Therapeutic Recreation Services

The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to San Diegans with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities. These address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public.

Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations. The target population is children and adults, ages 3 and up, with any type of disability.

Our quarterly PDF icon Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar includes information about our programs and lists many special events and activities throughout the city.

For additional questions about Therapeutic Recreation Services, please call (619) 525-8247, or via the Ask Parks web comment form.

Inclusion aides

Inclusion aides facilitate the inclusion of individuals with disabilities into programs at their neighborhood recreation centers. This assures that Park & Recreation programs are accessible and usable by all citizens.

Inclusion aides conduct assessments, develop goals for participation and provide necessary support. These include increased supervision levels, adapting games/activities and training of recreation center staff to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are being met.


A very important part of the therapeutic recreation services program is our volunteers, which contribute over 20,000 hours of service annually. A variety of volunteer opportunities are available for those ages 13 and above, including students who need service hours.

Therapeutic Recreation Services offers an outstanding internship program for college students majoring in therapeutic recreation. For more information about volunteering, please contact us at (619) 525-8247 or e-mail Ask Parks.

Disabled Services Advisory Council

The Disabled Services Advisory Council, Inc., a nonprofit 501 (c) (3), provides advocacy, financial and volunteer support to Therapeutic Recreation Services. New members are always welcome.

Motorized Beach Wheelchair Program

The motorized beach wheelchair program provides access to the sand at Mission Beach. These state-of-the-art chairs make it possible for anyone with a mobility impairment to propel independently along the sand on the beach.


Therapeutic Recreation Services was created in 1972 and reaches more than 50,000 people annually through programs and outreach services. Programs offered have received local, state and national recognition for being outstanding in the field of recreation for people with disabilities.