Play Together: Changing Lives through Inclusive Recreation

Play Together: Changing Lives through Inclusive Recreation


(soft music) – Isolation impacts employment. It impacts your overall health. – It is kind of challenging to go out into the world and be looked at. Or have people talking
under their breath at you. We’ve had that along the way. – Activity is key in
improving quality of life. So without that recreation,
without that activity, the quality of life just diminishes. – I would say that it
was really hard to find inclusion programs that were out there. Everything seemed to be very segregated. I think that once people hear
your child has a disability, it almost creates a barrier. My son, Billy, is 19. He has autism and fragile x. Getting out into the community and being able to do activities
that are fun and playful to keep the family unit strong. That helps with the marriage too, keeping us together for 25 years because we like to play as
much as we like to work. – It has a strong impact
on someone’s overall sense of wellness and that ability
to connect with our community and really live a full life. It is vital to a human being and it’s time that we start
looking at that more closely. – Recreation is when
anyone is able to choose what they want to do when they wanna do it and with the people that
they wanna be doing it with. – It’s teaching the skills and the tools, and sometimes even the equipment necessary for that individual in
order to be included in their community and active. – [Woman] Everyone has a right to enjoy their community in the
way that they see fit. (uplifting music) – We realize that hey,
Maeve might not be able to ride a two-wheeled bike
without training wheels, Maeve might need an adaptive bike. When we put her on that adaptive bike, and she was comfortable and
she didn’t have to worry about her balance, and I
saw her go down that path, it was overwhelming. It was overwhelming to me and my wife. Seeing her have that freedom, seeing her have that growth
and that development, it was as much of a
win for me as a parent, as it was for Maeve. – You should be able to have
choice and opportunities available to you, and not be
told only one option works, and you should be able
to go out and pursue that as much as possible with
the support and resources that are available to
you in our community. – To watch them to be
able to pursue something they’re really passionate about,
in a way that’s meaningful and accessible to them. We see clients make just
tremendous amounts of progress when things are adapted to fit their needs and their individual preferences and passions are taken into account. – Finding strength in
each other at a fun event, that’s also for you, can be
hugely uplifting for families, and also just an important
source of connection. – It is kind of challenging
to go out into the world and be looked at, if your child is having a hard time in the community. And the only way a parent
gets better and better at disclosing and going
out into the community is by doing it. – The first important step
is to look at yourself as an individual, or your son or daughter as an individual who
wants to play this sport, not the disability first. If you can look at the activity first and how I, or my son or daughter, can be involved in that activity, that’s gonna open tons of doors. But by focusing on the disability first, you’re never gonna have true inclusion. – We get a lot of individuals who, I’ve lost all my friends because of my spinal cord injury, you know, no one comes to see me anymore, I can’t go out. I said, well, come hang out! We’ll go for a kayak,
we’ll go for a bike ride, we’ll do all these things to show you that this is possible,
and you can take that back to your community and advocate for other people just like you. – I think we’re changing
people’s attitudes, we’re changing their values, and that’s one of my missions, because I’m looking for
us to create a culture of inclusion in recreation
that people will understand the value–
– People just like you. – [Woman] And be able to participate. – I wanna do this; how
can we make it possible? – It puts everybody on equal ground. – What can we do to support people? How can we break down barriers? How can we explain things? How can we do training
and education for people? – Allow your disabled members to also experience those things and grow up, get out, and enjoy and learn
throughout that process, and know that your disabled family member is capable and willing and able to do those types of things. I’m not fragile, I’m
always looking for action. – [Woman] To learn more about joining the inclusion movement, click
to fill out a contact form or visit our website.

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