Three Approaches for Integrating Persons with Disabilities into Community Recreation


  • Stuart J. Schleien
  • Frederick P. Green


Accessibility, comm\Dlity recreation, disability, generic services, inclusion, integration, leisure services, reverse mainstreaming, service delivery, therapeutic recreation, zero exclusion.


As research on the benefits of recreation participation in integrated cornmwrity environments continues to grow, the responsibility for serving people with disabilities will shift from the exclusive domain of therapeutic recreation to a collaborative effort between therapeutic recreation specialists and "generic" providers of cornmwrity recreation. Three approaches for facilitating the transition of commwrity recreation services from segregated environments to inclusive commwrity environments are presented. The "integration of generic recreation programs" approach uses current integration strategies to include people with disabilities in existing community recreation programs. In the ''reverse mainstreaming" approach, integration is achieved by attracting peers without disabilities to programs designed originally for people with disabilities. The "zero-exclusion" approach is designed from its inception to include all members of the commwrity regardless of ability levels. While each approach has inherent programming advantages and disadvantages, all three are presented with the intent of promoting participation by all members of the community.





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