An Evaluation of University Recreation Center Outdoor Programs for People With Disabilities: Perspectives From Professionals


  • Erin Daniels North Carolina State University
  • Michael Cottingham University of Houston
  • David W. Walsh University of Houston
  • Demetrius Pearson University of Houston



outdoor adventure programs, students with disabilities, recreational programming


In this study, the researchers explored the perspectives of recreational practitioners currently working in the field of outdoor adventure programming on college campuses and their knowledge and interactions with students with disabilities participating in integrated outdoor adventure activities. A qualitative descriptive thematic analysis was used for data collection, management, and assessment. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 professionals working in the field of collegiate outdoor adventure (outdoor recreation). Three themes and 16 categories were identified, which reflected the contemporary perspectives of the interviewed respondents. The themes identified were incomplete knowledge, positive outlook, and student success. The sample for this study consisted of two women and eight men. The findings show that the themes adequately address the research question pertaining to the lack of integrated outdoor adventure programming on college campuses.

Author Biographies

Erin Daniels, North Carolina State University

Coordinator, Outdoor Adventures

Michael Cottingham, University of Houston

Dr. Michael Cottingham is an Assistant Professor of Sport and Fitness Administration at the University of Houston. His research interests include disability sport marketing and perceptions of athletes with disabilities.

David W. Walsh, University of Houston

Clinical Assistant Professor Sport and Fittness Administration

Demetrius Pearson, University of Houston

Associate Professor Sport and Fittness Administration


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Additional Files





Special Issue: Campus Outdoor Recreation Programs