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SWSRA is a special recreation association that is an extension of six park districts and two recreation & parks departments. SWSRA was formed in 1981 to provide year-round quality therapeutic recreation programs and services for individuals with intellectual and/or physical disabilities or special needs. SWSRA programs are designed to increase independence and enhance the quality of life for each individual. If you live in one of the following communities, you are considered a resident of SWSRA: Alsip, Blue Island, Hickory Hills, Merrionette Park, Midlothian, Palos Heights, Posen, and Worth. We offer a wide variety of programs for individuals in early childhood through adults of all ages. Programs are designed to meet the individual whose special needs restrict or prohibit their participant in traditional park district or recreation department programs. This would include individuals who have varying degrees of physical or cognitive disabilities, learning disabilities, behavior disorders and hearing or visual impairments. 

Because of the risk of injury, Special Olympics Illinois has established a policy which states that any participant with Down syndrome, involved in any Special Olympics sport/activity, must obtain an x-ray, submit a letter from their physician, and complete the Special Olympics Illinois medical form. The letter must state that the individual does not have atlantoaxial instability prior to participating in the program. 


SWSRA is subject to and will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the bases of disability against persons who meet essential eligibility requirements for services. If you have any questions about our services in regard to the ADA, please call us at (708) 389-9423.



Our staff makes every effort to prepare our brochure, flyers, website posts and tweets as accurately as possible; however, errors can occur. Circumstances may require that adjustments be made to programs, fees, schedules, etc. SWSRA reserves the right to make any such adjustments. The staff apologizes for any inconvenience these errors or adjustments may cause. 



SWSRA relies upon the post office for mail deliveries of our seasonal brochures. SWSRA assumes no responsibility for mail delivery. If for some reason you do not receive a brochure, please pick one up at your park district, recreation department, or the SWSRA office.


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 an SWSRA program, others may have great success in the activities of partner agencies. Our partner agencies adhere to the following basic principles when providing accommodations to allow for successful inclusion:

Principles of Inclusion:

  1. The interests and needs of an individual participant will be addressed.

  2. The concerns of the family will be taken into account.

  3. The partner agency staff will be given support by SWSRA.

  4. Options and choices will be made available to individuals with disabilities.


SWSRA is committed to providing new and challenging leisure and recreation activities for all our participants. We recognize that a park district or recreation department program may better serve an individual’s needs. SWSRA works with our partner agencies to assist individuals with making the transition from special recreation to these programs.  Our professional staff can help you choose an appropriate program, provide referral services, conduct any necessary staff training, secure support staff, or supply adaptive equipment or communication devices. If you or a family member wish to participate in a park district or recreation department program, please contact our office. 

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.

SWSRA seeks to provide a safe environment for all of our participants, staff, volunteers, and the public. Staff and volunteers have been provided in-service training concerning proper hygienic procedures. If you have any specific questions, please call the SWSRA Executive Director. 



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