rec disabilities

Welcome to The Boost’s first annual recreation list for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Westchester County! (To come: Rockland and Putnam counties.)

The list below includes programs that cover sports & fitness, the arts, social clubs and more.

This is not an endorsement of any particular program. Always ensure it meets the needs of your loved ones.

Several things to note:

  • Earlier this year I posted a list of adapted riding and other equine-assisted services. Check it out: From Adapted Riding to Hippotherapy, Your Guide to Equine-Assisted Services
  • I’d like to point out an interesting outlier on this list, which is a group for the siblings of children with I/DD. You’ll find it at the JCC Mid-Westchester listing.
  • Included are programs and clubs I was able to connect with for fact-checking purposes. There might be many more worthy options out there.
  • Some inclusive programs are reimbursable via Self-Direction (SD) under Community Classes. If the interested individual receives SD, please check any given inclusive activity with their Fiscal Intermediary to see if it’s covered. (You might find this post helpful: Self-Direction and Community Classes in NYS: Know Your Rights.)
  • This list is designed to grow! I’d love to hear about others you know, as well as any positive and/or negative experiences you might have had with any on this list. Please contact me here. The list can be updated at any time.

Backyard Sports Cares

  • Address, office: 75 S. Broadway, 4th Fl., White Plains, N.Y., 10601
  • Address, activities: SUNY Purchase, 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase, N.Y., 10577
  • Phone: 914-304-4052
  • Info: This nonprofit provides inclusive sports and recreation. Its special needs program, BYS Plus, offers a 1:1 teaching ratio with activities staffed by teachers/coaches and high school peer mentors. Note: Backyard Sports Cares also offers custom programs for recreation departments, community centers and on-site afterschool programs.
  • Ages: K – high school
  • Cost: Prices; financial assistance available
  • Contact: Steve Tseckares, steve@byardsports.com, 914-304-4052

Breakthrough Fit

  • Address: 251 S. Central Ave., Hartsdale, N.Y., 10530
  • Phone: 914-358-4575
  • Info: Inclusive fitness center. Its special needs program, Ignite, serves a broad spectrum of abilities and aims to empower individuals through exercise and positive experiences, enhancing social skills and making new friends. Appointment-based fitness after-school classes, plus 1:1 and semi-private sessions. Free consultations.
  • Ages: 12+
  • Cost: Prices; scholarship program in the works
  • Contact: Jake, Jake@breakthroughfitco.com, 914-358-4575

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester

  • Address: 1186 King St., Rye Brook, N.Y., 10573
  • Phone: 914-837-3800
  • Info: Non-profit working with children and adults with all developmental disabilities. Offers a variety of recreational activities including Saturday Explorers, and Teen and Young Adult Social Club. New: Pioneer Club, a Friday night adult social club, which also includes an Annual Dinner Dance and a getaway weekend retreat.
  • Ages: 6+ depending on the program
  • Cost: OPWDD HCBS waivers accepted; costs vary for private pay, check with the organization
  • Contact: Denneen Boudreau, Community Habitation and Respite Services Coordinator,  denneen.boudreau@cpwestchester.org, 914-937-3800 ext. 224

Clubhouse Stars

  • Address: St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 2 Revolutionary Rd, Ardsley, N.Y., 10502
  • Phone: 914-674-1940
  • Info: Inclusive programs provide social skills training for children with a range of concerns including, but not limited to, social anxiety, impulsiveness, making and maintaining friendships, cooperating with others and high-functioning developmental disabilities. Must be verbal.
  • Ages: 4 – 12
  • Cost: Found at Programs link
  • Contact: Maryanne Reda, contact@clubhousestars.com, 914-674-1940

Edge Martial Arts

  • Address: 145 Palisade St., #L1, Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., 10522
  • Phone: 914-488-4003
  • Ages: 3½ +
  • Info: Has experience incorporating individuals with developmental disabilities into existing classes. Private lessons are also available.
  • Cost: $129+/month for 1 class/week
  • Contact: Eric, info@edge-ma.com, 914-488-4003

Family YMCA at Tarrytown

  • Note: Keep this YMCA on your radar; it’s currently on a short hiatus.
  • Contact: Lesa Dalton, associate executive director, lesad@ymcatarrytown.org, 914-418-5563

Fit 4 All NY @ The Arena

  • Address: 1133 Westchester Ave., White Plains, N.Y., 10604
  • Phone: 914-325-2832
  • Info: Inclusive gym and personal training for athletes of all ages and abilities, it has a team of trainers committed to special needs fitness. One-on-one session groups, clinics and gym membership available.
  • Ages: 4+
  • Cost: Packages start at approximately $70/30-minute class; free parent workout during child’s class.
  • Contact: Carmine, manager and partner, Carmine@fit4allny.com

Gigi’s Playhouse Westchester

  • Address: 720 Saw Mill River Rd., Ardsley, N.Y., 10502
  • Phone: 914-479-5566
  • Info: National organization with a variety of locations geared toward those with Down syndrome but open to all with a developmental disability. Programs, run by volunteers, include ballet, yoga, art, cooking and dance through Unique Movers.
  • Ages: All welcome
  • Cost: Free thanks to donations and grants
  • Contact: Lisa Salvetti, lsalvetti@gigisplayhouse.org, 914-470-5566

Hero

  • Address: Location dependent
  • Phone: 914-261-6761
  • Info: Non-profit adapted tennis program with tailored groups that work with individuals with a range of intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. Groups are tailored to meet specific needs. Group classes, which include activities and games, are encouraged to help promote social interactions. Westchester programs are found here. No residency requirement for any particular location. Contact Janet Lefkowitz below to find the most appropriate group for the individual.
  • Ages: Approximately 4+
  • Cost: Approximately $15/lesson, but no one is turned away and aid is always available; some programs are free thanks to grants
  • Contact: Janet Lefkowitz, program director, heroJL1@aol.com, 914-261-6761

JCC Mid-Westchester

  • Address: 999 Wilmot Rd., Scarsdale, N.Y., 10583
  • Phone: 914-725-7300
  • Info: The nonprofit has inclusive Special Needs Enrichment Programs including Circle of Friends, an adult socialization group (must live outside of a residential facility and be registered with OPWDD); Sunday Funday, an all-inclusive drop-off, recreational, social-skills development program; and Tai Chi. Also, a Sib-Connection workshop for issues related to having a sibling with a developmental disability.
  • Ages: 3+ depending on the program
  • Cost: Inquire about costs. Circle of Friends is completely subsidized through grants and Sib-Connection offers scholarships. JCC Mid-Westchester is a Family Support Services (FSS) provider and receives a partial grant that may result in a 40% discount.
  • Contact: Mara Roberge, community engagement director, robergem@jccmw.org, 914-725-7300 x825

Little League Challenger Division

  • Note: While I couldn’t connect with this organization, I’m listing it because there seem to be several such divisions in Westchester. Ardsley’s has its Spring 2024 info on its website. You can also use the main league link above to see if there’s a league in your area.

Miracle League of Westchester

  • Address: The Field of Dreams, Ridge Road Park, 287 Ridge Rd., Hartsdale, N.Y., 10503
  • Phone: 914-522-1547
  • Info: Inclusive program created to allow Westchester children and adults with disabilities to play baseball in an organized league. Links are available next week, so check the website. Here’s some heads-up info: Children program is April 20 – June 9, Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., and 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Adult program is May 29 – mid-October, Mondays – Fridays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Ages: Co-ed. Children’s program, 4 – 21; Adult program, 21+
  • Cost: Children program, free; Adult program, $45/season
  • Contact: Rick Monzon, executive director, Rmonzon@mlwny.org, 914-522-1547

Music Conservatory of Westchester

  • Address: 216 Central Ave., White Plains, N.Y., 10606
  • Phone: 914-761-3900
  • Info: Inclusive. Special needs program run through the Music Therapy Institute. Sessions are 1:1 and either music therapy or adapted instruction in piano, guitar, voice and percussion.
  • Ages: Pre-K+
  • Cost: Pricing; limited need-based scholarship assistance
  • Contact: Tina Brescia, tina@musiced.org, 914-761-3900

New Rochelle Parks and Recreation

  • Address: Hugh A. Doyle Senior Center, 94 Davis Ave., New Rochelle, N.Y., 10805
  • Phone: 914-654-2116
  • Info: The city rec department offers special needs programming designed for current students and graduates of special education classes with mild to moderate intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Preference is given to New Rochelle residents. Programs: Arts in Education; Friday nights Canteen; and off-site trips and special events with community partners (participants have to be previously enrolled in one of the two other programs to be eligible).
  • Ages: 13+
  • Cost: Free; some charge may be applied for venue admission or eating out
  • Contact: Nina Shawn Gainor, ngainor@newrochelleny.com, 914-654-2010

NOTE: Check your town’s Parks & Rec departments; while I didn’t hear back from most of them, special needs activities are noted on many different Park & Rec websites.

North East Westchester Special Recreation

  • Address: 63 Bradhurst Ave., Hawthorne, N.Y., 10532
  • Phone: 914-347-4409
  • Info: Nonprofit that operates under the auspices of OPWDD as a certified respite provider. Its year-round rec activities are designed with specific support needed for success. It prioritizes residents of Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Lewisboro, Mt. Kisco, Mt. Pleasant, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Somers, Sleepy Hollow, Pound Ridge and Pleasantville, but others may participate if room.
  • Ages: 4+
  • Cost: Prices at Programs link; individuals residing in consortium region and/or OPWDD approved for respite services share the same fees; out-of-district and not OPWDD approved for respite services have separate fees to help cover operating costs otherwise funded by OPWDD/Medicaid; payment plan or scholarship information provided upon request
  • Contact: Nancy Bellini, NBellini@northeastspecialrec.org (or, anyone else on the website!)

Nor-West Regional Special Services

  • Address: Cortland Town Center, 3131 E. Main St., Mohegan Lake, N.Y., 10548
  • Phone: 914-737-4797
  • Info: Nonprofit operating under the auspices of OPWDD as a certified respite provider. Offers a variety of year-round rec activities. It prioritizes residents of Cortlandt, Peekskill, Ossining and Yorktown, and will accommodate others if room.
  • Ages: 7+ (most programs for teens and adults)
  • Cost: Found at Programs link; must have HCBS waiver. Costs vary for at-home and group home residents; all pay venue fees
  • Contact: Ed McKay, edmckay@nor-west.org, 914-737-4797

PACE University Aquatics

  • Address: 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville, N.Y., 10570
  • Phone: 917-773-3280
  • Info: The PACE program’s private lessons can accommodate people with developmental disabilities. Reach out to Katherine Palladino, below, so she can identify the appropriate teacher.
  • Ages: 3+
  • Cost: $71/private lesson, minimum package of 8 lessons
  • Contact: Katherine Palladino, Aquatics camp director/instructor, kpalladino@pace.edu, 917-773-3280

RockonMusic School

  • Address: The instructor, David, comes to you
  • Phone: 914-489-0520
  • Info: An interactive approach to the world of music. One-on-one lessons where the student may play one or several instruments during sessions of up to 45 minutes. An adult parent or caregiver must be on-site.
  • Ages: 8+
  • Cost: $70 – $90 depending on location
  • Contact: David Meyers, dmeyers12531@gmail.com, 914-489-0520

RSC Westchester

  • Address: St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 2 Revolutionary Rd., Ardsley, N.Y., 10502; House of Sports, 1 Elm St., Ardsley, N.Y., 10502
  • Phone: 914-772-0864
  • Info: Providing therapeutic recreation, RSC works with agencies and individuals who live at home with families or in group homes. Programs run 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays. The website will be updated with upcoming activities, including sports and arts, over the next week or so.
  • Ages: Youth programs, 7 – 14; Adult programs, 15+
  • Cost: Will be listed under program registration links
  • Contact: Graham, grahams.rscinc@gmail.com, 914-772-0864

Rye YMCA

  • Address: 21 Locust Ave., Rye, N.Y., 10580
  • Phone: 914-967-6363
  • Info: YMCAs have been closing or turning to focus on daycare, but the Rye YMCA is among those alive and thriving. The Aquatics program includes open family swim reserved for families with children with special needs, and private instruction; Fitness (membership required) offers a trainer who works with this population; Backyard Sports Cares is a satellite of the established rec program (see above). Check the website for more.
  • Ages: Program dependent
  • Cost: Check with the Y; Backyard Sports Cares scholarships are available
  • Contact: Aquatics, Gloria Reyna Bueno, gloria@ryeymca.org; Fitness, Heidy Barros, heidy@ryeymca.org; Backyard Sports, Melissa Lewis, melissa@ryeymca.org

Scarsdale Aikido

  • Address: 398 S. Central Ave, Scarsdale, N.Y., 10583
  • Phone: 914-648-0492
  • Info: Inclusive classes. Some teachers have experience working with children with developmental disabilities, ASD, those who have hearing deficits and more. Classes on the website. Steve, below, will help identify the appropriate class.
  • Ages: 12+
  • Cost: $115+ month for 30-minute, weekly class
  • Contact: Steve, 914-648-0492

Select Human Services

  • Address: 17-19 Marble Ave., Pleasantville, N.Y., 10570
  • Phone: 914-741-6300
  • Info: This nonprofit provider’s Recreation & Respite program offers a variety of different activities: including fitness, a Drama Club, a Girls Group, games, cooking, social events and more.
  • Ages: Mostly 14+
  • Cost: Medicaid and Non-Medicaid Rate available. Reimbursement options available for Self-Direction using FRR monies.
  • Contact: Doug Dulin, Recreation and Respite Program Coordinator at ddulin@selecthumanservices.org, 914-741-6300 ext. 114

Shames JCC on the Hudson

  • Address: 371 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, N.Y., 10591
  • Phone: 914-306-9477
  • Info: It offers both contained (specialized) and inclusive programs. The contained programs are Up on Sundays, a social, recreational, and life skills learning program; Saturday Socials (two age groups), consisting of community outings; and the Friday Night Sensory Friendly Gym (any age as long as one family member has a disability).
  • Ages: 7+ (program dependent)
  • Cost: Found at registration links under programs; member and non-member rates; can bring up to 5 people for one registration price for Friday Night Sensory Friendly Gym (free to members); financial aid available
  • Contact: Annie Bridson, director of Supportive Services, abridson@shamesjcc.org, 914-306-9477

South East Consortium

  • Address: 740 West Boston Post Rd., Ste. 301, Mamaroneck, N.Y., 10543
  • Phone: 914-698-5232
  • Ages: 5+
  • Info: Non-profit operating under the auspices of OPWDD and prioritizing residents of Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Harrison, Eastchester, Pelham, Rye, Rye Brook, Port Chester, Larchmont, Bronxville and Tuckahoe. Check out Programs and Services.
  • Cost: Found under Programs and Services; some room available for those who have applied but don’t yet have a HCBS waiver
  • Contact: Austin Cunney, acunney@secrec.org, 914-698-5232

SPARC

  • Address: 40 Triangle Center, Ste. 205, Yorktown Heights, N.Y., 10598
  • Phone: 914-243-0583
  • Info: Nonprofit operating under the auspices of OPWDD as a certified respite provider. Open to Westchester residents, participants can also come from Rockland and Putnam counties if room. Programs: Light-Up and Level-Up for health & fitness, social, arts & culture and more; Lift-Up, similar activities for residents in group home facilities.
  • Ages: Light-Up, 8 – 16; Level-Up, 17+; Lift-Up, 21+
  • Cost: Found on program registration links; different pricing for respite and non-respite (reduced cost with HCBS waiver)
  • Contact: Kathleen Dimonaco, program coordinator, Kathleen.dimonaco@sparcinc.org, or Liz Anderson, program coordinator, Liz.anderson@sparcinc.org, 914-243-0583

Steffi Nossen School of Dance & Center for Movement

  • Address: 216 N. Central Ave., White Plains, N.Y., 10606 (some classes in Chappaqua)
  • Phone: 914-328-1900
  • Info: Inclusive. Movement is adapted so that people with cognitive, physical, and neurological disabilities can succeed. Adaptive Dance classes consist of a variety of choices. Note: This is not dance therapy.
  • Ages: 4+
  • Cost: Prices; payment plans and financial assistance available
  • Contact: Judy Ross, jgr@steffinossen.org, 914-328-1900

Swim Angelfish

  • Address: Carver Center pool, 400 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, N.Y., 10573
  • Phone: 203-545-0024
  • Info: Adaptive swim lessons addressing underlying problems swimmers with Autism, PDD-NOS, Sensory Processing Disorders and more have learning to swim. Also: aquatic therapy. The FAQ link is very helpful.
  • Ages: All ages
  • Cost: Pricing; scholarships available
  • Contact: office@swimangelfish.com, 203-545-0024

TicTacGO!

  • Address: Various community outings
  • Phone: 914-493-8119
  • Info: TicTacGo is a very cool, fun private social group that gets together for movies, bowling, walks and much more. It’s spearheaded by Brendan Klein, coordinator of Self Advocacy & Community Engagement, Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD), though not affiliated with WIHD. The goal is to encourage peer-to-peer social connections. Supervision and/or support as well as transportation not provided; not all events are appropriate for all people so use good judgment. To join, fill out the form at the bottom of the link.
  • Ages: 14 – 49
  • Cost: Depends on event and venue
  • Contact: Brendan Klein, bklein@wihd.org, 914-493-8119

True ChampionZ Martial Arts

  • Address: 20 Sicard Ave., New Rochelle, N.Y., 10804
  • Phone: 914-813-8000
  • Info: Inclusive karate and Krav Maga self-defense classes. An assessment helps find an appropriate class. Check the schedule for classes.
  • Ages: 3 – 12, can go older depending on child
  • Cost: Varies
  • Contact: Rachel Zolotev, 914-813-8000

Wagon Road

  • Address: 431 Quaker Rd., Chappaqua, N.Y. 10514
  • Phone: 914-238-4761
  • Info: Wagon Road provides a unique overnight program offered eight times each year on weekends and holidays. This allows participants to experience outdoor activities during all the seasons of the year, while their families get the break they need.
  • Ages: 7-17
  • Dates and rates
  • Cost:Wagon Road is an overnight Respite Program with costs covered through the OPWDD HCBS waiver
  • Contact: Clarissa Ayala, 914-238-4761

YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester

  • Address: 515 N. St., White Plains, N.Y., 10605
  • Phone: 914-949-6227
  • Info: It offers a variety of therapeutic recreation programs to support and strengthen cognitive, physical, social and affective skills. Family members receive support, respite, and the opportunity for family participation in rec activities. Contact the email below for specific program info.
  • Ages: Age-appropriate groups and settings
  • Cost: Not posted; limited financial assistance available
  • Contact: Wanda Smith, director, Special Programs & Inclusion, wsmith@ywcawpcw.org, (914) 949-6227, Ext. 108

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