Adaptive Recreation

Our GoalAIR

The goal of Adaptive Recreation (AR) is to enhance participants' health and well-being, sense of self and community, and overall quality of life by facilitating the development of leisure and recreation skills, fostering independence, and promoting socialization. 

Spring/Summer Adaptive Recreation Brochure

Adaptive Summer Camp

Winter Adaptive Recreation Brochure

What We Offer

Adaptive Recreation Programs
Frederick County Parks and Recreation offers Adaptive Recreation (AR) programs designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, developmental differences, and/or higher support needs as well as emphasize participants’ unique abilities. Programs utilize trained staff and higher staff/participant ratios in addition to adapted spaces, materials, and content to provide an opportunity for individuals to participate in various recreation activities. 

Programs include: 

  • Adaptive sports 
  • Fitness, health, & wellness classes 
  • Social groups 
  • Enrichment and special interest classes

What are Adaptive Recreation Programs for Individuals with Disabilities?

Frederick County Parks and Recreation offers alternative choices through specialized adaptive recreation programs for individuals with disabilities. Participants have a wide range of abilities and special needs; some prefer and benefit from participating in highly structured specialized programs designed specifically for participants with disabilities. Programs utilize trained staff and higher staff/participant ratios in addition to adapted spaces, materials, and content to provide an opportunity for individuals to participate in various recreation activities. 

Programs include: 

  • Adaptive sports 
  • Fitness, health, & wellness classes 
  • Social groups 
  • Enrichment and special interest classes 

Program spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must meet the program's essential eligibility criteria. For program inquiries, please call the AR Team at 301-600-2199 or email Nicole Cantwell.

What are Program Levels and Essential Eligibility Criteria?

FCPR's Adaptive Recreation Programs utilize designated program levels and essential eligibility criteria to ensure the safety of all participants and staff who are part of the program and to allow participants to experience the program to the fullest extent. These levels outline the minimum physical and cognitive skills needed in order to participate.

Level 1No assistance needed to maneuver rugged terrain and extended distances. Can maintain their own personal hygiene and without assistance. Can follow multiple-step instructions. Able to convey feelings, desires, and emotions without assistance. Demonstrates age-appropriate social and emotional skills in managing personal boundaries, relationships, communication, stress, and conflict. Will stay with group without assistance. Can independently manage the sensory stimulation of a frequently large, loud, and energetic group environment. For outdoor-based programs only: Must be comfortable in a rustic, outdoor environment (e.g. exposure to extended periods of direct sun, varying weather conditions, insects/animals, grass/dirt/mud). Must be comfortable in open water using a PFD (personal flotation device).
Level 2No assistance needed with level surfaces. May use assistive device (manual wheelchair, canes, walker, crutches, etc.). Can maintain their own personal hygiene with verbal cues. Can follow single or two-step instructions. Able to convey feelings, desires and needs with picture cues or communication device. Demonstrates age-appropriate social and emotional skills in managing personal boundaries, relationships, communication, stress, and conflict with some assistance. Will stay with group with the help of verbal prompts. Can manage the sensory stimulation of a frequently large, loud, and energetic group environment with some assistance.
Level 3Difficulty with terrain. May use assistive and/or self-propelled device as listed in Level 2, plus powered wheelchair or scooter. Maintains personal hygiene with some assistance. Can follow instructions with assistance. Able to convey feelings, desires and needs with picture cues or communication device. Demonstrates age-appropriate social and emotional skills in managing personal boundaries, relationships, communication, stress, and conflict with assistance. Will stay with group with continuous supervision. Can manage the sensory stimulation of occasionally large, loud, and energetic group environment with assistance.
Level 4Full assistance and/or self-propelled device as listed in Levels 2 and 3. Personal hygiene with full assistance. Limited comprehension. Able to convey feelings, desires and needs with full assistance. Wil stay with group with continuous supervision.


For appropriate referrals related to eligibility requirements for programs, contact the AR Team at 301-600-2199 or email Nicole Cantwell.

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Contact Us

  1. Nicole Cantwell, Recreation Specialist

    Email Nicole Cantwell
    Ph: 301-600-2199