Denver Parks and Recreation remains dedicated to their “Adaptive Parks,” recreational parks designed specifically for children with disabilities.

It isn’t uncommon for those in the disability community to find themselves facing limited access, particularly to fun or recreational events and spaces considered “non-essential.” Overstimulation, lack of wheelchair access, and communication barriers are just a few of the daily restrictions that disabled people regularly face. This is no exception for disabled children, but for Denver Parks and Recreation, play looks different. Play is more inclusive.

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) has been committed to creating accessible programs and activities for years now with their Adaptive Recreation programs available to disabled people of any age. Many of these programs are therapeutic or educational in nature, such as the accessible swimming, cooking, and acting classes they offer, but the Parks and Rec team understands the importance of fun too. Bridging the gap between disabled children and their non-disabled peers, DPR has worked to create over a dozen Adaptive Parks for children of all ages and abilities. These parks, located all over the Denver-metro area, create accessible playgrounds by including sensory activities, nature-inspired tactile play, and wheelchair accessible activities all in one place.

All of this was possible in large part because of their partnership with a company called Shane’s Inspiration, a company created because of the “brief but powerful life of Shane Alexander Williams.” Shane only lived two weeks but forever inspired his parents to fight for inclusivity for all disabled children. Their program, now internationally dubbed Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration, has assisted in the design and creation of several of these adaptive parks in the Denver area and continues their mission of education and accessible recreation.

You can find an extensive list of adaptive parks here on the Special Needs Network website and find more information on adaptive recreation all over the city on the Denver Parks and Recreation website: