SNAP Promotional Video

Promotional video for Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Special Needs Activity Program

SNAP History

Physical activity programming for individuals with disabilities sponsored by the Department of Health and Physical Education (now the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science) dates back to the late 1960s/early 1970s. In 1972, Dr. Jim Mill started a gym and swim program in Waller Hall that served children with physical disabilities and was supported through grants from local mental health/intellectual disability agencies. This physical activity program was linked to the Armstrong/Indiana Special Olympics program and Camp Orenda.

A Special Needs Aquatic Program (SNAP) was operating in 2003 when Dr. David Lorenzi was hired. Lorenzi changed the program to the Special Needs Activity Program and offered physical activity programming for both children and adults with disabilities in Zink Hall, utilizing the Lepley Natatorium, the Jim Mill Fitness Center, and the gymnasiums. The program quickly grew and now serves approximately 100 individuals with disabilities each semester through the Saturday morning Child SNAP program, the Wednesday evening Adult SNAP program, and the Friday Lifesteps SNAP program. A Westmoreland County SNAP program was offered for two years from 2010 to 2012 at Seton Hill University and the Clelian Heights School in Greensburg.

The SNAP program partners with local agencies such as Community Living and Learning, Lifesteps, and the Community Guidance Center to provide physical activity programming for individuals with disabilities. Students in the Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Science complete practicum hours in the SNAP program that are linked to HPED courses. Additionally, SNAP routinely has student volunteers from across campus and from different majors every semester. The SNAP program operates for seven sessions during the fall and spring semesters and for four sessions during the summer.