Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation to offer sensory-friendly open swims at Monon Community Center


By Renee Larr

Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation provides sensory-friendly open swims at the Monon Community Center this summer for individuals who might have a difficult time with loud noises and bright lights.


“We always try to make sure our activities will be friendly for anyone who is taking them. For all of our activities we think about the space, the lighting, how we set up the room, etc.,” said Michelle Yadon, Monon Community Center inclusion supervisor. “That’s always the basis from where we start. We want our activities to be accessible for them, inclusive and sensory-friendly.”

Adaptive Open Swims will be offered June 13, July 11 and Aug. 8 from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. The cost is $15 per family. Pre-registration is required. All the regular features, such as the lazy river, the kiddie pool and water slides, are open, but music is turned off and the concession stand is closed.

“A lot of our families can’t come to our water park during our normal business hours because there are so many people, the music is loud. For some people food can be really difficult, and it’s just a lot to take in,” Yadon said. “All of the lifeguards have been trained on sign language and other things that might be needed during the evenings to support any kiddos. The evenings are really just meant to give the families these opportunities they might not normally be able to utilize.”

Every program CCPR offers can be modified on a per person basis to accommodate needs.

“We also adapt per kiddo. So if we have a child who has a sensory need, we always try to provide modification and resources for them,” Yadon said.

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