The purpose of this study was to identify the inclusive practices employed and barriers encountered by key players in Minnesota’s community leisure service agencies that were actively serving people with disabilities in inclusive programs. By identifying ”recommended professional practices” for inclusive services, the specific roles and strategies implemented by key players and barriers they encountered could be observed first-hand. In order to analyze the nature and extent of inclusive programming in relation to agency key player roles, 13 agencies were selected for on-site interviews. The following key players were interviewed at each of those agencies: (1) administrator; (2) supervisor; (3) program instructor; (4) volunteer or trainer advocate; and (5) consumer (i.e., individual with a disability and/or his/her parent/care provider). Networking with others and collaborative program planning (i.e., agency staff work closely with consumers in designing programs) were the most prevalently cited organizational recommended professional practices across key players. Regarding programmatic recommended professional practices, ongoing program evaluation and volunteer management strategies were the most frequently cited. Consumers are typically involved only in the initial selection of a recreation program or activity. Regarding the barriers they experienced when attempting to accommodate individuals with disabilities, administrators and supervisors reported financial constraints most often. Financial constraints were also among the three most frequent responses of program instructors (23%), volunteers (25%), and consumers (15%). A plea for further coordination and collaboration between agency staff, participants with disabilities, and care providers to facilitate inclusive community recreation services is made.
Author Pamela A. Germ, Stuart J. Schleien
Volume Vol 31, No 1 (1997)