Trends and Issues in Recreation and Leisure Services
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Trends, Issues and Legislation in Recreation and Leisure Services
Education and Leisure
Schools provide some education in leisure areas through music, arts, physical education, and extracurricular activities
Typically the higher the education a person has, the greater their leisure knowledge. This is explained by exposure to different sports.
Educating for Leisure •
Therapeutic Recreation Professionals educate regarding leisure. However, if you are not a part of a marginalized population, you do not receive these services.
The challenge for Recreation professionals is to somehow educate the rest of the population.
What are some ways that professionals can educate people about leisure?
Benefits of Healthy Living through Leisure Physical fitness decreases:
Risks for cardiovascular disease includes high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol
Increases energy, body strength and self-esteem
Decreases tension and symptoms of depression
Manages non-insulin dependent diabetes
Public recreation agencies offer fitness and sport programs for all ages
Studies have reported that organizational membership is down in the U.S. People are not joining civic groups, churches, or other organizations as in previous years.
Socialization helps reduce the risk of heart disease and maintains the immune system
Leisure services can help improve memberships
Laughter activates muscle use and increases heart rate and oxygen exchange
Laughing is inherently associated with play
The joy and camaraderie of play and other forms of recreation participation enhance laughter and reinforces a sense of humor.
Government and Public Recreation
Concern for citizens health and welfare and the necessity to use natural resources led to the U.S. government’s involvement in recreation and parks.
The federal government is a major supplier of outdoor recreation opportunities through the programs of the Department of the Interior (National Park Service) and the Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service)
Justification of Government Involvement
Government is the only agency supported by and for all people.
Has the financial resources to acquire, establish, improve, and operate facilities
Has the authority of eminent domain that allows acquisition of private lands for a greater public good.
Provides a source of continuity and permanency
Legal precedent has been set over the years
Its purpose is the serve the public without excluding anyone from its programs.
Recreation Functions of Government
Management of land and natural resources
Provision of technical assistance and consulting
Financial assistance to local government
Direct service delivery
Enactment and enforcement of regulations
Federal Services Department of the Interior protection of natural resources, regulation of hunting and fishing, care of cultural and historic sites, management of facilities designed for recreation purposes. (The National Park Service is under this branch of government)
Department of Agriculture
Done mostly through the Forest Service, Federal Extension Service, and Soil Conservation Service.
Provides technical and education assistance, outdoor recreation resources and encourages and enacts regulatory policies to protect the quality of the environment and the recreation experience.
Department of Defense
Provides direct recreation services to the military similar to local recreation and park departments
These services are an inducement for enlistment, provide increased levels of productivity, encourage sustained morale and help the loneliness associated with military service.
Department of Education
Recreation are recognized as a significant part of education and the involvement of the public school system in the provision of adequate recreation opportunities is encouraged.
Has a special influence on the park and recreation services for people with disabilities with the Office of Special Education and Recreation (OSERS). The Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) offers financial support for the development of graduate study in the field of Therapeutic Recreation.
Department of Housing and Urban
Is concerned with the comprehensive planning and development of American cities. Recreation concerns are a part of this process. HUD has encouraged the development and use of planning standards and the necessity for effective evaluation of park and recreation delivery systems.
Legislation and Recreation Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Provided funds for vocational rehab
Funding for independent living services
Initial addressing of discrimination against individuals with disabilities
What the Rehab Act Addressed
Section 501: Employment
Section 502: Architectural & Transportation Barriers Compliance board
Section 503: Employment under federal contract
Section 504: Nondiscrimination under federally funded programs
The most significant Section of the Rehab Act was Section 504.
Provided civil rights protection for individuals with disabilities primarily for federally funded programs
Landmark statement – no one may be excluded from a federally funded program based strictly “by reason of his/her handicap”
Definition of a “Handicapped”
“has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities”
Has a record of impairment or is regarded as having the impairment
Major life Activities defined as:
Self-care, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, walking
Section 504 in regards to Recreation
Established recreation as an important part of the rehabilitation process
Established funding for:
Special Projects such as T.R. and Recreation students receiving graduate education
A later amendment established TR as an allowable supportive service
PL 94-142 Education for Handicap
Guaranteed a free and appropriate education for individuals with disabilities who require it, this includes related service programming.
Protect and insure rights of children and youth with disabilities
PL 94-142 and Recreation
Assessment of recreation and leisure
Recreation/Therapeutic Recreation must:
Assist educational process
Enhance educational process
Funds for PL 94-142:
Used to train undergraduate and graduate students
Conduct research into related services
Conduct special projects
Extremely under utilized service/funds