Linkages Summer / Spring 2018 is a newsletter for professionals who work with children who have ongoing health conditions or disabilities.

“The benefits of physical activity are universal for all children, including those with disabilities. The participation of children with disabilities in sports and recreational activities promotes inclusion, minimizes deconditioning, optimizes physical functioning, and enhances overall well-being.”

N. Murphy and P. Carbone
Council on Children with Disabilities



Inclusion for children with special needs

Let’s All Play – The Let’s All Play inclusive programming model provides recreational programs the foundation and the framework they need to offer a fully inclusive experience to all children in their communities. From

Power in Friendship Toolkit  Designed for families of children with disabilities and those with typically developing children, this toolkit provides parents the resources to help their child build inclusive friendships.
The toolkit includes:

  • What is inclusion and why it’s important
  • How to help children make inclusive friendships
  • Games all kids can play
  • How to host an inclusive birthday party



Inclusive parks and playgrounds

Inclusive Playgrounds in Washington State  Playgrounds and parks across Washington State that offer inclusive and barrier-free elements for children regardless of their age and ability. Features may include adapted play equipment, increased access, quiet areas and programs for children with special needs.




Baseball: Little League Challenger Division  Adaptive baseball program for youth with physical and intellectual challenges. Visit to find a Challenger Division near you.

Horse Assisted Therapy  PATH International – The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) promotes safety and optimal outcomes in horse-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. Visit their “Find a Center”  to find a therapeutic center near you.

Soccer: TOP Soccer  The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOP) is for players age 4 and older who have developmental and physical disabilities. The program is based on skill level, not age. Players are paired with volunteer buddies who help them with the game. Twenty three programs are located throughout the state.

Special Olympics of Washington  Sports programs for children and youth with intellectual disabilities. Youth are eligible at age eight with no upper age limit. The “Young Athletes” program is for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. It introduces basic sport skills such as running, kicking and throwing.



Outdoor recreation

Outdoors for All Programs  Year-round adaptive outdoor recreation. Programs include snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross country, downhill skiing, cycling, hiking, yoga, kayaking, day camps, rock-climbing, camping, military programs and custom events.

Fishing and Hunting:

C.A.S.T. for Kids  C.A.S.T for Kids Foundation hosts annual fishing and boating events for children with special needs. Visit their calendar to find an event near you.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife  List of ADA compliant water access sites across Washington.

Youth Outdoors Unlimited – Washington based non-profit organization dedicated to take youth diagnosed with life threatening illnesses or physical disabilities hunting or fishing.



Camping and state parks

ADA Accessible State Parks – List of accessible state parks and campgrounds in Washington. Includes parks with accessible trails, restrooms and other services.

Passes for Washington State – Passes that reduce or waive camping, moorage, watercraft launch fees and day use for people with disabilities. Passes are valid only at Washington state parks.

National Parks, Monuments, Forests, Wildlife Refuge & Fishing Services-Access Pass – Free, lifetime pass to many public recreation sites in the U.S. Available to citizens or permanent residents that have a permanent disability. The pass also provides a discount on fees at many sites (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).

Disclaimer: The inclusion of any resource or website in Linkages does not imply endorsement. Produced by the Center for Children with Special Needs, a program of Seattle Children’s with support from the Washington State Department of Health, Children with Special Health Care Needs Program.

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