Mermaids Rugby Welcome All

All ladies of every shape, size, athletic ability, creed, background, and tenacity are welcome to join the Mermaids for fun workouts/practices every Tuesday and Thursday at Elings Park between 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the top of the hill on the left 2 pitches past the softball fields. Learn to tackle, ruck, and juke the shorts off of your opponents during our pre-season spanning from October - December! Season begins January - May 2018. Just bring running shoes, workout clothes, a jacket, and a positive can-do attitude, and you'll fall in love with rugby and the camaraderie before you know it! If you are interested, need a ride, or want to find out more about how you can get involved, please contact SANTABARBARARUGBY@GMAIL.COM or call/text 805-698-2598 Spears. See you at the pitch! SATURDAY'S ALWAYS A RUGBY DAY!

Kids' Club (Forming) 

New Social Skills Groups Now Forming!

Do you have a child (12-14 years old) who doesn't have a lot of friends? Maybe he/she struggles in social settings? Then have your child join our Kids' Club! All of our groups are co-ed and organized by age and abilities.

What Are These Groups About?

Kids' Club involves groups lead by clinicians and support staff where the primary focus is cultivating the skills to communicate and interact with peers. As we all know, there are many ways to communicate our thoughts and feelings with others. Kids' Club will not only assist participants in learning about reciprocal communication, body language, and how to navigate social situations, but it will also help the children build self esteem, maintain positive relationships and reduce anxiety.

Why Is It Called Kids' Club?

Children with developmental disabilities typically attend many treatment sessions throughout the week. The last thing these children want is another therapy being added to their routine. Our goal is to have participants view their time at the center as fun, thereby enabling them to be more open to the learning process and more willing to attend.

Payment options, private pay, partial and full scholarships are available.

Please click on the sign-up link below to apply.

Art From The Heart With Karen

Music, Movement & Art  
for Babies & Young Children 

Build trust, provide positive social interaction, 
cultivate a love for music, movement and community.
Register in person at classes 
scheduled in homes, dance studios, 
parks, retirement homes and Basil Arts Cafe
Try your first class for FREE! 

$100 for 10 class punch card that may be shared with family or friends;
$15 for drop-in; Discounts & free classes offered for those with need.
Please text or call Karen Putnam for more info: (805) 966-9078

Challenged Athletes Foundation


Established in 1997, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) is a unique organization that recognizes the athletic greatness inherent in all people with physical challenges and supports their athletic endeavors by providing grants for training, competition and equipment needs. 


Challenger Little League for Boys & Girls with Special Needs


Children and young adults ages 5 - 22 years old, of all levels of play, with a physical, developmental or intellectual challenge, including wheelchair users, are welcome in this adaptive baseball program. Find a program that is right for your child today!


Hearts Adaptive Riding Center


Hearts Adaptive Riding inspires adults and children with disabilities to accomplish more than they dreamed was possible, through therapeutic riding and horsemanship activities. Winter, Spring and Summer Camps offered. Please visit our website link to get involved for a rider or as a volunteer!


Katie's FUNd/Teen Extreme EXPO


Katie’s FUNd was established by the Janeway Family in July 2003 in memory of Katie Janeway. Katie’s FUNd provides social and recreational activities for teens and young adults through Teen Extreme and EXPO.

Teen Extreme is for junior high and high school students, ages 13 to 18 years of age. EXPO is for older teens and young adults, typically ages 19 to 24 years of age. Participants assist in selecting the activities and special events. Each group meets approximately once a month for a light dinner and an evening of fun. Activities include crafts, sports, movies, bowling, karaoke, dances, rock climbing, kayaking and camping.



For more information, please check out the website or contact Amy Buesker at (805) 683-2145 x127 OR email to: 


Page Youth Center Adaptive Basketball

Basketball Clinics offered Fall & Spring at Page Youth Center for boys and girls ages 5 - 18 years old with special needs; 6 week sessions, 3:45 - 5 pm,

September through October


April through May each year.

Call 805/681-9165. 

All-Terrain Beach Wheelchairs

Take this chair to the beach! Two All-Terrain Wheelchairs are available to the public FREE of CHARGE! Great for a stroll along the water or wedding ceremonies on the beach. Available M-F from 8:30am-5:00pm at the Cabrillo Bathhouse; 1118 East Cabrillo Blvd. at East Beach. Please call (805) 897-2680 to reserve the wheelchair.

Adaptive Physical Education Services (APE) | EMH Sports U.S.A.

EMH Sports USA strives to be responsive to the special needs of the homeschooled community. Appropriate programs are designed and implemented after consultation with the family and/or homeschool. EMH applies the same concept of physical, social, and emotional development to our special needs students.

EMH has been an Adaptive Physical Education provider for over 10 years.  As a Non Public Agency (NPA) by the California Department of Education, we are certified to provide individualized services to both the public and the private school sectors. We partner with schools and families to assess and devlop individualized learning goals for each student one-on-one or integrated into our group PE classes.

Additionally, EMH now is able to offer virtual accommodations for many of our students throughout the United States. While our goal is to offer on-site instruction whenever possible, there are instances where the amount of time required weekly or monthly or distance to the service location makes it difficult to have an instructor physically meet with a student. Virtual services will allow students to be accommodated within their homes or comfort zones. The scheduling of services will not differ from the standards based on the Individualize Education Plan. After review of the student’s IEP goals, we will let the parent know what equipment will be necessary, as well as log in information and scheduling services with our virtual APE instructor. 

Tuohy Foundation Aquatic Center Aquatic Wellness and Exercise Programs

The Tuohy Foundation Aquatic Center features an outdoor warm-water (92°) environment that is excellent for therapy and physical conditioning. CRH's Aquatic Wellness and Exercise Programs are open to the public and instrumental in helping participants meet their personal fitness goals. The Center is wheelchair-accessible with depths from 3 1/2 ft. to 6 1/2 ft. Aquatic exercise equipment is available to pool users.

It offers a number of classes such as Youth Adapted Swim Lessons at affordable prices. 

 Adapted Recreation Programs in Santa Barbara 2017

The Adapted Recreation Program gives people with special needs the opportunity to travel, play, compete and network in a safe and supportive environment that fosters a positive experience for anyone participating in our many programs. By meeting with and assessing the abilities of each child or adult who requests our services, we are able to provide the most positive and beneficial service we can offer. We want all who participate to have fun, learn new skills, get fit and interact with new and old friends alike.


Special Olympics

Year round events. Please contact:

Tim Philibosian, Regional Sports Manager-Special Olympics Santa Barbara.

423 W. Victoria St.

Santa Barbara, CA 93101

805-884-1516 office; 805-884-9937 fax;



The City of Santa Barbara Inclusion Services



The City has Adapted Programs which gives people with special needs the opportunity to travel, play, compete and network in a safe and supportive environment that fosters a positive experience for anyone participating in our many programs. By meeting with and assessing the abilities of each child or adult who requests our services, we are able to provide the most positive and beneficial service we can offer.

We want all who participate to have fun, learn new skills, get fit and interact with new and old friends alike. Please call us for more information at 564-5241. We love being part of your success! Programs offered include: Bowling Practices & Tournaments, Dances, Excursions, Blazesports of America, Weekly Push Program, All-Terrain Beach Wheelchair, after-school programs, inclusion support to other Parks & Recreation Programs, Community education about disabilities, and other information about cosponsored groups. 


The Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre



The Outdoor School has been the central coast’s premier outdoor education center since 1952. The Outdoor School offers a residential 4-day, 3-night program (or) 2-day, 1-night program for 5th and 6th grade students, field trips for students from kindergarten to university, teacher in-services, and more. We educate over 4,000 fifth and sixth graders each year.

We also offer this great camp experience for chaperoned individuals with special needs. For accommodations can be made by contacting Justin Canty at 805.686.5167 





TOPSoccer program (The Outreach Program for Soccer) is HERE! The Orcutt United Soccer League (OUSL) in association with California Youth Soccer Association-South (CYSA-S) will be beginning a new program designed to promote soccer for athletes with physical and/or mental disabilities that areotherwise unable to participate in recreational soccer.

The TOPSoccer program is open to any player with any disability, ages 4 and up. There are no requirements to be met and no player is ever turned away.

Please contact Rick Velasco at 621-3522 or Kathi Rowley at 714-1187 for more information. 


Wendy Fereday Swim School Lessions


A wonderful swim school since 1955, now accepting children with special needs for adaptive swim instruction. 


YMCA Adaptive P.E. Classes 

This is a specialized movement education class for teens with disabilities. Students will engage fun focused activities designed to develop and refine basic locomotor movements. Participants must be able to function independent of an aid or provide one for themselves. Contact Shomari McLemore at (805) 687-7720 x238 for more information.

  • Ages: 12-22 year olds
  • Dates: Call for class dates
  • Schedule: Call for current times and day.
  • Fee: Member $43 • Community Member $6 


The Best Day Ever Foundation


Best Day helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun, adventure activities like surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more. Please join us in creating special days for special children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Blindness, Cancer, Spinal Cord Injuries, and other physical & developmental challenges!


CAST Foundation (Catch a Special Thrill)



C.A.S.T. “Catch A Special Thrill” for Kids Foundation is a public charity that was formed in 1991 to join volunteers who love to fish with disabled and disadvantaged children for a day of fishing in the outdoors. The Foundation became an official 501(c)3 in 1994 and currently hosts two programs; C.A.S.T. for Kids Program and Fishing Kids Program.



SlingShot is a working art studio and gallery which supports 34 Santa Barbara Artists. It is an expansion of the art studio program developed by Alpha Resource Center. Since 1980, Alpha has promoted artists with developmental disabilities through participation in gallery and juried art shows. The gallery features a dynamic selection of unique folk and contemporary art at reasonable prices.

Come to meet the artists and view their art !


Santa Barbara Young Life - Club Capernaum

Young Life leaders have the privilege of knowing and sharing their lives with teenagers and young adults with disabilities. While all Young Life activities are open to every high school student, many Young Life areas have dedicated programs for students and young adults with disabilities, typically referred to as Young Life Capernaum Ministries.

Young Life Capernaum gives young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities the chance to experience fun and adventure, to develop fulfilling friendships and to challenge their limits while building self-esteem through club, camp and other exciting activities. Young Life staff and volunteers model Christ’s unconditional love and acceptance as they walk alongside these young adults — filling their lives with love and support. 

The club get together on Monday nights

For more information contact:


Tim Dwyer​​ 

Jessie Hynes



ParentClick Santa Barbara

ParentClick dates back to 2002 and started as, a website created to support Santa Barbara, California families who were struggling to find resources for their reaches parents of all socio-economic levels and offers a broad range of information that is useful to parents, grandparents, teachers and others working with children, 0-18 years. We are parents and we understand how important it is to be able to find resources when you need them (playgroups, safe playgrounds, family-friendly restaurants, camps). The site content has been developed by a team of parents who care about their community. While we attempt to scour our community for information, we know there is always more. Share tips on your favorite hot spots to play with your children, the child-friendly businesses you frequent and other resources you cannot live without.

RAP! The Recreation After School Program

This program strives to give children with special needs the same recreation experience as all other children. Inclusion support staff create opportunities for increased independence and socialization. Children of all abilities work together, adapt to each other’s strengths, and learn to understand and accept each other. Let our well trained recreation staff make a difference in your child’s life.

Health and Wellness at Rancho Los Amigos

The RWC was created in 2011 to provide persons with disability, their families, and the community with programs to promote health and increased physical activity. Rancho is committed to promoting good health and wellness through education, an accessible workout and training facility, access to professionals in medical, physical, and cognitive rehabilitation, and nutrition experts. Wellness services are offered in a community-based model rather than a medical model to enhance participant confidence in managing a healthy lifestyle. Participation is open to all through a low cost membership program ($10 per-month). A wide variety of classes is available for stress reduction, relaxation, physical activity, improved energy, healthy eating, and overall healthy balance of Mind, Body and Spirit. Classes are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of persons with disability. Health and wellness classes span from basic through advanced to meet the broad spectrum of needs of the clients we serve. The program serves individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. All fitness levels are welcome.

KinderMusik with Kathy and Friends

KINDERMUSIK IS A CLASSROOM LEARNING EXPERIENCE. We teach children music so they can become better learners. It’s not about making little Mozarts. It’s about developing skills in the whole child – cognitive, physical, social, emotional, language and musical. We believe music is the best conductor for learning. Our teachers inspire students, while giving the tools of music education to parents, so music and creative learning can continue outside the classroom, and in the home. We deeply believe Music is the Best Medium To Learning, we offer UNLIMITED and ON-GOING classes all year round. Children in classes can now join as many classes as they like in the week, in all our studios- Goleta, SB and Carpinteria….all for one low monthly subscription price!

Classes such as Imagine That and Piano Classe embrace children of all abilities at a ratio. Contact Kathy at to check about details for enrollment. 

ARF! Read with a Dog @ Santa Barbara Central Library

Each Tuesday, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., drop in for a fun, 15-minute reading session with one of the trained therapy dogs on the ARF! team.  Sign up at the Children's Desk and bring a book to read or select one at the library.  Children under age 8 must be accompanied by a caregiver.  Sign-ups are first-come, first-served.

Early Start Playgroup

Run by Alpha Resource Center, Early Start Parent Child Playgroup will meet for

topic directed discussion, networking and Make & Take crafts.

All families are welcome to join us!

4th Monday of the month, 10:00-11:30 AM
Location varies – please contact Jennifer Griffin for more information or (805) 683-2145 x103

Fabulous Fridays @ Santa Barbara Central Library

This program is a great way for babies and toddlers to engage in playful learning that is fun and active. Our educators focus on music and movement for children ages 0-3, and their caregivers. 

First Session: Tickets will be given out at the Island Room sliding glass doors at 10:00am, first-come, first-served, up to 25 children. Program starts at 10:15 am

Second Session: Tickets will be given out near the Island Room sliding glass doors when the first session is full, first-come, first-served, up to 25 children. Program starts at 11:00am

Fabulous Friday with Kindermusik with Kathy!

Central Library, 40 East Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara, CA, 93101

Island Room

 Adaptive Swim Lessons at Montecito Family YMCA

Did you know that the Montecito Family YMCA offers adaptive swim lessons?
These lessons give disabled individuals the opportunity to learn how to swim and stay safe in the water year round! 
If you or a loved one has special needs, be sure to check out our adaptive swim lessons. These lessons are available for all ages.
See below for more information:
$120 for Members
$160 for Community
Times are flexible depending on staff availability.
Monday - Friday: 3pm- 7pm
Saturday: 11:15am- 3pm
Do you have questions? Give me a call at 805.969.3288 x 106. Or you can simply respond to this email.
Amaris Guerra
Aquatics Director
Montecito Family YMCA

 MOXI: The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation

Our mission is to ignite learning through interactive experiences in science and creativity. As Santa Barbara’s newest hands-on destination for families and curious minds of all ages, MOXI is a place where you can explore and discover new things about the world around you, ask questions, seek answers and have a blast doing so.

The MOXI you will soon be able to visit started as a dream more than 20 years ago. A group of dedicated and dynamic community volunteers came together with the desire to create a world-class museum in their own backyard that would provide opportunities for learning outside the traditional classroom and a new way to engage area families. After a few starts and stops, in 2013, the City of Santa Barbara made it possible for us to create this place on a plot of unused land on lower State Street. We are now in a 50-year lease agreement with the City, ensuring our science museum will have a perfectly positioned home for many years to come.  Our Barry Berkus-designed building also has the distinction of being the first LEED certified museum in Santa Barbara County.

Our NEW Children's Museum will be opening to the general public on February 25th, with special preview days ahead of time for those who purchase memberships.

It is located near the Amtrak train station off of State Street in Santa Barbara.
Explore their new website from time to time to find out about their special events and programs being offered their first year:  Camps, After School Classes and After Hours Events.

 Best Day Foundation: Adventure Activities for Kids with Special Needs

Best Day Foundation is a volunteer organization that helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun, adventure activities like surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more. Please join us in creating special days for children with Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, blindness, cancer, spinal cord injuries, and other physical and developmental challenges.

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a brand new system. We've tested it, but you are among the first users, so if you run into anything weird, or you have suggestions to make it easier to use, please let us know as we plan to continually improve it. Any and all comments/suggestions should be sent to

Children's Theater Circle

Children's Theater Circle be offering a Wednesday class now too! Wednesday, March 15- April 12, from 3:15 to 4:45. Cost is $50 per child, $40 for additional siblings for the 5 week class! We will be entirely outdoors and will create art under the trees and between boulders! I won't be posting on this forum every time, because I think that this group is for connecting in a different way, but if you would like to stay connected and find out when more classes will become available, like Children's Theater Circle on facebook.

Swim with Mike: Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund

Who We Are

  • Hundreds of dedicated volunteers, swimmers, sponsors, campaign directors and donors from 47 different states and across the globe.
  • We are 51 athletes attending 33 universities who have overcome life challenging accidents or illnesses and are pursuing our educational dreams.
  • We are 148 alumni recipients who are doctors, lawyers, engineers, actors, social workers, accountants and teachers.

What We Do

  • We raise funds through an annual swim-a-thon, individual campaign directors’ campaigns across the nation and a pool party.
  • We swim laps, run, walk, roll, float and dedicate our time and dollars.
  • We thrive in spite of paralysis, amputation and blindness.

Why We Do It

  • We are inspired by Mike Nyeholt and our 199 scholarship recipients.
  • After tragedy, getting back to education is getting back to life.
  • Education leads to independence.
  • And we have a great time!

What We Have Achieved

  • We have raised over $18 million in 36 years.
  • We supported 199 college scholarships at 97 different schools.
  • We maintain a low overhead of less than 10% in administrative fees, allowing more scholarships to be given.
  • We can do much more with your help.

A parent run website of special needs community resources: events, specialists, workshops, clubs, activities and travel ideas.

Volunteer Opportunities

Reid's Gift  sign up for summer camp internship!

Best Day Foundation Santa

Barbara sign up for helping out with some ocean funs!

"321 Playhouse" Down Syndrome Family Support always welcome volunteers. Call Tara Vasquez at (803) 269-6313 to  register.


Hearts Therapeutic Santa Barbara is looking for dedicated volunteers who are willing to commit to a weekly 4-hour shift.

See their webpage for details


Hidden Wings, a non-profit for autism, welcomes volunteers of all talents

Blog Posts

10 Things Parents Of ‘Normal’ Kids Should Know

Posted by Vivian Chen on July 25, 2017 at 12:26pm

January 23, 2015, Ed Robert’s Day

Posted by Retta Slay on January 27, 2015 at 11:00am

Zero Co-Pay Epi Pen Link 2015

For those of you who have kids/family members that need Epi pens, here is the zero co-pay link for 2015!


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