Everybody has limits, however society limits folks with disabilities in lots of unknowable methods.
As a substitute of being unique or creating separated applications, Glenwood Springs Parks and Recreation has been enhancing its present program for folks with disabilities to get pleasure from all the identical recreation.
“That’s an enormous tenet of therapeutic recreation, is in having enjoyable and rising somebody’s high quality of life via play,” stated Laine Fabijanic, the town’s neighborhood and therapeutic recreation supervisor.
Fabijanic has been working for Glenwood for 2 months and is already excited by the entire prospects.
“The objective with this was to deliver on experience that will assist us provide higher alternatives to the neighborhood, for everyone,” stated Steve Frederick, recreation supervisor for the town.
Whether or not it’s particular harnesses on the climbing wall, providing chairs for folks with restricted mobility in a dance class, help with understanding for folks recovering from harm or tailored artwork courses for all wants, Fabijanic’s focus is making recreation accessible to all.
“Every thing’s tailored and inclusive,” she stated. “If we have to separate out we’ll try this, however the concept is that it’s an inclusive expertise. So people with disabilities are part of our typical programming on each degree.”
Her dream has lengthy been working in therapeutic recreation, and she or he has labored with many organizations within the valley all through the years, together with beginning her personal firm. She at all times felt Glenwood Springs was the proper out of doors and leisure city to supply extra adaptive choices.
“I’ve been manifesting this for like 20 years; it’s been a necessity in our neighborhood endlessly and it’s so nice that the place exists and that I get to satisfy it,” she stated.
Fabijanic stated that it’s distinctive that the town was already set as much as adapt to any individual’s wants as an alternative of getting separate programming.
Fabijanic moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 1999 after she acquired her diploma in Therapeutic Recreation on the College of Georgia. Fabijanic has additionally labored as an authorized therapeutic leisure specialist within the valley for years.
She stated that therapeutic recreation is not being supplied at her college, and Metro State College Denver was the one college within the state and area that used to supply it, however three years in the past they stopped. It’s nonetheless on the varsity’s catalog for courses, however the division was unable to confirm whether or not they nonetheless provide programs.
The place is changing into extra in demand, however the schooling for it’s changing into extra scarce.
“My imaginative and prescient with this place is to have a variety of social alternatives for our neighborhood to have interaction in, which are enjoyable and based mostly within the open air, present connection, inclusion, using arts and tradition, path techniques and all the things in parks and rec,” she stated.
“Adapting limitations,” as Frederick phrased it, appears to be in Fabijanic’s core.
“I don’t like to remain contained in the field,” she stated. “In reality, that’s in all probability how this began. After I was in preschool, I stored getting despatched to my cubby as a result of I wouldn’t sit on the road.”
She stated her dad loves to inform that story.
“‘She by no means sat on the road, ever,’” she stated, quoting her dad. “I’ve been an outside-the-box thinker since inception. So I’m at all times on the lookout for inventive options. There’s no limitation.”
Intergenerational programming is essential, too, giving older adults an opportunity to share a wealth of data and younger folks an opportunity to be taught from others. One of many outside-of-the-box concepts she has is getting as a lot neighborhood enter as doable.
“We’re actually on the lookout for enter from people who find themselves dwelling right here and on the lookout for actions,” she stated. “Possibly they’ve programming concepts or pursuits for his or her family members doing extra.”
One other concept she has can provide dad and mom extra of a possibility to root their kids on, with what she coined as “recreation paras.”
“We would like individuals who wish to volunteer with us to be a buddy on the courts for youths with disabilities, so their dad and mom can hang around on the sidelines and cheer them on and never must be on the court docket with them,” Fabijanic stated.
Her objective is to insert herself wherever she will be able to provide inclusive and adaptive advantages, whereas additionally constructing a detailed bond with the neighborhood.
Spring Particular Olympics simply closed registration, however persons are nonetheless welcome to name Fabijanic and Frederick in the event that they missed the registration and nonetheless wish to partake. For the occasions, they are going to be providing spring soccer, monitor and area and swimming.
“We’ll by no means depart any member of the family or child behind who desires to take part,” Frederick stated. “They simply have to name us and we’ll work out methods to make it work.”
They each stated they need the identical flexibility with all of their programming. Communication could be very inspired for concepts, and for assist.
“Should you’re fascinated about something that’s leisure or what you get pleasure from to do along with your free time, allow us to assist to facilitate that,” Frederick stated.
Publish Unbiased reporter Cassandra Ballard may be reached at email@example.com or 970-384-9131.