The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Montgomery Parks and the Montgomery County Department of Recreation are working to improve the accessibility of recreation facilities, programs, and services throughout the County.

Program Access

What is Program Access?

Program Access, also referred to as “Inclusion”, within the Montgomery County Department of Parks is how individuals with disabilities are welcome to participate in recreational programs and activities of their choice.  Reasonable modifications (also known as accommodations) are provided to enable an individual’s successful participation in a program.  Minimum eligibility requirements (age, level of participation) must be met to participate.

What are the minimum requirements for success?

Minimum requirements apply to all persons with all abilities.  These include:

  • Age and registration requirements: patron must meet the age/registration requirements of the program.
  • Following the rules of conduct (with or without reasonable modifications).
  • Voluntary participation: recreation programs and activities are voluntary in nature. Participation will be encouraged and aided, but not forced.
  • Level of participation:  with or without reasonable modifications, the participant must be engaged in scheduled activities for most of the program time.
  • Consistent form of communication: to indicate basic needs and follow simple directions (verbal or non-verbal).
  • Ability to tolerate and function, with assistance, as a member of a larger social group (12 or more people).

What are some examples of reasonable modifications available to promote successful participation in a program?

  • Ongoing training provided for staff
  • An enhanced staff/participant ratio
  • Sign language interpretation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Adaptive activity equipment and/or supplies
  • Use of companions
  • Large print/Braille
  • Disability and Sensitivity training

What services are not included when providing program access?

Program Access does not include the following:

  • Provision of a separate area or alternate activities for a significant portion (more than 25%) of the scheduled program
  • Exception to minimum compliance with the program’s rules and regulations, with or without modifications, established for the safety of all program participants and staff
  • Hiring, selection, or guaranteed assignment of a specific staff member
  • Individualized therapy within a program
  • Provision and/or purchase of personal custom devices

However, support staff may be provided to enhance the existing recreation program by providing adaptations and/or behavioral interventions.

Is Program Access the right choice/experience for me/my child?

Observe the program first-hand and ask yourself…

  • Have you/your child shown an interest in the program activity or subject matter?
  • Are you (s/he) comfortable and able to function appropriately, with or without assistance, in various inclusive environments, such as malls, restaurants, parks (etc.)?
  • Does your (or your child’s) current activities or goals prepare you for an inclusive recreation experience? 

What is the process?

There is a simple process that must be performed when modifications are needed:

  • Patron browses through and chooses programs and classes offered by Montgomery Parks (M-NCPPC)
  • Patron makes formal request for an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) modification by contacting the Program Access office via e-mail or phone
  • The Program Access Specialist or Coordinator will follow up on request and contact the patron (usually by phone) to assess his or her needs
  • Once the modification is in place, the Program Access Specialist or Coordinator will notify the appropriate staff/supervisor before the program start date – all information is kept confidential and is on a need-to-know basis
  • Patron is welcomed into the program or class of his or her choice, along with the disability modification provided
  • Program Access Specialist or Coordinator evaluates the disability modifications provided, on-going

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination in M-NCPPC Programs and Services

Notice 15-01 provides patron guidance for requesting modifications and addressing accessibility concerns for programs and services offered within the respective departments.  Components covered are:

  • Notice under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Service Animals for People with Disabilities
  • Electronic Personal Assistive Mobility Devices
  • Accessible Seating under the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act

Please click here for Notice 15-01

Multi-Year Plan to Improve Accessibility


M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and the Montgomery County Department of General Services are developing a multi-year plan to enhance accessibility at recreational facilities and parks throughout the County. These efforts coincide with revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations for state and local governments (issued by The U.S. Department of Justice) that went into effect in March 2012. These regulations will impact parks, playgrounds, ball fields, picnic areas and other amenities operated by M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks as well as swimming pools, recreation centers, whirlpools, saunas and exercise rooms operated by the Recreation Department. The first steps in developing the multi-year plan include conducting a phased analysis of parks and recreation facilities, and simultaneously conducting public outreach to solicit input, comments and suggestions regarding our approach and priorities.

2016 Completed Projects


Scheduled Start Date /Completion Date

Scheduled Work


Pleasant View LP Improve trail/sidewalk and provide better accessibility to soccer/football field, provide minor stormwater management upgrades.

Park closure not required although trail use will be interrupted during the construction process.

Potomac Community NP Provide accessibility improvements to the tennis courts and basketball courts as well playground. Completed
Wheaton Regional Park

(at Train Station)

Parking and access upgrades near the train station as well as an expanded patio area in front of the drop off/unloading area. Completed
Damascus Regional Park Removal/replacement and upgrades of restrooms at Shelters A and C, plus parking and accessibility improvements at shelter A. Shelter C restroom upgrades are completed.

Accessibility improvements to Shelter A are completed.

Olney Manor Recreational Park   Replaced accessible parking spaces near Racquetball building and volley ball court.

Added accessible route to Tennis Battery A, B & C, Racquetball building, handball courts, and volleyball court.

Removal and replacement of existing concrete pad at entrance and around lower tennis court T.



Sligo Creek SVU3 (near golf course) Provide accessible parking and access to bleachers and field, resurface and stripe parking lot.  Completed
Ridge Road Recreational Park Provide new accessible parking near the restroom and soccer/football field. Completed
Plumgar LP Playground renovation; remove backstop and barriers at play field. Completed
Ayrlawn LP Phase 1 – Parking upgrades and access to Field #2

Phase 2 – Access and possible parking upgrades to provide access to tennis courts and playground..

Phase 3 – Minor misc. repairs

Phase 1 – Completed

Phase 2 –Completed

Phase 3 – completed

Aberdeen LP   Overall parking lot resurfacing and 500’ of trail overlay. Provide accessible parking spaces, new route to playground, tennis court, basketball court, volleyball court and football field. Completed
Meadowside Nature Center   Install new decking and patio in the raptor area Completed
Ken Gar Palisades LP Trail repaving, new accessible parking, access to tennis courts and exercise stations. Completed
Clear Spring LP   Parking and walkway upgrades, access to soccer field softball field. Completed
Martin Luther King Recreation Park Install new exercise equipment as well as associated parking and walkway improvements. Upgrade parking, access, seating areas, bleachers at the baseball field. Completed

2017 Projects


Scheduled Start Date /Completion Date

Scheduled Work


Rock Creek stream Valley Park   Three (3) new accessible exercise stations along Beach Drive. Substantially complete. Substantially Completed (March, 2017)
Wall Local Park Four (4) new accessible exercise stations along trail. Two (2) new accessible picnic table near playground Substantially Completed (March, 2017)
Black Hill Reg. Park Summer 2017 – Spring 2018 Boat house renovation. An accessible boat house with parking and accessible walkway down to the beach. In Procurement
Brookside Nature Center Spring – Summer 2017 Replacement of the front entry ramps and stairs. Temporary interruptions may occur during construction. Design Completed. Construction in Procurement
Cabin John Local Park Spring-Summer 2017 Provide accessibility upgrades at the softball field, add additional parking and walkways In Design
Falls Road Local Park Summer 2017 – Trail renovation

– New accessible exercise station


Summer 2017

Forest Glen LP Summer/Fall 2017 Accessible parking and walkways to the basketball court and playground In Design
Johnson LP November – December 2017 Misc. Improvements at shelter and basketball court. Park should remain open although temporary closures can be expected. In Design


Little Bennett Reg. Park, Campground Fall 2017 Part 1 – Provide an accessible parking space and route to proposed camp store at Hawk Reach Activity Center

Part 2 – Provide accessible walkway to newly built jumping pillow and pedal cart track.

Design Completed
Meadowbrook LP Spring – Summer 2018 Various improvements at sports fields, parking areas.  Possible park/field closures not determined. Preliminary Design
Olney Manor Rec. Park Spring/Summer 2017 New accessible parking and access to Battery E tennis courts and link to restroom Design Completed
Rock Creek Regional Park October – December 2016 Install a new parking area and accessibility improvements for the archery range. The archery range may be temporarily closed at certain times during construction In Design


South Germantown Recreational Park Fall 2017 Install new exercise equipment stations and perform minor trail upgrades within/near the lake. No interruptions to services are expected Design Completed. Construction scheduled for summer 2017


Stratton Local Park April – August 2017 New parking, walkways, access to softball field, tennis and basketball courts, stormwater management. Park will be closed during construction Construction scheduled to begin spring 2017


Takoma-Piney Branch Local Park Spring 2017 Install new walkway to softball field and new player’s benches. Park to remain open In Procurement


Wheaton Regional Park Summer 2017 Reconstruction of the restroom at Athletic Area.  Removal of Layhill Phoenix, Wooden Totem Pole for renovations and preservations. Design Completed. Construction in Procurement

 Tell Us What You Think

Ideas from the public are welcome. We need your help to make our park system accessible to people with all abilities.

  • Public Survey. Please take this 5-8 minute survey regarding accessibility concerns and improvements at Montgomery Parks
  • Email to ADA project manager or call 301-650-2885


Last Updated: May 23, 2017