Recreation Therapy -- Adaptive Sports - Milwaukee VA Medical Center
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Milwaukee VA Medical Center


Recreation Therapy -- Adaptive Sports

Q: What does recreation therapy at the Spinal Cord Injury Center consist of?

A: We have a wide variety of activities;


  • Nintendo Wii
  • Lunchtime trivia
  • Billiards, shuffleboard and darts
  • Table tennis
  • Greenhouse
  • Project Waters fly tying
  • Card games
  • Boccia
  • Eko-Aims Laser Gun
  • Community re-entry outings


Q: What are the requirements to become eligible for recreation therapy at SCI?
A: Participation is open to male and female Veterans with qualifying disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputation, visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries, head injuries and certain neurological problems, among other disabilities. Must be enrolled at Milwaukee VA, SCI inpatients do have priority.

Q: How can I find out about specific events or sign up?
A: Contact SCI Recreation Therapy at 414-384-2000, ext. 41256 or 41258 or the Wisconsin PVA 414-328-8910
Ride on the wild side
Q: Do you have organized team sports?
A: No, only for the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

Q: How can I sign up for the wheelchair lacrosse team?
Contact Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association, or 414-430-0543.

Q: Can you help me participate in other adaptive sports in the community?
With the Veterans permission we can connect them with a wide range of community partners contacts that facilitate programs all over southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.
Q: Can I borrow adaptive equipment from the VA?
Veterans may check out recreation therapy equipment for their personal use for a short time, depending on the item. If a Veteran is not already a part of the outpatient recreation therapy program, their provider must place a consult to Outpatient Recreation Therapy for use and trial of adaptive equipment. If a Veteran is medically appropriate for adaptive equipment, such as sport wheelchairs or adaptive cycles, the VA may be able to provide the Veteran with this equipment at no cost, if the Veteran is medically appropriate.  To find out how to qualify, please speak with your recreation therapist.  

Q: How do you make decisions based on who receives equipment?
It is important to remember the safety and wellbeing of all participants in our programs and follow the VA policy 10-2641—Veterans must be medically cleared.
Q: What type of training will you give me on the equipment?
Beginner, entry level type of training is the level we offer and we refer Veterans to another program once they gain more experience and need a challenge.

Q: Why should I participate in these activities?
To Improve your health and avoid secondary conditions.

Recreation Therapy Service

Q: I don’t really like basketball and sports like that. What other adaptive programs do you offer, and where can I find more information?
You can check out the BVASIC Facebook page to see a variety of programs.

Q: How often are local recreation therapy events offered through SCI and how often may I participate?
Many of our programs are seasonal and are offered several times per month during the season; for example, curling we offer Oct-March, cycling is available May-Oct.

Q: What national programs are available through SCI recreation therapy?
For athletes that are unable to play sports ambulatory, VA’s National Veterans Wheelchair Games is hosted by a different city each year. For more information, go to:

surfThe National Veteran Summer Sports Clinic offers adventure sports and
recreational activities, to those who were recently injured (you may only attend twice within five years of injury). Complementing the therapy provided in daily rehabilitation programs, the Clinic shares a glimpse of the many exciting recreational opportunities awaiting those Veterans who accept the challenge. For more information, go to:

The National Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is a week-long ski and snow sportsski goggles clinic hosted each year in Colorado. Participation is open to male and female Veterans with qualifying disabilities such as spinal cord injuries, orthopedic amputation, visual impairments, traumatic brain injuries, head injuries and certain neurological problems, among other disabilities. Veterans who currently have inpatient or outpatient status at a VA Medical facility have priority. All disabilities are subject to review by the Winter Sports Clinic medical director and program director. For more information, go to:

Training Exposure Experience (TEE Tournament) provides legally blind and eligible disabled Veterans an opportunity to develop new skills and strengthen their self-esteem through adaptive golf and bowling events. Each year, the TEE Tournament uses a therapeutic format to promote rehabilitation, fellowship and camaraderie among participants. For more information, visit

The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival offers an opportunity for veterans involvedsinger in Creative Arts Therapy or who engage in Creativity and the Arts for health, wellness and self-expression to showcase their talent and work. Involvement in the Local VA Festival is the first step and available to all veterans enrolled in VA care during the Winter Months. Select numbers of veterans are invited to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, hosted in a different city by a different VA Medical Center each Fall. The Divisions within the Creative Arts include: Visual Art, Music, Dance, Drama and Creative Writing. For additional information, visit

VA’s Golden Age Games is the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation programsurf in the United States, and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans, including those with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. The VA Challenges and encourages senior Veterans to be proactive in embracing a healthier lifestyle.

The games are open to Veterans, ages 55 or older, who receive health care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Q: What are the costs to attend these events?
Most of our local recreation therapy programs are free to Veterans but there are a few that do require a fee or a deposit. National programs cost does vary depending on the program, please visit each program’s website for further information.

Q: I would like to volunteer and help out with this program. What opportunities are available?
We’re always looking for dedicated volunteers who want to give back to our Veterans, whether it’s an hour a month or on a weekly basis. We’re currently looking for volunteers to assist with:

  • community outings on weekdays and weekends

  • ride buddies for cycling (typically Mondays during warmer weather)

  • cycle enthusiasts to assist with cycle maintenance

  • individuals to visit or play games with Veterans on bedrest

  • people with a green thumb to assist with our greenhouse growing

  • strong swimmers to assist with our aquatics group (Wednesday and Friday afternoons)

To volunteer or for more information, call Voluntary Services at 414-384-2000, ext. 41803.

Q: I am a student enrolled in an accredited recreation therapy school program. I would like to do my recreation therapy internship at VA.  How do I get started?
If you are interested in interning in Spinal Cord Injury, please call 414-384-2000, ext. 41256 or 41258.

Contact Info


  • SCI, bldg 144

Contact Number(s)

  • 414-384-2000 Ext. 41256

Hours of Operation

  • 7:30 - 4 p.m.