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NWSRA Participant

Fun Facts


  • covers a service area that is almost the same size as Milwaukee

  • Opened one of the first certified Snoezelen Sensory Rooms in the State of Illinois in 2016

  • Won the National Park and Recreation Association Excellence in Inclusion Award in 2013

  • introduced the Lightning Booster Club in 2013, which supports sports training programs for over 600 athletes

  • originally included 9 park districts and now serves 17

  • holds the distinction of Accredited Distinguished Agency with Illinois Park and Recreation Association from 2010-2015

  • is a two-time National Gold Medal Award winner, presented by the National Recreation and Park Association in 1981 and 1989

  • won the National Grand Medal Award in 1989, presented by The Sports Foundation. In 1988 and 1981, NWSRA was a finalist for the award won the National Organization on Disability/United Parcel Service Community Awards Competition in 1998

Special Recreation Associations in Illinois:

  • In 1969, Senator Harris Fawell introduced the legislation that enabled SRAs to be formed

  • There are now 29 cooperative agencies throughout Illinois, serving 195 communities.

  • These agencies provide an array of therapeutic recreation programs, including: sports & fitness, social clubs, cultural arts, day camps, special events, weekend and vacation trips

  • A survey of the SRAs (16 SRA's responding, covering 141 member communities) showed that 27,205 different people with disabilities were being served; these individuals registered fora total of 97,309 programs. These SRAs also assisted 2,190 children with disabilities to participate in park district/recreation department programs through Inclusion services.

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