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Inclusion Services

The City of Barrie is dedicated to providing meaningful recreation opportunities for participants with exceptionalities through both adapted and integrated program options.

Adapted programming for individuals with disabilities consists of targeted content, modified environments, lower ratios and specialized instruction. We offer inclusive support options, welcome external supports into our program settings, and offer a variety of specialized programming options.

How do I know if extra support is required?

A participant requires support in a recreation program if they:

  • Require or receive additional support in a school setting
  • Have a disability that could affect their safety or the safety of others
  • Require extra support at home for basic care such as feeding or toileting
  • Are currently associated with a support agency or program
  • Have a safety plan in place with their educational institution

Support Options

City of Barrie – Inclusion 1:1 Support

Inclusion 1:1 support staff are available to facilitate participation in all City of Barrie recreation programs. A support staff comes at an additional cost, and may provide redirection for safety reasons, allow opportunities for sensory or emotional breaks, and assist with personal care provided that it can be facilitated by one person.  Upon request, the City of Barrie will do their best to arrange a 1:1 support worker for a participant to have them integrated successfully in a program. To register for 1:1 support, please follow these steps:

  1. Register into a program in the Recreation Guide that meets the needs, hobbies and interests of the participant.
  2. Register into the corresponding “Inclusion 1:1 Support” Code.
  3. Notify Inclusion Services of your registration at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the program and complete the intake process by completing a Participant Information Package. It is important to contact Inclusion Services at least 2 weeks prior to the start of a registered program, or as soon as possible, as it is not guaranteed that Inclusion Support Staff will be secured for the date and time requested.

When considering a recreation experience for a participant, please take special consideration of the participant’s individualized needs and level of support required for success. Integrated and adapted recreation settings are not ideal for all persons with a disability, and the health and safety of participants, staff and volunteers is of the utmost importance to us. Consequently, per the City’s Health and Safety Policy, the City may require that a participant be accompanied by an attendant/ support worker that can provide a higher level of support. The attendant can be a paid support worker (at the family’s expense), a family member or another non-paid individual as long as the attendant is able to safely manage the behaviour and unique needs of the participant. Failing to provide an attendant/ support worker may result in the prospective recreation participant being denied access to their desired program until such time they are able to secure an attendant/support worker.

External Support Workers – Partners in Recreation

The City of Barrie welcomes external personal support workers into our program environments at no additional cost. All support workers must provide a copy of an up-to-date Criminal Reference Check, and must be at least 16 years of age.  To attend with an external support worker, please follow the following steps:

  1. Register into a program in the Recreation Guide that meets the needs, hobbies and interests of the participant.
  2. Register the participant (not the support worker) into the corresponding “Partners in Recreation” code.
  3. Provide the Support Worker’s name and current Criminal Reference Check to Inclusion Services (chiara.mabrucco@barrie.ca) prior to the start of the program.

Adapted Summer Camps

Inclusion Services offers a variety of adapted camp options for children, youth and adults with disabilities or unique needs. These adapted programs are branded as our “Sense” camps, which feature a 1:3 staff to participant ratio, targeted content, and a modified and sensory aware environment. Find out more on specialized camp programming information, dates and camp descriptions.

Inclusion Support Funding 2018

The City offers Barrie residents one free week of 1:1 support for a child, youth, or adult with a disability requiring additional support to participate successfully in our camp programs. Non-residents do not qualify for this funding, but may sign-up for 1:1 support at any time.

Funding is allocated at a first-come-first-served basis, and families are required to pay the camp program fee. To apply, please complete the Inclusion Funding Application and return it to chiara.mabrucco@barrie.ca, or drop it off at any recreation centre. You will be contacted if your application is approved. The application deadline is Friday April 20, 2018. Applications will be accepted after the deadline and will be put on a waiting list for funding should it become available.

After one free week, families are required to pay for 1:1 support. Please refer to the Recreation Guide for information on dates and pricing.

Participant Information Package

As a part of the intake process, please complete and submit a Participant Information Package. This package is confidential and will be provided to the staff working directly with a participant in a program. It can be submitted electronically or printed off and handed in at any Recreation Center. This information package will provide our staff with the necessary information and tools that will help contribute to better planning for a successful recreation experience for participants of all abilities and with all levels of support.

Become a Rec Buddy Volunteer!

The City of Barrie accepts applications for Rec Buddy Volunteers to support children with unique needs and learning styles in our programs. This unique volunteering opportunity is designed to support high functioning participants in programs and school holiday camps in order to facilitate a more successful and enjoyable experience.  Rec Buddy volunteers do not have to have any prior experience working with individuals with a disability. Rec Buddies must be at least 14 years of age, provide a Criminal Reference Check, and must be enthusiastic, willing to learn, and open to working with children. To apply, please fill out the Rec Buddy Application Form  and return it to the Recreation Programmer – Inclusion Services at chiara.mabrucco@barrie.ca

Personal Assistant in Leisure (PAL) – PAL Card Application

Individuals who require support to participate in City of Barrie drop-in programs may apply for a PAL (Personal Assistant in Leisure) Card. The PAL Card allows a person with a disability to enter a drop-in program with a mediator/support person, where the mediator attends at no-charge. The PAL Card belongs to the customer with a disability requiring support.

To obtain a PAL Card, you must consult your Health Care Provider to complete the PAL Card Application Form in full and return it to any City of Barrie Recreation Centre, where the card can be issued on the spot.


Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my child needs support to participate?  

A participant requires support in a recreation program if they:

  • Require or receive additional support in a school setting
  • Have a disability that could affect their safety or the safety of others
  • Require extra support at home for basic care such as feeding or toileting
  • Are currently associated with a support agency or program
  • Have a safety plan in place with their educational institution

Contact Inclusion Services via phone at 739-4220 ext 5789 or email chiara.mabrucco@barrie.ca . Inclusion Services will discuss with you the individual needs of your child and together you will form a plan to set your child up for success.

My child does not meet the age criteria for a class; can we have permission to take it anyway?  

Although age is not always indicative of a child’s ability level, our courses are designed to be age appropriate. This includes consideration of cognitive and physical development, as well as socialization. Age overrides are considered on a case by case basis and can be directed to Recreation Information recreation.information@barrie.ca. If this age requirement is regarding Inclusion please contact Inclusion Services chiara.mabrucco@barrie.ca

In cases where age overrides are granted, the instructor will ultimately assess whether the course is a good fit for the student and may discuss other course options or withdrawal from course with the parent/guardian.

Can we remain in the room with our child?  

All City of Barrie programmes are independent activities unless otherwise indicated– parents/guardians, siblings and friends are required to be outside of the program space.

Some program spaces have a window or door where you can sneak a peek. We ask that this be done only on occasion as not to distract the participants.














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