Impact Feature Issue on Social Inclusion Through Recreation for Persons with Disabilities

From the Editors

Note: This document has been archived because some of the information it contains is out of date. (Effective August 2012)

While recent decades have witnessed a significant increase in the participation of persons with developmental and other disabilities in regular education classrooms and community workplaces, participation and inclusion are not the same things. Many individuals with disabilities learn, work, and live alongside non-disabled peers, but too often they have little social connection to and few friendships with those around them. This issue ofImpactproposes that one way to increase social inclusion is for individuals with and without disabilities to play together.

Recreation programs have a number of characteristics that make them ideal places for individuals with disabilities to experience social inclusion and friendship building. The articles in this issue describe those characteristics, strategies for making use of them to enhance the opportunities for meaningful and ongoing social connections between participants with and without disabilities, and barriers to recreational participation that must be addressed.

The opportunity to play with others helps maintain physical, emotional, psychological, and social well-being for us all. Through reading this Impact it is our hope that recreation, education, and community services professionals, along with families and individuals with disabilities, will find additional ways in which everyone can experience those benefits.