Recreational Programs

Current Section  Purpose
 Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Home

Program Office: Rehabilitation Services Administration

CFDA Number: 84.128J
Program Type: Discretionary/Competitive Grants, Cooperative Agreements


This program provides individuals with disabilities inclusive recreational activities and related experiences that can be expected to aid them in their employment, mobility, socialization, independence, and community integration. Project periods last three years and the federal share of costs is 100 percent in year 1, 75 percent in year 2, and 50 percent in year 3. Projects must maintain, at a minimum, the same level of services over the three-year project period and assure that the service program awarded will be continued after the federal assistance ends.


Recreation projects may include:

  • Vocational skills development;
  • Leisure education;
  • Leisure networking;
  • Leisure resource development;
  • Physical education and sports;
  • Scouting and camping;
  • 4-H activities;
  • Music;
  • Dancing;
  • Handicrafts;
  • Art; and
  • Homemaking

When appropriate and possible, these programs and activities should be provided in setting

Additional Information

Recreational programs provide recreation and related activities for individuals with disabilities to aid in their employment, mobility, independence, socialization, and community integration. Programs are designed to promote the development of social skills that are necessary in order to integrate individuals with disabilities into the community.

This current-funded program awards discretionary grants on a competitive basis to states, public agencies and nonprofit private organizations, including institutions of higher education. The statute requires the Federal contribution for projects funded under this authority to decrease over the three-year project period. Grantees are required to maintain services during the second and third years of the project at the level provided in the first year. The federal share of the costs of the project is 100 percent for the first year, 75 percent for the second year and 50 percent for the third. The applicant is required to include a description in the application of how the project will continue after federal assistance ends.

Projects funded under this program must provide recreational activities for individuals with disabilities in settings with peers without disabilities when possible and appropriate. Successful integration can greatly benefit an individual with a disability by developing skills, building self-esteem and reducing social barriers that can prevent the individual from seeking employment in settings where there may not be any individuals with apparent disabilities. Individuals without disabilities also benefit from integrated recreational activities. Individuals without disabilities are provided with the opportunity to learn about the abilities that individuals with disabilities possess. This knowledge is likely to positively affect the attitudes of individuals without disabilities about the capabilities of individuals with disabilities in other settings, such as in the workplace.

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Last Modified: 05/05/2014