OASIS Policies & Guidelines
WHAT IS SWSRA?
SWSRA is a special recreation association that is an extension of 8 member districts. 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 participation 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.
AMERICANS with DISABILITIES ACT
SWSRA is subject to and will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis 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.
BROCHURE MAIL DELIVERY
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.
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.
REGISTRATION/FEES AND PAYMENT PROCEDURES
SWSRA reserves the right to verify residency; must provide a picture I.D. and a current utility bill.
SWSRA AND SSSRA COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT
SWSRA has a cooperative agreement with South Suburban Special Recreation Association (SSSRA). This agreement enables participants who reside in SWSRA and SSSRA resident communities to participate in most programs offered by either association at resident rates. Please note that this does not include day camp, vacation trips, and weekend trips or where indicated. Special services such as scholarship and transportation are not included in this agreement. Registrations will be processed during the non-resident registration dates posted on a first-come-first-service basis. SWSRA reserves the right to verify residency. We hope that through this agreement, each agency residents will have expanded opportunities for program participation. For additional information about this agreement, please call SWSRA at 708-389-9423.
MASTER REGISTRATION FORM
SWSRA requires all participants to complete a Master Registration Form annually. 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 at any time the form needs to be updated prior to its annual expiration date; (change in medication, behavior, address, house manager, etc.) please submit a new form. All information is kept strictly confidential and enhances successful participation.
NEW PARTICIPANT ASSESSMENT/INTAKE ASSESSMENT
SWSRA reserves the right to determine if this program is appropriate for an individual. OASIS requires a participant “intake assessment” in person. A recreation team member will call to set up your intake assessment interview. This interview requires the participant and guardian to attend. The participant will be asked questions that he/she will be required to respond appropriately and independently. The goal of this assessment is to determine if OASIS is an appropriate fit and to better help our staff understand the needs of each participant before they begin once enrollment is approved.
NON-SUFFICIENT FUNDS (NSF)
Any service charge(s) that are assessed for any returned check(s) will be the responsibility of the registrant and any future registration will need to be paid in cash.
1. SWSRA reserves the right to determine and or decline participant appropriateness for OASIS program.
2. If a participant cannot attend OASIS, he/she cannot send a substitute in their place.
3. SWSRA provides appropriate staff-to-participant ratios based on the information provided to us on the registration form, annual master, and intake assessments. We provide an approximate 1:6 to 1:4 staff-to-participant ratio.
4. SWSRA is not responsible for lost or stolen property. Participants are encouraged to leave valuables at home.
SWSRA promotes the concept of “equal fun for everyone.” Participants, family members, and guardians are expected to exhibit appropriate behavior at all times. SWSRA’s behavior guidelines have been developed to help make the program safe and enjoyable for all participants.
1. Participants, family members, and guardians must show respect to all participants, staff, and volunteers.
2. Participants, family members, and guardians must refrain from threatening or causing bodily harm to self, other participants, or staff.
3. Participants, family members, and guardians must refrain from using foul language or discussing inappropriate topics.
4. Participants, family members, and guardians must show respect for equipment, supplies, and facilities.
5. Additional rules may be developed as deemed necessary by staff.
6. If inappropriate behavior occurs, a prompt resolution will be sought specifically to each individual’s situation. SWSRA reserves the right to dismiss participants whose behavior endangers the safety of themselves or others. Actions may be, but not limited to: participants, family members, and/or guardians sent home, suspend the participants, family members, and/or guardians, or expel the participants, family members, and/or guardians.
SWSRA attempts to hold the program whenever possible. However, inclement weather occasionally makes it difficult for participants and staff to travel to program locations. SWSRA’s cancellation policies are as follows:
1. At the scheduled program time, if no participants arrive within the first 30 minutes, the program session will be canceled, and staff will be sent home. NO refunds will be given.
2. SWSRA staff look at all circumstances, (weather reports), two hours prior to the starting time of the program to determine if the program should be canceled. If OASIS is canceled due to weather NO refund given.
3. If the program is canceled, staff will attempt to reach all participants by phone to inform them. You will only be called if the program is canceled.
PROGRAM CANCELLATION DUE TO SEVERE WEATHER GUIDELINES.
In the event of severe weather, SWSRA may cancel program in the best interest of our participants. For the safety of our participants, program supervisors may make the decision to cancel a program in progress, should weather become questionable. The following guidelines will be used to determine cancellations:
SEVERE COLD WEATHER
• Outdoor programs: Temperature range of 0 degrees or less, including wind chill.
• Programs with transportation: Temperature of 0 degrees or less, including wind chill.
• All programs (including indoor): Snowstorm situations when 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.
SEVERE HOT WEATHER
• Outdoor programs, or indoor sites without air-conditioning, a heat index of 100 degrees or higher.
• Programs with Transportation: Heat index of 100 degrees or higher.
• All programs (including indoor): Weather situations when a tornado warning is in effect.
*NO refund given if canceled due to weather conditions.
DROP OFF & PICK-UP POLICY
SWSRA asks that participants arrive no earlier than 5 minutes prior to the start of OASIS. SWSRA requires you to walk the participant(s) into and out of the building and/or their program room. Please do not drop off or leave anyone early or without a staff member present.
Our policy is not to give out team members cell phone numbers. Although we understand there could be circumstances when your loved one is in a program with us and a family emergency arises and you want to contact them. We do not object to your loved one having their own personal cell phone with them in our program for you to contact them directly. The responsibility of the said phone relies on them personally, so consider that before approving them to carry a phone with them. Also, we do not object if you feel the need to drive to OASIS.
LATE PICK-UP FEE POLICY
Please pick-up participants at the designated times. If parents/guardians are not on time for a participant pick-up/drop-off, a $10 fee will be assessed after 10 minutes late and every 10 minutes thereafter. This fee assists us in paying for the additional staff wages. In addition, for anyone 5 minutes late, in excess of 2 times, the fee will start at 5 minutes late, from there on after.
PARTICIPANT PERSONAL HYGIENE & DRESS CODE
1. Participants must have bladder and bowel control.
2. Overall clean hygiene of participants is expected. Participants should have clean hair, face, teeth, hands, nails, etc. Personal care issues such as body odor/cleanliness is a matter of health and safety and respect for others in the program. Clean, dry clothing is also required.
3. Appropriate attire for program participation is required. Example: if OASIS will be doing a fitness activity, wear proper tennis shoes, warm-ups or loose/comfortable fitting clothing.
PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES WHEN ILLNESS OCCURS
To prevent the spread of contagious illnesses, it is recommended that participants refrain from attending program when any of the following conditions exist:
1. Fever of 100 degrees or higher.
2. Vomiting within the last 24 hours.
3. Persistent diarrhea in conjunction with other symptoms.
4. Contagious rash or a rash of unknown origin.
5. A persistent cough and/or cold symptoms.
6. “Pink eye” (conjunctivitis) or discharge from the eye.
7. Symptoms of mumps, measles, chicken pox, strep throat, flu, impetigo, coxsackievirus, head lice, mites, and ringworm.
8. A runny nose with yellow or green discharge, which indicates infection.
9. Fatigue, due to illness, that will hinder the participation and enjoyment of the program.
10. If a participant becomes ill at a program or event, SWSRA staff will call to have participant picked up. A refund will not be given.
PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES WHEN ILLNESS OCCURS (CONTINUED)
SWSRA may request that a participant submit a doctor’s release in order to participate in OASIS. 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 recommendation of the doctor, or, if not under a doctor’s care when the symptoms have clearly passed.
OASIS staff will do “wellness checks” when participants arrive at OASIS. The wellness check will follow the above policies, if the participant doesn’t meet these policies standard, OASIS staff has the right to send the participant home. A refund will not be given.
Parents or individuals providing transportation for participants should make drop-offs and pick-ups at the times listed for the program. SWSRA staff use the time before the program to meet with staff, review safety and participant information and set-up. Please be prompt after the program as some staff are expected at another program. SWSRA staff are instructed to stay with participants until they are picked up unless other plans have been made. If a participant may walk home or will be picked up by someone other than parents, or someone not on their master, a permission note signed and dated by the parent/guardian must be given to the SWSRA Office.
NOTE: If the participant is not picked up within 20 minutes of the program ending and there has been no communication with the parent/guardians, the Program Leader may take the participant to the nearest local Police Station.
SAY CHEESE POLICY
SWSRA occasionally takes photographs or videos of participants for promoting/advertising our programs, services, events, activities, and facilities in our brochures, website or agency social media, and other promotional avenues. By registering for, participating in or attending SWSRA programs, events, or other activities, the participant (or parent/guardian of a minor/child/ward participant) irrevocably agrees to the use and distribution by SWSRA of his or her image (or of his minor/child/ward) in photographs, video recordings, and any other electronic reproductions of such programs, events and activities for any purpose without inspection or approval and without compensation, rights to royalties or any other consideration now and in the future.
SWSRA has implemented the following transportation procedures to ensure participants safety in our vehicles:
1. All passengers must be sitting in seats or wheelchairs with belts securely fastened. The driver will not proceed until all seat belts are fastened.
2. All wheelchairs must have brakes that are in good working order and can stop the chair from moving.
3. 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.
4. Persons riding in Amigo-type wheelchairs must transfer into a van seat and must use a seat belt.
5. SWSRA reserves the right to refuse transport to individuals. Please realize that these policies have been developed to ensure the safety of everyone riding in SWSRA vehicles. Your cooperation is appreciated.