WDSRA Adult Day Program Opens at Central Athletic Complex


Wheaton, IL—On January 8, 2018, the doors to a sixth Rec & Roll location opened at the Central Athletic Complex in Wheaton. Rec & Roll is the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association’s (WDSRA) adult day program for people ages 22-55 with intellectual disabilities. Rec & Roll helps enhance their quality of life through purposeful recreation.

Along with skill-building, social interaction, and leisure, independence is encouraged, too. Rec & Roll can keep adults moving forward in their development.

“Individuals with special needs, from the time of diagnosis through the age of 22, receive support services through schools and doctors,” WDSRA Outreach Manager Dayell Houzenga said. “At age 22 they age out of the school system and the bottom can kind of drop out. Day programs have become such an emerging need for our population. With the lack of any structured program in place, many people would be sitting at home with little or no activity. This can lead to depression and a regression of skills.”

Adapted from existing locker rooms, the indoor space is a multipurpose room large enough for 10 to 12 participants, a small office for WDSRA staff, restrooms, kitchenette, AV equipment and areas for crafts and activities.

“It allows our adult population that tends to be underemployed have a healthy program to keep them active and engaged and busy during the day,” Houzenga said. “We do all kinds of skill-building within it. There are components of social, fitness, arts & crafts, and volunteering.”

At the Central Athletic Complex, participants will be able to take advantage of the facility’s indoor basketball courts, turf fields, outdoor athletic fields and tennis court. With the close proximity to downtown Wheaton, participants will also be able to take advantage of the many downtown activities without needing transportation.

“The Wheaton Park District has been so great. They have been very accommodating in creating this space for our residents,” Houzenga said. “We will also be able to utilize it for night and weekend programs. It may actually lead to more programming at the Central Athletic Complex in the future.”

Rec & Roll programs began in February 2005 with 4 participants and has grown to serve over 123 participants at six locations in Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn and Naperville. Four locations, including the new Wheaton location, are designed for adults who can function at a 1:6 ratio. The other two locations, for adults who can function at a 1:3 ratio, offer participants the additional support necessary to engage in everyday activities.

For more information on WDSRA and the Rec and Roll programs, visit https://www.wdsra.com/schedules-forms/rec-roll-programs/.

Photo © Wheaton Park District 2018

Written by: Gina Catalano