It’s fantastic to see Recreation Therapy getting positive press across the continent! Star News Online published an article this week about Recreation Therapy students from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). They led an accessible yoga class for elementary school children with disabilities.
The article discusses how many school-based physical education classes unfortunately don’t reach children’s diverse needs. This is why the UNCW Recreation Therapy students wanted to provide a yoga class with participation options for all abilities. The kids not only learned something new, but got to enjoy physical activity on their level, which is so empowering.
The article states that “everyone has a right to recreation, including those with disabilities.” It’s wonderful to see Therapeutic Recreation practitioners around the world providing inclusive programming to individuals of all ages!
Inclusive yoga: from a Canadian perspective
Now for a Canadian point of view! The Toronto Star published an article two years ago about the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre; they introduced a yoga class designed for universal access without separating people based on level of ability – how wonderful!
It’s not a specialized class for people with disabilities, but simply a class that draws upon universal aspects of yoga practice that everyone can experience.
One participant named Heather, who uses a wheelchair, said attending the class was seamless. Furthermore, there wasn’t a feeling of having to disrupt what the instructor would normally do in order to be inclusive.
Many recreation and fitness providers across Ontario echo the sentiment of universal access, which may be due in part to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act mandating full accessibility by 2025. The article points to a number of community centres and fitness facilities dedicating themselves to accessibility and inclusivity, which is great to see!