Hear all about the impact of our accessible recreation & youth programs from the participants themselves. Click each name below to read what they had to say.
“I Love breaking the board with Paul. It makes me feel like I can do anything.”
"Participating has allowed me to get more involved in the disability community" – Anita
"Being in an environment, where I can be accepted and free of judgement or any worries" - Maximo
“Through Martial Art’s Classes, I’ve learned to focus better, which helps me in school.” Naomi
Accessible Martial Arts boosts self-esteem, relieves stress, increases self-confidence and triggers an overall sense of well-being. Just $10 per month allows an individual with disabilities to attend 24 Accessible Martial Arts classes.
Campers gain courage by exploring new adventures, develop confidence by discovering new abilities, make connections by building friendships, and create treasured memories to last a lifetime! $160 can send a youth to camp for an entire week!
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” - C.S. Lewis The Youth Mentoring programs at Easterseals MA provide a platform for shared experience and the power of those experiences to create confident, compassionate World Changers of the future.
Meet Lenny Cournoyer from Holden, MA! He's been a successful student in our Accessible Martial Arts Worcester, where people with and without disabilities can learn exciting self-defense techniques in a fun, supportive environment.
Through her work with Thrive, the Easterseals mentoring program, Sandy Ho has empowered young women with disabilities locally and worldwide to broaden their horizons and lead more independent lives. Sandy developed the groundbreaking program, which matches the young women with adult female mentors who have disabilities. As role models, the mentors help them develop leadership skills, learn to advocate for themselves and set goals for their future.
While in utero Abby was diagnosed with Tuberous sclerosis which has symptoms that include seizures, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and lung and kidney disease. Read more about how Abby began attending Easterseals MA’s Adapted Martial Arts program which ultimately led to a newfound independence.
Easterseals MA started their first camp program in the summer of 1946. There have been many changes to the program over the past 75 years. However, providing a fun and safe environment where campers can feel as though they belong, develop self-confidence, friendships and realize their full potential remains the number one goal.
Thrive is a mentoring program for women with disabilities 14 and up. Through both group and one-to-one match relationships, each participant will have the opportunity to develop the skills of self-empowerment and to promote personal achievement and self-identity within a community of other women with disabilities. Brothers Against Discrimination (B.A.D.) is a mentoring program for men 14 and up with disabilities. Just like the female Thrive, through both group and one-to-one match relationships, each participant will have the opportunity to develop the skills of self-empowerment and to promote personal achievement and self-identity within a community of other men with disabilities.
Accessible Swim is an aquatic instructor-led recreational swim program that allows people with disabilities to play fun, accessible games that maximize independence in the water in a safe environment.
The Accessible Martial Arts program which started at Easterseals MA by President and CEO, Paul Medeiros in 2016, was designed for people with and without disabilities to learn exciting self-defense techniques in a fun, supportive environment. It has flourished over the past five years and was able to pivot to meet the socially-distant demands during the pandemic.