Adaptive & Inclusive Recreation Frequently Asked Questions

What is Inclusion?

Inclusion within Frederick County Parks and Recreation means that individuals who have disabilities or need additional support are welcome to participate in the same recreation programs and activities alongside their peers. Inclusive opportunities are supported through reasonable accommodations, or disability modificiations, with support from our AIR Team. Reasonable Accommodations are based on each individual’s abilities and needs.   



What are examples of Accommodations?

Accommodations that may be available to promote successful participation in programs include:

  • Inclusion support staff 
  • Use of companions 
  •  ASL interpreters  
  • Communication visuals  
  • Additional training provided for program staff  
  • Activity modifications that do not change the nature of the program or activity   
  • Individualized strategies for success

For a more detailed overview of each type of support, please read through our reasonable accommodations


How do I request an Accommodation?

To request an accommodation, 

  1. Register for the program, camp, or event. 
  2. Check "yes" that you are requesting an ADA accommodation.   
  3. AIR staff will contact the parent/guardian to complete a Program Accommodation Form and return to AIR at 355 Montevue Lane, Suite 100, Frederick, MD 21702 or via email.   
  4. Once the Program Accommodation Form is received, AIR staff will reach out to the parent/guardian to set up a time to review the request and develop individualized strategies for success.

*Please note, Accommodaiton Requests must be received at least two weeks prior to the program start date.


What are the minimum requirements for successsful inclusion?
The same minimum requirements that apply to a person without a disability also apply to a person with a disability. These include:

  • Meeting the program’s age and registration requirements;
  • Following the rules of conduct (with or without reasonable accommodations); 
  • Voluntary participation (Note: Recreation programs and activities are voluntary in nature. Participation will be encouraged and aided, but not forced.); 
  • Meeting necessary level of participation with or without reasonable accommodations (participant will engage in scheduled activities for the majority of the program time);
  • Ability to use a consistent form of communication to indicate basic needs and follow simple directions; and 
  • Ability to function, with assistance, as a member of a group of 12 or more people.



What services are not part of inclusion?
Inclusion services do not include the following:

  • Provision of separate program activities 
  • Exception (with or without accommodations) to minimum compliance with program rules and regulations established for safety purposes. 
  • Hiring, selection, or guaranteed assignment of a specifi c staff member; 
  • Individualized therapy within a program; and 
  • Provision and/or purchase of personal custom devices



Is an inclusive recreation setting the right choice and/or expereince?
Observe the program first-hand and ask yourself…

  • If school-aged, do your child’s current classroom activities or goals prepare them for an inclusive recreation experience? 
  • Has the individual shown an interest in the program activity or subject matter? 
  • Are they comfortable and able to function appropriately, with or without assistance, in inclusive environments (malls, restaurants, parks, etc.)?
  • Wiil an accommodation or inclusion support staff give the participant adequate support to fully participante in a general recreation program wihout disruption to others? 
  • Are Adaptive Recreation Programs a better choice?



What are Adaptive Recreaion 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 AIR Team at 301-600-2197.



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 1                         
 No assistance needed to maneuver rugged terrain and extended distances. Can maintain their own personal hygiene 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. 
 Level 2
No 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 3
Difficulty 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 4
 Full 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 AIR Team at 301-600-2197 or email cguercio@frderickcountymd.gov.