Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation Services
Kristin Ruprecht, MS, CTRS
|Photo of a young man using a wheelchair being pushed through and obstacle course.|
The therapeutic recreation specialist (TRS) is an important ally for people with disabilities working toward successful integration into the community. Therapeutic recreation (TR), also known as Recreation Therapy, is the provision of recreation and leisure services to people with disabilities or illnesses.
David Austin, Professor and Graduate Coordinator of Therapeutic Recreation at Indiana University, says, 'TR is a purposeful intervention that uses recreation to bring about health restoration...(and) has the potential to enhance health or produce high-level wellness.' Therapeutic recreation specialists provide recreation to meet the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social needs of people they serve. Connecting with a therapeutic recreation specialist not only increases awareness of the endless recreation possibilities available for people with disabilities through education and the use of adaptive equipment, but also bridges the gap between successful community integration and the person with a disability.