Impact: Feature Issue on Social Inclusion Through Recreation for Persons with Disabilities

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A newsletter issue proposing that one way to increase the social inclusion of individuals with disabilities is for children, youth and adults with and without disabilities to play together. While recent decades have witnessed a significant increase in the participation of persons with developmental and other disabilities in regular education classrooms and community workplaces, participation and inclusion are not the same thing. Many individuals with disabilities learn, work, and live alongside nondisabled peers, but too often they have little social connection to and few friendships with those around them. Recreation programs have a number of characteristics that make them ideal places for individuals with disabilities to experience social inclusion and friendship building. The articles in this issue describe those characteristics, strategies for making use of them to enhance the opportunities for meaningful and ongoing social connections between participants with and without disabilities, and barriers to recreation participation that must be addressed. Its goal is to encourage recreation, education, and community services professionals, along with families and individuals with disabilities, to find additional ways in which everyone can experience the benefits of social inclusion.

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