May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12

WE ARE PARKS AND RECREATION
Inclusive Recreation: A
Pathway Toward Friendship
By Lisa Drennan
W
hen we focus on an individual's gifts and values they can
share with their community, we take the first step in facilitating
and fostering a friendship based on a mutual interest
that two people share.
We live in a world where isolation
and loneliness are becoming an increasing
challenge for all communities,
and especially for people with
disabilities. Creating opportunities
for friendships and genuine connection
is important now more than
ever. Recreation can provide the perfect
environment for this to happen.
Loneliness
Even before the coronavirus
(COVID-19) pandemic, isolation and
loneliness were experienced by people
with disabilities at a considerably
higher rate than their non-disabled
peers. Thus, it is crucial that we work
to create opportunities for social connectedness
and belonging.
Friends Cheyanne and
Chase participate in a
swim class together at
their local YMCA.
of people
abilities
Prior to COVID-19, 45 percent
with
reported
intellectual
feeling
dislonely
(tinyurl.com/24xdaz3h)
- that
is compared to only 10.5 percent
of the general population (tinyurl.
com/2usnxvff). This has only elevated
the level of disconnectedness.
It has been said that an antidote for
loneliness is friendship; however, having
friends is not achieved as easily for
people with disabilities. Compared to
the general population, people with
disabilities have fewer friends, less
social support and are more socially
isolated (tinyurl.com/4yh8k4ep).
Research has shown that children
disabilities
with
engage
By
in
less
physical activity compared to their
typically developing peers (tinyurl.
com/4wpedsdr).
children
participate
with
disabilities
in community
self-esteem,
supporting
to
sports
and activities, children gain activityspecific
skills, group participation
skills,
increased
independence and opportunities to
engage in positive peer interactions
(tinyurl.com/3me6evps).
Inclusive recreation provides an
ideal setting for this to occur. An
instructor is uniquely positioned
to begin the connection that could
lead to an authentic friendship between
a person with, and a person
without, a disability.
12 Parks & Recreation | MAY 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
Friendships
Friends are good for our health; they
help celebrate good times and are
supportive during bad times. Friends
inhibit loneliness and give a reciprocal
opportunity to also offer needed
companionship. Friends also can increase
a person's sense of belonging
and purpose, boost happiness and reduce
stress (tinyurl.com/2p8hj4ee).
Why Recreation?
We
participate
in
recreational
opportunities with others because
of common interests. Recreational
activities present perfect opportunities
and foundations for a friendship
to be built. Work and school
environments focus on intelligence
and productivity, and measurements
associated therewith, thereby creating
separation or labels. Recreation is
fun. Everybody possesses the ability
to have fun, feel fun and experience
fun. It is what people choose to do
with their time, and where people
want to spend their time.
Recreational settings offer an ideal
opportunity to foster friendships. Opportunities
for meaningful connection
should be created in a way that
leads to friendship between peers,
both with and without disabilities.
Friendship doesn't always just
happen. It calls for proactive steps
by instructors and administrators
alike. It not only requires creating
a welcoming
and
accessible
environment for people with
disabilities to participate, but also
intentional actions to foster authentic
peer relationships. This creates a
culture where someone transitions
from simply participating to a place
of actually belonging.
Lisa Drennan is Founder of MERGE
Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting
(lisadrennan@mergeconsulting.org).
PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIE BLACKBURN
http://www.tinyurl.com/2p8hj4ee http://www.tinyurl.com/24xdaz3h https://www.tinyurl.com/2usnxvff https://www.tinyurl.com/2usnxvff http://www.tinyurl.com/4yh8k4ep https://www.tinyurl.com/4wpedsdr https://www.tinyurl.com/4wpedsdr http://www.tinyurl.com/3me6evps

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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