Special Needs & Inclusion Program Information

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, Fleasant 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 Ray Graham Association; click on "Gateway" and you can review the entire brochure complete with registration forms.  Once registration forms are complete, they can be mailed to:  Ray Graham Association, 901 Warrenville Road, Ste. 500, Lisle, IL  60532; or Hanson Center, 15W431 59th Street, Burr Ridge, IL  60527.  For information please contact Ryan Massengill at ryan [at] raygraham.org.

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 Elmhurst Park District, EPD 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. This service is offered free to Elmhurst Park District program participants. Inclusion is designed to provide the maximum opportunity to participate in a program.  For more information, please contact the Wagner Community Center at (630) 993-8901.