SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) --A vacant piece of land has been transformed into a physical recreation area for people with disabilities.
The High Five Adapted Outdoor Sports Recreation Program is now up and running at the Douglas Center in Skokie.
The new recreation area at the Douglas Center offers everything from basketball to shuffle board and even has space to fire up the grill.
"We had a space that was a wasteland and completely used and we thought maybe physical activity for our clients is really, really important because they don't get much of it. So we thought maybe we could bring the physical activity to them," said Douglas Center CEO Rifath Khan.
And that they did, transforming vacant land into a space that every participant can enjoy.
"From the time we have opened it up to about three weeks ago every day we have people out here, every day. They come out they play, they have their picnic here, they have their lunch here," Khan said.
She says the new recreation program focuses physical activity but also helps with inclusion.
"We see a lot that's going on when they come out here because people who are not interacting before or had isolated themselves now they come out and they play basketball, they play volleyball and they're playing in teams. So you see this change where people that did not interact before are interacting now," Khan said.
The Douglas Center is a day program that serves nearly 140 people every day. The new recreational program is just the latest addition to the other services they offer like work placement and volunteering.
"They are not only learning skills here but learning to give back to the community and we're so very proud of that. So we try to provide to provide comprehensive services to our clients and all of the services are open to everybody who come to Douglas Center. It is all based on their needs, based on their strengths, based on where they are and where they need to go," said Khan.
The Douglas Center hopes to continue to expand a little more to accommodate more people in the future.
If you would like to learn more about the "High Five" Recreation program or the Douglas Center itself, visit thedouglascenter.com.