There are a number of community organizations for individuals with disabilities in Atlantic County offering various recreational activities.
21 Down is a non-profit organization serving the families, educators and healthcare professionals of Atlantic, Cape May and Southern Ocean Counties and it is a network of families who share information and support. Their mission is to create awareness and acceptance of people with developmental disabilities while providing information, support and community events for their families. For outings and community events visit their website. (21 Down, PO Box 205, Northfield, NJ or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Brad Hennefer Golf for Life Foundation. The goal of this foundation is to facilitate a network of regional and national golf instruction programs, clinics and
competitions exclusively for individuals who have Down Syndrome. They are collaborating with the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and the
Philadelphia Section of the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA).
The Arc of Atlantic County. The Arc has dances, bingo, socialization club and various recreational programs throughout the year. Many sports activities such as softball, power lifting, basketball, and skiing are affiliated with the NJ Special Olympics. The Arc of Atlantic County, 6550 Delilah Road, Suite 101, Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234, Recreation Department, 609-485-0800 x 191.
The Atlantic County Society of the Deaf, Inc. is a social organization for people who are deaf. The group meets once a month at the VFW Post located at 601 N. Dorset Avenue in Ventnor. For information about events and meeting times e-mail email@example.com
John D. Young Memorial Lions Center for the Blind, 100 Crestview Avenue, (cross Road is Pitney Road) in Absecon. For individuals who are blind or visually impaired, The Lions Center provides a variety of services which include peer support and recreation. Contact the center for details 609-677-1199.
The Mental Health Association of Atlantic County/ I.C.E. (Individuals Concerted in Effort). These non-profits provide many types of educational programs, peer support, and recreational trips. The Mental Health Association of Atlantic County, 4 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Suite 8, Galloway, NJ 08205 609-652-3800, 609-272-1700,
Senior Centers Congregate Program serves individuals sixty (60) years of age and older at the nine centers located throughout Atlantic County. The centers offer a variety of activities including crafts, line dancing, computer classes, self defense courses and bingo. A lunch time meal is served daily. There is no charge to participate however, a $1.00 donation is requested to enhance the program. For details visit web page or contact Atlantic County Intergenerational Services 1-888-426-9243
The Field of Dreams at Hackett Park in Absecon is an accessible baseball field that is barrier free with a surface that allows wheelchairs and walkers to be used by the athletes. Currently, approximately hundreds of youngsters and adults participate on multiple teams during Spring and Fall seasons. There are no fees for participation and the organization is an all volunteer group that accepts athletes from any municipality in South Jersey and regardless of an individual's disability. Call 609-641-1706 for info or visit their web site.
NJ State Library Talking Book and Braille Center. The Mays Landing Branch of the Atlantic County Library system is a regional center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Program (DHHAP) via a grant from the NJ State Library. Visit their site for further information. The primary services of the New Jersey Library Talking Book and Braille Center are available without charge to anyone living in New Jersey who for any physical reason cannot read regular printed books. Readers served by the Library include people with a physical disability that prevents them from holding a book or turning its pages. Individuals with a learning disability that is certified by a medical doctor may also use the Library's servic es. The Library provides informational and recreational books in Braille, cassette, and large print. The collection has more than 60,000 book titles and 76 periodicals available. Machines for playing the recorded materials are available on loan. The Library will mail materials directly to the person's home. There are no fees. For additional info/application call 1-800-792-8322 or TTY (877) 882-5593.
Atlantic County: A Great Place to Live
Atlantic County is a tourist destination for many visitors. Local residents can take advantage of many attractions, and events throughout the year. If you have a disability which requires an accommodation, planning an outing or trip is especially important. The best advice is always to call ahead to verify the accessible features of the facility, activity or event. If you are asking for an accommodation that is not a "typical feature" such as a sign language interpreter, please call well in advance to allow that organization enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
Points of Additional Interest:
Atlantic County Government offers a variety of events and community programs through various Departments. For an overview, review the monthly calendar.
Each city with a municipal beach provides accessible beach access. Municipalities have "surf chairs" that can be maneuvered over the sand. Each town has an area/ point(s) of access onto the beach. The number of beach chairs and the number of access points varies with the size of the municipality. It is always best to contact the city's Beach Patrol Headquarters or City Hall listed in the telephone book. Call a few days before your visit to inquire if reservations are accepted for a surf chair, locate the ramped access points and the location of handicapped public rest rooms.
City of Atlantic City: Atlantic City Beach Patrol Headquarters 609-347-5312. Further information and access map for the Atlantic City Boardwalk can be found on the DRDA's tourism site..
City of Brigantine: Brigantine Beach Patrol 609-266-5233. More information is available on the Brigantine Beach Guide site.
Borough of Longport: Longport Beach Patrol Headquarters, 609-822-3898
City of Margate: The Martin Bloom Senior Center for surf chairs, 609-822-2285
City of Ventnor: Ventnor Beach Patrol, 609-823-7953
A number of towns with city operated beaches along lakes or bays also have surf chairs.
Hamilton Township, has a beach at Lake Lenape's The Cove located at Park Beach Road in Mays Landing. Contact the Community Activities Department at City Hall 609-625-0370, Monday – Friday, for information or reservation of the surf chair.
The William Marrow Beach located on Bay Avenue in Somers Point has a wheelchair accessible pathway over the sand that leads to the waters' edge. Visit the City's web site for a calendar of events including free concerts in the parks or contact the Community Recreation Department at 609-927-2053 ext 3101.
Atlantic County Division of Parks and Recreation »
The Atlantic County Division of Parks & Recreation maintains and provides programs on over 6,200 acres of county-owned open space and park properties. Visitors can enjoy environmental education and recreational programs. Services include: programs for all ages, hiking trails, picnics, playgrounds, camping, golfing, fishing, boating, and pistol shooting range. General park areas are open 7:30 a.m. to dusk - 365 days a year.
Most of the environmental and recreational programs are held at Estell Manor Park and Fox Nature Center. For info call (609) 645-5960 or e-mail the Coordinator of Scheduling Recreational Events,
firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their calendar at Upcoming Park Events. Estell Manor Park also has a low rise, boardwalk trail which is wheelchair accessible and traverses through the wetlands. The County oversees Klingerer's Fishing Pier, located adjacent to the Dolores Cooper Bridge (Longport Bridge). This pier is handicapped accessible. The newly acquired Camp Acagisca located at 6755 Weymouth Road (Rt. 559) is currently undergoing a complete renovation for handicapped access for overnight camping fun. Lake Lenape offers an easy access boating pier.
For Camp Acagisca or Lake Lenape information call the Lake Lenape Reservation Office at 609-625-8219 or visit Boating on Lake Lenape.
Atlantic County's John F. Gaffney Green Tree Golf Course can provide a marker noting handicapped access to attach to a golf cart. For information, call the Pro Shop at 609-625-9131.
Atlantic County's Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs develops cultural programs, exhibits and displays including the fine and performing arts and the literary arts, engages in historic research, publishes reports and engages in related activities which promote and develop public interest and understanding of historic and cultural matters. Visit their web site for links to a variety of local events and programs.
Fishing - The NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Fish and Wildlife's web site posts a listing of accessible fishing sites throughout NJ. (908-637-4125).
If you are planning a visit to a historical site that is listed or eligible to be listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, it may have limited access or no access. Call ahead to inquire about the accessible features or if some alternate materials would be available to depict the inaccessible portions of the facility or site.
Access Link NJ TRANSIT's paratransit service required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Access Link provides paratransit service comparable to the local bus service. This service is specifically for people whose disability prevents them from using the local fixed route bus service. To be eligible for this service, a person must live within ¾ of a mile of an established bus route and be certified by Access Link to use its service. To become certified, call 1-800-955-2321. (TTY-800-955-6765)
Once certified, riders should call Access Link approximately 2 weeks before the event. Anyone certified by Access Link will be picked-up and transported to the location of the event. It is important to note, the location of the event must also be located adjacent to an established bus route. The fee is based on the number of bus zones the Access Link bus must travel.
Other LINKS of Interest:
Cultural Access Network of New Jersey is a one-stop shop for information about accessible venues, performances and cultural events throughout the State. In addition, the site provides a wide range of resources to assist the state's cultural community in their efforts to reach out and better serve people with disabilities. Visit their Web site and check out their Arts Events Calendar or join their mailing list. For more information you can also call 973-731-6582 or e-mail:
Disabled Sports USA is an organization that offers nationwide sports rehabilitation programs to anyone with a permanent physical disability. Activities include winter skiing, water sports, summer and winter competitions, fitness and special sports events. Participants include those with visual impairments, amputations, spinal cord injury, dwarfism, multiple sclerosis, head injury, cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular and orthopedic conditions.
The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) has a variety of information on a wide range of topics. See a virtual tour of an accessible garden, an innovative universal designed fitness center, or read articles about nutrition. They also offer a free monthly publication. The site has an on-line directory of programs available for people with disabilities and health conditions. NCPAD's overall mission is to help people with disabilities find accessible programs and their directory is a good starting point.
The New Jersey Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) There are many vendors on the internet selling adaptive recreation equipment, for example, Access to Recreation, Inc., 1-800-634-4351. If you cannot locate an adaptive item via an internet search, the NJ Assistive Technology Advocacy Center (ATAC) may be able to assist in locating a special device or piece of equipment. ATAC is program of Disability Rights New Jersey. In N.J., call toll free at 1-800-922-7233, TTY 609-633-7106.