Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation (CUSR) is a cooperative agreement with the Champaign and Urbana Park Districts to provide recreation programs and leisure services for residents with disabilities. Inclusion and specialized programs are also available.
What is Inclusion?
In cooperation with the Champaign Park District and Urbana Park District, CUSR staff are happy to assist and advise any resident who is interested in participating in local park district programs. CUSR will provide the type of support deemed necessary for successful participation. Support may include training with the park district staff members, consultation with the individual and the individual’s family members, and the assistance of support staff member, or inclusion aide.
What is an inclusion aide?
An inclusion aide is a CUSR staff member who serves as 1-on-1 aide for a participant with special needs in park district programming. The inclusion aide provides support so an individual with a disability may succeed in park district programs. They reinforce the recreation leaders’ instructions, encourage peer interactions between individuals with and without disabilities, and emphasize the fun of recreation. Duties include adapting activities, following inclusion or behavior plans, maintaining a safe environment, and promoting success in a program.
Who qualifies for inclusion services?
Any participant with a special need qualifies for inclusion services. Populations we service but are not limited to: Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Developmentally Delayed, Physically Challenged, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visually Impaired, and those with other special needs.
What is the cost of inclusion services?
CUSR provides all inclusion services at no cost to the individual.
What accommodations are available?
Accommodations can include: adaptive equipment, behavior management support, adapting rules and policies, staff training, an inclusion aide, and sign language interpreter.
What are the benefits of inclusion?
Enables participants to use their freedom of choice to decide what kind of programming they would like to participate in.
Allows the community to learn about each other and appreciate individual differences, and celebrate diversity by fostering opportunities for participants of all backgrounds and abilities to grow and play alongside each other.
Promotes and teaches acceptance and sensitivity towards individual differences.
Fosters opportunities for individuals who have special needs to formulate friendships by participating alongside peers, and can also create an opportunity to form a unique relationship with an inclusion aide.
Encourages participants to try new things and get involved in whatever leisure experiences they are interested in with our support, opening the door to a great number of opportunities for recreational experiences that otherwise may not be possible.
Creates progress toward eliminating barriers to leisure and allowing individuals with special needs to experience the benefits provided by recreation.
What programs can I receive inclusion services for?
We offer inclusion services for any program offered by the Champaign Park District and the Urbana Park District. Some examples include: Providing an inclusion aide for swim lessons, dance class, day camp, etc., providing a sign language interpreter at a live show, providing a behavior plan or picture chart for a participant in after school program, and so on.
How do I request Inclusion services?
Register at pay for the Park District program in which you are interested. Please make sure to check “Yes” under ADA information on the registration forms and include any known information regarding the participant’s disability or special need. Then, contact the Program Coordinator that oversees the program you or your dependent has registered for, and inform them of your special need at least two weeks before the program begins. Inform them about all details of the special assistance required. After submitting the registration form, please complete the Participant Information Form and submit it to CUSR. At this point Park District and CUSR staff will work with the person requesting assistance to make reasonable accommodations.