Family Support


The following recreational opportunities include accommodations and adaptations for children with special needs.

Resource Contact Information

Accessible Playgrounds and Amusement Parks

Allegheny County Parks
All-inclusive playgrounds at: Deer Lakes, Harrison Hills, Hartwood Acres, North, Round Hill, Settlers Cabin, South and White Oak Parks
The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh
Accessible Playground and Therapeutic Garden
Kennywood Park
Access Guide for Guests with Disabilities

Adapted Arts and Leisure

Bounce U, Warrendale
Offers weekly Sensory Bounce Night.
Blind Outdoor Leisure Development (BOLD), Western PA
Offers weekly Sensory Bounce Night.
Carnegie Library Of Pittsburgh
Library For The Blind And Physically Handicapped

Digital recordings of books and magazines on free loan, playback equipment, large print books, and described videos on free loan.
Center for Theater Arts
Mt. Lebanon-based program offers Instruction in dance, voice, acting, and musical theater for youth through age 18, including children with special needs
Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
Special Needs Program

Educational and recreational programming and support for people with special needs.
Computing Workshop
Computer science instruction for students with special needs.
Exceptional Adventures
Tours and trips for people with disabilities over age 18; dances for teens.
Loews Waterfront Theater, Homestead
Sensory Friendly Films

Monthly screening for individuals who prefer reduced sensory environment.
PA Connecting Communities
Pittsburgh Ballet Theater
Offering inclusive creative movement classes for youth with special needs.
Pittsburgh Opera
Offers "audio commentaries" at selected performances for people with vision impairment.
Pittsburgh CLO New Horizons
Musical theater training program for children and adults with developmental or physical disabilities.
Shining Arrow Association
Friday night program in Penn Hills for individuals ages 17 and older with disabilities
Star-Styled Dance Center
Speical needs class in hip hop, jazz, ballet class.
TECH-LINK Program of Pittsburgh
Special needs class in hip hop, jazz, ballet class.

Adapted Sports/Fitness

Boy Scouts of America Greater Pittsburgh Council
Dedicated to including children with special needs. Trailblazer District advocacy group advises troop leaders on inclusion and schedules events for children with special needs. Council sponsors troops at special schools.
Challenger Baseball
Modified baseball program with two levels to accommodate all children.
Challenger Program
Ingomar Franklin Park Athletic Association
Baseball, soccer, and basketball
Challenger Division - South Hills
Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
Special Needs Program

Educational and recreational programming and support for people with special needs.
Dick's Sporting Goods Free 6-week Fitness Sports Camp at Court Time Sports Center
Classes hosted by Omni Health and Wellness and Court Time Sports Center are designed for special needs teens and adults of all abilities to improve coordination, balance and sport skills.
Eruption Athletics
Personal training for individuals with special needs.
Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania
Pathways program for girls with cognitive disabilities to age 21.
Steel City Icebergs - Greater Pittsburgh Special Hockey Association
HOPE Network
Adapted sports and recreation.
Horse 'N Soul Therapeutic Riding
Adapted sports and recreation.
Jewish Community Center
Miracle League of Southwestern PA
Baseball league for children and adults with disabilities.
Cranberry Township, South Hills and Murrysville. Please correct the spelling of Murrysville. There is no A in Murrysville
National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD)
Camp resource guide for youth and young adults with disabilities.
Riding for the Handicapped of Western PA
Pittsburgh Mighty Penguins Sled Hockey
Pittsburgh Soccer in the Community
Soccer instruction in low-income communities in the City of Pittsburgh encourages kids of all abilities to participate.
Shining Arrow Association
Penn Hills recreation program forr children and adults with disabilities.
Special Olympics/Allegheny County
Year-round training and athletic competition in Olympic-style sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Education, information, and competitive and recreational sports for people with visual impairment.
Strong as Steel – Adaptive Sports
Sporting league recruiting children (ages 5-21) in Western PA with physical disabilities to train and attend local, regional and national competitions.
The First Tee of Pittsburgh
The First Tee of Pittsburgh provides opportunities for children of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to learn how to play the game of golf through a curriculum that integrates life skills and character education.
Three Rivers Adaptive Rowing and Paddling Programs
Three Rivers Rowing Adaptive Programs offer athletes age 12+ with disabilities the chance to enjoy the fun, challenge, and relaxation experienced by all who have been "hooked" by the sports of rowing and paddling/dragon boating.
Three Rivers Adaptive Sports
Variety the Children's Charity of Pittsburgh
Annual fishing tournament.
Verland Foundation
Aquatics, recreation, equestrian therapy.
Woodlands Foundation
Aquatics, fitness.

Summer Camps for Children with Special Needs

American Diabetes Association, Western PA
(search for camps in Pennsylvania)
American Lung Association of Western PA
(search for camps in Pennsylvania)
American Respiratory Alliance
Camp Huff-n-Puff for children with asthma.
Arthritis Foundation, Western PA Chapter
Camp in Philadelphia for children with juvenile-onset arthritis
ARC Human Services Children’s Services 
Camp Laughalot

Integrated summer camp for youth ages 5 to 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Summer Program for the Education of Autistic Kids.
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Camp Chihopi

For children who have had liver or intestinal transplants.
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
Camp STAR for teen with amputations
Computing Workshop
Computer science instruction for students with special needs.
Epilepsy Foundation of Western PA
Camps in Erie and Warrenville, PA
Football Camp for the Stars
For athletes age 15 to 30 with Down Syndrome.
Hosted by Thomas Jefferson and Woodland Hills high schools.
Contact Sheila Cannon, Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh
InVision Human Services (Formerly SharpVisions)
Therapeutic summer camps
Jewish Community Center
"Lose the Training Wheels" Camp
For children 8 to 18 who want to learn to ride a bike.
Muscular Dystrophy Association of Southwestern and Midwestern PA
New Story
Therapeutic camps for children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities.
Summer camps reinforcing behavioral supports
Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania
Steps to Independence
Steps to Independence is a non-profit organization providing Conductive Education program for children and young adults with motor disabilities.
Variety the Children's Charity of Pittsburgh
Free week-long summer day camp for children ages 6 to 21.
Watson Institute
Watson Inclusive Summer Program (WISP)
Summer Therapeutic Activities for Teens (STAT)
Autism College and Community Life Acclimation and Intervention Model (ACCLAIM)
Social & Community Activities for Life Experoiences (SCALE)
Wesley Spectrum Services
Woodlands Foundation
Notes from the Heart Camp
Sports Camp
Arts Camp

For information about Extended School Year (ESY) programs for students with IEPs, see the Education section of this guide.

Weekend Retreats

Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania
Firefly Weekend Retreats
Woodlands Foundation
Youth and Teen Weekend Retreats

Adapted Play

Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania (SBAWP)
BluePrints Preschool Play Program
For children with spina bifida and other disabilities
Lekotek Toy Resources Helpline
Consultant to Toys R Us Guide for Differently-Abled Kids
Let Kids Play
Consultant for accessible play spaces.
Pittsburgh Toy Lending Library
Volunteer-staffed play space.
Toys R Us Guide for Differently-Abled Kids
Community Inclusion / Friendship / Disability Awareness
Agency for Jewish Learning
Disability awareness programs for students in Jewish educational programs.
Best Buddies International, Inc.
Opportunities for one-to-one friendships.
The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh
Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh
Sensitivity trainings to increase understanding of individuals with autism, learning disabilities and ADHD
Ryuu Endeavors, Inc.
Locally produced games and activities that help children and teens on the autism spectrum learn social skills.
UCP (Unique Community Partnership) for Kids
Helps children with disabilities become involved in community activities and helps community organizations understand how to be inclusive.
Wesley Spectrum Services
Wonder Kids social skills groups
Woodlands Foundation
Cub Club for ages 6-10