WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Seven Greater Wichita YMCA locations are now offering private adaptive swim lessons for those with physical, cognitive-developmental, or neurological challenges.

Announced in late October of 2023, the courses allow every person the chance to learn water-safety skills.

“Y adaptive swim instructors have the training and skills necessary to make every student they teach feel safe and secure while in the water,” said Greater Wichita YMCA Director of Marketing Angela Cato.

“We know that some kids need a little extra love, need a little extra attention, so basically these adaptive lessons, we have gotten specific certifications and training to help our instructors serve these children,” said Kasey Wiliams, a senior program director at the South YMCA.

The adaptive courses begin with an intake process before one-on-one classes begin allowing each lesson to be tailored to each person’s needs, abilities and goals.

“These lessons are really helping make sure that these kids have the same opportunities as everybody else,” said Williams. “This has just helped us keep the community safe, the kids safe but also give them a healthy understanding of water but also it’s a lifelong skill to be able to swim and enjoy the water, and we want to make sure we are able to give that to these kids.”

Jason Rolf’s daughter Baylor, 6, has been taking private swim lessons with Williams for a couple of years. He said he has seen a great deal of development and growth in her swimming abilities.

“It’s exciting because we will be at the pool, and we will see her, you know, playing with our other kids and swimming, and you know she is more comfortable in the water. She can enjoy it more,” Jason said.

That sentiment is shared by mom Anginette Norton. Her son Ryan, 7, also works with Williams.

“They (adaptive lessons) mean everything because when he first started, he started in group lessons, but he wasn’t getting the attention he needed,” said Anginette. “Since he has been here, he is swimming laps by himself. He can go underwater. He can put his head under the water and not panic or freak out like he used to.”

Ryan is now able to swim the length of the pool, something he was not able to do before taking adaptive swim lessons with Williams.

Williams said she is proud of her students and the service the Greater Wichita YMCA is providing to all individuals.

“We want to serve everyone in our community,” Williams said.

Adaptive swim classes can be found at these Y branch locations: