Sep 1, 2017

Michigan Guide to Activities for Children with Disabilities and Permanent Injuries: Sponsored Post

Written by: Jesse Reiter, a Michigan Birth Injury attorney based in Bloomfield Hills.

There are many activities for children with disabilities in the state of Michigan. Some activities are age-specific or disability-specific and some are inclusive. Below are a few of our favorites.


Adaptive Sports

Adaptive sports, also sometimes referred to as disabled sports or para sports, are competitive sports for individuals with disabilities that are often tailored to players’ abilities. Adaptive sports follow the same principles as sports played by athletes without disabilities, with modifications to make the game accessible for people with varying cognitive, physical, or behavioral disabilities. These can range from the Paralympic Games to the following local options:
·                Animal-Assisted Therapy
·                Adaptive Cycling

Being active while living with a disability can improve coordination, increase cardiovascular ability, build muscle and strengthen bones, and provide the same benefits of exercise for any individual. For children especially, adaptive sports also help to improve their behavior and self-confidence.

A comprehensive list of adaptive sports is available on Disabled Sports USA, along with a detailed description about current programs and how to get involved as either a participant or as a volunteer.


What kinds of adaptive sports are available in Michigan?

In the summer time, there is Miracle League of Michigan Baseball, adaptive water skiing and kayakingMichigan Adaptive Sports present both water skiing and kayaking.  Interested participants can sign up online. During the winter, they also provide adaptive snow skiing at local ski hills Pine Knob and Mount Holly. Signing up to volunteer for these programs is also available online and they are always happy to welcome individuals who are passionate about sports accessibility.

Affording adaptive sports and disabled equipment

While the initial thought of paying for the essential equipment to participate in adaptive sports may be daunting, there are many ways to reduce costs and make the experience more financially accessible, such as becoming a brand ambassador, buying refurbished, using a payment plan, talking to local universities or applying for a grant. Check out this this guide on available grants. 

Accessible Playgrounds

Dad Butler Playfield: Located at 2034 East 8 Mile Road, in Detroit, this playground features smooth surfaces perfect for wheelchair accessibility.
Delray Community House Playground: This playground provides smooth and cushioned surfaces for wheelchair-friendly use and can be found at 420 Leigh Street in Detroit.
Winship Elementary School: Located at 14717 Curtis Street in Detroit, this playground has transfer stations, which are wheelchair lifts designed to give disabled children access to playground equipment. Additionally, a safety fence encloses the playground for child protection.


Recreational Therapy

Art TherapyVSA Michigan (VSAMI) offers a number of workshops, classes, events, exhibitions, and programs supporting artistic pursuits in individuals with disabilities. Children (and adults) with cerebral palsy take pleasure in the therapeutic and recreational benefits of VSA Michigan’s arts initiatives.
Aquatherapy: The Detroit Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan provides pool therapy in order to restore and rehabilitate mobility and motor skill impairments in children who cannot tolerate rehabilitation on land. Aquatherapy classes offer the opportunity for children with painful mobility limitations to partake in an enjoyable form of therapy. The DMC offers aquatherapy in Detroit, Oak Park, Novi, Romulus, Sterling Heights, and Mt. Clemens.

Special Needs Camps: The EduTech tutoring program provides the opportunity for disabled children to participate in four to six week summer camps. Additional information regarding EduTech’s summer camps can be found here.

The Midwest Blind Bowling Association, located in Detroit, Michigan, provides blind individuals with the opportunity to learn and practice bowling. For the many Detroit residents with visual impairment as a result of cerebral palsy or another birth injury, blind bowling offers an opportunity for recreation, therapy, personal fulfillment, and social interaction.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

St. John Providence Valade Healing Arts Center: St. John provides a variety of alternative and complementary therapeutic programs for individuals with conditions like cerebral palsy. Programs include massage therapy, reflexology, Reiki, Tai Chi, yoga, and medical hypnotherapy.

Henry Ford Specialty Programs: Individuals with cerebral palsy can choose to match their traditional treatment plans with Henry Ford Hospital’s specialty programs. Henry Ford offers massage therapy and Tai Chi.

We hope these resources help you & your loved ones stay active & get the most out of what Detroit has to offer.


— By Jesse Reiter, a Michigan Birth Injury attorney based in Bloomfield Hills.

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