About Us

NSSRA provides and facilitates year round recreation programs and services for children, teens and adults with disabilities who live in its partner communities. NSSRA is an extension of ten park districts, two cities and one village in the northern suburbs of Chicago. This partnership includes the Park Districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka; the Cities of Highwood and Lake Forest; and the Village of Riverwoods. We have been creating an environment of belonging through play since 1970, and have the distinction as the first Special Recreation Association in the country.

Our mission is to enrich the lives of people with disabilities
in our partner communities through quality recreation services.

Our vision is to be leaders in recreation by providing
innovative and exceptional services for people with disabilities.

Our core values are Compassion, Respect, Quality,
Flexible, Accountable and Ethical Practices.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement: NSSRA is committed to cultivating an inclusive, equitable and safe environment. NSSRA works to remove barriers by fostering a culture that embraces diversity and treats all people with dignity and respect.

At NSSRA, play is the name of the game and we have the market cornered. Itching to grab your cleats out of the closet and get out on the mound? Got a pair of swim goggles to put to good use? Or maybe you and a set of colored pencils are each other’s better half. Whether you have a knack for sports, a flair for artistry, or just want to have some fun, NSSRA is your place to play!

We believe that everyone should have the chance to try something new. At NSSRA, this may mean you participate in some of our over 500 annual programs, or it may mean that you participate in one of our partner agency’s programs with one of our Inclusion companions at your side. Trying something new may be an NSSRA summer camp, or even an overnight trip away from your parents for the very first time. Whatever the case may be, NSSRA is here to cheer you on, coach you through, and celebrate the incredible progress you make throughout the year!

In addition to its 21 full-time staff members, NSSRA has approximately 500 part-time employees and volunteers. Funding for NSSRA comes from three sources, including partner agency contributions, program fees and outside support from Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association Foundation (NSSRA Foundation).

NSSRA’s full-time recreation staff members have college degrees in Therapeutic Recreation or related fields, as well as special certifications and professional accreditations.
To find out more about our superstar staff, click here.

NSSRA’s programs are varied and extensive.
To find out more about our programs, click here.