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Fun & Recreation

Arts

Little Fish Art Studios

Enable artists with developmental disabilities to unleash their creativity through uninhibited self-expression while providing opportunities for independent artistic growth within the art community. As a studio they focus on giving artists’ opportunities to exhibit their work in the central Ohio area through Columbus Center for Human Services (CCHS).
540 Industrial Mile Road, Columbus, Ohio 43228
(614) 641-2900, ext. 3024
cchsohio.org/little-fish-art-studios

Open Door Art Studio

A creative space dedicated to providing art education and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Allows individuals to create and share their own work.
1050 Goodale Boulevard, Grandview Heights, Ohio 43212
(614) 641-2828
opendoorartstudio.org

National Arts & Disability Center (NADC)

Features and promotes artists with disabilities. Their resource page helps artists with disabilities find assistive technology, search for employment and find legal help.
760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90095
(310) 825-5054
semel.ucla.edu/nadc

VSA Ohio

Promotes arts, education and creative expression involving children and adults with disabilities.
77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 241-5325
vsao.org

Camps & Programs

Akron Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs

Provides summer overnight camps, day camps and respite weekends for children and adults with special needs.
4460 Rex Lake Drive, Akron, Ohio 44319
(330) 644-4512
akronymca.org/rotarycamp

Association for the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) and Hattie Larlham Central Ohio Services

ADD is a Hattie Larlham agency in Central Ohio. The nonprofit organization provides residential and recreational services to children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Dahlberg-Gibson Learning Center provides half day, year-round childcare for children ages 1 through 5 years of age living in the North Linden (43224) area. During the school year, they offer physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as early intervention services, early childhood education and social work services.
769 Brooksedge Boulevard, Westerville, Ohio 43081
(614) 486-4361
hattielarlham.org/v/services-add.asp

Camp Courageous

Provides developmentally appropriate activities for all ability levels in an outdoor adventure setting in northern Ohio. They offer overnight camps, day camps and respite camps throughout the summer and fall for children ages 7 and above. Campers can receive funding through Ohio Medicaid waivers and other sources.
12701 Waterville-Swanton Road, Whitehouse, Ohio 43571
(419) 875-6828
campcourageous.com

Camp Nuhop

Provides overnight summer camp opportunities for children with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and behavior disorders age 6 and older in Ohio. They also have weekend respite programs throughout the year.
1077 Hanover Township Road 2916, Perrysville, Ohio 44864
(419) 938-7151 or (419) 289-2227
nuhop.org/camp-nuhop

Central Ohio Diabetes Association (CODA)

Provides many excellent resources for children and adults with diabetes, including free screenings at their office on Tuesdays (no appointment required), free screenings at locations throughout Columbus (call for locations), low-cost classes and counseling sessions with nurses and dietitians, overnight and day camps for kids and teens, depressions screenings and more. No one is denied services because of their inability to pay.
1100 Dennison Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43201
(614) 884-4400
diabetesohio.org

Chapel Hill House

Provides a free weekend getaway for Ohio children who have cancer and their families. Together they enjoy relaxation, games and family time in a log cabin and explore 70 acres of land on a golf cart.
3892 Morral-Kirkpatrick Road West, Morral, Ohio 43337
(740) 360-4273
chapelhillhouse.org

Deaf Services Center (DSC)

Refers people to appropriate providers throughout central Ohio. Offer programs for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, including interpreting, case management, sign language classes, deaf equipment modifications, youth programs, summer camps (OYO Camp) and tutoring. Their deaf equipment modification program provides funding to help people buy equipment that makes their home more accessible.
5830 North High Street, Worthington, Ohio 43085
(614) 841-1991 Voice and TTY or (614) 515-6065 VP
dsc.org

Discover Camp

This website prepares parents of children with disabilities who are selecting a camp for their child for the first time.
4000 Ridgeway Drive, Birmingham, Alabama  35209
(800) 900-8086 Voice/TTY
nchpad.org/discover/index.html

Dreams on Horseback

Offers programs to students who are at-risk of not graduating to learn employment skills and earn science and work study credits while caring for horses.  They also provide Equestrine Assisted Learning (EAL), which uses horses to help youth practice executive functioning skills, sensory integration, improve coordination, communication skills and self-esteem.
1416 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, Blacklick, Ohio 43004
(614) 864-9500
dreamsonhorseback.org

Easter Seals Central & Southeast Ohio

Provides autism, disabilities and special needs services, including early childhood education, pediatric therapies (occupation, physical and speech therapies), adult day and in-home services, respite care for families who need a break from caring for their child with autism, and social skills groups. They also offer afterschool programs, summer day camps, vocational services, transportation and more.
3830 Trueman Court, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
(614) 228-5523 or (800) 860-5523
easterseals.com/centralohio

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Cincinnati & Columbus

Serving 12 counties in central Ohio, they provide services to people living with epilepsy and seizures, as well as their families and caregivers. They help newly diagnosed children who have questions about the disorder and its treatment, parents in need of support, and youth in need of social opportunities. They have a free lending library, free referral to community resources, applications for medication assistance programs, scholarship opportunities, camp experiences and more.
Columbus office: 3857 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214
(614) 725-1031 or (877) 804-2241
epilepsy-ohio.org

Equine Assisted Therapy at Willow Farm

Improves the quality of life for people who have disabilities by offering activities centered around horses. They offer a variety of programs children ages 5 to 21 with a wide range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, down syndrome, autism, and behavioral disorders.
7908 Myers Road, Centerburg, Ohio 43011
(877) 815-4042
equineassistedtherapy.org

Fluttering Families

Provides advocacy, support, education and outreach services to families that have children with special needs. These “Special Kids” are also invited to participate in fun activities throughout the year which benefits them as part of their community.
PO Box 133, Powell, Ohio 43065
flutteringfamilies.org

Flying Horse Farms

Provides a free camp experience for children with serious medical illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, sickle cell disease, asthma and arthritis. 24-hour care is provided by specialized doctors and nurses, and the camp is free. Campers step outside of their sickness to experience activities such as canoeing, swimming, horseback-riding and more. The camp is a member of the Serious Fun Network.
5260 State Route 95, Mount Gilead, Ohio 43338
(419) 751-7077
flyinghorsefarms.org

Friendship Circle

Parents of children with special needs often find it difficult to join a community or commit time to programs because of their busy schedules. The Friendship Circle offers respite for parents and siblings, social and sports opportunities for children and teens with special needs.
6220 East Dublin-Granville Road, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 939-0765
friendscolumbus.com

Haugland Learning Center

Educates youth with autism and Asperger syndrome at several locations throughout Ohio in classroom and home-based settings from preschool through twelfth grade. All educational costs are covered by the autism scholarship or by school districts. They have academic and activity-based summer camp programs, autism testing, therapy services, tutoring programs, after-school programs and counseling as well.
7690 New Market Center Way, Columbus, Ohio 43235
(614) 602-6473
hauglandlearningcenter.com

Jewish Community Center (JCC)

Through its programs and services, the JCC provides a wide range of recreation and cultural arts, featuring festivals and fairs centered around books, films, and fine art; teen programs, summer and spring break camps for kids with and without special needs, after school programs, preschool and daycare, special events and more. At the JCC there is something for all ages.
1125 College Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43209
(614) 231-2731
columbusjcc.org

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center: Info to Go

Info to Go shares information and provide resources on a variety of topics related to children and young people under 21 years of age who are deaf or hard of hearing. They also maintain a list of camps, family learning vacations, and remedial clinics for deaf and hard of hearing children arranged by location throughout the U.S.
800 Florida Avenue Northeast, Washington, DC 20002
(202) 651-5000
www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/info-to-go.html

Learning Never Ends

Provides life-long learning and wellness opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities. Their programs encourage and promote independence, self-determination and empowerment in a caring, safe and fun learning atmosphere. Offer community exploration, education, job training and volunteer programs, as well as community respite summer camps, creative, sensory, health and wellness programs.
Central: 5909 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43231
South: 6305 Waterloo Road Northwest, Canal Winchester, Ohio 43110
West: 1335 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 899-8100
upreachgroup.com/learning-never-ends

Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Summer Camp

Offers a week-long overnight summer camp for youth ages 6 to 18 who have limited mobility or use wheelchairs. Youth can attend camp at no cost to their families.
500 West Wilson Bridge Road, Worthington, Ohio 43085
(614) 841-1014
mda.org/services/mda-summer-camp

My Summer Camps

Provides a comprehensive online directory of summer camps for kids, teens and youth. They list summer camps for kids with a wide range of abilities and special needs, such as cerebral palsy, ADHD, diabetes, physical disabilities, muscular dystrophy and more.
(877) 777-7738
mysummercamps.com/camps/Special_Needs_Camps

Northwest Kiwanis Special Needs Activity Camp for Kids (SNACK)

Offers swimming and outdoor recreation for children with special needs ages 6 to 12. Programs are week-long at Barrington Elementary School. Registration priority is given to Upper Arlington residents, but others can apply.
3600 Tremont Road, Upper Arlington, Ohio 43221
(614) 583-5300
parks.uaoh.net

RallyCap Sports

RallyCap Sports is a club whose goal is to create positive sports environments fostering social integration, healthy living, and greater self-confidence for children and young adults with special needs. Children and young adults with special needs play sports with volunteers at Ohio State University. There are also RallyCap Sports programs in other Ohio cities.
337 Annie and John Glenn Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(440) 665-7421 or (419) 708-4214
rallycapsports.org

Recreation Unlimited

Offers summer day, overnight and weekend camps throughout the year for youth with disabilities. They have specialized camps for children with autism, Prader-Willi Syndrome, epilepsy and other disabilities. They also offer year-round weekend (Friday through Sunday) respite care camps for families who have children, teens or young adults with special needs. Respite weekend camps have on-site nursing and also provide a great environment for indoor and outdoor fun.
7700 Piper Road, Ashley, Ohio 43003
(740) 548-7006
recreationunlimited.org

Respite Connections, Inc (RCI)

Provides planned and emergency respite care for youth and adults with special needs and their families. They also offer adult day services, supportive living services, a therapeutic summer day camp to special needs youth, counseling services with a license social worker who is fluent in sign language; and assists with the sourcing, hiring, training and coaching qualified individuals with developmental disabilities for community employment.
5250 Strawberry Farms, Columbus, Ohio 43230
(614) 890-4357 Voice/Text
respiteconnections.org

Straub Dance Center

Adaptive dance class for children with special needs and developmental disabilities. A licensed pediatric physical therapist helps the children improve their flexibility, balance, mobility.
501 McCorkle Boulevard, Westerville, Ohio  43082
(614) 891-5525
straubdancecenter.com

Tourette Association of America (formerly Tourette Syndrome Association) Ohio Chapter

The Tourette Association of America (TAA) Ohio Chapter is a volunteer led, nonprofit organization supporting the needs of individuals and families affected by Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorders. The TAA offers a Youth Ambassador Program brings together, trains and supports teens to advocate for and talk about Tourette and Tic Disorders in their community. They also conduct in-service presentations around the state with various schools on an as needed basis.
42-40 Bell Boulevard, Bayside, New York 11361
(888) 486-8738
tourette.org/chapter/oh

YMCA Camp Can Do

Camp Can Do is a week-long summer day camp program for youth ages 6 to 21 with moderate to intensive special needs. The camp is offered at 5 local YMCA branches. Financial aid is available.
40 West Long Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 224-1142
daycamp.ymcacolumbus.org

Friends & Mentors

Parks & Travel

United States Access Board Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Guidelines

Outlines the ADA guidelines for play areas and recreational facilities.
1331 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004
(800) 872-2253 or (800) 993-2822 (TTY)
access-board.gov

National Park Service

Their Accessible to Everyone website showcases trails, activities, and other features that are accessible to all. Their free Access Pass is for residents of the U.S., regardless of age, who have a permanent disability. This pass allows park entrance fees to be free and provides a discount at many camp facilities and services.
1849 C Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20240
(202) 208-3818
nps.gov/planyourvisit/passes.htm

Ohio Department of Natural Resources

Offers special facilities for park visitors of all abilities. Visit their website for a list of accessible opportunities throughout Ohio.
2045 Morse Road, Columbus Ohio 43229
(614) 265-6565
dnr.state.oh.us

Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH)

Raises awareness about the needs of all travelers with disabilities, removes physical and attitudinal barriers to free access, and expands travel opportunities in the United States and abroad.
347 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10016
(212) 447-7284
sath.org

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office on Disability

Started a nationwide program supporting physical fitness and wellness for youth with disabilities. Contact the Office on Disability and ask about the program to get connected with one of the 50 participating organizations that will provide a mentor to help youth begin a six-week period of physical activity and eating healthy food.
200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20201
(202) 401-5844
www.fitness.gov

Sports & Fitness

American Special Hockey Association Columbus Blue Jackets

Gives children and young adults with developmental disabilities the chance to play ice hockey in an environment which is adapted to the level of ability of the athletes. The program is open to any player age five or older, male or female, who is physically able to play, but would be unable to participate in any other organized program due to his or her developmental disability. Participants do not need prior ice skating skills.
Dublin: 7001 Dublin Park Drive, Dublin, Ohio 43016
Easton: 3600 Chiller Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43219
North: 8144 Highfield Drive, Lewis Center, Ohio 43035
(614) 284-6104
columbusspecialhockey.com

BlazeSports America

Advances the lives of children and adults nationwide with physical disabilities, through sports and healthy lifestyles. They have programs in Ohio, and their website has helpful information for parents and athletes.
1670 Oakbrook Drive, Norcross, Georgia 30093
(404) 270-2000
blazesports.org

Hilliard Ohio Soccer Association Locomotive Soccer Club TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Success)

As a soccer league for children with special needs, they give girls and boys ages 4 through 19 the opportunity to play soccer in a safe, fun, fair and secure environment. The registration fee is minimal.
PO Box 1, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
(614) 664-9250
hosa-soccer.org

Columbus Recreation & Parks Therapeutic Recreation

Offers recreational activities and camps that are modified to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities over age 6.
1755 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203
(614) 645-5648
columbus.gov/reacreationandparks

Disabled Sports USA

Provides national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs. Visit their website to find summer and winter program opportunities, as well as equipment resources.
451 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850
(301) 217-0960
disabledsportsusa.org

Fishing Has No Boundaries

Allows individuals with disabilities to participate fully in the world of fishing. Visit their website to find local events held by the Central Ohio chapter.
PO Box 1499, Grove City, Ohio 43123
(614) 383-8851
fhnbinc.org

Fore Hope

Uses golf to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and other life challenges. Their program is for people of all ages, disabilities and economic backgrounds.
1169 Dublin Road, Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 784-1111
forehope.org

iCan Shine Recreational Activities

This program helps children with disabilities learn how to ride a bike. Using an adaptive bike, 80% of children who participate ride a 2-wheel bike on their own by the end of the 5-day program.  This program exists nationwide and is sponsored by various local community partners.
icanshine.org/find-a-program

Integrity Gymnastics & Cheerleading

Offers 2 special needs classes. Shinning Stars is designed to offer recreational gymnastics for athletes and HUGS is designed to offer a competitive rhythmic gymnastics program for athletes with special needs.
8185 Business Way, Plain City, Ohio 43064
(614) 733-0818
integritygym.com

Locker Soccer Academy

Offers soccer development programs and summer day camps for children of all ages and abilities, including kids with special needs.
300 West Case Street, Powell, Ohio 43065
(614) 760-5522
lockersoccer.com

Miracle League of Central Ohio

Allows all children with disabilities ages 3 to 21 to play baseball on a specially designed field that is fully accessible and custom-designed to make baseball fun for any child with a disability.
6259 Cosgray Road, Dublin, Ohio 43017
(614) 410-4550
ohiomiracleleague.org

National Center on Health Physical Activity & Disability (NCHPAD)

Lists accessible parks by location and offers free information on topics related to physical activity, fitness, recreation, sports, and disability and chronic conditions. Their information specialists can help answer questions and requests for free.
4000 Ridgeway Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35209
(800) 900-8086
nchpad.org/Directories/Parks

Northwest Special Olympics

Provides training and competition in a wide range of sports for children and adults with special needs in the Dublin and Hilliard school districts. Participation is free, and Northwest Special Olympics covers the cost of uniforms and equipment.
2140 Atlas Street, Columbus, Ohio 43228
(614) 664-7847
northwestspecialolympics.com

Ohio Ophthalmological Society (OOS) Free Sports Goggles Program

Protect your child from getting injured when they play sports by getting a free pair of prescription sports goggles. Regular eyeglasses and contacts will not protect a child’s eyes from injury and may even increase the damage. The child needs to be qualified to receive prescription goggles.
3401 Mill Run Drive, Hilliard, Ohio 43026
(614) 527-6799
playhardgear.com

Ohio Sled Hockey

Provides a competitive hockey team for any child in Ohio with physical disabilities. The costs vary, however, the program works to run as free or as low-cost as possible.
4464 Wrens Nest Drive, New Albany, Ohio 43054
(614) 206-8831
ohiosledhockey.org

Ohio State University (OSU) Recreational Sports

Offers several community sports and recreation programs and summer camps for youth year round. They also offer adapted recreational sports programs to serve children with disabilities year round.
337 West Seventeenth Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210
(614) 688-8787
recsports.osu.edu

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) International

PATH promotes equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. Visit their website for locations in Ohio.
PO Box 33150 Denver, Colorado 80233
(800) 369-7433
pathintl.org/path-intl-centers/find-center

Special Olympics Ohio

Provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for children older than age 8 and teens with intellectual disabilities or learning delays.
3303 Winchester Pike, Columbus, Ohio 43232
(614) 239-7050
sooh.org

The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition (TAASC)

Offers individuals with disabilities opportunities to participate in adventure activities such as kayaking, camping, fishing, alpine skiing, water skiing, ice skating, sailing, and cycling.
6000 Harriott Drive, Powell, Ohio 43065
(614) 389-3921
taasc.org

Xcel Martial Arts

Xcel offers adaptive martial art classes for children with cerebral palsy, amputations, hearing impairments, muscular dystrophy and other physical disabilities. They work within the students’ abilities to improve skills and build confidence.
1936 Schrock Road, Columbus, Ohio 43229
(614) 746-0938
xcelmartialarts.com