Irondequoit moves to make its recreation programs more inclusive

Jun 25, 2019

Credit freeimages.com/Jos van Galen

As the town of Irondequoit gets ready for a possible new community center, it's also taking a look at how inclusive its recreation programs and policies are.

The Town Board recently approved a contract with Rochester Accessible Adventures. The organization will review Irondequoit's town-sponsored programs and facilities.

"It's not necessarily a reaction to what we perceive to be a problem,” said town Supervisor Dave Seeley, “but we really just wanted to do a top-to-bottom scan to assure that our recreation programming is inclusive to residents with disabilities."

The contract will cost $6,000 a year.

Irondequoit voters will decide on July 30 whether the town should build a 43,000-square-foot, $8.5 million community center at Skyview on the Ridge, the former Medley Centre. Seeley said the community health inclusion initiative would have been proposed for existing town recreation programs and facilities, regardless of these plans.

"We're taking into account everything,” he said. “Every room that we build, we want to make sure we're removing those barriers that might exist in a traditional building and using those best practices to make sure it's accessible to all residents."

Seeley said the town will ultimately develop a strategic plan that incorporates both physical access and social inclusion in each policy and procedure.

In April, the town adopted a proclamation declaring it an “Autism friendly community.”

This story was produced by WXXI’s  Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.