An Education Model to Promote Inclusive Leisure Services


  • John Dattilo



inclusion, leisure, respect, human rights, oppression


In this article, I identify actions that promote positive attitudes toward people experiencing oppression. The article highlights strategies designed to reduce or eliminate social, psychological, and physical barriers to experiencing inclusive leisure services.To reduce these barriers, educators are encouraged to teach professionals to facilitate social, psychological and physical engagement. Professionals facilitate social engagement by working to enhance attitudes of leisure service providers, improve attitudes of community members, use sensitive terms demonstrating respect and instilling a sense of dignity, nurture positive contact among participants, and act as allies and advocates. To promote psychological engagement leisure service providers help people become self-determined by teaching them ways to experience leisure via leisure education. Strategies to foster physical access include implementing principles of universal design and making adaptations that create opportunities for leisure.This article also contains descriptions of several salient factors affecting people’s chances to experience leisure including culture, economic resources, age, ability, and family environment. Such factors influence attempts to negotiate, reduce, or eliminate social, psychological, and physical barriers to leisure engagement. A way to promote human rights is to offer people of diverse cultural backgrounds a chance to experience leisure together and to welcome them into our programs. To facilitate leisure for people who have limited economic resources we work to improve safety, make programs affordable, and facilitate access. Leisure service providers are in a position to promote healthy aging, respond to desires of older adults, and facilitate meaningful leisure experiences. To promote inclusion of people regardless of their abilities, we become responsive, emphasize the person first, encourage autonomy, and involve participants. Finally, to create inclusive leisure services we involve families in our services by creating family-centered leisure services, developing crosscultural competence, becoming aware of overprotection, relieving family stress, and communicating with family members.The model provides structure to assist administrators, educators, and researchers to design educational opportunities and study effects of such programs. Administrators can use this model to provide organization to in-services designed to promote inclusion. Educators can integrate this model throughout a curriculum or develop a course focused on inclusive leisure. This model can help researchers identify areas in need of further study. Ultimately, the model is designed to encourage development and implementation of inclusive leisure services. For a more detailed presentation of the model please refer to the book, Inclusive Leisure Services (Dattilo, 2017).Subscribe to JPRA