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Carmel Clay Parks and Rec celebrates Disability Awareness Month

As a national leader in inclusion, Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) encourages the community to join with them during Disability Awareness Month to celebrate inclusion through acceptance of individuals of all ages, levels and abilities.

According to the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, designating March as Disability Awareness Month is recognized in an effort to increase awareness and promote independence, integration and inclusion of all people with disabilities.

“We are proud to promote inclusion for all individuals year-round, and Disability Awareness Month gives us the opportunity to raise awareness for this important cause,” said Michelle Yadon, CCPR inclusion supervisor.

These efforts were recognized in October during the annual meeting of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) when CCPR received the Excellence in Inclusion Award recognizing an agency or organization that has implemented the inclusive processes and practices while providing well-planned supports for inclusive participation by people with disabilities and diversity in all programs, services, and facilities.

In addition to a multitude of adaptive programming throughout the year and a commitment to hiring individuals with special needs that reflect a culture of inclusion and disability awareness, CCPR has some programs planned specifically for those with disabilities.

One of these is “The Roundabout Playback Troupe,” scheduled for its third annual performance March 24 and 25. The Troupe – founded at CCPR in 2015, and the only one of its kind in the Midwest — is an inclusive playback group that includes members with and without disabilities who work together to act out scenes based on audience stories and feedback. This year’s performance, “I See You” features stories based on life experiences written and read by individuals with disabilities. The second act features The Troup acting out scenes based on audience stories and feedback. Tickets for the 6 p.m. performance can be purchased for $5 at the Monon Community Center; an ASL interpreter will be at the March 25 show.

This summer CCPR is also producing an inclusive Shakespeare in the Park production. Auditions will take place on April 19 at 7 p.m. at the Monon Community Center, and rehearsal will begin May 3, and take place every Wednesday until the performance, which will be on Saturday, August 5 at River Heritage Park.·

All of the parks' programs are inclusive – meaning they will make modifications to meet any individual’s needs. If you know someone with special needs, you might suggest that they check out some of these programs offered:

5K Training Program

This program is for individuals with disabilities who are interested in training for a 5K. Each week, participants will work with an instructor to train for the BACA Bolt in September. All proceeds of the BACA Bolt go toward BACA Charities, which funds many of the respite programs offered at the Monon Community Center. Participants are invited to run, walk or run/walk the 5K.

Price: $98

Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 1-August 31

Times: 5:00-6:00 p.m.

Muscle-Up (Teens & Adults)

This is a fitness program designed for individuals with disabilities. Two classes are offered, one for adults ages 18 and up, and another for teens ages 13-17. Instructors for this class help participants build strength, increase flexibility and tone their muscles. It serves as an introduction to the different cardio and strength machines available at the Monon Community Center.

Adult Muscle-Up –

Price: $75

Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Session 1: June 6-June 29

Session 2: July 6-July 27

Times: 6:00-6:45 p.m.

Teen Muscle-Up –

Price: $75 for May and June sessions, $68 for July session

Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Session 1: May 9-June 1

Session 2: June 6-June 29

Session 3: July 6-July 27

Times: 5:00-5:45 p.m.

Youth Yoga

This class will allow children to explore yoga poses and breathing techniques in a supportive and encouraging small-group environment. Children will be invited to engage their body and mind through yoga poses integrated with stories, social skills, imaginative play and movement. At the end of each class, participants will learn relaxation techniques that can be used during yoga practice and in daily life.

Price: $58

Dates: Saturdays, June 3-June 24

Times: 10:30-11:20 a.m.

·Adaptive Open Swim

The Waterpark can be overwhelming and overstimulating, so we offer an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to enjoy The Waterpark free of distraction. The music is turned off, the concession stand is closed and families can focus on enjoying The Waterpark. The main activity pool, slides and lazy river will be open for families to swim, play and interact with others. Pre-registration is required.

Price: $15

Dates: June 13, July 11 and August 8

Time: 7:30-8:45 p.m.

Adaptive FlowRider

The FlowRider® is a special machine that is similar to boogie boarding or surfing in the ocean. Staff can adapt instruction making it possible for anyone to ride the wave. All ability levels are welcome to participants. Must be 48 inches to ride and 52 inches to stand. An Adaptive FlowRider Showcase will take place later in the summer for participants who want to show off their skills on the wave.

Adaptive Open Flow

Price: $8

Days: Mondays and Tuesdays throughout June, July and August (check for specific dates)

Time: 7:15-8:45 p.m.

FlowRider® Showcase

Price: $8

Date: August 22

Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Lindsay Labas at or 317.573.4020.

Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation (CCPR) holds the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA) in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) for parks serving populations of 75,001 to 150,000.

As an accredited agency, the department serves the recreation, fitness, and nature needs of the community, manages and develops existing spaces and resources and creates a sustainable future for parks and recreation programs through a financially viable and environmentally conscious parks system. CCPR manages and maintains more than 500 park acres and numerous recreation facilities, including the Monon Community Center and The Waterpark. In addition, CCPR has partnered with Carmel Clay Schools to establish Extended School Enrichment (ESE), a before and after-school care program for K-6 students located at all eleven Carmel elementary schools. The Summer Camp Series is a component of ESE that offers 12 different summer camps accommodating children ages 5-15. For more information, visit

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