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FAQ’s


What is HISRA?

HISRA is a unique type of agency, a special recreation association (SRA), which provides quality recreation programs and services to individuals with disabilities and special needs. Illinois is the only state which has legislation that enables two or more park districts or municipalities to join together to “establish, maintain, and manage recreation programs” for people with disabilities; and grants the park districts and municipalities in such a joint agreement the ability to levy a special tax in order to fund such programs. HISRA is a combination of four park districts: Chillicothe, Morton, Peoria and Washington. HISRA and its member districts enthusiastically support the spirit and intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act. HISRA is committed to providing opportunities for each individual to enjoy recreation activities in the least restrictive environment as possible.

How is HISRA funded?

As indicated above, the Illinois State Law provides for individual park districts to partner with other park districts to form an SRA and levy a tax. These tax contributions from each of our member districts, along with camp/program fees and donations, are utilized to provide the programs and services offered by HISRA.

Who is eligible for HISRA Programs?

Any individual with a disability or special need that has completed an assessment with the HISRA Program Coordinators are eligible for HISRA programs provided he or she can meet the program eligibility requirements. There are age requirements for each camp and program offered.

I want to be a part of HISRA — how do I get started?

Give us a call and we will get you started! We will get you on our mailing list, schedule and assessment and mail you any necessary paperwork. Our Program Coordinators will meet with the participant and any caregivers to get to know everyone and determine which camps and or programs would be the best fit!

There are 2 fees listed for camps and programs (R and NR). What does this mean and which one do I have to pay?

Tax payers who reside in 1 of our member park districts are considered residents of HISRA and will pay the lower fee listed. A non-resident is any individual who does not live in one of our member districts, thus does not pay taxes to one of our member park districts. Non-residents will pay the higher fee listed. If you have questions about whether you are a resident or a non-resident, consult your tax bill or contact the HISRA office at 309-691-1929.

I got a notice that I am on the waitlist for a program I registered for, what does that mean?

There are a maximum number of participants we can accommodate for each of HISRA’s camps and programs. Once the program is full, participants who register will be placed on a waitlist. If a spot opens up, participants will be contacted in the order that their registration was received. Participants will be given a timeline to respond as to whether or not they want to attend the camp or program. If the participant decides to attend the camp or program, payment will be needed immediately.

How early can I arrive for a program I am registered for?

Participants are encouraged to arrive as close to the program start time as possible. Staff is scheduled to arrive prior to the start of the program but will be busy preparing for the program and reviewing participant information.

Does HISRA offer scholarships for camps and programs?

Yes, HISRA scholarships are available for certain HISRA camps and programs to residents of HISRA member districts.

How do I apply for scholarship funds?

Participants can apply by completing a scholarship application found on our Forms page. Participants must submit a completed scholarship application with all supporting documentation and a 10% down payment. All scholarship requests will be reviewed and awarded by the HISRA Scholarship Committee. Scholarships may be awarded for the full remaining amount of an activity/program or any fraction of the fee. Scholarships will be awarded from the scholarship fund within available allocated resources. Scholarship funds awarded require attendance. If a participant does not attend a program or camp day that was paid for by scholarship funds then the participant is responsible for payment for that missed program or camp day. Scholarship requests will be awarded or denied based upon verifiable information provided by the applicant and the criteria established.

What is HISRA’s cancellation policy?

Participants wishing to cancel a program must do so 2 weeks prior to the start of the program, unless otherwise noted. Programs cancelled at least 2 weeks prior to the start date will be credited to the participant’s account once approved by the management team. HISRA camps have cancellation policies specific to each camp. A Request for Program Cancellation form can be found here.

What if I’m sick and can’t attend a program I’m registered for?

Participant’s who are sick and unable to attend a program should call the HISRA office at 309-691-1929 to let staff know that they are unable to attend. If you are calling after normal business hours please contact the on-call Program Coordinator indicated on the voicemail.

I need to take medication during the time that I am scheduled to be at a HISRA program, can I bring it with me?

If a participant can administer their medication independently, they can bring it to the program keep it on their person. If a participant needs assistance administering medication, the parents or guardian must fill out and sign a Medication Dispensing Information/Permission to Dispense Medication Waiver and Release of all Claims form. Medication must be sent in its original bottle.

Who do I call if I need to speak to someone after the office closes or on weekends?

Please call the HISRA office at 309-691-1929. The voicemail will indicate the name and phone number for an on-call Program Coordinator that can be contacted in case of an emergency.

What are Inclusion Services?

Inclusion services are offered for programming offered by one of HISRA’s member park Districts. Member district programming may be most appropriate for a participant with a disability. Based on the participant and park district’s needs, HISRA may provide one or more of the following Inclusion Services:

  • General training/seasonal training to park district staff in regards to working with participants with disabilities
  • Targeted training to park district staff in regards to individual participants
  • Ongoing consultation/observation
  • Intermittent staff support during park district programming
  • Park district program support with a transition plan

Steps for Accessing Inclusion Services from HISRA:

  • Register for the camp or program through the Park District
  • Go to www.hisra.org and fill out an Inclusion Request
  • Call HISRA at 309-691-1929 to schedule an Inclusion Assessment

Please note: Inclusion Services must be requested a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the start of the camp or program.
All Summer Camp Inclusion requests must be submitted by May 1st.

Who is eligible to participate in Special Olympics

To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics sports offered by HISRA, one must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction.

What is Special Olympics Med App? and why do I need one?

Special Olympics Illinois requires that all athletes competing in Special Olympics sanctioned events and competitions must have a current Application for Participation in Special Olympics Illinois (Med App) on file. The original Application for Participation will be sent to the Special Olympics Illinois Area Director by HISRA. The Area Director will then send the Application for Participation in Special Olympics Illinois to the Special Olympics Illinois Chapter office. The Chapter office will validate the Application for Participation and send a copy of the App with an approved stamp back to the SOAD (Special Olympics Athletic Director) at HISRA. An Application for Participation will not be validated until all information is correct and completed on the approved form. Special Olympics Illinois requires that all Applications for Participation be presented prior to and no later than the established Medical App deadline of a Chapter championship level event (Winter Games, State Basketball Tournament, Summer Games, Outdoor Sports Festival, Fall Games, Floor Hockey or State Bowling Tournament). All Apps for the event in question must be valid throughout the completion of that Chapter competition. Applications for Participation for athletes participating in District Tournaments and Sectional Tournaments must be received before the entry deadline or with registration materials. Applications not on file or in receipt by the specified deadline will not be accepted.

Do I need to bring money to the programs for which I sign up?

Generally participants do not need to bring money for programs that they sign up for. Tickets, admissions fees, meals and snacks will all be paid for by HISRA, as indicated in the program description. Participants are allowed to bring additional money for concessions, souvenirs, etc… if they wish. Please refer to individual program descriptions for this information.

Why are HISRA’s programs more expensive than other SRA’s programs?

As indicated above – HISRA covers all costs associated with the main purpose of each individual program. Program fees paid by participants upon registration include any necessary tickets and/admissions fees as well as a meal and/or snack as indicated in the program description. Staffing and transportation to the program site from HISRA is also included.

How old do you have to be to work at HISRA?

HISRA encourages potential employees to be at least 16 years old prior to applying for a paid position at HISRA. Anyone interested in applying for employment with HISRA must fill out an application to be processed through the Peoria Park and District and will be required to fulfill all training requirements as indicated by the Management Team.

How old do you have to be to volunteer at HISRA?

HISRA does not have a minimum age for volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering for HISRA must fill out an application to be processed through the Peoria Park and District and will be required to fulfill all training requirements as indicated by the Management Team.