Recreation for Disabled Children


Sports can change the lives of people with a disability.  It helps them see themselves in a different way.  They gain more confidence as they rise to new exceptions.  (Teresa Skinner, Parasport Spokane, KHQ Saturday, April 2016)

Spokane has many sports for kids with disabilities,
including basketball, baseball, track and field, kickball, road racing, strength training, fishing, hunting.

Schools must include students with disabilities in sports programs, or provide equal alternative options, as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Education.  Schools are required to make "reasonable modifications" for students with disabilities or create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing as mainstream programs.  They are not guaranteeing students with disabilities a spot on competitive teams; but schools cannot exclude students based on their disabilities if they can keep up with their classmates.  This directive explicitly tells schools and colleges that access to interscholastic, intramural and intercollegiate athletics is a right.  ("U.S. says disabled have right to sports, Federal agency tells schools to adapt," by Philip Elliott, Associated Press, January 25, 2013) 
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

  • Gonzaga Exceptional Hockey - Special Needs Hockey
    Gonzaga University program
    Free to participants, ages 3 - 22.
    Organizer:  Mark Derby, professor of special education
    Contact:  Shane Hatcher, hatchers@gonzaga.edu
    (800) 986-9585
    Location:  Riverfront Park Ice Arena and the Eagles Ice Arena in Spokane
    Helping youth have fun as they overcome learning and communications difficulties, and become more socially adept and open to learning.  Participants gain confidence on the ice, increased coordination, basic skating skills, scoring goals.  Gonzaga students are trained to teach hockey to the children and young adults.  A brother-like relationship forms between the Gonzaga students and the young skaters.

  • ParaSport Spokane
    16201 E. Indiana Ave, Ste 1200
    Spokane Valley, WA 99216
    (509) 999-6466
    Email:  tskinner@parasportspokane.org
    http://parasportspokane.org/
    Provides training and competitive athletic opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities.  We help promote success, self-worth, and independence by using adaptive sports as a catalyst for life. 

  • Spokane Area Swimming
    A team of about 50 swimmers ages 6 to 21 operating under the jurisdiction of USA Swimming.  They train swimmers with disabilities alongside those without. 
    http://www.spokaneareaswimming.org

  • Team St. Luke's
    P.O. Box 469
    Spokane, WA 99210-0469
    (509) 473-6053

    Volunteer to Coach or Organize Events!
    Volunteer Coordinator:
    Mary Bozman
    (509) 473-6749
    bozmanm@inhs.org
    https://www.st-lukes.org/Sub.aspx?id=436

    Team St. Luke’s, a structured sports team and recreation program for young and adult participants with physical disabilities, encourages people to reach for their dreams and achieve success.  While developing valuable life skills, participants also have the opportunity to pursue college sports scholarships, participate in sports and recreation camps and compete in elite regional and national competitions.  Through Team St. Luke’s, participants develop lasting friendships, master important life skills and most importantly have fun.