We're More Alike Than Different

Everybody is different. The Y Adaptive program is for people who are different because they learn new skills slowly. They may not understand ideas that other people learn easily and may have an intellectual disability, or other special need. Our athletes are children and adults with disabilities from all around Dane County. They are finding success, joy and friendship as part of our Y community. They're also having lots of fun!

Special Olympics

The YMCA of Dane County is a Special Olympics Agency. As an agency we offer sports training in different sports for individuals with disabilities throughout the year. Our Special Olympics athletes train to compete at Regional, Sectional and State tournaments around the state. Special Olympics focuses on team and individual skills training is a competitive and but fun way. The YMCA Special Olympics volunteers and coaches promote “win or lose, do your best, and just have fun”.

Sports offered by season:

  • Fall - Bowling
  • Winter - Basketball Team and Skills
  • Spring - Track
  • Summer - Bocce

All new Special Olympics participants must have a Special Olympics Release Form and Medical Form completed prior to the start of the program.

Download forms Register for Special Olympics

Community Activities Program

Our Community Activities Program is a supervised program that provides community integrated activities to adults with disabilities. Each group is comprised up to seven individuals with disabilities with two YMCA staff. Community Activities Program focuses on community integration, community awareness and safety, daily living skills, and socialization while promoting a healthy lifestyle. Groups are made up of individuals with similar abilities and interests.  

Program activities may include:

  • Bowling
  • Hiking
  • Parks
  • Festivals and Fairs
  • Farmers Markets
  • Zoo
  • Apple Picking
  • Ringing the Bell for Salvation Army
  • Pottery Making
  • Museums and Tours

The program runs Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 pm and Fridays from 9:30 am-12:30 pm. For more information regarding the program, contact the    



Enrichment Day Trips

We also offer monthly Enrichment Day Trips to various activities throughout the state. These day trips offer new and enriching activities for the participants with their friends who may not have the transportation or other means to be able to experience. The group consist up to 12 participants with two staff and volunteers.


2018 Day Trips

Examples of Day Trips:

  • Fishing
  • Sporting Events
  • Wisconsin Dells
  • Pontoon Boat Rides
  • Fireside Theater
  • Museums and Tours
  • Bowling
  • Movies
  • Pottery Making
  • Zoo
  • Hayrides and Pumpkin Farms

View the Current Adaptive Program Guide

YMCA Members who enroll in programs through our Special Programs are not allowed to bring guests with them to participate in programs, as well, Program Members who are issued a Program Participant card are not allowed to bring guests in to participate in programs.