By Susan Ostby and Jennifer Skulski, National Center on Accessibility
Every day, millions of people participate in recreational activities. Recreation activities offer avenues for people with disabilities to improve their health, relationships, and enjoyment of life. In fact, recreational pursuits centered on physical activity and social engagement can help prevent secondary health problems such as obesity and depression. Physical activity during recreation promotes weight loss, strength, flexibility, motor skills, and self-confidence. Socializing during recreation enables people to create new relational bonds and strengthen old ones, leaving the individual with an enhanced self-image and expanded social skills.
Andy and his parents pose for a photo after a round of golf. Photo courtesy of the National Alliance for Accessible Golf.
For people with disabilities, participating in recreation can have a lasting impact that significantly improves their quality of life. However, the accessibility of a recreation program or facility can affect the individual's experience and overall satisfaction with the experience. One of the most frequently asked questions to the National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD) and the National Center on Accessibility (NCA) is, 'Where can I find accessible recreation opportunities?' This article will guide visitors in their search for accessible recreation facilities and programs. We will discuss how you can conduct initial searches for programs, who to contact, and what questions to ask before arriving at your recreation destination.