Companions are an assistant chosen by the patron with a disability to support them with participation within M-NCPPC sponsored programs, classes, events, drop-ins and/or memberships.
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Companions must be 14 years of age or older and be able to accommodate the patron with the disability within the program setting while following the Code of Conduct and program rules. The Disability Services Team (DST) has sole discretion to determine what is to be in the best interest of M-NCPPC and the Department.
Yes, a person may elect to have more than one companion. A patron with a disability may choose to have more than one companion for various reasons such as; additional companions maybe a backup, for a specific day or program, or maybe require two to assist with lifting, etc.
Companions support the patron with the disability with specific manual, verbal, and/or visual modifications prior to, during, and/or after the program. This may include:
Dependent on the program setting, Companions may be required to submit to a Federal and State criminal background check. Background checks may also be dependent upon the length and/or duration of the program(s). Approval as a Companion is contingent upon favorable results. Background clearances from other agencies are non-transferable.
Companions are required to have a current PARKS DIRECT Account for safety reasons. M-NCPPC staff monitor who is in our facilities at all times through check-ins linked to PARKS DIRECT Accounts.
When accompanying a paying and/or registered patron with a disability, when assistance is required to participate, a Companion will not be charged program fees.
Disability Modification Requests can take up to two weeks for processing. Please plan accordingly to allow time for review and approval.
The Companion Agreement form must be verified and authorized by a Disability Services Team (DST) member. This form is valid with a DST member signature and date stamp.
To provide better customer service, the Department of Parks and Recreation has established the following service areas, which include staff from the Disability Services Team (DST). All staff can be reached via MD Relay: 7-1-1 or 800-522-7724.
Northern Area Office / 1500 Merrimac Drive / Hyattsville, MD 20783 /
Central Area Annex / 2904 Enterprise Road / Mitchellville, MD 20721
Southern Area Office/ 10701 Livingston Road / Fort Washington, MD 20744
Special Programs Office / 7833 Walker Drive, Suite 110 / Greenbelt, MD 20770
Reach the Customer Service Help Desk via TTY at 301-699-2254 and they will connect area staff with questions as needed.
Once the Disability Services Team (DST) receives your Companion Agreement Form, you will be contacted to assist with your disability modification request. After approval by the DST, companion(s) will receive an authorization notification.
Yes, all forms will be reviewed, stamped, signed, and dated by an authorized representative of the Disability Services Team (DST) for each program/event/drop-in/membership identified in section two (2) of the Companion Agreement Form.
If it is an episodic or one-time event, an authorization may not be required due to the quick turnaround timeframe. This type of activity typically does not require pre-registration or a reservation. A Companion will not be charged admission fees with a paying patron with a disability when assistance is required to participate. Examples include but are not limited to M-NCPPC attractions like the carousel, train, miniature golf, museums, etc.