The City of Cambridge is committed to delivering accessible, inclusive, and age-friendly programs, services, and facilities.  City staff work to meet the needs of participants for all abilities at our community events and City-run programs. Visit our Accessibility and Diversity Services page for more information.

We offer both integrated and fully adapted programs. Learn more about how to register below. 

Participants may benefit from supports and or an adapted program structure if:

  • Extra support is required to participate in activities at school
  • Extra support is required at home or school for basic care
  • The participant has a diagnosed physical, medical and/or development disability that could affect the safety of the participant or other participants
  • The participant belongs to a support agency

Participants are ready for a program if: 

  • Able to take direction and instruction from a staff person 

  • Comfortable and able to interact in a group environment 

  • Able to participate in the program. Participation in programs is based on the child’s individual needs; however, it is asked that participants can demonstrate an ability to participate in at least 50% of the program (with additional support).

  • Able to interact and participate in the program in a way that is safe for themselves and others 

To support the success, safety and inclusion of all participants, all children need to be “Program Ready” when participating in City run programs, either independently or with additional support. 

We anticipate an increased volume of applications for inclusion support during Summer 2024 camp season. All applications will be reviewed and notified by June 2024. With limited space available, due to increased support inclusion needs, Cambridge families will be given precedence. Staffing resources are being reviewed and increased if possible.

Integrated Programs

Integrated programs are designed for participants with diverse abilities to participate together in an inclusive environment. This option allows participants with additional needs to participate in any City of Cambridge program with the support from City of Cambridge staff.

Leisure Buddy 

The Leisure Buddy Program provides assistance during year-round seasonal recreational programs for those aged 4-21. Additional support is provided by trained program staff called Leisure Buddies. Leisure Buddies are typically students, and do not provide the same level of support as educational assistants or behaviour therapists.

Leisure Buddies are available for all City of Cambridge programs including swimming lessons, sports, arts, fitness, and general interest programs. Every effort is made to provide additional support; however availability is based on limited staff capacity. Learn more about how to register below.

Summer Camp

The City of Cambridge provides additional support for children with disabilities in our camp programs for those aged 4-12 in the form of 1:1, 2:1, and 3:1 support options. Please visit the camps page for updates on summer camp programs offered and registration updates.

Please contact us at inclusion@cambridge.ca before registration opens if you are unsure of the level of support required for your child. If your child is currently participating in a program and may benefit from extra support, you may be contacted by our staff to discuss support options. We encourage ongoing communication and collaboration with parents and guardians. Help us help your child succeed at camp!

Support Options 
Internal Support (City of Cambridge Staff) External Support Workers (Family Provided)
Support is provided by Inclusion Facilitators, who are City of Cambridge staff that are available at no extra cost. These staff receive training on program adaptations and behavior management and are certified in Standard First Aid and CPR C & AED and HIGH FIVE Principles of Healthy Child Development. They are typically students, and do not provide the same level of support as educational assistants or behaviour therapists.   External support workers are arranged by the participant’s family and can attend City of Cambridge programs and camps at no cost 

 

A support person can be a family member, a friend, or an individual found through an agency, and must be over the age of 16.

Support can include: 

  • program adaptations 

  • redirection for safety reasons 

  • allow for opportunities for sensory or emotional breaks 

  • help with personal care 

  A support person is fully responsible for the care, support, and safety of the participant during all activities and must always stay with the participant. They can encourage independence, socialization, and participation in camp activities when appropriate. A support person must always follow City of Cambridge policies and procedures as outlined in the Support Worker Agreement Form. 
Spaces are limited and typically fill fast. We recommend browsing program options in advance and be prepared to register promptly when online registration opens.    For more information or to request an External Support Worker Agreement Form, please email inclusion@cambridge.ca  
Adapted Programs

In addition to providing accommodations based on unique needs in all our programs, we also offer some specialized programs, designed specifically for children with disabilities to participate with others who have similar interests and abilities. Adapted programs offer smaller groups, higher staff to participant ratio, and flexible programming to meet various needs. 

  • Sunblast & Imagination Station: An inclusive summer day camp program designed for children ages 4-12 with exceptionalities to come to camp to enjoy outdoor recreation activities, active and quiet games, sensory play, and arts and crafts. Programming is delivered by trained inclusion facilitators at a reduced staff to camper ratio (1:4) to best suit the need of each camper. 

  • Adaptive Sport Fundamentals: In this registered adapted program, participants have the opportunity to learn the fundamental movement skills such as catching, running, throwing, and jumping through a series of structured sporting activities. They will participate in a wide variety of sports and low-organized games to help build movement skills that are transferable to all sports. Classes will be modified for all abilities, and is open to participants ages 6-12 and 13-20. 

  • Adapted Leisure Swim: An open swim opportunity for children, youth, and adults with diverse abilities to participate in a fun, supportive and supervised water environment.  The diving board, spa and sauna is open for use; and two lanes will be available for swimming lengths. In this sensory friendly environment music is not played, and whistles are only used during emergency situations. See our Swim Schedules page for more details. 
Registration guide for accessing inclusion support

Step 1: Create an Inclusion Portfolio

Before registering for an integrated or adapted program, please fill out our Participant Information FormBy filling out this intake form you will create a portfolio in which: 

  • You only need to share you/your child’s information once 

  • We can learn more about how to support you ahead of time 

  • Stay informed about inclusive program options, including registration dates and steps 

*Please note we have completed the inclusion portfolio process (step 1) for all inclusion participants from the 2022 and 2023 camp seasons. Any questions you may have can be directed to inclusion@cambridge.ca

After your information is reviewed by our team, we will add an inclusion membership to the applicant’s CORAL accountThe information shared in this application is confidential and is only shared with the staff working directly with the individual. 

Step 2: Register for your Desired Program

How to Register

Summer Camps: Recreation and Arts Centre - NEW*

To Register for City of Cambridge Inclusion Support (provided by City of Cambridge Inclusion Facilitators)

  1. Fill out the Participant Information Form to request an inclusion portfolio if the participant does not already have one.

  2. Search in CORAL for the Inclusion Support – Summer Camp 2024 Barcodes

  3. Select the inclusion support barcode for the week(s) of camp you would like to register for
    - Example: “Inclusion Support – Summer Camp 2024 Week 1 (July 2-5)” 

  4. Enroll the participant in the list and identify your preferred camp location, top 3 camp preferences, and the level of support requested (1:1, 2:1, or 3:1 support)

  5. A City of Cambridge team member will contact participants to discuss individual needs and complete the camp registration process.  

 

Important Information

 

If the support week is full, consider joining the waitlist, choosing another week, or organizing an External Support Worker to accompany your child to camp (see information above).

 

Register only in the inclusion support request barcode. Our team will then work with you to enroll in the camp program that best suits the participants needs.  

 

Inclusion support is provided by City of Cambridge Inclusion Facilitators and is available at no extra cost. The base camp fee for the inclusion support barcode will be applied to the camp payment upon enrollment in each specific camp week by our team. 

  • Please note: should a kinder or specialty camp which has additional fees be chosen, this will be applied to the account to be paid prior to the first day of camp.

 

To Register with External Support (Family Provided)

  1. Search in CORAL for Summer Camp Program(s) and select the camp you would like to register for
    *Register directly in the camp program and not the Inclusion Support Program

  2. Enroll the participant in the camp program(s)

  3. Email inclusion@cambridge.ca to request a External Support Agreement form to be completed before the participant arrives at camp

Sunblast/Imagination Station Adapted Summer Camp

  1. Fill out the Participant Information Form to request an inclusion portfolio if the participant does not already have one.

  2. Search in CORAL for Sunblast/Imagination Station Camps

  3. Select the week(s) of Sunblast/Imagination Station Camp you would like to register for

  4. Enroll the participant in the camp program
Seasonal Programs (Leisure Buddy for Swimming Lessons, Sports, Arts Programs, etc) 
  1. Fill out the Participant Information Form to request an inclusion portfolio if the participant does not already have one.

  2. Search in CORAL for the desired program (swimming lessons, sports, art, general interest etc)

  3. Select the program you would like to register for

  4. Select "Yes, additional inclusion support is required" 

  5. Enroll the participant in the camp program

Following your enrollment our team will contact you once support has been confirmed for your child. Please note every effort is made to provide additional support, however availability is based on limited staff capacity.

PAL card

For some people with disabilities, it's impossible to go places without someone's help. A PAL card allows an attendant to accompany people with disabilities to events or programs free of charge or at a reduced rate. The PAL card allows people with disabilities to access many services in Cambridge without having to consider the financial implications of having an attendant.

Complete the PAL Card Application to apply for a card and send your application to accessibility@cambridge.ca.

Canadian Tire's Jumpstart

Canadian Tire's Jumpstart program gives kids, who are four to 18 years of age, a chance to participate in sports and recreation. Jumpstart funding helps families who qualify a financial hand with program registration costs.

You don't have to be approved for Activities for Less to qualify for Jumpstart. To apply or obtain more information, visit:

www.canadiantire.ca/jumpstart

Region of Waterloo (ROW) - Childcare Subsidy 

The Region of Waterloo offers a camp subsidy program which families can apply through the Region of Waterloo website. Once completed and submitted, ROW staff will evaluate and determine approval on a case-by-case scenario. For more information or to apply, please visit www.regionofwaterloo.ca