When choosing recreation activities, children, youth and adults with disabilities
may need to first spend some time identifying what it is they would like to
do. Here are some things to consider to increase the likelihood that an individual
will have a positive recreation experience:
Make Use of Informal Surveys/Interviews. Based upon what
you know about a person, develop an informal interview/survey you can use
with them that will provide you with information with respect to the types
of recreational activities they might like to try. For persons who have only
emerging communication skills, a set of pictures of people engaging in various
recreation activities that requires only a pointing response or eye gaze can
Take a Tour. Often the best way to support persons with
disabilities in identifying their recreational preferences is to assist them
to actually engage in programs in which they might be interested for a short
“trial” period. Taking individuals on a “tour” of
programs in which they have already indicated some interest and allowing them
to experience the program, setting, and other participants is one avenue through
which this can be accomplished.
Develop a Person-Centered Plan. Bring together the child
or adult with a disability, those individuals who are part of his or her “circle
of support,” and a professional who is capable of facilitating a person-centered
plan. As part of the planning process you will learn a host of things about
the focus person that will be valuable in helping to find a recreational experience
that reflects their interests and meets their needs.
Consider Previous Enjoyable Experiences. But don’t
stop there. Consider entirely new things, as well.
Citation: Gaylord, V., Lieberman, L., Abery, B. & Lais, G. (Eds.). (2003). Impact: Feature Issue on Social Inclusion Through Recreation for Persons with Disabilities, 16(2) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration. Available from http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/162.