For Parents

image of parent holding child's handFrequently Asked Questions

What is a special recreation association (SRA)?

A special recreation association (SRA)is a cooperative formed by 2 or more park districts or municipalities who have joined together to provide recreation for their residents with disabilities.

Similar to the park district and village recreation departments, programs are offered year round in the park district or villages recreation facilities as well as private facilities such as theaters, bowling alleys, churches, etc.

How do I find out if there is a Special Recreation Association where I live?

Click on the find my services on the home page and look up your community alphabetically. All of the special recreation cooperatives are listed along with their address, phone number and web address. Simply call or connect with your local special recreation association using their web site for detailed information.

Who do the Special Recreation Associations serve?

Most of the SRAs serve individuals all ages and abilities.

SRA’s offer programs for individuals who have:

Attention Deficit Disorder

Alzheimer’s Disease


Behavior Difficulties

Developmental Delays

Down Syndrome


Hearing Impairments

Learning Disabilities

Mental Impairments

Mental Illness

Multiple Impairments

Physical Impairment

Visual Impairments

If I live in a community that is not in a Special Recreation Association where can I go for programs?

There are 199 park districts and municipalities who are serving their residents through a special recreation cooperative.  If your community is not listed, you should call the nearest SRA for information and contact your park district or recreation department and let them know you are interested in receiving services. A near by SRA may accept non-residents.

Who should I contact if I want services and there are none?

Call you local park district or village recreation department and ask to speak to the director.  Identify yourself as a resident who is seeking services for someone with special needs.

What should I know to be an effective advocate for special recreation programs?

Special recreation associations are an extension of local park districts and municipalities. Park districts and village recreation departments have the ability to join together to provide services and to levy a tax for these services.

Many park districts and villages have not been contacted by their citizens and therefore may not think there is a need to provide recreation services for their residents with disabilities.  If there is a near by special recreation association, you can contact the director to ask for assistance in talking with your park district and village officials.


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