Individuals with Down Syndrome are at risk of having a condition known as Atlanto-Axial Instability (AAI). This condition allows for increased laxity of ligaments involving the top bones of the neck. In a number of individuals with Down Syndrome, the movement between the first and second cervical vertebrae is abnormally increased and may lead to pressure on the spinal cord. Undue pressure on this area may cause severe injury. It is a SWSRA policy that any individual with Down Syndrome is required to have a doctor’s written note on file stating the person is free of AAI if that person wishes to participate in any program with a potential to cause undue stress upon the neck. Programs with the * sign are identified as those requiring the AAI test. SWSRA will also be offering other programs that are not by inherent nature of the activity at risk for undue pressure upon the neck. However, the nature of play is active participation. Please take this into consideration when enrolling your child into a program and inform staff if the condition is present.
Pick up/Drop off policy
SWSRA asks that participants arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to the start of a program or slated pick-up time, and be picked up promptly at the end of the program or slated drop-off time. Being early or late for pick-up, drop-off, starting and ending times of programs is detrimental to the quality and success of our activities and the safety of our participants.
Behavior Code of Conduct
SWSRA participants are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior at all times. The following guidelines have been developed to help make SWSRA programs safe and enjoyable for all participants. Additional rules may be developed for particular programs and athletic leagues as deemed necessary by staff.
- Show respect to all participants and staff and take direction from staff.
- Refrain from using abusive or foul language.
- Refrain from causing bodily harm to self or others.
- Show respect to equipment, supplies and facilities.
Positive approaches will be used regarding discipline. Staff will periodically review rules with participants during the program session. If inappropriate behavior occurs, prompt resolution will be sought specific to each individual situation. SWSRA reserves the right to dismiss a participant whose behavior endangers the safety of him/herself or others.
South West Special Recreation Association is committed to the safety and well being of staff and patrons. All acts of violence by program participants will be taken seriously, and SWSRA will promptly respond to any incident or suggestion of violence. Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or denial of participation, at the discretion of SWSRA.
Dispensing of Medication
If a participant is in need of assistance (other than a reminder) to take a prescription medication, a permission form MUST BE signed by the parent or guardian and returned to SWSRA before the first day of registration. Medication information must also be indicated on the SWSRA Master registration – this assists SWSRA in determining its ability to comply with any request to assist with the administration of medication. Contact SWSRA to obtain a permission form. [PLEASE NOTE THAT SWSRA DOES NOT ADMINISTER RECTAL MEDICATION]
The Dispensing of Medication Form can be found on the forms page under the information tab.
SWSRA and our member agencies believe that all individuals should be provided with leisure opportunities that allow for performance at their highest level of ability. Although many people achieve this through participation in a SWSRA program, others may have greater success and the member agencies adhere to the following basic principles when providing accommodations to allow for successful inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the activities of member recreation agencies.
Principles of Inclusion:
- The interests and needs of an individual participant will be addressed.
- The concerns of the family will be taken into account.
- The member agency staff will be given support by SWSRA.
- Options and choices will be made available to individuals with disabilities.
Please contact SWSRA at 708-389-9423 to discuss an individual’s options and participation in the program of choice.
Late Pick Up Fee
Please pick-up participants at the designated times.
If parents/guardians are not on time for a participant pick-up/drop-off, a $5 fee will be assessed after 15 minutes late and every 15 minutes thereafter. Thank you for your cooperation.
All SWSRA staff are mandated by the State of Illinois to make a report to DCFS hotline if they observe a situation that provides reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect. Workers in certain professions, including “recreational program” personnel, have this legal mandate. Our staff is trained on signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect, and procedures for making a report.
Master Registration Form
SWSRA requires all participants to complete a Master Registration Form yearly. The form provides staff with valuable information, which allows SWSRA to conduct its activities in the safest possible manner and to meet the basic needs of participants. If you are new to SWSRA or do not have a current form on file, please contact the office and one will be sent to you. Additionally, if the agency receives a registration form and does not have a Master Registration Form on file, one will be sent to you to complete and return. If at any time the form needs to be updated (change in medication, behavior, address, etc.) please call the SWSRA office. All information is kept strictly confidential and enhances successful participation. Thank you for your cooperation.
The Master Registration Form can be found on the forms page under the information tab.
Participation When Illness Occurs
In consideration of other participants and the SWSRA staff, to prevent the spread of contagious illnesses it is recommended that participants refrain from attending programs when any of the following conditions exist:
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher
- Vomiting within the last 24 hours
- Persistent diarrhea in conjunction with other symptoms
- Contagious rash or a rash of unknown origin
- Persistent cough and/or cold symptoms
- “Pink eye” (conjunctivitis) or discharge from the eye
- Symptoms of mumps, measles, chicken pox, strep throat, flu, impetigo or coxsackie virus
- Runny nose with yellow or green discharge (which indicates infection)
- Lice or mites present
- Fatigue, due to illness that will hinder participation and enjoyment in the program
Please notify the SWSRA office if the participant contracts any contagious illness that will affect his/ her attendance at the program. Participants should return to programs at the doctor’s recommendation, or, if not under a doctor’s care, when the symptoms have clearly passed.
Program Cancellation due to Severe Weather Guidelines
In the event of severe weather, SWSRA may be forced to cancel programs. The following guidelines will be used to determine cancellation.
- 10 degrees or/in combination with wind chills of zero degrees or less.
Programs with transportation:
- Temperature range of –10 degrees or/in combination with a wind chill or –20 degrees or less.
- All programs (including indoors): Snowstorm situations with driving restrictions (winter storm or blizzard warning in which authorities have advised not going out unless necessary) and emergency accident plans (state and local police) are in effect.
Sever Hot Weather:
- Outdoor programs or indoor sites without air-conditioning: Heat index of 115 degrees or higher.
- All programs (including indoors): Weather situations when a tornado warning is in effect for Cook County.
A refund or credit will be issued to participants if a program, trip, or special event is canceled due to low registration. If a participant cancels out of a program prior to the start and no costs have been incurred, a $2 service fee will be charged and a refund or credit will be issued. There will be no refunds or credits issued if a participant cancels out of a program, trip, or special event and SWSRA has incurred costs due to purchase of tickets, rentals, deposits, etc. If inclement weather or leader absence occurs, SWSRA will try to reschedule the activity or issue a credit or refund.
The Registration deadline for most trips and special events is 2 weeks prior to the event date on a first-come, first-serve basis dependent on the maximum. Take note of the Registration Deadline for each trip or special event throughout the brochure. PLEASE REGISTER EARLY! If the minimum number of participants needed is not reached by the indicated date, the trip or special event will have to be canceled. Alternately, if the maximum number of participants is reached before the deadline, unfortunately, we may have to cut off registrations early.
Please allow 2-3 weeks for your refund to be processed. IF originally paid by check or cash, a check will be mailed to you. If paid by VISA or MasterCard, we must credit the card with which payment was made.
Registration/Fees and Payment Procedures
At SWSRA, it is our responsibility to provide adequate staffing and supplies for our programs, special events and trips. Help us by registering before the deadline date(s) so we can make these necessary preparations.
Registration and fees will not be accepted at program sites. Registration and fees will only be accepted by walk-in registration at the SWSRA office or mail-in registration. No phone or fax registrations accepted as credit card payments and waivers must have original signature, unless otherwise stated.
Registration fees have been established for each program, trip and special event. These fees must be paid at the time of registration. If you do not live within Alsip, Blue Island, Justice, Merrionette Park, Midlothian, Palos Heights, Posen or Summit, you are considered as residing “out-of- district,” and must pay the OD (out-of-district) fee. The OD fees are typically 100% higher than the listed fee.
No registration will be processed if there is a balance due from past seasons. Full payment is expected at the time of registration unless special arrangements are made. Call the SWSRA office to discuss a payment plan or eligibility for a scholarship.
When completing the annual master registration form you may choose to grant or deny photo permission of the registrant. If you grant permission it permits the taking of photos and videos during SWSRA activities, trips or special events. These photos or videos are for SWSRA use only and may be used for publications and promotional materials as SWSRA deems necessary. This includes use on our website or internet.
The personal and private information collected by the South West Special Recreation Association is intended for the sole use of the agency, and such information will not be sold or distributed to other persons or agencies without the written permission of the individual(s) providing it, except as required by law. IF information is provided to any other person or agency pursuant to any legal requirement, SWSRA will advise the individual(s) of the disclosure.
What is a FOIA?
FOIA is the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, under the Illinois Freedom of Information at (5 ILCS 140/1 et. Seq.) Records in possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon written request.
How can I submit a FOIA request?
South West Special Recreation Association has a form that may be completed. Requests should state the information being sought under the Freedom of Information Act. Provide a brief description of the public records requested, being as specific as possible. Submit a FOIA request in writing either by mail or in person:
South West Special Recreation Association
FOIA Officer (Lori Chesna)
12521 S. Kostner Avenue
Alsip, IL 60803
ATTENTION: FOIA REQUEST
SWSRA may require a fee for producing copies in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5ILCS 140/6). Odd size documents and color copies will be charged accordingly.
While we try to be accurate in presenting information in our brochure, some unavoidable errors or changes to the programs, fees, schedules and other information may occur. SWSRA apologizes for any inconvenience resulting from these necessary changes.
The South West Special Recreation Association assumes no responsibility for lost or stolen property while attending an activity, facility or participating in a program, trip or special event.
Persons residing in the SWSRA member district communities are considered SWSRA residents and pay the ID (in-district) fee. SWSRA’s member districts are:
Alsip Park District
Blue Island District
Justice Park District
Village of Merrionette Park
Midlothian Park District
Palos Heights Recreation Department
Posen Park District
Summit Park District
Worth Park District
Our vans are scheduled for many different programs, trips and special events throughout the week, so it is very important that participants are dropped off and picked up at the listed time so we can meet this schedule. Thank you for your cooperation.
SWSRA now has 5 pick-up points for weekend special events and trips where transportation is available. This service is provided for you at no additional cost. We also offer one-way (home drop-off) or round-trip (door-to-door) transportation on select events and trips for a minimal fee. The fee information is located on the seasonal registration page. Please refer to each individual trip or event to see which type of transportation is available to you.
In-district residents will be charged $6 per round trip; out-of-district residents who reside within 10 miles of the SWSRA office will be charged $8 per round trip.
PLEASE BE PATIENT. Although SWSRA gives pick up and/or drop off times, these are only estimates. We do our best when scheduling times, however unforseen circumstances may arise such as construction, traffic, trains, etc. Thank you for understanding!
TRANSPORTATION IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR NONRESIDENTS WHO RESIDE OUTSIDE OF A 10-MILE RADIOUS OF THE SWSRA OFFICE. These additional fees must be paid at the time of registration, and must be indicated on the seasonal registration form.
NOTE: THERE WILL ONLY BE HOME DROP-OFFS AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY NIGHT TRIPS.
SWSRA has implemented the following transportation procedures to ensure participants safety in our vehicles:
- All passengers must be sitting in seats or wheelchairs with belts securely fastened. The driver will not proceed until all seat belts are fastened.
- All wheelchairs must have brakes that are in good working order and can stop the chair from moving.
- The SWSRA drivers will not be able to leave the vehicles to assist participants to/from their homes.
- SWSRA staff are responsible for determining whether or not a participant can be transported safely. The driver may refuse to transport any person(s) if it is determined that it would be dangerous to do so.
- Persons riding in Amigo-type wheelchairs must transfer into a van seat and must use a seat belt.
- Persons unable to be in a house alone should have someone meet the van at the designated time of return. SWSRA cannot wait more than 10 minutes due to the demanding van schedule.
- SWSRA reserves the right to refuse to transport individuals. Please realize that these policies have been developed to ensure the safety of everyone riding in SWSRA vehicles. Your cooperation is appreciated.
- When transportation is included in special events, the use of vans or buses may change as necessary to accommodate group sizes and needs.
- Most events have centralized meeting locations.
In January of 2004, the changes to the Illinois Vehicle Code Child Protection Act went into effect. All children up through 7 years old are required to be in a car seat or booster seat. Section 25/4 places the responsibility for providing the seats with the parents. Therefore, if a car seat is required due to a child’s age, SWSRA requests that parents provide the seat and assist with securing the seat in the van or bus. Please indicate on the registration form if a car seat will be used.