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If you are a parent or a recreation/leisure provider and have a specific question about inclusive recreation, programming or adapted sport/recreation equipment training and consultation, please feel free to ask our experts. Our experts will try to post a response to your question within a month.

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Accessible Playground Standards

My parks and recreation department is interested in making modifications to one or more of our playgrounds so that kids with disabilities can use them freely. Can you recommend any standards that we can use as guidelines for evaluaintg and modifying our playgrounds so that they are more fully accessible for kids with disabilties?

--Jim Smith, Sunnyside Township

Here are a couple of suggestions. First, it's always helpful to speak with others who have modified or built brand new playgrounds that are universally accessible. Consider visiting the Freedom Playground in Haverford Township to get some ideas and talk with Tim Denny, Director of Recreation for the township. Next, visit to get design standards for playgrounds that meet ADA requirements. And don't overlook members of your community, especially children and parents of children with disabilities. They are a great resource for practical and realistic modifications and suggested playground apparatus.

The role of a Recreation Therapist in an IEP

I am a special education teacher and I am having trouble getting my administrator to consider using a recreation therapist in our autistic support program. What do they do and what are their qualifications?

--Michelle Manning
A recreation therapist is considered qualified if she or he has the credential "CTRS" which means national certification issued by a national credentialing organization (NCTRC). A recreation therapist is mostly interested in supporting a student's access to and ability to use physicaly and socially active recreation opportunities in schools and communities. They can collaborate with teachers and parents in order to determine student needs and options for maximizing involvement. A great resource is the document "Recreation Therapy as a Related Service" which is found on this website... click on the Consumers and Parents section to find the document about recreation therapy as a related service.