Barrier-Free Recreational and Competitive Opportunities
The athletic programs run year-round and include wheelchair basketball, soccer, hockey, cycling, golf, swimming and more. Equipment is available to borrow for a nominal fee, such as: hand-cycles, sport wheelchairs, bi-ski, mono-skis, and bowling equipment. Social outings include movies, dinners, or concerts.
A membership fee of $50 per year is requested to help offset program and equipment costs. Members receive reduced rates on activities, special events, and equipment loans.
Adaptive bowling takes place at Shaker Bowl, 168 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow. We have several bowling ramps and balls with no holes to use on the ramps. Volunteers assist by retrieving balls if participants are unable to lift them from the ball return themselves. We have access to light weight balls for those who are ambulatory and want to play. Staff are trained to help with visually impaired athletes as well. Bowling takes place year-round. Open to children and adults. Only $2.75 per game.
Mondays 9am-11am, Tuesdays 12:30pm- 2:30pm
Open to members, friends, and family ages 4+. Please bring your own helmet. Must register to participate. When you sign up please let us know which bike you would like to use, options of bikes: hand-cycles, mini trike, adult trikes, freedom riders, adult mountain/road bike, and more!
Location: 180 Pleasant Street, Easthampton. Parking lot next to the Manhan trail and park behind the Pleasant Street building. 446 Damon Road, Northampton on the Rail trail
Cost: $4 per outing for members, $7 per outing for non-members
When: 10am-12pm Dates: June 10, June 24, July 7, July 26, August 18
Dance & Movement (Registration for fall classes begins in July of 2018)
An adaptive dance program is a creative movement or dance program, which has been tailored to best meet the individual needs of children who are confronting various challenges. It works to create an open environment in which every child can participate regardless of ability, and it integrates various components that may not be seen in a traditional dance or movement program. The program is $265 which includes: the dance program, a membership to Disability Resources, costume, trophies/medals, and an end of the year pizza party. We participate in a variety of performances throughout the year, such as UMass Udance for the Children’s Miracle Network. We also participate in three shows with our partner studio, Ohana School of Performing Arts. The dance program is at 85 Interstate Drive, West Springfield on Thursday evenings from 5:45p-6:45p
Goalball is a paralympic sport for the blind that uses a ball with bells inside. Three people play on a team. Athletes play on their hands and knees, so this games requires participants to have good physical ability. Participants wear knee and elbow pads and eyeshades. It is helpful if participants can supply their own protective equipment because our supply is limited. Goalball takes place at PACE School, 69 Capital Drive, West Springfield. There is no particular season for Goalball. We play depending on participants’ interest, but we would like to have it become a more regular and even competitive sport for Disability Resources. Players ages 8 and up.
Martial Arts, regardless of a physical or intellectual disability, the sport is a GREAT way to get exercise while building strength, improving coordination, flexibility, and making new friends! Some upper arm strength is required. Open to individuals ages 4 – 22 that have a physical disability, developmental disability, and/or visual impairment. Must have some mobility in arms or legs. Master Ken teaches about respect, focus, and coordination. He focuses on board breaking and learning the repetitive martial art movements. After each session, participants earn the next level belt or a piece of tape that gets them closer to the next belt!
The program is held on Tuesdays, located at the Center for Martial Arts & Fitness, 22 Center St, Chicopee, MA.
Kids’ session ages 4-12 5:45pm – 6:30pm
Young adults’ session ages 13-22 6:30pm – 7:15pm
DR Members – $65
Non-members – $75
Recreational Wheelchair Basketball
Disability Resources wheelchair basketball is a recreational team. We play pick-up games for fun on a weekly basis at PACE School, 69 Capital Drive, West Springfield. Regular practices with some drills take place along with occasional games with community groups for charity. Wheelchair basketball is designed for people with decent upper body strength, as we play with a regulation basketball hoop. We would like to develop a competitive team at some point, but until then, we are working with the Worcester team to encourage our members to play with them. We use all court or sport chairs donated from the Newman’s Own Foundation. Manual chairs only. We supply chairs if athletes don’t have their own. Wheelchair basketball takes place December through March depending on interest. Open to children and adults.
Open to anyone 4 years old and over with some upper body strength. This program is for beginners and advanced climbers. We have the belayers…we just need the climbers!
Rock climbing is held on Tuesdays at Central Rock Gym in Hadley, MA 5:30-7:00 pm
Sled Hockey – Springfield Thunderbirds Sled Hockey Team
Sled hockey is an exciting ice sport that allows individuals with physical disabilities to enjoy the great sport of hockey. It is very similar to “stand-up hockey” in terms of concept and rules. The main difference is that instead of standing up to skate, participants sit on their skates using an adaptive device known as a sled, which is affixed with two skate blades and a runner in the front to form a tripod. The other main difference is that in sled hockey, participants use two shortened hockey sticks with a blade on one end and a pick (similar to the end of a figure skate) on the other end, which enables them to propel themselves across the ice much like in cross country skiing. Hard checking, elevated puck shooting, and 60-mile an hour slap shots are as much a part of sled hockey as they are in “stand-up” hockey.
Anyone with a disability that would prevent them from participating in “stand-up hockey” is a candidate for sled hockey. It is a sport that allows players with mobility limitations & lower limb mobility impairments to play, and requires great upper-body strength, balance, and the ability to handle the puck. Even able-bodied individuals enjoy the sport of sled hockey and can play on a team.
We play half the time at Mass Mutual Center and the other half at Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield.
If you are between the ages of 4-17 years old, you can join the Western Mass Knights Junior team.
Players 17 years & above, the Western Mass Knights is the team for you. The Knights were created in 2009 as a team for the young adults who aged out of the
Springfield Sliders but still wanted to play competitively locally.
We play in the Northeastern Sled Hockey League. All players (including juniors) need to become members of USA Hockey in order to play in the league.
The teams rely heavily on in-kind and financial donations because each player is specially fitted to their equipment. Ice time and sleds are purchased by the program and members pay just a small fee to play for the season: Adults $265; Children $165. We try to keep the costs low for participants who may be facing financial hardship due to medical expenses and the cost of living. Donations are always welcome.
All members of Disability Resources are welcome to participate in social activities. We encourage members to be social and meet new people. We try to go out to dinner once a month somewhere affordable and accessible. We try to choose restaurants on the PVTA bus line. Participants pay on their own. We also have movie theater outings, card games and pizza, etc. Periodically, we pull together a like-minded group of participants for regular meetings for several weeks, such as the Young Adult Program.
Together with Western New England University OT Doctorate Program, we are offering two different play-based therapeutic pool programs. One for kids and adults with disabilities and another specifically for kids with autism.
Western New England University, Alumni Healthful Living Center, Evergreen Road, Springfield
Session 1: 6:30pm-7:30pm – Kids and Adults with Disabilities – September 13 – October 18
Session 2: 6:30pm-7:30pm – Autism Specific Program – October 25 – December 6 (No program on November 22nd)
Per 6 week session: $25 for members/ $45 for non-members
CHD’s Disability Resources is open to everyone – especially those who have served our country. We are willing to work with a Vet’s Organization or a group of Vet’s to create a Veteran specific program. This could be an ongoing program or one-time event. If you have an idea or want to start a discussion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jess at 413-788-9695.
Winter Skiing & Water Skiing
Snow and water Skiing takes place through the Leaps of Faith Adaptive Skiers (LOF) organization. The water-skiing program is held in Sandy Hook Connecticut a few times a year in the warmer months. The winter skiing takes place during the week a few times in the winter on Mount Southington in CT. The program’s include mono-skiing, bi-skiing, sit skiing, blind skiing, 3-track skiing (winter), and 4-track skiing (winter). We try to make it work no matter what the participant’s ability. All adaptive equipment is available, but pre-registration is required. Disability Resources also has some ski equipment available to loan to members who wish to ski on their own.
Interested in skiing more or somewhere else? Check out this website which covers a whole range of options across the USA and Canada: https://www.vouchercloud.com/resources/adaptive-skiing-resource
Other Great Social Activities
- Field Trips / Social Nights / Holiday Parties
- Disc Golf / Frisbee Golf / Frolf!
- Picnics / BBQ’s