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The Chicago Park District is a national leader in serving individuals with disabilities. Starting in 1965, park employees began to be trained on ways to better serve Chicago citizens with disabilities. In 1968, Chicago became the birthplace of the Special Olympics with the park district playing an integral role in its development. Today, the Chicago Park District strives to enhance the lives of Chicagoans with disabilities by providing a variety of recreation and leisure opportunities. 


Sports, Recreation & Leisure Programs

Designed to provide opportunities that will enhance skill development, encourage socialization, and promote independence for individuals with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. Also, includes sports training programs with opportunities to compete in Special Olympics competitions.

View Sites & Programs for People with Intellectual Disabilities 



Adaptive Sports & Recreation Programs

Intended for individuals with a primary physical disability or individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Programs include wheelchair sports, adaptive sports, and additional recreation opportunities.

View Programs for Individuals with a Physical Disability 

View Programs for Individuals who are Blind or Visually Impaired




Deaf & Hard of Hearing Programs

An opportunity for individuals with all types of hearing loss from early childhood through adulthood to interact with each other while enjoying a variety of year-round specialized recreational activities. 

View Programs for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing  




Veteran Programs & Military Initiatives

Seeking to empower veterans and active military through participation in sports, recreation activities, community partnership opportunities, family events and more. 

View Programs for Veterans & Military Personnel 

learn about events & services for Veterans & Military Personnel 



Inclusion Services

The Chicago Park District offers additional assistance for people with disabilities, such as inclusion services. An assessment is required to determine if inclusion services are deemed necessary. For more details on the process, including how participants request an assessment, please click on the policy document below. For more information please contact the Special Recreation Department at (312) 742-5798 or special.recreation@chicagoparkdistrict. com.

Inclusion Services faqs 

Inclusion Service Guidelines

View Inclusion Services Policy


Internship Opportunities

Interested in a one-of-a-kind hands-on internship experience? Then the Special Recreation Department is the place for you!

Apply to be a Special Recreation Intern



For more information about Chicago Park District Special Recreation programs, email the Special Recreation Department: