From soccer to swim, NYC Parks has programs designed to give people with disabilities the opportunity to get active and enjoy our facilities.
The Alley Pond Park Adventure Course is a challenge course, also called a ropes course, that features both low ropes and high ropes course activities that promote teambuilding and problem-solving skills. A series of elements, or obstacles, challenge participants to come together and work as a team to develop and implement solutions. Each element emphasizes different group characteristics such as self-confidence, communication, cooperation, trust, and leadership. Elements of the Alley Pond park Adventure Course include a “zip-line,” a climbing and bouldering wall, a trust fall station, swings, nets, leaps, and balance platforms.
Visit the Alley Pond Park Adventure Course page for more information.
These classes are designed to help seniors and people with mobility limitations. Classes consist of upper body strengthening as well as a cardiovascular workout.
Al Oerter Recreation Center will be hosting sit aerobics courses on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Please call the center at (718) 353-7853.
This free program offers two activities:
- Aquatic exercise therapy that ranges from gentle water walking to aerobic-type exercise which improves range of motion, flexibility, mobility, muscle tone, coordination, focus and strength.
- Swim instruction that focuses on becoming comfortable in the water and learning basic swimming and safety skills.
Participants must be members of a NYC Parks Recreation Center. No more than 12 people per group. For more information or to register, call (718) 760-6969 ext. 0.
Free Aquatics Instruction (fall/winter)
Parks & Recreation's Citywide Aquatics Division, offers aquatics instruction to children and adults of all ages at five Parks pool locations during the summer.
Wheelchair softball is played under the official rules of the 16-inch slow pitch softball as approved by the Amateur Softball Association of America, with 15 exceptions that are geared toward the wheelchair user. The game enables individuals to play without the full use of their legs, allowing for easy maneuverability in a wheelchair and a fast-paced game. Practices are held Tuesday nights starting at 5:30 p.m, May through September at Bulova Park.
Wheelchair Basketball practice is held Monday night from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Roy Wilkins Recreation Center in Queens. Practices are open to both children and adults with physical disabilities. For more information on wheelchair basketball, visit the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.
Friday and Saturday nights in July and August, the Urban Park Rangers host a free and accessible camping experience for families. Friday and Saturday nights in July and August, families can join the Urban Park Rangers for an accessible camping experience at beautiful Alley Pond Park in Queens.
The NYC Parks Flag Football League, presented by Parks with support from the Police Athletic League, has an adaptive division that plays from September to November. The division plays in Victory Field in Forest Park, Queens, and welcomes adults and children of all ages. It is designed for people with mobility impairments, with game play taking place in wheelchairs on a hard surface. Participation is FREE, with all equipment provided and no experience requirement.
For more information or to register, please call Christopher Noel, Accessibility Coordinator, at (212) 360-3319 or email him at Christopher.Noel@parks.nyc.gov.
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 mental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. Neither income nor the severity of a child's disability is a barrier to joining a KEEN program. Its 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..
Every Saturday at Al Oerter Recreation Center, Parks offers S.P.A.R.E.S., a free adaptive sports program for children with physical disabilities between the ages of 5 to 17. Each week, our coaches will lead drills and friendly competitions to encourage skill development. Children in the program will learn the basics of adaptive sports such as: wheelchair basketball, wheelchair football, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair floor hockey, wheelchair softball, sled hockey, sitting volleyball, adapted swimming, power wheelchair soccer, and track and field. Participation in this program may lead to competitive events throughout the tri-state area. For more information or to register, call (718) 353-7853, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wheelchair tennis is an exciting activity for people with mobility limitations. Wheelchair tennis has similar rules as able-bodied tennis except for the wheelchair and a two-bounce rule.
Queens: Wheelchair tennis practice is every Sunday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Beginners are asked to come from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. only and should contact Aki Takayama at Takayama@usta.com or (718) 760-6251 before arriving to practice.
Brooklyn: The Prospect Park Tennis Center is open daily from 7 a.m. - midnight and is fully accessible to people with disabilities. Through the Special Aces program, the tennis center now offers group instruction for children with disabilities.