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Accessible Recreation

StreetWise Resource Guide for People with Disabilities

  • Summary
  • Resources
  • Activities
  • Equipment

Accessible Recreation

The wide range of recreational activities includes indoor and outdoor individual, group, or team activities and organized sports. Information on outdoor activities and organized sports is widespread on the Internet. Finding information on other activities requires a little more digging. The resources profiled in this section include sites that provide information on a broad range of activities and links to organizations for specific sports. Some sites provide a search function that enables you to locate activities and resources close to home.


Accessible Recreation Resources

These sites are organized in two groups. The first group, specific activities, presents sites that focus primarily on a type of recreation such as outdoor activities. The second group, informational sites, provides lots of information on a broad range of activities.

Specific Activities is a resource site for an active lifestyle. It has a sports directory with links to organizations for various sports. Some of the sports listed are: soccer, archery, cycling, golf, bowling, fishing, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, swimming, sled hockey and tennis. It also has sections on prosthetics & technology, toys & tools, children's resources, rights & legislation and more resources.

Disabled Sports USA offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs. Activities include winter skiing, water sports, summer and winter competitions, fitness and special sports events. The site lists DS/USA Chapters by state. It has a list of equipment resources, schedule of events and sports programs.

Informational Sites

National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) is a site that is loaded with information. Detailed information is available under Physical Activity on numerous lifetime sports, competitive sports, exercise/fitness activities and fun and leisure activities. Under Disability/Condition you'll find detailed information including other resources and organizations. The site also has videos; other references including books, journals, newsletters, pamphlets, and reports; directory of programs available by state and country; list of organizations by state or country; and suppliers by state or country . NCPAD is part of the Department of Disability and Human Development in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. is a well organized resource site with sections called Live, Learn, Play, and Work. The Play section has additional sections on Outdoor Recreation, Accessing Entertainment, Enabling Gardening, Adaptive Water Sports, Accessing Travel, Adaptive Sports, Getting There, Being There, and Shopping. Each section is well written with descriptions and links to more information including product sites.

Challenged Athletes Foundation is a charity that provides grants directly to athletes (from the grass roots level to the elite) with a physical disability. These grants help pay for training, equipment, and competition needs.

Accessible Recreation Activities

These sites profile specific recreational organizations and programs.

Winter and Summer Programs

Northeast Passage is a program based in New Hampshire that help persons explore recreation possibilities. Rental of handcycles, ice sleds, sport chairs, snow skies and water skies are available. Check out the resources page. It contains links to numerous resources including many sport specific topics.

U.S. Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC) runs the Adaptive Ski School at Big Bear Mountain Resort in Southern California. They offer alpine skiing and snowboard lessons which include any necessary adaptive equipment. Summer offerings include adaptive water skiing, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, and fishing in day camp or overnight sessions.

Scuba Diving

Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) International has programs to train people with disabilities to scuba dive, train and certify HSA instructors, and train able-bodied divers as Dive Buddies. Every year they also plan, coordinate, and conduct several dive vacations.

Outdoor Adventures

Wilderness Inquiry provides outdoor adventures by canoe, kayak, hiking, dog sled, horseback, and rafting. These are group trips comprised of people of all ages and abilities. They encourage individuals with mobility, sensory, and cognitive impairments to participate.

Amateur (HAM) Radio

The Courage Handi-Ham System is an organization that provides tools for people with disabilities to learn Amateur Radio and technology skills and to earn their Amateur Radio licenses. Instructional material is available online, audio, and print. Week-long camps are held in Minnesota and California each year as well.

Therapeutic Riding

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) promotes equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.

Accessible Recreation Equipment

These providers of adaptive recreation equipment are just a sampling. To find other providers explore the links or resources section of any recreation site.

General Equipment Providers

Access to Recreation offers various products for recreation and leisure such as rod & reels for fishing, all terrain wheelchairs, bowling ramps, and playing card holders. This site also offers exercisers, lifts, ramps and other daily living aids.

Spokes'n Motion offers adaptive sports equipment. They offer beach & all terrain products, handbikes, equipment for cross country skiing, winter skiing, ice hockey, and water skiing.

Sportaid sells sport wheelchairs, supplies, and accessories. Products includes tires, wheels, tools, and much more.

Specific Products

Hotshot Products include custom motorized and manual wheelchairs for camping, beach and all-terrain access. The Beach Cruzr™ is an electric powered all-terrain chair.

Eagle Sportschairs has custom sport wheelchairs for racing, tennis, rugby, basketball, field events, and more. It also offers tires, wheels, and parts.