Category Archives: Outdoors


There are several local resources available in Onslow County for families with intellectual disabilities or other special needs.

NOTE: This list is provided as a courtesy to families of  Onslow County. However, appearance on this list does not in any way imply that Onslow County endorses, supports, or is in any way affiliated with any of these organizations.

Please do your own research and ensure that a resource is right for you and your family.

Also, please see the links on the right side of our website for more resources on a state and national level.

If you know of a resource that should be included on this list, or of updated information for a resource listed, please Contact Us. Please include the name of the organization, what their purpose is (how they help families with special needs), and any contact information you may have (including phone number, website, address, and a person we can speak with or point of contact).

Local Resources

  • Family Support Network of the Crystal Coast – Regional parent support information and resource. Contact: Teresa LeRiche @252-675-2751 or 910-347-9754.
  • Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities – A volunteer advocacy group working to improve quality of life for individuals with special needs in Jacksonville and surrounding Onslow County. Contact Carmen Miracle @ 910-938-5224
  • Onslow County Health Department – Offers many services designed to protect and promote the health and well-being of children and families in our community. Contact: 910-347-2154.
  • Onslow County Partnership for Children – Offers many services for parents of younger children including training, education, toy loan library, resource and referral services.
  • Onslow County Schools – Information about evaluation and educational services for children with special needs (preschool and K-12). Contact number 910-455-2211.
  • PARENTSS (Positive Action for Recreational & Educational Needs of Today’s Special Students). – Provides modified bowling, softball, and T-ball leagues, support meetings, and holiday parties. Call John or Rena Schobel at 757-714-4077 or Sharon Wojcuich at 910-324-4031.
  • PEERS (Parent Education, Empathy, Rapport and Support) Family Development Center – Community supported program aimed at promoting the growth and development of families. PEERS offers: Parenting Curriculums, Adolescent Parenting Program, Parents as Teachers Support Program and Free Drop-In Child Care (reservations required). Contact number: 910-938-5447.
  • Special Education 4 Eastern North Carolina (SEAL4ENC) – is being developed as a non-profit organization to empower parents and professionals to excel to their highest abilities through education and training while seeking the strongest outcome possible for all students especially students with disabilities. We support system change that will enrich the lives and the quality of life for children and young adults with disabilities. Contact Wendy E. Boyd or
  • Down syndrome Network of Onslow and Carteret Counties – “Enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome in our community by connecting families and by providing education, support, advocacy, and social opportunities. Jennifer Wiser at

Local Military Resources

  • Educational & Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) – provides early intervention (age birth to three) services for children with developmental delays, medical conditions or genetic conditions who live on Base. Contact: 910-450-4127
  • Exceptional Family Member Program – EFMP is a mandatory enrollment program for all active duty personnel with family members with special needs. The goal of EFMP is to assist military families in managing the dual demands of a Marine Corps career and the special needs of a family member.
  • Specialized Training of Military Parents (STOMP) – Info for military families with special needs. Visit the website or call 1-800-5 PARENT (1-800-572-7368).
  • Military Committee for Persons with Disabilities – A volunteer group which seeks to improve facilities and services for persons with disabilities at Camp Lejeune. Meets the 1st Thursday of every month at 7:00pm at Marine Corps Family Team Building, Building 84, Holcomb Blvd, Camp Lejeune. Contact: David Reintjes @ 910-938-2977.

NC Resources

  • Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center – Statewide resources for special needs info and educational rights. Call 1-800-962-6817.
  • Family Support Network of NC – Comprehensive services to support families of children with special needs. Call 1-800-852-0042.
  • Disability Rights in North Carolina – DRNC is part of a national system of federally mandated independent disability agencies designed to help people across North Carolina gain access to services and opportunity through its advocacy and legal expertise. They regularly challenge systems and society to create positive change and improve the lives of people with disabilities. Website or contact agency at 888-268-5535 TTY, 877-235-4210, 919-856-2195

National Resources and Equipment Recommendations

Special Olympics

Get inspired: 5 professional athletes who overcame their disabilities

  1. Surfer – Bethany Hamilton

Born and raised in Hawaii, in a family of surfers, she was born to be part of the water. She enjoyed surfing from an early age and even started to compete professionally. However, at the young age of 13, a shark attacked her and she lost an arm.

Understandably, many others would never ever even get close to the water after such a horrible accident. Not Bethany. She proved to have unbeatable spirit and true determination to continue surfing. Less than a month after the attack, she was back on her board. More determined than ever, aged just 15, she won the NSSA National Championships.

But even that was not enough. She continued surfing and become the face of many sports magazines. She wanted to inspire others and shared her story in the inspirational movie Soul Surfers.

  1. Triathlete – Jason Lester

Would you ever dream to compete in an Ironman that after a horrific car accident? That was exactly what Jason did. The car accident when he was just 12 left him with a multitude of injuries, among which, a paralyzed arm. That didn’t stopped him. He competed in Ironman and Ultraman competitions without being able to use his arm fully. He can swim faster, ride better and run mind-blowing distances regardless of his disability. He was crowned “the best male athlete with disability’ in 2009 becoming the first one to receive this award.

  1. Wrestler – Anthony Robles

Unlike the two athletes above, he was born with his condition. Missing a leg since birth, he proved that he had the attitude he needed to succeed. He became high school and college wrestling champion. The young athlete had to overcome many obstacles on his way to the NCAA championship title, but he remains an inspiration to this day!

  1. Triathlete and Marathon Runner – Jim MacLaren

Zero chances for survival, said the doctors in the hospital. He was hit by a bus while on his motorcycle. Against all odds, he survived, albeit one of his legs had to be cut below the knee. After the accident he assessed his life and decided that his past accomplishments in university sports brought him great joy, he decided to compete again. He took up swimming and running and even competed in NY Marathon and Triathlon. A true inspiration, he later took up inspiration speaking to motivate others to live their life to the fullest.

  1. Paralympic Games Champion – Melissa Stockwell

A roadside bomb exploded while Melissa was part of a convoy during her service in the US Army. Her leg had to be amputated above the knee. The recovery was difficult, but she started swimming to speed up the process. 4 years down the road, she took part in a Paralympic Games and become the record holder in 100 meter butterfly and the 100 meter freestyle competitions. A true impiration, she was even featured on Hartford U.S. Paralympics Partnership ad campaign