Importance-Performance Analysis of Supportive Recreation Inclusion Services: Community Agency Perspective
Keywords:Children with disabilities, importance-performance analysis, inclusion recreation services, systems change, and community inclusion practices.
AbstractAs the population of people with disabilities grows, professional recreation administrators and supervisors must improve their services to a broader array of people. Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a large gap still persists between recreation services desired and programs available to people with disabilities. As social norms and expectations increase, agency administrators must show leadership in adapting to the new environment in inclusive services. When recreation agencies increase their inclusion service aptitude, people with and without disabilities will be able to more fully integrate into the fabric of community recreation. Together We Play (TWP) is a therapeutic recreation service providing capacity building supports to recreation agencies to increase their abilities to provide recreation services specifically to children and youth with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to assess the satisfaction of community recreation agency supervisors and administrators with TWP inclusion support services. An importance performance analysis (IPA) of 20 inclusion service attributes employed by TWP was conducted. Forty-eight recreational professionals were mailed an IPA survey, and 26 were completed and returned for a response rate of 54.2%. The survey also included questions related to the agency’s willingness to pay for these inclusion services. Sixty percent of respondents stated that they would be willing to pay for TWP inclusion support services. Whether or not agencies were currently using TWP inclusion services, supervisors and administrators agreed that “TWP providing agencies with leisure companions when one-on-one assistance with a child is necessary” was the key inclusion service. Agencies indicated that “providing agencies with disability specific information” and “inclusion training to administrator and supervisors” were attributes thought to be an “overkill” service. With budgets continuing to tighten for most agencies, administrators and supervisors are looking to cut costs. This IPA identified a difference between an agency’s inclusion service priorities and that agency’s willingness or ability to pay for these services. As a result of this IPA, it is suggested that TWP look at how inclusion services are packaged and marketed. Inclusion services may need to be “packaged” with a range of configurations to meet wide-ranging needs of different agencies.
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