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Existing Services for Veterans
The Parks and Recreation Department's therapeutic recreation program, EXPAND (EXciting Programs, Adventures and New Dimensions), provides recreation programs and services to children, youth and adults with disabilities. People who have a disability, veterans included, are welcome to participate in any program offered through the Department's Recreation Division. If necessary, an EXPAND staff person will do an assessment of the person's skills and abilities, as it pertains to the program, and then provide program modifications, as needed, to allow the person to successfully participate in the program. This type of "inclusion" service is available to all persons with disabilities.
EXPAND staff also offer an array of programs that are "specialized" or specifically designed to serve the needs of people with physical disabilities. Through U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), the Department has received funding for the past three years to support physical activity programs for veterans and members of the Armed Forces who have disabilities. Funds received in 2012 are from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Programs offered under this grant include a track program and preparation of individuals to participate in the Bolder Boulder race, a swim training program, a triathlon training program and a health/fitness weight training program. In February 2012, the Department partnered with Craig Hospital, Adaptive Adventures and the University of Colorado to host a "Paralympic Experience" that offered an introduction and a demonstration of 10 different, adapted sports. Although the event allowed other community members to participate, the focus was to attract and introduce sports to injured service men and women. Other programs that EXPAND offers to individuals with physical disabilities include quad rugby, hand cycling, waterskiing, kayaking, downhill mountain biking and a water fitness program.
The EXPAND program also addresses the needs of individuals who have mild traumatic brain injuries through the "Journeys Through EXPAND." These programs specifically address the needs of individuals struggling with the life changing events that occur due to a brain injury. Activities include yoga, fitness, pottery, stained glass, water color, golf, and community outings and events. The program welcomes any injured service member who has sustained a brain injury to participate.
Finally, EXPAND partners with and supports many other organizations that offer programs to individuals with physical disabilities, specifically veterans. A cooperative approach is necessary so no one program needs to try to serve all individuals. Some other organizations include Adaptive Adventures; the cities of Fort Collins, Denver and Colorado Springs; Craig Hospital; the USOC; SportsAbility; IGNITE (Eldora Special Needs Program); and Wounded Warriors.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2013 11:39