Recreation Services for Customers with Disabilities
Fairfax County is committed to giving all citizens
equal access to recreation opportunities.
The Fairfax County Park Authority is committed to providing accommodations (access) to all programs, services, and activities in accordance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read More >>
In keeping with that policy, reasonable accommodations are provided to customers with disabilities in all Park Authority programs, services, and facilities. ADA accommodations include sign interpreters, alternative information formats, program modifications and inclusion support for classes and camps. Every effort will made to provide reasonable accommodations required for participation. The Park Authority will make every attempt to provide reasonable accommodations; however, failure to request an accommodation with the specified time frame may limit our ability to complete this request. Contact the ADA Specialist at least 10 days in advance of the registration deadline or event at 703-324-8563 or 711 (TTY) for additional information.
PRIOR to requesting accommodations or registering for a program, class, or camp, the FCPA suggests customers with disabilities read: FCPA Inclusion Fact Sheet/Frequently Asked Questions.
EMPOWERING CUSTOMERS WITH DISABILITIES TOWARDS INDEPENDENCE.
The Fairfax County Park Authority offers a limited resource for customers with disabilities to participate in camps and classes with the support of trained staff.
How does the program work?
Leisure coaches, typically seasonal staff (Special Education majors, teachers, or instructional assistants) implement the customer’s accommodation plan (a detailed plan of needs and strategies). This plan may typically include behavioral and transitional support, activity modifications and/or adaptations. The leisure coach also provides training for instructors or camp leaders to ensure sensitivity awareness for customers without disabilities.
What is the goal of the leisure coaching program?
The goal is to provide customers with disabilities the opportunity to work towards independent leisure participation. Essentially, the leisure coach provides support until the point at which the customer’s ability to participate independently reaches the level of other individuals in the class or camp. In addition, the leisure coach helps to facilitate a successful recreation experience for the customer in the least restrictive setting.
Upon request, the ADA/Inclusion Coordinator will review a number of factors for a customer with a disability before determining whether or not the placement of a leisure coach is needed to help facilitate a successful experience. These factors include feedback from the parent, classroom teacher or group home staff, and the availability of leisure coaches. In addition, 10 days advance notice is preferred. Customers with disabilities participating in the Summer Rec-PAC program or self-contained programs (disability only) are not eligible to receive the leisure coaching service.
How long can I expect to receive the support of a leisure
Classes: A leisure coach can provide support for one class session per seasonal Partakes brochure (targeting 6 out of 8 classes in a typical class session).
Camps: A leisure coach can provide support for a maximum 3 out of 5 days for one week camp sessions. Under the ADA, parents have the right to provide their own support (aide, therapist, or parent) upon departure of the leisure coach.
Note: Flexibility is maintained in the duration of the assigned leisure coach; however, the customer with a disability must demonstrate a reasonable chance to achieve independent participation within a given session.
Staff and Services
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that reasonable accommodations are available upon request in all programs and services. The FCPA, operating in the spirit of the ADA, embraces the philosophy of inclusion and supports the accommodation process with leisure coaches. Leisure coaches support accommodations by empowering staff and instructors to ensure full participation. Please note that leisure coaches are a limited resource in these programs (camps, classes) with the exception of the targeted summer Rec-PAC camp inclusion sites. Leisure coaches providing accommodation support in this program are located at specific camp locations for the duration of the six week program. Inclusion support in the form of leisure coaching is not accessible at other Rec-PAC camp locations.
To facilitate your participation, the ADA Specialist will provide the
- Qualified sign language interpreters. All requests are confirmed prior to the start of the program along with the name of the assigned interpreter.
- Alternative formats/auxiliary aids such as assistive listening devices, television captioning and decoders, TTY's, close captioned viewing, large print documents, audiocassettes, and Braille materials.
- An accommodation plan outlining how the Park Authority can meet accommodation requests of the customer.
- Training for the instructors or program staff regarding facilitation styles, communication methods, behavior redirection, or modification/adaptation of activities.
- Sensitivity training for other class or program consumers.
- Physical accessibility for all programs, services, and activities.
How to Apply
The Park Authority publishes quarterly schedule of programs, classes, tours, and camps in the Parktakes Magazine. The magazine can be obtained at all Fairfax County Libraries, Park Authority Headquarters, and RECenter locations; or you may call 703-222-4664, TTY Virginia Relay at 711 for a free subscription. Or visit Parktakes Online and check the ADA request box, which in turn comes directly to the ADA Coordinator.
The ADA Specialist is available to assist and advise customers concerning program placement and to discuss any accommodations that may be necessary for participation.
- The Park Authority requires 10 business days in advance of the registration deadline or event, whichever comes first. Overnight Tours require 45 days advance notice. If the request is less than the 10 days (or 45 days for overnight tours) prior to the start date, the FCPA will attempt to provide services; however, we cannot guarantee your request for services will be fulfilled.
- Complete the registration form in the back of the Parktakes Magazine or register online with Parktakes Online and check the ADA box.
- Request or check the ADA accommodations box if you need an accommodation.
- Return the registration as instructed
- The ADA Specialist will contact you regarding your accommodation requirements.
Information: For more information, contact the ADA Specialist at 703-324-8563, TTY at 711 (Virginia Relay).
Traditional Programs for Customers with Disabilities
Traditional programs typically offer a structured environment and a lower staff ratio (1:2 or 1:4 depending on the program). Customers in these programs typically have not yet developed the skills necessary for participation in an inclusive setting (ability to meet the code of conduct).
The Park Authority's award-winning Adapted Aquatics is an individualized swimming and water activity program for customers with physical and developmental disabilities. This success-oriented program targets individuals who do not currently meet the prerequisites for participating in an inclusive environment. The program is designed to develop basic swim skills in a structured setting with one-on-one support from trained volunteers and family support in the water.
- Preschool (3 – 5 yrs)
- Elementary (Grades 6 – 12)
- Teens 13+
- Adults 18+
Introduce your child into the wonderful world of gymnastics in a structured environment! This foundational program targets children who need support developing group skills for inclusive classes.
Activities are selected that provide opportunities for the individual to:
- Enhance physical fitness levels
- Develop basic teamwork skills
- Develop or enhance basic gymnastic skills
- Develop basic skills required for participation in an inclusive recreation setting
- Have fun in a recreation environment
Programs are for ages 6 - 12 years with a staff to participant ratio of 1 to 3.
Adapted Leisure Programs
Activities, offered seasonally, engage and support a wide array of activities and skills that enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities. These classes and programs offer reduced ratios and modified teaching progressions.
- Family Days Activities
- Music Exploration
- Adapted Kayaking
- Adapted Roller and Ice Skating
- Limited Spring and Summer Camps
Scheduled activities are available through the Partakes magazine, online and through the main office at 703-324-8565.
Summer Rec-PAC Inclusion Camps
Read More at Summer Rec-PAC Inclusion Camps.
Additional Fairfax County Program Opportunities
Contact the Department of Neighborhood and Community Services, Therapeutic Recreation Services, at 703-324-5532 or TTY Virginia Relay at 711 for information on additional programs and services for individuals with disabilities.
All facility renovations and new construction conform to the United State Access Board’s accessibility requirements and guidelines. Questions or concerns regarding facility accessibility should be directed to the FCPA’s ADA Coordinator (contact information below).
The FCPA values all customers regardless of ability, and the agency's ADA Coordinator serves to help guide potential customers in locating the least restrictive and most appropriate environment possible. In addition to all programs and services, park and facility accessibility guidance and information are also provided.
For specific accessibility information please contact:
Gary Logue, ADA Coordinator
TTY: VA Relay 711
The Park Authority utilizes Virginia Relay 711 for deaf and hard of hearing customers to communicate by TTY (text telephone) or another assistive telephone device with anyone who uses a standard phone.
- All participants must meet the program, camp or class code of conduct. Generally speaking, and unless otherwise stated, consumers must be able to demonstrate the following with minimal redirection and support:
- Must be able to maintain personal care without support of FCPS staff or volunteers
- Stay with his/her assigned group
- Respect others (listening and following directions, using appropriate language, keeping hands and feet to self)
- Maintain self-control (anger management)
- Meet the prerequisite skills for the class or program (if required for participation)
- The ADA Specialist reserves the right, on behalf of the agency, to terminate participation in the program if the customer cannot follow the rules of conduct. Every effort will be made to provide appropriate accommodations.