City of Colorado Springs Therapeutic Recreation Program
Disability Fact: Nationally, 10-15% of the population is disabled. That translates into between 50,000 and 75,000 persons with disabilities in the Colorado Springs area.
History: In the early 1960’s, the City of Colorado Springs Parks and Recreation Department began assisting with outdoor activities and summer camps for persons with disabilities. In the early 1970’s, therapeutic programs began operating at White House Ranch (now Rock Ledge Ranch). In 1979, two FTE’s (full-time employees) expanded services for a number of disabilities and ages out of the Otis Park Special Recreation Center. Since that time, the Therapeutic Recreation Program (TRP) has evolved into a community-based program utilizing all neighborhood centers and accessing community activities and programs. School districts, group homes, healthcare organizations, to name a few, routinely refer their clients with disabilities to the TRP to help meet their clients’ recreational and leisure needs. Abilities within the current program range as do the diagnoses: autism, Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, mental retardation; and physical and neurological diagnoses of multiple sclerosis, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, amputation, and chronic back pain.
Mission: “Provide opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities to acquire skills that enable them to participate in leisure experiences of their choice and enhance their abilities to function within a community setting.” The TRP serves a twofold purpose: specialized therapeutic recreation activities for individuals who request and require more assistance; and, Inclusion, that provides support and encouragement for individuals to participate in general recreation activities.
Five Core Areas:
· Arts and Culture – Goals: Creative expression, developing self confidence, improving fine and gross motor development.
o E.g.: Mixed Emotions Dance Troup, Leisure Lifestyles
· Sports, Fitness and Aquatics – Goals: Increasing mobility, balance, and coordination, enhancing a healthy body image, and increasing overall fitness for life.
o E.g.: Aqua Rehab, Paralympic Sport Club Activities
· Social Enrichment- Goals: Appropriate social skills, cooperation, and learning to initiate conversations.
o E.g.: Summer Day Camps for youth, Out on the Town Dances
· Community Integration/Leisure Education- Goals: Increasing independence, money handling skills/budgeting, creating a sense of self-worth and community.
o E.g.: Volunteer Service Days, Community Trips
· Outdoor Adventure- Goals: Improving overall gross motor skills and coordination, endurance, and physical fitness.
o E.g.: Adapted Water Skiing, Rafting, Downhill and Cross Country Skiing
*Paralympic Sports Programs- TRP has a partnership with U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
*Paralympic Military Program- TRP,Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), and USA Shooting have partnered to provide a Military Biathlon Training Program Exclusively for injured service members from Fort Carson and veterans. In addition, TRP offers a adaptive sport program for the soldiers of the Fort Carson Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) with a grant from the Olympic Opportunity Fund.
To find out more about the TRP go to:http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=2083
“Persons with disabilities are a diverse minority group that crosses all ages, cultures, and genders. Persons with disabilities are the only minority group that any one of us can become a part of at any given time."