Special Populations

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations in order to participate in programs, services, and activities must contact the Special Populations Section at 954.357.8170 or TTY 954.537.2844 at least five business days prior to the scheduled meeting or event.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Select virtual and in-person Special Populations events are scheduled at this time.

Broward County eased its hard closure on parks in an effort to help residents stay mentally and physically heathy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents can now access some parks and nature trails operated by Broward County for walking, jogging, biking, hiking, horse trails, and personal boat launching. Individual basketball play is allowed (no multiple players or pickup games permitted). 

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.
​Volunteers for Tandem Bike Skill Development Program Needed

Captains are needed for tandem bicycle  program designed for teens and adults who are blind or visually impaired. Volunteer captains sit in the front seat while the individual who is blind or visually impaired sits in the rear seat. For further information call Special Populations at 954.357.8160/8170, or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.

Resources

Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 Special Populations Programs

Virtual and In-Person Programs

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.​

Basketball - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
Come enhance skills and join in physical activity while socializing and enjoying friendly competition. Open to adults with developmental disabilities. The free program is held at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium​. Register by contacting the Special Populations Sections at 954.357.8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org. Current Session: Mondays, 6 to 7 p.m.

Boccia Program - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
​​​​​​A free program that will introduce participants to the sport of boccia and focus on hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills that will improve with continued practice playing the sport. The program will be held at the Sunrise Civic Center Gymnasium (10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise 33351). The class is for veterans, with and without disabilities and adults, ages 18 and over, with physical disabilities. The program is free but the class ​size is limited. Call 954.357.8143/8170. Current Session: T
uesdays, 1-3 p.m. ​or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org​ to preregister. ​

Bowling - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
​This bowling program is for persons ages 13 years old with developmental disabilities. Participants bowl every Monday. Cost: $7/person for two games, shoes, and a prize fund. SpareZ Bowling Alley (5325 S. University Dr., Davie 33328; 954.434.9663). To preregister call 954.357.8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org​. Next session: every Monday, 5-7 p.m.​​

C.O.R.E.S. (Connecting With Others Recreationally, Educationally, and Socially) - In-person program. Call for details. 
Learn, explore, and gather with others. Program for adults with developmental disabilities plus one guest (optional), with activities and events that will vary from week to week. At Shelter #1, Plantation Heritage Park (1100 S. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation 33317). There may also be excursions to other Broward County parks (fees may apply). Preregistration is required. Current session: Alternating Fridays, 4:30-6 p.m.

​Cross-Round Fitness​​ - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.

The free program for adults, ages 18 and up, 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 cooldown. The class will be held at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium​, Shelter #7.  Current session: Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m. Next session (August 31-October 12) will be held at Plantation Heritage Park, Shelter #1, Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m.

Disc Golf (Inclusive) ​- In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details. ​
Join us in what has become on 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. Call 954.357.8160 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org to preregister. Current session: Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Drum to Your Own Beat! - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
Broward County Parks Special Populations Section and the City of Lauderdale Lakes' Alzheimer's Care Center collaborates to offer Drum to the Beat, a drumming program for adults living with Alzheimer's disease. This program will focus on rhythmic patterns with different drums and percussion instruments to promote enjoyment and inclusion for all. 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. The class is held at the City of Lauderdale Lakes' Alzheimer's Care Center​ (4340 N.W. 36th St., Lauderdale Lakes 33319). Current session: Wednesdays, 11:15-11:45 a.m.

Fit With Family - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.

A free exercise program for adults with developmental disabilities (and one parent/caregiver/sibling/friend 18 years of older) that focuses on light to moderate intensity, head to toe, exercise, and movement to music that will promote general fitness and health. Each class will consist of a warm-up, an exercise routine with and without light weighted resistance bands, and a cooldown. This inclusive program will encourage all to stay active through a general fitness routine. Consistent attendance is required for the program, as each week participants will build on exercises learned in prior classes. The class is held at C.B. Smith Park​, shelter #4. Call 954.357.8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org to preregister. Current session: Mondays, 10:30-11:45 a.m. ​

Introduction to Gardening - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
A free program for teens ages 13-25 with developmental disabilities. Participants will be introduced to a broad range of garden topics such as basic gardening skills , how to make a garden bed, choosing an ideal garden location, and more. Reservations are required. Call 954.357.8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org to preregister. Current session: Saturdays, 9-10 a.m.

Kickball - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
A free program for individuals with developmental disabilities to learn and develop skills for playing the sport of kickball while having fun. Reservations are required. This program will be held at Brian Piccolo Sports Park & Velodrome. Call 954.357.8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org to preregister. Current ​session: Wednesdays, 5-7 p.m.

Kind Kites - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details. 
A program to allow ages 13 to 25 with developmental disabilities to experience kite flying. Space is limited, and reservations are required. Current session: Saturdays, 9-10 a.m.

Knowledge Crew - Virtual program. Call for details. 
We are providing virtual games for adults who are blind or visually impaired. Participants are divided into teams and get a chance to compete. The games vary and are both challenging and fun for all involved. Space is limited, so do not wait, and join us for some competitive fun from home. As soon as it is possible, in-person programs will also be scheduled. 

Mega Soccer - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
Mega Soccer is soccer with a twist. Participants use hands to play soccer with a 12-foot ball on a soccer field. The development benefits for this games are hand-eye coordination, gross and fine-motor skills, spatial awareness, grasping skills, problem-solving skills, balance, and even language and social skills. The free program is for ages 13-25 with developmental disabilities and will be held at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium. Call 954.357.8170/8160 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org. Current session: Thursdays, 5-6 p.m.​

Musical Expressions - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.

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 and young adults ages 13 to 30 with developmental disabilities. The class will focus on learning rhythmic patterns with different percussion instruments, gaining confidence, peer cooperation, and having fun! 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. The class will be held at T.Y. (Topeekeegee Yugnee) Park​, Shelter #11. Current session: Mondays, 5-6 p.m. Call 954.357.8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org to preregister. 

Nordic Pole Walking​​ - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
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 developmental disabilities, and one parent, caretaker, sibling, or friend 18 years or older. Consistent attendance is required for participants to get the best experience throughout the program. Call 954.357.8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org for details. Next session: Thursdays, 5:15-6:15 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tree Tops Park outdoor patio.​

Special Olympics Little Elites - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
Let’s get started! The Broward County Parks and Recreation Division’s Special Populations Section and Special Olympics​​​ Florida will be collaborating to offer Little ELITES, a developmental sports program for youth with intellectual/developmental disabilities ages 8 to 12. This program will focus on developing sport-specific skills for basketball, while encouraging peer cooperation and socialization. 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. Preregistration is required by calling Special Populations at 954.357.8170 or emailing SpecialPopulations@Broward.org​. The event will be held at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium. Next session: Fridays, 6-7 p.m.

Sunset Walking Program - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
Join us at Mainlands Park​ for a free seven-week walking program. Open to individuals ages 13-25 with developmental disabilities (must be accompanied by a parent). We'll get 30 minutes of summer exercise in with great company and have fun, too. Call 954.357.8153/8170. ​Current session: Tuesdays, 6-7 p.m.

Take the Stage! Dance Program​​​ - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
From hip-hop to jazz to breakdancing, these sessions offer a variety of dance skills based in diverse forms of contemporary dance and physical fitness. Participants ages 6 to 16​ 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 for St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Each class will include a warmup, dance techniques and steps, work with props, rhythm and coordination activities, a virtual 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 have learned the prior week. Call 954.357.8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org for location and details. Classes are held at Central Park Multi-Purpose Center​, Room 4, 9151 N.W. Second St., Plantation, FL 33324 Current session: Saturdays. Program I: 9:15-10 a.m. for ages 6–10, Program II: 10:15-11 a.m. for ages 11–17. Next session: September 10-October 29.

Tandem Leisure Ride - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details. 
Our 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. Programs are designed for persons ages 18 and up who are blind or visually impaired. Call 954.357.8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org to preregister.Current session: Saturdays, 10 a.m.-noon.

3R's (Recycle Repurpose Reuse) Program​ - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
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. The classes will be held at Plantation Heritage Park. ​Consistent attendance is required, as each week participants will complete unfinished projects, start new projects, and learn new techniques. Preregistration is required by calling 954.357.8160/8170 or emailing SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.  Current session: Thursdays, 4-5:30 p.m.

Yoga Class - In-person program following CDC guidelines. Call for details.
​This class is for adults who are blind or visually impaired. Bring a towel and a yoga mat (some mats will be available for use). Class size is limited. Reservations are required by the Monday prior to each class by calling 954.357.8160 or emailing SpecialPopulations@Broward.org​. The class is offered at Tree Tops Park (3900 S.W. 100th Ave., Davie 33328). Next session: Saturday, October 22, 2022, 10 a.m. to noon.


Social Events

Direct supervision of participants is not provided at any dances or socials.​


Free Seasonal Dances for Adults With Developmental Disabilities

Reservations are required. Make your reservations early as space is limited. If reservation is confirmed and you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so others on the waiting list may attend.

Free dances for adults 18 and up with developmental disabilities, will feature deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call 954.357.8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.​​


Free Socials/Dances for Adults Living With Mental Illness

Reservations and required. Make your reservations early as space is limited.

Free dances for adults 18 and up living with mental illness, will feature deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. Reservations are required. For more information, call 954.357.8160/8170 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. If reservation is confirmed and you are unable to attend, please let us know in advance so others on the waiting list may attend. 

​Free dances for teens and young adults 13-25 with developmental disabilities. Featuring deejay music, dancing, socializing, and refreshments. Reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation, call 954.357.​8160/8170 or email SpecialPopulations@Broward.org.​​