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Midvale Journal

Copperview’s adaptive programs are in high demand

Jul 03, 2023 10:12AM ● By Peri Kinder

Midvale’s Copperview Recreation Center offers a variety of adaptive classes and programs, catering to children, teens or adults with disabilities. (Photo courtesy Copperview Recreation Center)

One Saturday each month, the Copperview Recreation Center in Midvale (8446 Harrison St.) holds a dance from 5-8 p.m. where participants get dinner and enjoy music from a DJ. It’s a dance where adults with disabilities can interact with their peers and it’s one of the center’s most successful social programs. 

The dance is just one of more than 20 adaptive programs and classes run through Salt Lake County recreation centers that include indoor rock climbing, bowling, archery, track and field, and Junior Jazz. 

Interest is high for adaptive programs at Copperview and Ashley Bowen, Copperview facility manager, invites kids, teens or adults with disabilities to come try the fun, inexpensive and interactive classes.

“Our mission statement is improving lives through people, parks and play, and with our adaptive programs, that’s our same aim,” Bowen said. “We want to give everybody, no matter their abilities, the opportunity to play.”

The adaptive summer camp at Copperview, for kids in grades K-12, filled up within the first two days of registration. Classes change seasonally so there’s always something new to learn or experience, and courses are affordable, usually costing around $25 for a six-week program. Scholarships are available for those who need financial assistance.

Copperview offers adaptive cooking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a course created from patrons’ suggestions. There’s also a seated dance class for anyone from junior high to older adults. The Walk N’ Roll club is open to all ages.

“With [Walk N’ Roll], sometimes we do the walking outdoors. We’ll do some hiking, but we incorporate a healthy lifestyle into that,” Bowen said. “We teach them about some nutrition facts, we have a healthy snack for them, and we just talk about the health benefits of walking.”

One of the most popular programs is the adaptive theater class where participants rehearse on Monday and Wednesday evenings, then perform the play at Copperview. The class is currently rehearsing “Seussical the Musical.” 

Because Copperview has been retrofitted for people with disabilities, for easy accessibility, the center is a main hub for participants, many of whom have been coming to adaptive classes for years. 

“We have expanded so much recently…There are not many recreation programs offered for people with disabilities, especially adults, and if they are offered, they’re expensive. So our programs are really low cost,” said Michelle Bollmeyer, Copperview’s adaptive program manager. “We’re really heavy on the social aspect, too. 

“A lot of adults with disabilities don’t have the means to leave their houses, interact with people their age and get that social component we all need. These programs are a chance for them to come out and try something new with other people their age, especially with the Saturday night dances.”

Dance classes are available to accommodate different disabilities. There is a seated dance class for individuals who have physical limitations or might use a wheelchair. A movement class and group fitness classes help patrons with intellectual or physical disabilities stay active. 

Volunteers are a vital part of successful adaptive programs. “Volunteering is huge, and I think it’s great on both ends,” Bollmeyer said. “It’s interacting with a certain population that maybe you don’t interact with all the time, but they’re still part of our community. And they’re just a lot of fun. We offer volunteer opportunities for all of our programs. We love volunteers.”

For information about volunteering, reach out to Bollmeyer at [email protected]. Visit for a list of adaptive classes at Copperview and other recreation centers in the county.

“My advice would be to come and try it out,” Bowen said. “We will allow you to come try it out at no cost, if you’re hesitant to register for a full session.” λ