Special Populations plans, develops, implements, and evaluates a variety of year-round recreation and leisure programs, special events, and services to meet the interests and needs of children, teens, adults, and seniors with disabilities. Programs are designed to develop, enhance, and/or maintain leisure skills, motor skills, socialization, and overall well-being as well as to promote fun and enjoyment.
Types of Programs/Services Offered
- Social functions and events to provide opportunities for peer interaction in an appropriate social setting.
- Sports and athletics to teach or enhance skills and to promote physical activity, friendly competition, fun, and success in individual, duo, and team activities.
- Leisure education to explore, examine, and discover personal attitudes, interests, and potential opportunities through experiential discussions and initiatives that focus on leisure awareness and resources in order to promote healthy independent recreation and leisure lifestyles.
- Physical fitness programs to teach and improve general fitness in a group setting.
- General recreation to provide for the discovery and experience of a variety of activities that promote learning, skill development, creativity, life skills enhancement, and enjoyment.
- Facilitate inclusion by working directly with potential participants, significant others, and Division staff to provide, as needed, resources, assistance, training, modifications, and/or equipment that will enable persons with disabilities to actively participate in any Division-wide programs and events.
Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 Special Populations Programs and Activities
Preregistration is required for all programs. To register or for further information call Special Populations at 954-357-8170/8160 or TTY 954-537-2844, or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org
Special Populations offers two Wednesday bowling programs. Bowling programs take place at Strikers Family Sportscenter
in Sunrise. The cost is $5.50 for two games and bowling shoes, if needed. The bowling programs are for persons with various disabilities and are offered as a weekly program. Participants must be fairly independent and able to follow basic instruction. Consistent attendance is required at this ongoing program.
- Pins 'n' Pals, for ages 13 to 30, from 4:40 to 6 p.m.
- Adult Bowling, for ages 18 and up, from 6:30 to 8:45 p.m.
These classes are free for adults who are blind or visually impaired. Participants will work with volunteers learning the art of yoga as taught by our volunteer instructors. All skill levels are welcome. Classes are held at Sunview Park
. Reservations are required for each class as space is limited.
- Second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 10 a.m. to noon
Tandem Bike Programs
Programs are designed for persons ages 18 and up who are blind or visually impaired.
Skill Development Classes
Together with a volunteer partner, learn biking skills, safety, bicycle mechanics, trust-building, and group riding etiquette. This program also provides an opportunity for physical activity, fun, and socialization. Classes run one day a week for two hours for a five-week session.
Our quarterly tandem bicycle rides bring together graduates of the skill development class and tandem volunteers for a few hours of riding and socializing through various Broward County parks.
Take the Stage! Hip-Hop Intensive
From hip-hop to musical theater to breakdancing, the program teaches diverse forms of contemporary dance. Participants, ages 8 to 14 with developmental disabilities, will groove to the newest hits of today, as well as some classics from the past. The emphasis is on learning in a fun, active, and noncompetitive setting while focusing on enhancing coordination, rhythm, socialization, self-awareness, self-expression, and self-confidence. Assistance will be provided by experienced volunteer student dancers from St. Thomas Aquinas High School
. Each class will include a warmup, dance techniques and steps, work with props, rhythm and coordination activities, a social circle, and a cooldown. Participants will improvise their own moves and work them into a routine that may be performed for family and friends at the end of the program. This is not a drop-in program. Consistence attendance is required as each week participants will build on skills they have learned the prior week. The program is held at Central Park Multi-Purpose Center
Fit With a Friend Circuit
An innovative and inclusive program, for veterans with and without disabilities, which focuses on developing general fitness through a circuit rotation highlighting the Memorial Fitness Zone at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park
. Participants will be assessed on measures of blood pressure and heart rate. Each class will consist of a warm-up, circuit routine, and cool down along with additional exercises. This program serves as an awareness program for all veterans to stay active through a general fitness routine. Consistent attendance is required as each week participants will build on fitness skills learned in the prior week's class.
Join us in what has become one of the fastest-growing sports! Learn disc golf fundamentals, skills, equipment, fielf of play, rules, and more. Disc golf is an enjoyable, affordable, and active outdoor recreation or competitive activity that can be played at many of Broward County's parks. This free program is for veterans with or without disabilities. Consistent attendance is required, as each week participants will build on skills learned in the prior week's class. Class size is limited.
This free program for adults with physical disabilities is in partnership with Supportabilities Foundation
. Participants learn self-defense through non-contact boxing and physical fitness through adaptive exercises. Each class will consist of a warmup, introduction to defense techniques, and boxing drills, cardiovascular and agility exercises, and a cool down. Participants will be assessed on measures of blood pressure, heart rate, and body mass index (BMI), through a Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) questionnaire.
3Rs Arts & Crafts (Recycle - Repurpose - Reuse)
Let your creativity and art skills blossom. Learn about and use different art techniques, media, tools, and supplies while using recycled materials to create your artwork. Have fun, be creative, and gain an awareness of the importance of recycling in our communities and parks. This free program for adults with developmental disabilities focuses on creating new art projects using recycled, repurposed, and reusable materials. Consistent attendance is required, as each week participants will complete unfinished projects, start new projects, and learn new techniques.
Nordic Pole Walking
Take a healthful walk through Broward County's nature parks. This cardiovascular and strength-based program will introduce participants to a simple, low-impact, and healthful walking activity through some of Broward County's beautiful nature parks. Each walk will be in a different park setting, and consist of a warmup, a cardiovascular walk on a trail accompanied by strength exercises, and cool down. Participants are required to be ambulatory with some upper body mobility in order to use the poles to propel their bodies and use their muscles to walk along the different trails. Some classes may also include an environmental education component. This inclusive introductory program is offered to adults with development disabilities. Consistent attendance is required for participants to get the best experience throughout the program.
Express yourself in a musical way at this fun program. Learn self expression and have fun with peers while playing various percussion instruments. This free program for teens age 13 to 21 will focus on learning basic instrument, vocal, and rhythm skills. Attendees will also gain confidence and peer cooperation skills. Consistent attendance is required, as each week participants will learn new techniques that will build on skills they learned in the prior week's class. A Musical Expressions program for young adults is in development. If interested, call to place your name on the waiting list.
Direct supervision of participants is not provided at any dances or socials.
Free Seasonal Dances for Adults With Development Disabilities
Reservations are required. Make your reservations early as space is limited.
Fall Frolic at Tree Tops Park - Friday, October 18, 2019, 7 to 10 p.m.
This free dance, for adults 18 and up with developmental disabilities, will feature deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. The fun starts at 7 p.m. and continues to 10 p.m. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call 954-357-8170/8160 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Free Socials/Dances for Adults Living With Mental Illness
Friday Night Social at Tree Tops Park - Friday, October 4, 2019, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
This free social/dance, for adults living with mental illness, age 18 and over, is co-sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Broward County. The social includes deejay music, socializing, dancing, refreshments, and more. The fun is from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 954-357-8170/8160 or NAMI at 954-316-9907.
Free Socials/Dances for Teens and Young Adults With Developmental Disabilities
Reservations are required. Make your reservations early as space is limited.
Western Hoedown at Tree Tops Park - Friday, November 15, 2019, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Teens and young adults, with developmental disabilities, ages 13 -25, are invited to kick up their boots and wear cowboy/cowgirl clothing and hats to this free social/dance from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The evening's activities include deejay music, socializing, dancing, and refreshments. Reservations are required. To make a reservation or for additional information, contact the Special Populations Section at 954-357-8170/8160 or by emailing SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.