and complaint procedures, etc.)

Dreams for Kids

Dreams For Kids DC empowers youth living in poverty and those with disabilities by uniting them with their peers, recognizing their abilities, and allowing their voices to be heard. The most isolated young people from every community in the metropolitan area are reminded they have something to give. While fearlessly pursuing their dreams, they are leading others to their own and compassionately changing the world.

Easter Seals Cruise for Kids
1420 Spring St, Silver Spring, MD 20910
800-886-3771 (voice)

The annual Cruise for Kids brings children with disabilities and their families together with corporate and individual sponsors, boat owners, and community leaders for a cruise on the Chesapeake Bay. The day makes a powerful impact on everyone involved and raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to support services for children and adults with disabilities.

Fihankra Akoma Ntoaso (FAN)

Cultivates a focus on youth well-being and positive development in an environment infused with safety, security, and love. Supports various youth programs, including the Positive Youth Development Program, Youth Ensemble Program, and Transitions Program.

Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital
4301 Connecticut Ave NW, , Washington, DC 20008
202-237-1670 (voice) | 202-274-2161 (fax)

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC) helps girls to promote diversity, gain practical life skills, and connect with their community through a variety of artistic, educational, and environmental events. Some of these events include:

  • Photography expos
  • College and career conferences
  • Nature workshops

The Guide to AquaticTherapy for Children with Autism

This guide offers background information on the health implications presented by ASD and physical limitations resulting from the symptoms experienced by children with ASD, along with resources and tips on the general benefits of physical activity, the benefits of swimming for children with ASD, resources for locating and accessing swimming lessons for your child with ASD, and other helpful resources to help your child experience the benefits of increased physical activity.

Health Services for Children with Special Needs, Inc.
1101 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20005
202.467.2737 - CARE (voice) | 202.580.6485 - OTRCH

Community-based care management network coordinating health, social, and education services for the pediatric Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and SSI- eligible populations of Washington, DC. Provides support through the Therapeutic Recreation Fund to introduce various sports and fitness classes that offer the much-needed physical activity that is lacking in many programs for children and youth with disabilities. Through the Family Circles Program, supports families with children and youth who have disabilities by proving a series of services designed to meet training and education, advocacy, and emotional wellness needs.

The HSC Pediatric Center
1731 Bunker Hill Road, NE, Washington, DC 20017
202-832-4400 (voice)

Specialty pediatric hospital providing rehabilitative services in the Washington-Baltimore service area, providing quality, comprehensive health care services for children and youth with disabilities and chronic illnesses and their families. Supports the Therapeutic Recreation Fund, designed to introduce various sports and fitness classes that offer the much-needed physical activity that is lacking in many programs for children with disabilities.

HSCSN Youth Athletic Program
National Children's Center, 3400 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20020

The Health Services for Children with Special Needs (HSCSN) Youth Athletic Program (YAP) is an inclusive, adapted sports program for at-risk youth, including those with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Launched in 2007 with summer soccer clinics and initially targeting children of parents and caregivers who attended its support group meetings, the project has expanded to include children of all abilities.

Imagination Stage
4908 Auburn Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
301-280-1660 (voice)

Access at Imagination Stage endeavours to create an inclusive and welcoming environment and equitable access to all artistic and educational programming for students, staff, and visitors of all abilities. Imagination Stage offers: Arts Access classes and programs designed specifically for the needs of students with cognitive, language, gross motor, or developmental disabilities. Deaf Access classes and programs designed specifically for the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Inclusion support for children of all abilities. Imagination Stage encourages children of all abilities to discover and develop their full creative potential through the performing arts. We work with students and their caregivers to identify and provide the most successful scenario for each student whether in a peer group Access class or in a general classroom setting with reasonable and appropriate inclusion supports. All placements provide children a safe and welcoming environment to develop and enhance language, gross motor, developmental, cognitive, social and life-learning skills.

Kennedy Center Accessibility Office
2700 F St, NW, Washington, DC 20566
(202) 416-8727 (voice) | (202) 416-4840 (fax) | (202) 416-8728 (TTY)

Partnership: Sponsorship of internships for youth with diabilities within a cultural organizations in the Washington metropolitan area.

Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN)
P.O. Box 341590, Bethesda, MD 20827
301-770-3200 (voice)

Volunteer organization providing free one-on-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Kids Included Together
2013 H Street NW, Suite 620, Washington, DC 20006
858.225.5680 (voice) | 619.758.0949 (fax)

Kids Included Together specializes in providing best practices training for community-based organizations committed to including children with and without disabilities into their recreational, child development and youth development programs.

Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute
801 Buchanan St, NE, Washington, DC 20017
202-529-7600 (voice) | 202-529-2028 (fax)

The Kennedy Institute works with teens and young adults with developmental disabilities to provide a broad array of education, therapeutic, employment, and community living programs.

Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes (MWABA)

The Metro Washington Association of Blind Athletes (MWABA) is a 501(c)(3) organization of blind athletes and their sighted peers who believe that recreational and competitive sports opportunities should be open to everyone, regardless of their ability to see. We hold programs for blind and visually impaired youth and adults from Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia to discover new sports or practice familiar ones in an open and welcoming environment. Our mission also includes teaching blind athletes the physical techniques and body movements that they may not have had a chance to learn through physical education classes. We also share the best way to teach athletic and kinesthetic skills to the blind and visually impaired population with educators in our area.

Montgomery County Disability Network Directory

This multi-page resource provides information about a variety of recreational programs for people with physical and intellectual disabilities living in and around Montgomery County, Maryland.

National Children's Center
6200 Second St, NW, Washington, DC 20011
202-722-2300 (voice) | 202-722-2383 (fax)

Provides comprehensive and innovative services for children and adults with developmental disabilities in DColumbia and Maryland, including early intervention, schools, employment, adult day and residential programs.

National Children's Center SE Campus
3400 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE, Washington, DC 20032
202-279-4945 (voice)

Provides comprehensive and innovative services for children and adults with developmental disabilities in DColumbia and Maryland, including early intervention, schools, employment, adult day and residential programs.

New View, LLC
966 Hungerford Dr, Suite 7, Rockville, MD 20850
240-535-4036 (voice)

New View, LLC establishes relationships with children, young adults, adults, and their families and/or educational support team to determine relevant, individualized, and client-centered recommendations related to education, work, self-care, and leisure. We provide quality therapeutic services across the lifespan to create meaningful life experiences that help to improve independence and confidence in education, work, self-care, and leisure activities. We provide occupational therapy treatment and evaluation in addition to vocational, career guidance, and assessment.

New Vision Photography Program, Inc.
680 Rhode Island Ave, NE, Suite H4, Washington, DC 20002
202-269-6723 (voice) | 202-269-6724 (fax)

Supported employment and long-term follow-along services in the photography industry and community inclusion for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, introducing them to a creative world of digital photography, entrepreneurship programs, and One-Hour Photo Mini Lab training and employment.

Nurse Groups' Special Olympics and Other Recreation Programs Webpage

Nurse Group's Special Olympics and Other Recreation Programs webpage offers a variety of sports and leisure resources for people with disabilities including links to:

  • National and state-specific Special Olympics histories
  • Current national and state-specific Special Olympics news
  • Paralympic team, committee, event, sport club and sport ability information
  • National and regional wheelchair sports organizations and events
  • Limited mobility and wheelchair safety information
  • Air travel tips

On The Edge Childrens Foundation
PO BOX 4763 , Gettysburg, PA 17325
(240) 344-0424 (voice) | (717) 337-1921 (msg)

On The Edge brings children and others together who would not typically be involved in water sports and activities. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience something different and challenging, something that they could take on, and have fun with at the same time.

Potomac Community Resources, Inc.
Mailing only: 9200 Kentsdale Drive , Potomac, MD 20854
301-365-0561 (voice) | 301-365-3104 (fax)
Stephen Rileysriley@pcr-inc.org

Serves hundreds of individuals with developmental differences, their families, and involved professionals through programs that take place at various locations throughout Montgomery County, and serving individuals from across the Washington, DC area. Supports the Therapeutic Recreation Fund, designed to introduce various sports and fitness classes that offer the much-needed physical activity that is lacking in many programs for children and youth with disabilities.

ReVision Dance Company
3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017
(202) 269-1600 (voice)

ReVision is a contemporary modern dance company committed to artistic excellence and community building. Through performances, workshops and teaching residencies, ReVision works with diverse populations of professional dancers and novice movers. A unique aspect of our work is our dedication to engaging people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

At performances students will:

  • Meet the dancers
  • Learn new gestures and rhythms
  • See how dancers prepare and warm up
  • Participate in a Q&A with the dancers
  • Dance!

Dance professionals lead a series of movement classes that incorporate kinesthetic learning, team building and integrated subject matter. (Appropriate for all skill levels)

Teachers learn how to integrate movement into the classroom.

Saint John's Community Services
2201 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Suite C-120, Washington, DC 20007
202-274-3460 (voice) | 202-337-5459 (fax)

The mission of SJCS-DC is "Advancing community supports and opportunities for people living with disabilities". SJCS-DC is predicated on the tenets that all individuals have the inalienable rights and abilities to be viable, participating, economically and socially empowered members of society. To this end the services and operations of SJCS-DC are designed to promote the full community inclusion of individuals with disabilities through a process that is person centered and demonstrates the utmost respect, dignity and value for individuals with disabilities and their families. SJCS-DC seeks to empower individuals with disabilities and their families through the provision of training, information, experiences, and support that further their capabilities and independence. To this end SJCS-DC stresses choices and meaningful decision making by individuals with disabilities throughout service delivery planning and implementation.

Securing a Future for Your Child with a Disability: A Parents Guide to Adult Services in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Falls Church

This guide, written by the Arc of Northern Virginia, will help you answer the following questions:

  • Who’s in charge of key life decisions.
  • Whether your adult child is eligible for government support.
  • What kind of jobs and day support programs are available.
  • Which recreational activities are best.
  • How he or she will get around.
  • Where they’ll live.

Smithsonian Accessibility Program
Information Center: 1000 Jefferson Dr., SW, Washington, DC 20560
(202) 633-2921 (voice)

The Accessibility Program supports the Smithsonian in making all visitors feel welcome by providing consistent, effortless access to the Institution’s programs, collections and facilities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Advising on and implementing policy, practices, and procedures related to access for people with disabilities;
  • Reviewing facility and exhibition designs;
  • Providing technical assistance;
  • Conducting outreach to the disability community and other cultural arts organizations;
  • Providing staff education on disability topics; and
  • Working with Smithsonian museums and offices to provide direct visitor services, including sign language interpretation, real time captioning, and alternate formats of publications.

Programs include:

  • All Access Camp A two-week, multi-media summer camp for twenty Washington, D.C.-area High School students with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
  • Access to Opportunities Smithsonian Internship for People with Disabilities
  • Art Signs: Gallery Talks in American Sign Language
  • Smithsonian Folklife Festival Morning at the Museum A project of the Smithsonian Institution's Accessibility Program and the Smithsonian Museums. Guided by a Community Advisory Committee comprised of museum educators, exhibit designers, professionals who work with children on the Autism Spectrum, parents, and self-advocates, the Smithsonian has developed a series of pre-visit materials designed to help children on the spectrum and their families enjoy a visit to the Smithsonian Museums.
  • Access American Stories Mobile App
  • Access American Stories is a bilingual (Spanish/English) “crowdsourced” audio experience and companion to the American Stories exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Designed to increase accessibility for visitors with low vision, the app offers everyone new ways of seeing 100 of America’s most evocative historical objects through the eyes of both visitors and museum staff.
  • Introductory Training: Children on the Autism Spectrum and Museums This training covers the basics of autism spectrum disorders and how museums can better engage families with children on the Autism spectrum.

  • Special Olympics D.C.
    900 Second Street, NE, Suite 200, Washington , DC 20002
    (202) 408-2640 (voice) | (202) 408-2646 (fax)

    Special Olympics D.C. is a non profit organization providing quality sports and fitness opportunities for citizens with intellectual disabilities in the District of Columbia. These programs enable participants to challenge themselves, lead healthier lives, experience success, and receive positive reinforcement for their efforts.

    Teens Run DC Washington, DC

    Teens Run DC empowers at-risk youth to envision and work towards the achievement of personal goals through an adult mentoring and distance running program.  Over the course of nine months, TRDC Running Leaders, Mentors, and Friends challenge and guide these youth to develop the skills necessary to achieve their running goals and their life goals.

    Therapeutic Recreation Programs and Services for Children and Adults with Disabilities (Alexandria, VA)
    1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    703.746.5422 (voice) | 703.535.5863 (fax)

    The Therapeutic Recreation Program is committed to providing innovative, inclusive, accessible and affordable recreation programs which enhance the health, well-being and quality of life for individuals with all abilities.

    Recreation programs include:

    • Youth & Teen Summer Camps
    • Youth & Teen After School Programs
    • Adult Social & Art Clubs
    • Youth Sports Leagues

    Through My Eyes DC Washington, DC

    THROUGH MY EYES: THE DC PHOTO-NARRATIVE PROJECT (TME-DC) empowers at-risk youth, providing them with a safe space where they can give vision and voice to their life stories.  Under the guidance of dedicated and empathic mentor-leaders, these youth photograph and write about themselves, their families, their communities, their experiences. Offering them the skills to document their real life stories and to share those stories within the company of similarly directed-youth and with the world, they are strengthened in their sense of themselves and their connection to others.

    VCare, LLC
    8112 Eastern Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20012
    (202) 779-5440 (voice)

    VCare, LLC provides professional and in-home developmental disability training and consulting services in the following areas:

    • Special Education
    • Nursing
    • Transitional Living
    • Employment
    • Recreation

    Wish-A-Fish Foundation
    Wish-A-Fish Foundation, Inc., c/o Skip Zinck, 1346 Brenda Rd, Severn, MD 21144
    (410) 551-5024 (voice)

    The Wish-A-Fish Foundation's mission is to provide a little relief for a family from the daily stress of having a child with "special needs," such as a life-threatening illness or a mental or physical disability, by taking the entire family out for a day of fun and fishing on the water.

    Words Beats and Life
    1525 Newton St, NW, Washington, DC 20010
    202-667-1192 (voice)

    The DC Urban Arts Academy, a multi-medium hip-hop arts Academy was the first initiative. Next came Words Beats Life: The Global Journal of Hip-Hop.  Following that the University Project came about, taking WBL back to where it began--transforming university classrooms and campuses through hip-hop culture via interactive workshops, exhibitions and gallery installations.  Moving forward, WBL has a number of emerging initiatives such as The Cipher: A Hip-Hop Business Incubator, that we believe will become regional and national models over the next few years.  We do hope that this new web site is a helpful tool for you to learn more about Words Beats and Life and how we might be a resource to you, your business, your family, your classroom, your community or your campus.

    WVSA Arts Connection Washington, DC 20036

    ART Options is an arts-infused program designed to support the development of vocational, social and life management skills for people with disabilities ages 16 and older in Washington, DC. Consistent with other St. John’s Community Services’ programs, ART Options operates in community settings in which participants enhance their personal and professional skills and prepare for and attain careers in the art field. ART Options focuses on applied, fine arts and digital design instruction, internships and jobs, public programming, museum and gallery visits, and the development of salesmanship and communications skills guided by the participant’s goals. 

    ART Options utilizes the resources of the vast Washington, DC arts community including the Smithsonian Institute, National Gallery of Art, fine and contemporary art studios, and DC Public Libraries. This enables artists with and without disabilities to develop relationships and collaborate on projects in an array of creative and inclusive  environments. Supported by highly trained staff, artists with disabilities will hone their artistic talents, attain marketable skills, strengthen their  self-esteem and prepare for opportunities in the arts community. 

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