Inclusion Services

Who is eligible for Inclusion services?

Any Elmhurst Park District resident who registers for a park district program and has a special need is eligible to receive inclusion services. This service is offered free to Elmhurst Park District program participants. Inclusion is designed to provide the maximum opportunity to participate in a program.

Types of Inclusion Services

The Elmhurst Park District understands that not every person with a special need or disability requires special programming. For families who wish to participate in more integrated programming through the Park District, staff are available to help choose appropriate park programs, educate program instructors about the individual's special needs, accompany the individual to the program until a smooth transition has been made and act as a resource for the park and recreation department.

The Park District will provide the type of support deemed necessary for successful participation in a park district program. Supports may include: training with the program staff, consultation with the individual and individual's family members, activity modification, behavior management support, sign language interpreters, observation and evaluation, implementation of adaptive equipment, and/or provision of a support staff member.

What are Inclusion services?

The Park District believes that all individuals should be provided with leisure opportunities that allow them to perform at their highest level. We understand that not every individual who has a special need desires EPD programming. In cooperation with our Program Managers, staff will assist and advise any resident who is interested in participating in a program.

For individuals interested in special recreation programming, the Elmhurst Park District is a member of the Gateway Special Recreation Association, which was formed through an intergovernmental agreement between several villages and park districts including Burr Ridge, Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Pleasant Dale, Westchester and York Center, the City of Countryside and the Villages of Hinsdale and Willowbrook.  Gateway Special Recreation Association (SRA) contracts with the Ray Graham Association for People With Disabilities to provide recreational services for children and adults with disabilities. The Ray Graham Association has been serving the needs of persons with disabilities for more than 45 years.

The headquarters for Gateway SRA is in the Anna Emery Hanson Center, located at 59th and Garfield Streets in Burr Ridge. The Ray Graham-owned and operated facility is a modern, fully handicapped-accessible building on a 12.5-acre site. The Hanson Center offers indoor and outdoor program space, including a barn and two riding arenas for horsemanship instruction. Other locations in the seven-community area also act as program sites.

Gateway SRA offerings are suited to meet a wide range of needs and capabilities.  A complete guide to all Gateway programming can be found at the Gateway Special Recreation Association website where you can review the entire current brochure. For information please contact Ryan Massengill at Ryanc [at] raygraham.org, and visit the Inclusion Program Information page.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you need inclusion assistance please contact the Wagner Community Center at (630) 993‐8901.