Do you, or someone you know, spend days gazing out the window of your home wishing you could go out and enjoy all of the leisure and recreational activities Baltimore has to offer?
But because your wheelchair bound, you believe there are no activities you could possibly particiate in. There was a day when that was true but not anymore.
Today, disabled people are able to enjoy a multitude of activities from wheeling on the shaky bridge at Angel Park to sailing on the Patapsco River. Through Baltimore’s parks and recreation department, private businesses and charitable organizations there’s a variety of activities to fill you weekends.
The following places within the Baltimore region are places where individuals with disabilities can enjoy various leisure and recreational activities:
- Downtown Sailing Center – Opened 20 years ago, the Center was set up to provide quality education and enrich lives through self-esteem programs and encourage teamwork through sailing. Setting sail on open waters is freeing, relaxing, and enjoyable. The Center, located at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, aims to promote inclusiveness and accessibility with a focus on the youth, those living with disability, and underprivileged people in the community.
- Baltimore Martial Arts Academy – Located at Baltimore National Pike, this academy opened 20 years ago to offer various martial arts and fitness programs. This includes programs for adults and children. We also offer services to children with special needs to encouraged them to stay active and have fun with the Adaptive Karate program. Every child is given a program that they can handle and that they will enjoy.
- Traillink.com – Spend the day on out on the trails with Traillink. Traillink is a website that provides a list of trails throughout Maryland and Virginia that are wheelchair accessible, including the Paint Branch Trail in Montgomery County which starts at Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Park and ends on Fairland Road, 2.3 miles. It’s free to join Traillink and as a member you will be able to locate all of the wheelchair accessible trails in Maryland, share your photos and post reviews of your favorite trails.
- Office of Therapeutic Recreation Services – As a division of the Baltimore County Recreational and Parks, Therapeutic Recreation Services offer a variety of programs and services for individuals with disabilities. They have everything from adapted aquatics to summer camps, yoga, and even tap dance for children with or without disabilities. The office provides reasonable accommodations for full participation in all of their programs. See Programs for a complete list.
- Angel Park in Perry Hall is one of Baltimore’s major parks that have
renovations to help assist disabled visitors. It is specifically designed to accommodate children with special needs. It has a shaky bridge that is wheelchair accessible, therapeutic swings, braille panel and quiet spaces for children with autism and other conditions.
- AMC Sensory-Friendly Films – AMC Theatres together with the Autism Society, AMC offer the latest movies with lights turned on and sound turned down, which helps people with autism enjoy them better. The audience is free to walk around, shout, sing, and even dance whenever they want to as the movie goes on. The sensory friendly films offer family friendly movies on the second and fourth Saturday every month and mature audiences on Tuesday evenings every month. Contact AMC to find a location near you. As always, every theatre is handicap accesible.
- Augmenting Ability – Music is said to be the food of the soul and the language of love, and it certainly benefits those with disabilities. Augmenting Ability is a private music therapy practice set up to help children achieve their full potential. The practice was set up by Melissa A. Ward, who learned that music can be therapeutic through her education and professional career in music. Piano, guitar, and voice lessons are also offered. Adapted lessons are offered for those with special needs.
League for People with Disabilities, Inc.
Located in Baltimore, is commited to offering individuals the opportunity to gain independence, increase self-sufficiency and to improve the quality of life. In service for nearly 90 years, this organization has been advocating for the rights for people with physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Check out their wide range of programs, you are guarenteed to find something that interests you.
- Camping and Recreation: The League offers the traditional camping at Greentop, or weekend retreats with the family or pioneer retreats where you will experience cooking over an open fire and canoeing. They also offer weekend respite at Camp Round Meadow, where your camping experience is centered around designated theme activities, like Harry Potter.
- Travel Camp: Traditional camping not your style, check out The League’s Travel Camp. Adults travel across the United States to places such as Hershey Park, Williamsburg, Virginia, and Niagra Falls, and even cruises to the Bahamas. All trips have the appropriate support of travel staff ensure all the traveler’s needs are met.
- CLUB1111: Love the night life. Check out Maryland’s first and onlynightclub for people with disabilities. Enjoy a night of dancing, games, spa and much more. Tickets range $0-$10. Must be over 18 years of age. Second Saturday every month, 6pm – 10pm.
So, what are doing still gazing out that window? Get out, enjoy all the adventures Baltimore has waiting for you.