Resources on Exercise and Recreation


Accessible Playground Equipment . The World Playground, Parks and Recreation Products and Services Web Directory lists vendors of accessible equipment in the U.S. and Canada.

Active Living Research Sponsored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and based at San Diego State University, this project works to find creative approaches for re-integrating physical activity into American life. Rather than addressing obesity as an individual health problem, this new, transdisciplinary field of active living focuses on how the built environment — including neighborhoods, transportation systems, buildings, parks and open space — can promote more active lives.

Active Living Resource Center provides resources and tools to help make walking and bicycling part of a community’s healthy lifestyle.  The Center helps planners network with knowledgeable people to  design and implement programs that make communities more activity-friendly environments.

Adaptive Information Resource Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, provides a diverse,  coordinated network of sports and recreation resources for children and adults with disabilities and their families.

American College of Sports Medicine  Members work in a wide range of medical specialties, allied health professions, and scientific disciplines to diagnose, treat, and prevent sports-related injuries and to advance the science of exercise.

Northwest Chapter of ACSM Serves the sports medicine community in Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia

Association of Travel Instruction supports providers of travel instruction for the purpose of teaching people with disabilities and seniors to travel safely and independently.

AXIS Dance Company creates and performs high quality contemporary dance developed through the collaboration of dancers with and without disabilities. AXIS teaches dance and educates about collaboration and disability through community outreach and education programs. AXIS promotes and supports physically integrated dance, locally, nationally and internationally.

Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Nutrition and Physical Activity

IDEA Health and Fitness Association is a membership organization of personal trainers, program and fitness directors, business owners and managers, and group fitness instructors, with more than 22,000 members in over 80 countries. IDEA provides health and fitness professionals with  data, pertinent information, educational resources, career development and industry leadership.

Inclusive Fitness Coalition Led by the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability and the American College of Sports Medicine, this group of elected leaders, health and fitness professionals, researchers, and other advocates will address policy, environmental, and societal issues associated with the lack of access to physical activity among people with disabilities.

International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education is an international “umbrella” organization concerned with the promotion and dissemination of results and findings in the field of sport science and their practical application in cultural and educational contexts. It aims to contribute to the awareness of human values inherent in sport and physical activity, to improve health and physical well-being, and to develop physical activity, physical education and sport in all countries to a high level. It hopes to defend and develop the concept of fair play, the formation of the sporting ethic and to promote peace and understanding between people.

International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity is a cross-disciplinary professional organization of individuals, institutions, and agencies supporting, promoting and disseminating information about adapted physical activity, disability sport, and all aspects of sport, movement, and exercise science for individuals of all abilities.

Living Art of Montana (Missoula)  Promotes the arts and nature in creating healing environments. Conducts half-day to 12-week long workshops for professional caregivers, social work students, healthcare providers and organizations, and individuals with chronic illness and disability. Creates therapeutic gardens in Missoula’s healthcare environments.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks: Crossing the Barriers Program Site has FWP’s Accessibility & Implementation Plans, regional lists of facilities rated by accessibility from “easy” to “most difficult”,  disability-related articles from Montana Outdoors magazine, descriptions of available outdoor recreation activities, and information on fee exemptions.

Montana Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan, 2008-2012

Nutrition, Physical Activity, Overweight, and Obesity Among Adults in Montana – 2008

National Center for Bicycling & Walking is an advocacy organization supporting bicycle friendly and walkable communities across North America. The center is the major program of the Bicycle Federation of America. The center also provides training in designing pedestrian facilities for accessibility.

National Center on Physical Activity and Disability. Operated by the Institute on Disability and Human Development  at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the NCPD works in partnership with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) and the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) at Indiana University. Offers a variety of resources to help people with disabilities become more active, and also offers resources for fitness and exercise professionals, health professionals, and researchers interested in promoting increased physical activity for people with disabilities.

“Physical Activity Guidelines for Individuals with Spina Bifida”

National Consortium for Physical Education and Recreation for Individuals with Disabilities promotes research, professional preparation, service delivery, and advocacy of Physical Education and Recreation for individuals with disabilities. Membership is open to all who are or have been involved in training, demonstration, or research activity related to physical education and recreation for individuals with disabilities. University faculty of adapted physical education and therapeutic recreation as well as public school and residential facility personnel are encouraged to become members.

National Recreation and Park Association advocates to make parks, open space, and recreational opportunities available to all Americans.

New Directions Living Well with a Disability This 8-week Health Promotion Workshop teaches tools that help people with disabilities continue to do the things they enjoy. Topics include goal setting, problem solving, optimistic thinking, avoiding depression, healthy communication, information seeking, nutrition, physical activity, advocacy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Facilitate — Learn more about how to facilitate a Living Well with a Disability group.

New Directions Wellness Center (wheelchair accessible) on the campus of The University of Montana provides physical therapy and supervised fitness for persons with physical limitations, chronic conditions, or disabilities. Health promotion program includes a fully equipped fitness facility designed for people with chronic illness or disability.

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. Non-profit organization promotes the rehabilitation of individuals with physical, emotional and learning disabilities through equine-facilitated activities at a worldwide network of member therapeutic riding centers.

Region 9 NARHA Association affiliates from Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington

Montana Programs:

STAR Riding Program, Inc. NARHA Premier Accredited Center
2005 Bitterroot Dr, Billings, MT 59105 (406) 245-7227

Eagle Mount–Bozeman NARHA Premier Accredited Center
6901 Goldenstein Lane, Bozeman, MT 59715 (406) 586-1781

Butte Special Riders NARHA Center
P.O. Box 664, Whitehall, MT 59759 (406) 494-2612

Bitterroot Therapeutic Riding NARHA Center
599 Popham Lane, Corvallis, MT 59828 (406) 961-2999

Shooting Star Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program NARHA Center, 321 Hairpin Lane, Darby, MT 59829, 406-821-4700

Fresh Steps Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, Inc. North American Riding for the Handicapped (NARHA) Center
6515 Green Meadow Drive, Helena, MT 59602.  Contact: Darcie Kelly at 406-558-4743 or

Faith Therapeutic Riding Service, Inc.  NARHA Center
123 Tyler Way, Apt. C, Lolo, MT 59843; 406-531-6525

Eagle Mount–Great Falls #9 3rd St. North, Suite 1, Great Falls, MT 59401 (406) 454-1449

North Carolina Office on Disability and Health Publishes “Removing Barriers to Health Clubs and Fitness Facilities” A Guide for Accommodating All Members, Including People with Disabilities and Older Adults”.

Paralyzed Veterans of America. Provides resources for professionals and for people with paralysis, including “Living with SCI” area, sports and recreation resources, research and education and national advocacy.

Pedestrian and Bicycling Information Center Community solutions, statistics, design and engineering resources, policy and planning information and much more.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Health and Wellness Promotes wellness for persons with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, post polio syndrome, amputations, and spinal cord injury, as well as all other persons with disabilities. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services site provides information on diet and exercise that can help individuals improve their health through incremental changes in various habits.

Teaching, Responding and Communicating Quality Physical Education: Creating Quality, Inclusive Physical Education & Physical Activity for all Students Publication from the North Carolina Office on Disability and Health

United States Access Board

Accessible Fishing Piers and Platforms: A Summary of Accessibility Guidelines (pdf file)

Americans with Disabilities Act: Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities

Outdoor Developed Areas Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas (pdf file) The guidelines cover trails, outdoor recreation access routes, beach access routes, and picnic and camping facilities.

Walk Your Way to Fitness: Walk, Workout, Be Active for People with Intellectual Disabilities Fitness course on DVD and CD-ROM by Iris Educational Media.  Designed for adults, support staff and learning partners, Disk 1 features a walking class.  Disk 2, “Work Out with Sonny and Pedro: Walk, Dance and Stretch Your Way to Fitness”, presents workout routines of different lengths.

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