NSSRA is an intergovernmental partnership of the park districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette, and Winnetka, the City of Lake Forest, and the Village of Riverwoods. The Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association provides year-round recreation and leisure opportunities for children, teens, adults and seniors with disabilities. Individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional, social, or other disabilities residing in the northern suburbs are eligible to participate.

NSSRA offers more than 150 programs and events each season. Special events and trips offer a wide variety of experiences from which to choose. NSSRA serves about 1,500 different individuals in programs each year and serves a total of approximately 5,000 participants annually.

Activity areas offered by NSSRA include Creative and Cultural Arts, Sports and Adaptive Sports, Outdoor and Nature programs, Special Olympics, and more. Programs are often available with convenient pick-up and drop-off locations or door-to-door accessible transportation. NSSRA also offers Inclusive, Cooperative and In-Home programming.

NSSRA is staffed with ten Therapeutic Recreation professionals, other qualified leaders, office staff, drivers, and aides who work closely with the participants, families, partner districts, schools, therapists, and others, to ensure quality programming and successful recreation experiences. NSSRA recognizes that some people with disabilities prefer to attend recreation programs within their own community park district or recreation department. NSSRA can help residents with inclusion and cooperative program services by providing staff training, guidance, help with modifications of rules, and other areas of adaptation. NSSRA, when deemed necessary, can provide extra staff, sign language interpreters, behavior management support, disability awareness, mobility training, and other adaptive areas. Some reduced fees for families in financial need are also available.

Proceeds from a Special Recreation property tax levied by the partner agencies provide approximately 49% of the operating budget for NSSRA. Program fees account for nearly 16% of the budget, and 12% of our funding comes from inclusion reimbursements. The remaining 23% is derived from grants, donations, fund-raising, and miscellaneous reimbursements. In 1995, the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Foundation (NSSRF) was formed to support the programs and services of NSSRA, in particular: Special Olympics, inclusion, transportation, and reduced fees.

For more information about programs and services, to volunteer, or to lend financial or other support, contact NSSRA by mail: 3105 MacArthur, Northbrook, IL 60062; by phone: 847/509-9400; by fax: 847/509-1177; by Email: info@nssra.org; or check out the NSSRA website at www.nssra.org.