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  • The Patricia Neal Innovative Recreation Cooperative (IRC) reflects it name in its philosophy. Innovation is new and creative ways in which individuals with a disability are able to participate. Recreation is the medium that is used to enhance education and awareness of the participants.

    Cooperative is the group of individuals who support, nurture, and mentor using their expertise and talents to make the clinic a success. Together, each clinic is an innovative form of recreation using a cooperative of talents.

    The Patricia Neal Innovative Recreation Cooperative (IRC) was created in 1994 to meet the needs of individuals who have suffered a life changing illness or injury in East Tennessee. The program was designed to be a part of the continuum of care in the rehabilitation process. The scope of the program is to host clinics under an umbrella of education and awareness: Education to teach leisure skills to enhance quality of life in a safe environment and Awareness to heighten the understanding of disabilities to the community. In its existence, the IRC has seen over 5,000 participants and volunteers.

    The disability groups primarily serviced by the IRC include brain and spinal injury, stroke, and orthopedic injuries including amputees. The IRC hosts clinics in water skiing, snow skiing, paddling, cycling, climbing, marksmanship, and golf on a regular basis. Specialty clinics are hosted depending on interest to include road racing, tennis, sled hockey, hunting, fishing, self-defense, and camping. It is not the intent of the IRC to be a recreation program as it is to promote education and awareness through recreation activities. The IRC is a resource center for contacts to recreation within venues in the community. If you are seeking an activity and do not have a resource, contact the IRC and we will try to assist you with resource information.