After School Matters, in partnership with the Chicago Park District and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, offered a fully adaptive sports program for Chicago teens this past spring. The program provided local teens, both with and without disabilities, opportunities to engage with their peers and learn skills in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair football, and track and field. Teens also gained an understanding of Chicago’s rich history as part of the disability rights movement, and what it means to be a part of the adaptive sports community. The program was led by mentor instructor and Chicagoan Kelsey LeFevour, a two-time Paralympian in track and field.
“This ASM fully adaptive sports program provided inclusive after-school programming for young people to learn, grow, and meet peers from across the city,” said Ryan Juguan, ASM People and Culture Partner and creator of the adaptive sports program. “If it wasn’t for wheelchair basketball, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Adaptive sports allowed me to obtain my education at the University of Illinois, play with Team USA, and feel comfortable in my own skin.”
For more than three decades, ASM has consistently prioritized creating inclusive programs that allow all teens to participate regardless of their physical or learning disabilities. ASM ensures all teens have a safe space and are equipped with the right resources and mentors to fit their learning style.
NBC5’s LeeAnn Trotter stopped by the program to speak with our teens and learn more about the program. Check out the full interview here.