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From the Editor

Fall is here and winter is approaching, but that doesn’t mean fun and recreation need to be put on hold. Luckily, a number of organizations offer a variety of activities your kids can enjoy.

Does your child (age 8-21) need support to participate in a school or community class or activity? Then you will want to check out Starbridge’s TIES program – Together Including Every Student! Read on for more details. 

Best to you and yours,

Maria Schaertel

TIES - Together Including Every Student

All Activities For All Abilities Together! Would your child like to attend an after-school club, a sporting event at school, an activity through your Parks and Recreation Department, or YMCA?


TIES promotes the participation of students and young adults who have developmental disabilities in inclusive, organized extracurricular and community activities through the support of trained peer volunteers. 

Students who aren’t attending inclusive activities because they do not have the support or are attending with the support of an adult, such as a parent, teacher or paraprofessional, can now attend any activity of their choice with a peer!

Participants join activities where they can develop recreational interests, learn about their community, and have fun with peers. Support is individualized and can be in physical, social/behavioral, or language areas.

The Coordinator discusses the chosen activities and needed support with the participant and parents. An individualized plan is developed that guides the peer volunteer’s support.

Peer volunteers (students within the school district in grades 8 to 12) learn how to support participants according to their individual needs, gain more understanding of disabilities and diversity, and make a positive difference in a peer’s life. After completing an application form and training, volunteers are paired with participants based on mutual interests, personal attributes, and availability.

TIES Parent Perspective

“TIES has been impacting my daughter and my family for many years. My daughter, Bethany is now 17 years old. When TIES first came to our district, we began regularly availing ourselves of this magnificent program. Over the years, we have used TIES volunteers so that Bethany could participate in activities with her typical peers such as gymnastics, swimming, girl scouts, and dance.

TIES volunteers have made it possible for Bethany to go to choral retreats at school as well as the homecoming dance, musical try-outs, and community theater productions. This school year Bethany made the high school musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She is SO excited and two of her friends are her TIES volunteers. These two girls are also in the musical. They sit together during rehearsals and her TIES volunteers help Bethany with difficult dance steps. TIES has made it possible for Bethany to do what she loves most - musical theater - with her typical peers!!!” 

For more information, please contact Kathy Costello, TIES Program Director, at [email protected] or (585) 414-5345 and see www.starbridgeinc.org/ties-program.

Rochester Accessible Adventures

“Rochester Accessible Adventures (RAA) is on a mission to improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities by guiding communities to create a culture of physical accessibility, social inclusion, and equitable open access in recreation, sports, and tourism.”

The Rochester Wheels sports team is just one example of the many activities offered.

To learn more about The Rochester Wheels, please see https://rochesteraccessibleadventures.org/rochester-wheels/

To discover all that RAA offers, please see https://rochesteraccessibleadventures.org/


Rochester Challenger Miracle Field

Challenger Miracle Field of Greater Rochester provides people with developmental, physical or intellectual disabilities a barrier-free, safe, accessible place to experience the health benefits and joy of play through baseball, other team sports, and adaptive recreational equipment.”

Year-round sports include: baseball, flag football, kickball, soccer, basketball, and bowling for children and adults with disabilities.

For further information, please see https://rochestermiraclefield.org/programs/

Abilities Movement

Abilities Movement includes both fitness programs and sports/outdoor programs. Here are just a few of their offerings:

Adapted fitness training and healthy living program

Personalized fitness for people with severe medical needs

Power wheelchair soccer team

Bicycling and fall fun 2022


To learn more, please see https://abilitiesmovement.org/programs-and-classes/.


“Sportsnet is a partnership among CP Rochester, Rochester Rehabilitation, and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies. This partnership enhances SportsNet’s offerings and provides a greater selection of adaptive sports and inclusive recreation opportunities to individuals with disabilities.”

CP Rochester’s Shared Ski Adventures program is one of many activities offered through Sportsnet. Learn more about Shared Ski Adventures at https://sharedskiadventures.org/

To learn all that SportsNet offers, please see https://sportsnetny.org/.

Do you need transportation money for your child to attend an activity?

GO Monroe can help!

We provide bus passes, accessible transportation via providers like Salas and Uber, and mileage reimbursement. We can talk about available options if you aren’t sure what to do.

Eligibility requirements

  • Family has young or adult children with developmental disabilities living at home in Monroe County, NY
  • AND OPWDD eligibility*
  • AND household income that does not exceed federal poverty guidelines.

*If you aren’t sure whether you are eligible through OPWDD, let us know when you call.

To learn more, see https://www.starbridgeinc.org/how-we-can-help/family-supports#GoMonroe

To view the program flyer and application, please visit https://www.starbridgeinc.org/images/Flyers/Go_Monroe_flyer_and_application_2022_October.pdf.

Mind the Gap program at Starbridge

Could you or someone you know use some help bridging the gap between getting a diagnosis for your child and receiving services? Learn more about Mind the Gap by calling the Starbridge Intake number at (585) 224-7359 or use the Contact form on the Starbridge website.

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