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
  • Ball field for Kids with Disabilities
    1208 E. Mission
    (Mission and Perry Streets)
    Spokane, WA
    In 2016, Spokane Parks and Recreation dedicated a Mission Park ball field for kids with disabilities.  The ball field will have a synthetic surface.  With the dugouts sand digital scoreboard, it will make the kids feel like they are playing in the majors. 

  • 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,
    (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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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.