Becoming an Inclusive Recreation Provider

The New Brunswick Association for Community Living has published a set of eight recommendations for recreation providers to be inclusive.

  • A mission that embraces inclusion: Put your mission in writing and display it prominently. The mission statement needs to say that your program values inclusion, and that it will strive to welcome and support all people to participate. It does not need to identify people with disabilities specifically, but it must be understood that people of different abilities and backgrounds will be served by your program.
  • Strong leadership and administrative support for inclusion: In a recent study on inclusive recreation programs, leadership for inclusion from top administrators was noted as being one of the strongest factors for success.
  • Use inclusion facilitators: Successful inclusive recreation programs draw upon the expertise of people who have knowledge of inclusive programs and practices to guide their development over time. This inclusion facilitator can be a staff person or an outside person, but it should be someone with specific knowledge of the issues that people with disabilities face
  •  Staff hiring and training: Implementing inclusive recreation programs will require staff to “buy into” an inclusive mission and program culture. It will also require staff members that have knowledge of inclusive practices. Recreation programs can demonstrate their commitment to inclusion by offering employment opportunities to people with disabilities.

Read the entire article here, including helpful advice on networking, funding, and the marketing of inclusive recreation programs.