• Announcement: In accordance with the Cook County Department of Public Health and the State of Illinois, masks will be required in all Oak Lawn Park District facilities, regardless of vaccination status, for all individuals ages three years and older. Thank you for your cooperation!

Welcome to Special Recreation


Our Mission

To serve as an integral partner with our cooperative districts and villages to positively impact individuals with disabilities through diverse recreation opportunities and community services

Special Recreation offers a wide range of programs throughout the year, for youth through seniors of all ability levels. Program descriptions and registration information are available in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer brochures. Brochures are available at member park district or city recreation department offices and the Special Recreation office at 4625 W. 110th St. Oak Lawn, IL 60453 or you can call us at (708) 857-2200 and we will gladly put you on a mailing list.

Cooperative Agencies 

Situated in the South suburban Chicago, Illinois, Oak Lawn Park District Special Recreation serves communities in Cook counties.

The park districts and cities that form the Oak Lawn Park District Special Recreation cooperative are:

  • Clyde Park District
  • Bridgeview Park District
  • Burbank Park District
  • Chicago Ridge Park District
  • Village of Crestwood
  • Evergreen Park Recreation Department
  • Justice Park District
  • Village of Hometown
  • Palos Hills Recreation Center
  • Summit Park District

Participants

Oak Lawn welcomes participants of all ages and various ability levels in programs. Preschoolers, children, teens, adults and senior adults can realize the benefits of involvement in recreation activities. Programs are designed with a close staff-to-participant ratio to assist people with disabilities in achieving their greatest success. Program adaptations to accommodate a physical limitation are common in our adapted sports and fitness programs. Many programs for people with mental disabilities enhance socialization and foster independence. Activities for youth-at-risk promote cooperation and social skills in a therapeutic and challenging setting. In keeping with the goals of each program, our #1 objective is to offer fun!

Programs

Special Recreation offers a wide range of programs throughout the year, for youth through seniors of various ability levels. Program descriptions and registration information are available in the Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer brochures. Brochures are available at member park district or city recreation department offices, and the Special Recreation office at 4625 W. 110th St. Oak Lawn, IL 60453 Or you can call us at (708)857-2200 and we will gladly put you on a mailing list.

Weekly Programs

Sports, cultural, outdoor, social and motor development programs are offered each season for sessions ranging from eight to twelve weeks in length.

Special Events

One day outings to local and regional sites offer fun on holidays, school days off, and other days throughout the year. Special Recreation staff and participants explore many of Chicagoland's newest recreation attractions.

Trips

Trips for groups of varying ages and abilities provide experiences ranging from camping to hotel stays, regionally and nationally.

Camps

Summer day camps give children and teens a chance to make new friends, try new activities and enjoy the summer season. Full day camps are offered, along with half day camps in conjunction with some summer school programs.

Inclusion 

We at the Oak Lawn Park District understand that not every person with a special need or disability condition requires Special Recreation programming. We will be happy to advise or assist residents who wish to participate in the Oak Lawn Park District recreation department programs. We strongly encourage integration, as this inclusive recreation environment provides our residents with even greater options for their leisure time. We want to make each and every experience you share with our park district, safe and positive. Support Services may include, but are not limited to:

  • One-to-one consultation
  • In-service training with park district and recreation department staff
  • Assistance through the use of Inclusion Aide
  • Provisions of community resources

Note: These services are provided at no cost, but we do ask that you fill out the Inclusion Request Form (Available at Oak View Center) two weeks prior to the beginning of the program. That is to ensure we are able to find an inclusion aide to assist you or your child. We are committed to doing everything possible to make your inclusion experience a successful one.

Special Olympics

Special Recreation provides quality Special Olympics training programs in several sports for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Individual athletes and teams compete locally, and in Illinois Special Olympics competition in Region E and at the state level.

Oak Lawn Special Recreation offers training and competition opportunities in these sports:

  • Aquatics
  • Alpine skiing
  • Basketball
  • Bocce Ball
  • Bowling
  • Floor Hockey
  • Golf (Unified)
  • Power Lifting
  • Gymnastics
  • Snowshoeing 
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Track & Field
  • Volleyball (Unified)

Over 150 athletes benefit from proper instruction and training, physical conditioning, socializing and being part of the team. The sports are coached by professional staff and/or highly experienced or Special Olympics certified part-time staff and volunteers.

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