Special Populations Section
Section Coordinator: 954-357-8170
TTY Line: 954-537-2844
The Special Populations Section 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 program and events.
The Special Populations Section offers two Tuesday bowling programs:
- Pins 'n' Pals - for ages 13 to 30 - 4:40-6 p.m.
- Adult Bowling - for ages 18 and up - 6:30-8:45 p.m.
Bowling programs take place at Strikers Family Sports Center 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 instructions. Consistent attendance is required at this ongoing program. Preregistration is required as space is limited. To register or for further information call Special Populations at 954-357-8170/8160 or TTY 954-537-2844, or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
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 certified volunteer instructors. All skill levels are welcome. Classes are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month beginning on January 13, 2018, and running through October 27, 2018. Class time is 10 a.m. to noon. Classes are held at Sunview Park
. Reservations are required for each class as space is limited. To reserve your spot or for more information, call 954-357-8170/8160
or TTY 954-537-2844
, or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org
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 basic 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.
For more information, call Special Populations at 954-357-8170/8160 or TTY 954-537-2844, or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Take the Stage! Dance Program
hip-hop to musical theater to breakdancing, the program teaches diverse forms
of contemporary dance. Participants, ages 8 to 13 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 – consistent attendance is required, as each week participants
will build on skills they learned the prior week. The program will be held at Central
Park Multi-Purpose Center, 9151 N.W. Second St., Plantation 33324;
954-452-2510 (park number). Two programs will be held in the fall: Program I - 9:15-10:15 a.m., for ages 8-12. Program II - 10:30-11:30 a.m., for ages 10-14. Session dates to be announced. For information or to preregister, call Special Populations at
954-357-8170/8160 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Fit With a Friend Circuit
An innovative program for veterans with and without disabilities. One spouse, child, sibling, or friend 18 and older, is also welcome to attend. The program focuses on developing general fitness through a circuit rotation using the Fitness Zone at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park. Participants blood pressure, heart rate, and body mass index (BMI) will be assessed at the beginning and end of the program. Each class will consist of a warm-up, circuit routine, and cool down, along with additional exercises. This inclusive program raises fitness awareness among veterans so they can live healthy, motivated, and active lifestyles. Consistent attendance is required as each week participants will build on the fitness skills learned in the prior week's class. Preregistration is required. The next session will be held on Wednesdays, starting October 17 through December 19, 2018, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. For more information or to preregister, call Special Populations at 954-357-8170/8160 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Join us in what
has become one of the fastest-growing sports! Learn disc golf
fundamentals, skills, equipment, field 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 and preregistration is
required. The next session dates will be announced. Call Special Populations at 954-357-8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Self-Defense and Fitness
This free program for adults with physical disabilities is in partnership with Supportabilities Foundation, teaches self-defense through non-contact boxing, and promotes 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 cooldown. Participants will be assessed on measures of blood pressure, heart rate, and body mass index (BMI), and through a Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) questionnaire. The program is offered at Plantation Heritage Park. Fall session dates are Wednesdays, September 5-October 24, 2018, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Class size is limited and preregistration is required. Call Special Populations at 954-357-8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
3R's Arts & Crafts (Recycle • Repurpose • Reuse)
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 eight-week program for adults
18 and up with developmental disabilities focuses on creating new art projects using
recycled, repurposed, and reusable materials. The program will be offered at
Sunview Park on Thursdays, October 11 through December 6, 2018, from
6:30 to 8 p.m. Consistent attendance is required, as each week participants
will complete unfinished projects, start new projects, and learn new
techniques. Class size is limited and preregistration is required. Call Special
Populations at 954-357-8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Nordic Pole Walking
Take a healthful walk through a Broward
County parks. This
inclusive cardiovascular and strength-based program will introduce participants
to a simple, low-impact, and healthful walking activity through a natural park setting. Each walk will consist of a warmup, a cardiovascular walk on a trail accompanied by
strength exercises, and a cooldown. 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 trail. Some classes may
also include an environmental-education component. This introductory program,
for adults with developmental disabilities, will be offered Thursdays, October 25 through
December 6, 2018, from 10:30-11:45 a.m. Consistent attendance is required for
participants to get the best experience throughout the program. For additional
information, call Special Populations at
954-357-8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
Please note: 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. Please include participant’s name(s), the number of chaperones who will be attending, and the contact phone number and/or email address.
Fall Frolic at Tree Tops Park - Friday, October 19, 2018, 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, September 21, 2018, 7 to 9:30 p.m.
This free social/dance, for adults 18 and up with mental illness, is co-sponsored by the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) Broward County. The social includes deejay music, dancing, socializing, refreshments, and more. The fun is from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required. 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
Western Hoedown at Tree Tops Park - Friday, November 16, 2018, 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 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 email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.
The Special Populations Section prepares a biannual listing of Recreation and Leisure Programs and Activities for Special Populations. This resource lists community-based programs designed specifically for persons with disabilities. It also contains a list of all municipal recreation departments in Broward County, designating a contact person and contact information, as well as a listing of accessible pools, beaches, and playgrounds.