Essay about Diversity in Outdoor Adventure Recreation

667 Words 3 Pages
Diversity in Outdoor Adventure Recreation

People with disabilities in the past have commonly been limited to experiencing outdoor programs that were segregated to only include the disabled. According to Sugerman (1996), this has historically been the only solution for overcoming "environmental barriers such as transportation, architecture, economics, and public attitudes" (p. 44). Diversity within an adventure program can present new challenges for the participants as well as opportunities for growth. Sugerman displays how most people don't want to participate in programs designed specifically for the disabled, but they are interested in programs that integrate people both with and without disabilities. Activities such as hiking,
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Instead of finding the weaknesses in the disabled participants, the groups find teamwork, cooperation and a greater sense of trust in each other. These programs help to break down social barriers between participants. By the end of an activity, the group as a whole creates a bond from the time spent together, the lessons learned, and the obstacles overcome. Another organization displayed by Sugerman was Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation (MASR). "Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation (MASR) is a non - profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for persons with disabilities to actively participate in recreation, sports and leisure programs of their choice" (http://www.agate.net/~pelle/). MASR also educates other community recreation providers on how to effectively include disabled participants into their programs. Sugerman shows that MASR sponsors a canoeing clinic in conjunction with Unity College and the American Canoe Association. The program is available to offer the disabled a chance to learn the techniques of canoe and sea kayak paddling. During these clinics, kayak and canoe instructors from local businesses attend to learn more about integrating the disabled into their courses (Sugerman). For any organization involved in adventure activities, integrating the programs can provide many positive results by
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