Recreation Inclusion Training Program

Inclusion Process for Recreation, Parks and Tourism

The Recreation Inclusion Training Program (RITP) mission is to foster inclusion of all persons into recreation programs.  The SFSU Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Department oversees RITP and partners with community organizations, such as the Janet Pomeroy Center, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and SFSU Disability Programs and Referral Center, to facilitate recreation opportunities for SFSU students, veterans and others with disabilities. RITP also organizes trainings, such as "adaptive kayaking"  and "inclusion basics for camp staff," for public and private recreation agencies to help them better accommodate persons with disabilities in their programs. We focus on recreation programs rather than facilities.

What is RITP

The Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism at San Francisco State University provides classes and workshops, as well as partners with community organizations, such as the Janet Pomeroy Center, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and SFSU Disability Programs and Referral Center, to facilitate recreation opportunities for SFSU students, veterans and others with disabilities.  RITP organizes trainings, such as inclusive kayaking and basics for camp staff, for public and private recreation agencies to help them better accommodate persons with disabilities in their programs.

What is Inclusion

  1. A process
  2. Persons with disabilities or special health care needs are actively participating in recreation, social, educational and developmental opportunities along with their peers without disabilities.
  3. Providing opportunities for choice
  4. Providing necessary support to ensure recreation is fun and matches skills with challenge.
  5. Creating environments for meaningful engagement
  6. Not a one-time event or separate service
  7. Process of learning, preparing, experiencing and growing with each person in each recreation opportunity

Source: Hironaka-Juteau J. and Crawford T. 2010. Introduction to Inclusion.  Inclusive Recreation; Programs and Services for Diverse Populations. Human Kinetics.

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Why is Inclusion Important

  • It is the right thing to do
    • The person with a disability is still a person, with hopes, dreams
    • Mutual respect
    • All of us will be disabled one time or another (aging, accident)
  • Everyone benefits from inclusion
  • It is the law
    • 1964 Civil Rights Act
    • 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act
      • Must provide reasonable accommodation
    • 2012 US Dept. of Education Policy on Outside of School Activity Participation

Basic Organizational Needs

  • Awareness about inclusion throughout organization
  • Buy-In at the top of the organization
  • A manager overseeing inclusion efforts within the organization
  • Inclusion is integral part of all organization planning and budgeting
  • Trained front line staff

Definition of Terms

  • Accessibility - Taking appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications technology, and to other recreation facilities and services open or provided to the public.
  • Accommodation - A reasonable adjustment to facilities and programs so persons of all abilities have an equal opportunity to participate in recreation activities.
  • Adaptive - Making changes to equipment and services to accommodate persons with specific disabilities.
  • Inclusion - Persons with disabilities or special health care needs are actively participating in recreation, social, educational and developmental opportunities along with their peers without disabilities.

Sources:
Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. 2007.
Hironaka-Juteau J. and Crawford T. 2010. Introduction to Inclusion.  Inclusive Recreation; Programs and Services for Diverse Populations. Human Kinetics.

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Four Core Inclusion Concepts

  1. Broad definition of inclusion
  2. Person first (language and attitude)
  3. No one is exempt
  4. Safety first

Source: L. Metcalf-Tobin, 2012

Barriers to Inclusion

  • Transportation
  • Structural
  • Economic
  • Social and attitudinal
  • Psychological
  • Communication
  • Programmatic accommodations
  • Inclusion itself, some prefer separate programs
  • Lack of experience or training

Source: L. Metcalf-Tobin, 2012

Accommodation Limitations

  • Significant financial hardship or burden
  • Significant administrative burden
  • Changes inherent nature of activity
  • Danger to self or others

Source:  Americans with Disabilities Act. 1990

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Steps in the Inclusion Process

  1. Program Promotion
  2. Registration and Assessment
  3. Accommodations and Support
  4. Staff Training
  5. Program Implementation
  6. Documentation
  7. Evaluation 

Inclusive Recreation Courses, Training and Resources in San Francisco Bay Area

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