FAQ's

Who does SOAR serve?
SOAR Fox Cities serves individuals with developmental disabilities ages five to adult and their families/caregivers.
How do I become a member?

You can become a member by filling out the Membership Application Form along with the member fee, and either printing it and mailing it to: SOAR Fox Cities, 211 E. Franklin St., Suite A, Appleton, WI  54911, dropping it off at the SOAR office, or filling it in and submitting it with your payment on-line. The membership form and fee is good for one calendar year (January through December) and will need to be renewed each year. You can join at any time in the year, but the membership fee is the same. Everyone is welcome to become a member of SOAR.

Before participating in any activities, please fill out the Participant Information Form and the Participant Handbook Form.  These forms can also be found on the Member Info page of our website.

How do I register and pay for activities?
There are multiple ways to register for activities:

  1. Fill out the registration form that comes in the SOAR Newsletter each month and mail it in with your payment.
  2. A Register and Pay for Activities form is available under the Member Info tab on our website. It can be filled in and submitted on-line with your payment. After you complete the registration form on-line, it will prompt you to pay with a credit card or PayPal.
  3. You may also walk-in, email, fax, or call in to let us know what activity you would you like to sign up for, and to make payment. We accept cash, check, money order, and credit/debit cards.
Do you have to be a member to attend SOAR programs?
No, you do not have to be a current member to attend SOAR programs, but a membership with SOAR gives you the benefits of discounted activity fees, eligibility for financial assistance through our SOAR Cash Program, and priority registration above non-members (for limited ticketed events).
Where do SOAR activities and programs take place?
SOAR programs are held in several locations. Most adult education classes and activities are held in the lower level of the SOAR Fox Cities building (211 East Franklin Street, Appleton). We also utilize schools, parks, libraries and Goodwill Community Centers in the Fox Cities area for programs and activities. Please check the Calendar in the SOAR Member Newsletter or online under Member Info for details on locations of activities.
Are the programs and buildings all accessible?
Most of the activities, events and programs we provide are accessible. Some community activities/events are not fully accessible (i.e., seating at events or on buses). Please contact program staff to talk about your needs.
Do you provide transportation to and from SOAR programs?
No, SOAR does not provide transportation to and from SOAR programs. There are several low-cost transportation options available in the Fox Cities including, Valley Transit, taxi services, and ride share programs. Click here for more information on transportation options.

Note: Please make sure your transportation needs are arranged ahead of time to and from SOAR programs. If a participant does not have transportation set up after a program or activity ends, SOAR staff will need to contact a caregiver/family member and/or local authorities to assist the participant in finding a safe way home. SOAR staff cannot provide rides to participants.

What if I can’t afford the services and programs?
Financial assistance may be available to members of SOAR who are in need of financial help. SOAR Cash and Camperships are two examples of financial assistance. Please contact the SOAR office for more information (financial assistance is dependent on fund availability).
What is SOAR Cash?
SOAR Cash is a financial assistance program for members of SOAR (funded by donors), that helps participants pay for SOAR activities when they have financial need. Participants may be able to get up to $100 each year, depending on the availability of funding. Contact the SOAR office for an application and details.
Can you offer one-on-one supervision at SOAR programs?
We cannot guarantee there will be one-to-one supervision at SOAR programs and activities. If one-to-one supervision is required for participation, caregivers or family members are welcome to attend an activity or program with the participant. Please feel free to contact program staff to discuss your needs.
Can you accommodate special dietary needs/restrictions of participants?
Yes, we can accommodate special dietary needs and restrictions when given advanced notice. However, if a participant has severe dietary restrictions, we recommend that you send a bag lunch. Please notify SOAR program staff of any allergy restrictions and to discuss dietary needs.
Will SOAR staff be able to administer medication to participants?
No, SOAR staff cannot be responsible or liable for administering medications or handling syringes. If medication must be administered during the course of an activity or program and the participant is able to do so themselves, please be sure the medication is securely packaged and clearly marked with the necessary information. As appropriate, please send a signed consent by the caregiver with the participant. If the participant is unable to administer their medication by themselves, a caregiver must be present to assist them. Note: A nurse is available at Camp Onaway to help administer medications.
Does the SOAR staff have training to work with people of differing abilities?
Yes, program staff are certified in First Aid/CPR, along with other professional training in their program areas. Our program staff is committed to the safety and well-being of all participants.

Note: SOAR does not provide medical services or guarantee one-to-one supervision of participants, but caregivers and family members are welcome to accompany participants to activities when needed.

What individuals can SOAR accommodate in activities, programs and services?
We strive to be inclusive and are currently serving participants who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Brain Injuries, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Fragile X Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Vision and Hearing Impairments and many more conditions. Please feel free to contact SOAR to discuss your needs.

Note: SOAR does not provide medical/diagnostic services or guarantee one-to-one supervision of participants, but caregivers and family members are welcome to accompany participants to activities when needed.

My participant has a behavior procedure; will SOAR follow and enforce the same procedure while they are at SOAR programs?
SOAR staff and volunteers will follow and enforce a behavior procedure that is provided to them in advance. SOAR program staff cannot guarantee one-to-one supervision at activities, but want to discuss the needs of participants so they can enjoy SOAR activities. Please contact program staff to discuss your needs.
What Special Olympics Sports does SOAR offer and how old do you have to be to participate?
SOAR currently offers eight sports: Bowling, Team Basketball/Basketball Skills, Powerlifting, Aquatics, Track & Field, Softball, Tee-ball, and Bocce. The minimum age to participate in Special Olympics is eight years old.
Does SOAR do anything to celebrate birthdays for their members?
Yes, come into the SOAR office on or around your birthday and choose a gift from our birthday drawer!
Who can become a SOAR volunteer?

If you are at least 16 years of age you can volunteer to help with our programs! Age exceptions can be made for younger volunteers if the parent or guardian of the volunteer is present and able to supervise, and for peer-based programs like TnT, Teen Stop and Kidz Klub.

To get started, go to our website under the Get InvolvedVolunteer tab, or contact Community Engagement Coordinator, Ashley Gustafson for more information.

How do I become a donor or sponsor at SOAR?

We rely on our generous supporters (ordinary heroes) to help fund all our inclusive programming at SOAR.  You can donate on our website under the Get Involved – Donate or Sponsor an Event tabs. Contact Ashley Gustafson for more information.

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