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YMCA, advocacy board collaborate for ‘Making Waves’ program

The Making Waves program at Hogan Family YMCA provides a relaxing and stress-free swimming environment for any child or adult with disabilities. YMCA staff and Madison City Disability Advocacy Board members collaborated on Making Waves. (Contributed / Heart of the Valley YMCA)
The Making Waves program at Hogan Family YMCA provides a relaxing and stress-free swimming environment for any child or adult with disabilities. YMCA staff and Madison City Disability Advocacy Board members collaborated on Making Waves. (Contributed / Heart of the Valley YMCA)

MADISON – Madison City Disability Advocacy Board (MCDAB) and Hogan Family YMCA have established the “Making Waves” initiative that gives pool time to individuals with disabilities.

“We have created a relaxing and stress-free swimming environment for any children or adults with disabilities,” MCDAB member Tina Beacraft said. “Any person with special needs or a disability is more then welcome to join Making Waves.”

During a Making Waves session, these individuals have the pool to themselves; the time is designed for free play. YMCA lifeguards are on duty, and parents are encouraged to stay.

“Making Waves is ‘just-for-fun’ time in the water rather than formal swim education,” YMCA aquatics director Ginger Upshaw said. “We’re moving toward inclusion of children with disabilities in group swim lessons, but Making Waves is not designed to do this.

“By making this an after-hours event, the YMCA has created a non-judgmental, come-and-play-your-heart-out environment,” Upshaw said.

Making Waves sessions will start on March 21 and are open every third Saturday of the month through spring and summer.

Sessions are free. “The YMCA has and always will be a nonprofit organization with a mission of strengthening community by focusing on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility,” Upshaw said. “Because of the generosity of donors who support our cause, we can offer quality programs like Making Waves free to families in our community.”

“We just ask that everyone sign up,” Beacraft said. To register, email to Tinamarie872@yahoo.com. Parents or guardians must apply on behalf of their minor children.

Madison City Disability Advocacy Board works to strengthen public understanding of the needs of persons with disabilities and to ensure that all citizens with disabilities have equal access to Madison’s resources and opportunities.

Board members are chairman Keith Bedsole, secretary Joan Haas, treasurer Willard Brooks, city liaison Gerald Clark, Cynthia Allison, Paula Cushman, Jacqueline Wilson-Bradley, Larry Povinelli and Beacraft.

For more information about the board, visit mcdab.org.

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