Sports & Recreation
Special Olympics, Montgomery County and D.C.
Free year-round sports and leadership programs; eligible athletes are all children and adults, at least eight-years-old, with an intellectual disability, a cognitive delay, or a closely related developmental disability. There is no maximum age limit. Children ages six and seven may participate in Special Olympics training, but may not compete. Special Olympics is as much about community as it is about sports. No fee.
Athletes Without Limits
Athletes Without Limits provides athletes with intellectual disability the opportunity to compete at their highest level from mainstream sport to the US Paralympic Team and is the US member of the international federation for athletes with intellectual disability, INAS.
In partnership with ILO, Create Calm, a non-profit yoga and mindfulness education program, provides ILO’s self-advocates with classes that explore a variety of techniques for rebalancing thoughts and feelings, inviting participants to be CALM — Confident, Active, Loving, and Mindful. www.createcalm.org
The classes are designed to optimize the brain-body-breath connection and bring ILO’s self-advocates together in a space of growth, healing, and support. These classes are accessible for all ability levels and no prior yoga experience is required.
Kids Enjoy Exercise Now
KEEN is a national, nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. KEEN’s mission is to foster the self-esteem, confidence, skills and talents of its athletes through non-competitive activities, allowing young people facing even the most significant challenges to meet their individual goals.
Spirit Club: Social, Physical, Interactive, Respectful, Integrated & Teamwork
Spirit Club’s mission is to strengthen people’s physical and mental well-being by providing fun, high-quality fitness opportunities in a social setting to ALL ages and abilities.
Therapeutic Recreation Montgomery County
Montgomery County Recreation provides accessible leisure, educational and personal development activities for individuals with disabilities through inclusion (mainstreaming) and adaptive programs. Through activities that include arts, crafts, games, team sports, and special events, Therapeutic recreation programs helps individuals to gain confidence, have fun and make an impact in their lives. Classes are offered under Exercise and Movement, Leisure Skill Programs, and Aquatic classes. Additional programs for adults include Special Events and Weekend Adult Social Clubs. The Rec Dept offers age appropriate activities for youth and teens at specialized Summer Camps. The activities are planned to meet the interests of participants with appropriate participant-to-staff ratio in a structured setting. The classes are held in various rec centers in the county.
ZAMDANCE email@example.com, Jackie Zamora 202-469-2533
High-energy dance class for ages 9 & Up, appropriate for all teens and adults with disabilities, offered in regular and lower volume sessions. ProFit Club, 304 E Diamond Ave. Gaithersburg, MD 20877. Saturdays Fee $20.
Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Circle of Hope
Our mission is to provide equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for persons with physical, mental, emotional and developmental disabilities to enhance their quality of life. Our EAAT program continues to support and meet the high standards set by PATH International, the national organization for equine therapy programs
Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
PO Box 463
Barnesville, MD 20838-0463
Pleasant View Farm
22500 West Harris Road
Barnesville, MD 20838
Great and Small Therapeutic Riding
Days on the Farm are one-day programs similar to summer camp scheduled for holidays and professional days when MCPS is closed. Participants get to ride, practice horse care skills, play games, do crafts, and have a blast! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Potomac Horse Center 14211 Quince Orchard Rd, North Potomac, MD 20878
The Potomac Horse Center offers therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with a wide range of physical, cognitive challenges including mild to profound developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, sensory integrative dysfunction, attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity, speech and language impairment, pervasive developmental disabilities, autism, Asperger syndrome, hyperlexia, microcephaly with multiple disabilities, cerebral palsy, hypotnia, tactile hypersensitivity, ataxia, dyspraxia, vision impairment/blindness, multiple sclerosis, and Angelman’s syndrome.
ArtStream 620 Pershing Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301) 565-4567 ArtStream is a regional organization based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area whose mission is to create artistic opportunities for individuals in communities traditionally under-served by the arts. ArtStream’s purpose is to inspire and help heal through various art forms such as theatre, puppetry, visual arts, multimedia, music, and dance. This is accomplished through interactive workshops and productions, on-going classes, seminars, performances, and training. ArtStream’s Inclusive Theatre Companies are scripted performing companies specially designed for adults with intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities, or who are on the Autism Spectrum.
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.
Although the classes for individuals with special needs are not listed on the website, the classes do exist. Lisa Gallant is the Education Director (email@example.com) and is the contact to discuss current sessions. It is not cheap, but the interaction between the artist teaching the class is wonderful. It is near the Rockville Library and thus is accessible by both bus or metro.
interPLAY Orchastra at Strathmore
A 22-year old non-profit music organization of 67 adult musicians with and without cognitive and other differences: amateurs and professionals, high school seniors and university musicians as “bandaides” (mentors), all performing together for the wider community in year-round concerts at the world-class Music Center at Strathmore and beyond, featuring guest artists, composers, conductors, playing all genres of music from Bach to Basie and everything in-between printed scores, newly composed ones, full band, ensembles and solos working on regulation percussion and traditional instruments and some creative ones, just for fun and new sounds. interPLAYcompany also performs choral music, features vocal soloists, and a drumming curriculum led by a world-class drum master. Most band members have moderate to mild cognitive disabilities that often make it difficult to learn to read and play music in the conventional way. The band gives them the opportunity to express themselves in the universally understood language of music.
Jubilee Rebecca Albrecht 301-949-8626 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jubilee Association of Maryland exists to provide support for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to live in and enrich their community while fulfilling their personal, family, social and spiritual needs. Jubilee has social groups and cooking classes. They also provide housing and support services.
Potomac Community Resources, Inc.
Potomac Community Resources, Inc. (PCR) provides therapeutic, recreational, social, and respite care programs for teens and adults with developmental differences, as well as information about community resources for families. This is a very responsive organization. Studio 3-F (a gathering with games, dance, etc on the third Friday night of the month) and Communication Counts (a class to improve conversational skills) are two programs that started to address needs expressed by young adults and/or their parents.
Silver Spring Social Group Andrea Kline (email@example.com)
Organization for families that want to have social activities that the participants could plan or help plan without added organizational costs: meals, movies, hikes, museum trips, bowling, sporting events, etc. Not all participants live in Silver Spring.
Upcounty Community Resources, Inc. Elizabeth Demaree, Director of UCR – Liz@ucresources.org or call 301-840-1407
Upcounty Community Resources, Inc. (UCR) is a private, non-profit organization that is about three years old. Opened with the blessing and support of PCR, it organizes events -dances typically held in the parish hall of St Francis of Assisi on Muncaster Mill Road, or group outings to plays and sporting events. There is a nominal fee for dances and fees associated with the plays or sporting events.
Faith Sponsored Social Groups
Friends Unlimited, Greenridge Baptist Church, Damascus, MD 21925 Frederick Road , Boyds, MD 20841 Phone: 301.972.0271
Designed for those with special needs and their families, this group is lead by April Curtis, a wonderful woman who arranges for a meal and a craft (or perhaps a dance) monthly during the school year. This group meets 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month. There is no meeting in the months of December, June, July or August. There is no fee. Church members provide the meal, serve it, help one-on-one with crafts as needed and clean up afterwards.
The Haven, Damascus Road Community Church in Mt Airy, MD
Good News Event – An annual community outreach in early May which is a fun festival including activities such as a petting zoo, moon bounces, carnival games, hay rides, food, music and more. This event is especially designed for our special needs friends, families and the surrounding communities. It is held each year at the Mt. Airy Fairgrounds. All are welcome!
Haven Universe (HU) is a non-profit corporation solely operating on donations. The mission of Haven Universe is to creatively share the Good News of Jesus Christ by providing a loving, accepting, fun, people-focused community which includes individuals of all ages, disabilities, faith backgrounds, their families/caregivers and friends. All are welcome. We have monthly Saturday Night Alive events in a central location in Montgomery County. We meet in a local gym-type facility to participate collectively in a variety of adapted, engaging sports and lively games, simple arts and crafts, and a pizza snack. A simple Bible lesson with contemporary Christian music and prayer is offered as an OPTION but not required so that people of all faiths (or no faith) will feel comfortable attending. It is a rare opportunity for the whole family to engage together with other families, caregivers and friends in an accepting, fun, high-energy, encouraging and supportive atmosphere. Our desire is to be an inspiring community of hope to all.
For citizens in Maryland who are low income (SSI, SSDI) a free cell phone and free monthly minutes are available via Virgin Mobile and the federal Lifeline Assistance program. Applications can be downloaded from the website. This is for cell phones, not I-Phones, but it is FREE.
App for Travelling Independently
TravelMate is an app for a curriculum that can be used to provide the supports necessary for an individual with ID/DD to learn to ride the bus, train, metro, plane or Uber/cab. It takes the individual (and trainer) step by step through each trip as a virtual assistant providing the supports necessary to each unique individual. It is a completely customizable software platform in a user friendly format that allows users to target communication, behavior and life skills, while promoting the independence of individuals with disabilities. The link directs viewers to a Youtube video describing the app; further information can also be accessed on the Arc of Northern Virginia’s website.