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Different Forms of Recreation

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The fact is that a disabled person does not stop him from participating fully in the society. Recreation for them is provided from three different standpoints. First, it can be used as a form of treatment and delivered in a hospital, a residential facility, or outpatient programs that focus on the therapeutic values of recreation. This type of therapeutic recreation programs have been used to help out people to become independent, increase their self-worth, improve functional states, learn public skills, or learn to use leisure time wisely (McLean et al 2007, p. 184). These include numerous activities, such as the following: swimming, archery, weight lifting, ping pong, darts, cards, etc. Movement may help individuals increase coordination and range of motion of body movement (p. 184). For example, water sports, swimming, or water therapy can be extremely valuable to a variety of children and youths with disabilities, as can free motion activities such as creative dance. These activities can amplify physical strength and suppleness; having a strong, smart body correlates with a positive personality.

A second form of recreation for mentally disabled people focuses on participation for the activity itself rather than as a means of therapy. This form of recreation is called inclusive recreation. Inclusive programs provide opportunities for people with and people without disabilities to interact together. The supportive recreation inclusion model outlines components for designing less restrictive leisure environments and providing the maximum possible support to empower mentally disabled people to attain interdependence within a recreation setting. Devine et al (2004, p. 212) describes four components of supportive recreation inclusion (SRI) model are (a) the needs and interest of the disabled person, (b) that person’s support system, (c) recreation service providers; and (d) the community at large (cited in Human Kinetics 2010, p. 75).

The last form focuses on recreation programs designed for disabled people and is called special recreation. Opportunities for people with disabilities are as varied as the agencies that provide these services. The best known examples, described by Vash and Crewe (2004, p. 139), for special recreation are the Paralympics, for physically disabled athletes, and the Special Olympics, for athletes with mental disability.

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