Special Needs & Inclusion

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. 

Types of Inclusion Services

The Elmhurst 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 Elmhurst Park District (EPD) 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, EPD 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.

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 Ryanc [at] raygraham.org, and visit the Special Needs & Inclusion Program Information page.

How does the Elmhurst Park District inclusion process work?

The inclusion process is fairly simple:

  1. Register for the park district program of your choice.
  2. Check the “special needs” box on the registration form.
  3. Contract the Inclusion Services Manager for Inclusion Services at (630) 993‐8676.
  4. The inclusion staff members, in cooperation with the individual’s family members, will discuss the type of inclusion support needed and make necessary accommodations.
  5. The program will begin with necessary accommodations in place.
  6. An inclusion staff member will periodically observe the program to provide support and answer questions.
  7. Communication between the inclusion staff, the park district staff and the individual and/or family is continued throughout the cooperative inclusion process.

Is there a limit to the number of programs one can register for per season and receive inclusion support?

EPD staff will make needed accommodations in each program every season for individuals who have listed special needs.

What is the cost for Inclusion services from the Elmhurst Park District?

Inclusion services are provided at no cost. Participants must pay the Park District program fees, but there is no additional cost for inclusion support.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you need inclusion assistance please contact the Wagner Community Center at (630) 993‐8901 and ask to speak to Dana Herrera.