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Deepened Ecological Model: A Fresh Perspective on the Experience of Disability

James B. Wise


Therapeutic recreation (TR) exists to serve people who experience disability. Delivering quality, appropriate services is predicated upon a profound understanding of the phenomenon. This article, after briefly analyzing the models of disability commonly cited in TR literature, presents a fresh perspective of the phenomenon. The perspective, portraying disability as malleable, possessing the potential to be positive and contributing to human flourishing, is derived from a deepened version of the ecological model. The deepened model is well suited for capturing the complex interplay of elements giving rise to the experience of disability so therapeutic recreation specialists (TRS) are strongly urged to adopt the fresh perspective and framework as guides for developing and delivering quality services.


Critical realism; ecological model; interactional approach; medical model; social model; therapeutic recreation

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