Disability Policy Office

Larry Labiak, Disability Policy Officer

Accessible Facilities |  Special Recreation Programs | Reasonable Accommodations | Compliance |
ADA Complaint Reporting Procedure

Department Overview

The Disability Policy Office oversees Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Illinois Accessibility Code/Chicago Building Code compliance initiatives and guides the Park District’s efforts to create a fully accessible park system. It plays an integral role in the prioritization of ADA capital projects and identifying ways to improve accessibility to facilities. The Disability Policy office also advises all departments on the development and implementation of policies and programs inclusive of patrons with disabilities.

Accessible Facilities

The Chicago Park District is committed to making its facilities accessible to and usable by all patrons and visitors. This commitment is ongoing, proactive and intended to meet the needs of a diversity of individuals with disabilities.

Recent entrance and bathroom modifications at multiple field houses have enhanced access for wheelchair users and others with mobility limitations.

More than 150 revamped playgrounds all provide an accessible soft surface base and play elements that meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) minimum standards.

All swimming pools (indoor & outdoor)  either have a portable lift, easy access stairs, a zero depth ramp or a combination of these amenities.

More than 40 field houses now feature a fitness center with at least two pieces of wheelchair accessible fitness equipment, and the Douglas Park Fitness Center is outfitted with a majority of wheelchair user-friendly equipment.

Out on the lakefront, 16 of 31 Chicago beaches have an accessible beach walk. These "walkways over the sand" allow all patrons young or old, with or without a physical disability or mobility limitation, to stroll all the way to the water's edge with ease.

Two wheelchair accessible softball/baseball fields offer youth and adults with disabilities the opportunity to actively participate in "America's pastime". On the North Side, Cubs Care Field at California Park (3843 N. California Ave.) is home to two adult wheelchair softball teams and the Buddy Baseball program for elementary school youth with and without disabilities. On the South Side, the White Sox Fields complex at Mount Greenwood Park (3724 W. 111th St.) features a youth-sized, soft surface field in an integrated setting with two grass softball fields.

The Park District's first fully accessible community garden was completed in 2008 at Chase Park (4701 N. Ashland Ave.). The all raised planting beds design provides any gardener easy access to the soil. The 14 beds and the entire surrounding ground surface were constructed with recycled plastic timbers to provide both accessibility and an environment-friendly "green" space.  The recently completed community garden at Gage Park (2415 W. 55th Street), also features raised planting beds.

In addition to the accessible facilities and improvements listed above, the Chicago Park District is in the midst of a major ADA capital improvement plan which will provide substantial barrier removal and accessibility upgrades to 35 buildings and amenities at 26 more parks across the City.

Special Recreation Programs

Staffed Special Recreation programs and events are offered throughout the year at more than 20 parks across the city. A wide variety of programs are available to meet the varied needs and desires of individuals within and across disability groups. Providing options is our goal, so patrons can choose between and among mainstream and Special Recreation program offerings such as adaptive sports (beep baseball, sled hockey, wheelchair softball, sailing, Boccia), camps (special recreation day camp, sports camp, Camp Sign for Deaf and Hard of Hearing), social clubs and Special Olympics programs.

View a listing of Special Recreation programs currently available.

For more information on our special recreation programs, call 312.742.5798 or 312.747.2001 (TTY) or email specialrecreation@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Reasonable Accommodations

The Chicago Park District is committed to promoting positive participation and a quality experience by providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities upon request. To request the accommodations listed below, click on the related links or contact us at accessibility@chicagoparkdistrict.com, or 312.742.4298 or 312.747.2001 (TTY). 

When requesting accommodations, please contact us at least one week prior to the date these services/items are needed (minimum 72 hours advance notice for sign language interpreter requests).

 

Compliance

In compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Chicago Park District does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment or admission/access to programs and activities.

ADA Complaint Reporting Procedure for Patrons and Visitors

Go here for more information about the Chicago Park District's procedures for reporting an ADA complaint.

If you experience problems with the accessibility of our website, please contact us at accessibility@chicagoparkdistrict.com, or 312.742.4298 or 312.747.2001 (TTY).

Documents: Accessibility

Name Size Published
PDF Document Inclusion Policy 325KB 12/12/2013