Madison organizations offer many options for adaptive athletes to get in the game

Find opportunities for accessible hockey, basketball, soccer, fitness, cycling and dance in the city, plus a group designed for fans with disabilities to watch local sporting events.
two individuals in a track cycle
Photo by Dave Wolff

There’s something about the rush of wind past your face as you charge around a track, or the sound of a bat as you send a baseball past the pitcher. Several Madison-based organizations want to make those same sensations of joy and community in sports accessible to everyone.

Getting involved in sports can be a tall task, as a fan or player — learning rules and how to play can be overwhelming for any rookie. However, there can be an added challenge for people with disabilities.

“A lot of times in sport culture, there’s not necessarily a ton of space made or explicitly made for people with a disability,” says William Schultz, a coach for the power soccer team Wisconsin Warriors and a founding member of AccessiMingos, a Forward Madison FC supporters’ group. “We just want to let people know that space is there.”

Studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2018 show that more than one in four Americans has a disability, which today translates to nearly 82 million people.

luke chasing after a puck

Photo by Romulo Ueda

Madison-based organizations, including Madison Adaptive Cycling, Mad City Badgers basketball, the Wisconsin Sting sled hockey team and ConfiDANCE, provide opportunities to ensure that those with disabilities have access to sports they want to try.

Whether it’s building a rubberized baseball field for children with disabilities; offering sports competitions, leagues and training for adults; building accessible arenas; or renting bikes for families to enjoy cycling side by side, teams and program founders provide opportunities for everyone to get into the game and stay active. Here are a few teams and groups to consider if you want to cheer on a local team or get a taste of the action yourself.

Click one of the links to read about the different groups here:

Additional Adaptive Programs

  • Access Ability Wisconsin offers outdoor wheelchair rentals for outdoor recreation.
  • Ainsley’s Angels in Wisconsin provides equipment and pairs runners and people with disabilities to join races.
  • Badgers Adapt is a yearly event at the University of Wisconsin–Madison to teach students about adaptive sports.
  • Blind Outdoor Leisure Development aims to help individuals who are blind and visually impaired access outdoor sports.
  • Madison School & Community Recreation offers programming for adults and youth with disabilities including downhill skiing, yoga and water walking fitness.
  • Madison SCI Inc. connects individuals with access to handcycles and adaptive kayaks.
  • Special Olympics Wisconsin hosts training and competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities in 19 Olympic sports, such as gymnastics and snowboarding.
  • Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association (WASA) is a collaboration of several Milwaukee-area teams including wheelchair bowling, lacrosse and softball.

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