Recreation

Recreation

Key Takeaways

What is Assistive Technology (AT) for Recreation?

  • Recreation AT promotes participation in hobbies.
  • Recreation AT allows participation in adapted sports.
  • Recreation AT allows access to sporting, recreational, and tourism events.
  • Recreation AT supports inclusive child’s play.

Common No-Tech and Low-Tech Recreation AT Solutions:

  • Add verbal cues/prompts
  • Increase handle diameters for in-hand objects
  • Adjust entertainment space
  • Use nonskid surfaces when performing tasks
  • Place Post-it notes for visual cues
  • Use binder clips for gripping objects
  • Enlarge directions

Who, When, and Where is AT for Recreation Appropriate?

  • For anyone with a wide range of disabilities
  • When individuals with a disability desire to participate in play/amusement activities
  • Recreation, sports, and leisure activities take place in various environments

Why is Recreation AT Important?

  • Develops skills and competencies
  • Increases mental, physical, and social well being
  • Promotes self-identity, self-esteem, self-advocacy
  • Develops social relationships
  • Gives meaning and purpose to one’s life

Situations for Recreation AT:

School Environment

  • Accessing playground equipment
  • Crafting art
  • Playing games in the classroom
  • Playing musical instruments
  • Accessing the basketball court
  • Playing sports in the gym or on a field

Community

  • Playing in virtual game tournaments
  • Attending music concerts
  • Enjoying the State Fair
  • Shopping at Farmers Markets
  • Attending book clubs with friends
  • Exercising in the community gym
  • Joining community group fitness classes
  • Participating in sewing clubs
  • Camping

 Home Environment

  • Participating in board game night
  • Playing in family reunion games
  • Playing with siblings and friends
  • Cooking out
  • Reading
  • Playing game consoles
  • Planting a garden
  • Participating in family movie night

Work Environment

  • Enjoying picnics
  • Participating in sports tournaments
  • Participating in game nights
  • Joining happy hour

Commonly Asked Questions about Recreation AT:

  • Q – How can a person with a disability participate in recreational activities?
    • A – Talk with a doctor about recreational activities that best suit the person’s health. Discuss recreational goals with an occupational therapist (OT) or physical therapist (PT) that pique the interest of the person. Participate in group activities and work with a recreational therapist to review all areas of function to fully participate in the task desired.
  • Q - What areas of concern should be explored when considering AT for recreation?
    • A – The areas to be studied are one’s abilities and challenges, environments, the tasks to be performed, and sensory considerations.
  • Q - What are the reasons an individual would use recreational AT?
    • A – The typical reasons to use recreational AT are to increase social interaction, physical endurance, awareness of resources and adaptive equipment, and improve gross and fine motor coordination and mental health.
  • Q – Does Recreation AT only apply to sports?
    • A – Recreation AT covers a variety of ages and areas including physical, social, outdoor, arts, musical, cultural, and service activities.

 AT Solutions at ABLE Tech

Visit ABLE Tech’s Recreational Inventory

Visit ABLE Tech's Recreation AT/DME Reuse/Exchange Inventory

Helpful Links and PDF Resources:

Guides and Articles:

Video/Webinar/Podcast Resources:

Education

Case Studies of Individuals with Recreation Needs and Recommendations 

Case Study #1

A 4-year-old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) participates in a Head Start Program, non-verbal, plays alone, little to no interaction with peers, plays with cars, attends to activities for less than one minute

The child’s caregiver mentions he rarely interacts with siblings but occasionally will observe them playing with cars together. At Head Start the child enjoys the daily routine and has no difficulty with daily activity transitions. He interacts seldomly with teachers and never interacts with peers. The occupational therapist (OT) at Head Start would like to begin working on parallel play.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation would be for the caregiver/teacher/OT to use AT to play alongside the child with preferred toys to increase his attention to the task/individual, tolerance of other individuals, and to develop social awareness at home and Head Start.

Goals and Outcomes:

The child will parallel play with a sibling/peer for two minutes, three times a day at home or at Head Start.

SETT Framework for feature-matching forms based on the Student, Environment, Tasks, and Tools model.

Case Study Forms – SETT Framework
Sample Solutions:

Case Study #2

A 6-year-old kindergarten student with right radial club hand, absent thumb, palmar grasp, limited range of motion in the elbow

The student enjoys arts and crafts with peers. The student can grasp utensils that have a large diameter and holds craft supplies with the left hand successfully. She is having motor control difficulty using scissors to make projects and is unable to grasp traditional scissors.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation is to use adaptive scissors. There are several types of adapted scissors. Loop handle scissors provide stabilization to people with a weak grip.  Self-opening scissors are ideal for extra assistance by forcing the scissor blade to an open position, tabletop scissors are great for one-handed individuals. Battery-operated switch adapted scissors are used by activating a switch to turn on the scissors to cut through paper.

Goals and Outcomes:

The student will use adaptive scissors to independently cut 50% of craft projects.

SETT Framework for feature-matching forms based on the Student, Environment, Tasks, and Tools model.

Case Study Forms – SETT Framework

Sample Solutions:

Case Study #3

A fifth grader with Stargardt disease, little central vision, uses peripheral vision, interested in soccer, never attended physical education (PE) class, recess only two times a week, swings and talks to friends at recess

The fifth grader never received PE at any grade level because teachers did not know how to include the student, so the student attended orientation and mobility class during PE. The student’s reading class was held during scheduled recess three times a week only allowing for recess two times a week. Reading class was moved to a different time slot allowing recess all week. The student was being excluded from playing soccer, kickball, and football with peers during recess.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation is to use adaptive sports equipment including modified balls with sound and texture, rule modifications, and adaptive techniques for the visually impaired.

Goals and Outcomes:

The student will engage in playing soccer, kickball, and football during recess using adaptive sports equipment.

SETT Framework for feature-matching forms based on the Student, Environment, Tasks, and Tools model.

Case Study Forms – SETT Framework

Sample Solutions:

Employment

Case Studies of Individuals with Recreation Needs and Recommendations 

Case Study #1

A 55-year-old, accounting/finance, Diabetic Retinopathy, trouble reading, difficulty seeing far away, and streak spots (flashes) in vision

The employee has experienced vision loss over the last ten years. The diagnosis has affected her computer skills. The employee has received Computer AT Training and Low Vision Rehabilitation. She now uses a color contrasting keyboard, modifier keys to complete computer commands, and built-in screen magnification. The accounting office has recently scheduled a staff game night, and she would like to participate in the event.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation would be to adapt the board games played during the event. One adaptation is dividing sections of the board games with texture contrast. Velcro can be used to hold down game pieces to prevent them being knocking over. Audibly record the game instruction and add color stickers for color contrast. Several adapted games for the visually impaired are available for purchase such as low vision playing cards, large dominos, braille-low vision Monopoly, and Freeze Up.

Goals and Outcomes:

The employee will use adapted games and AT to participate in staff game night with minimal difficulty.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the employee to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HAAT Model
Sample Solutions:

Case Study #2

A 35-year-old librarian, hard of hearing, chronic ear infections, eczema in ear canals, enjoys the leisure of reading, music, video games, and movies

The employee experiences multiple, painful ear conditions. She avoids using the phone, listening to music, and virtual gaming due to the painful results. The library has a virtual gaming event in one month that the librarian would like to participate in with the library patrons.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation is for the employee to use bone conduction headphones. Bone conduction is the transmission of sound waves to the inner ear through the bones of the skull which means the employee will have none of the negative effects of using typical headphones. Bone conduction headphones sit on the outside of the ear, leaving the ear canal open to ambient sound. There is no damage from stimulus intensity or the constant ear displeasure of headphones or earbuds.

Goals and Outcomes:

The employee will use AT to participate in the virtual gaming event without difficulty.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the employee to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HAAT Model
Sample Solutions: 

Case Study #3

A 27-year-old, camera operator, dayshift, migraines, difficulty with night vision, extrovert, physically active

The camera operator works dayshift due to difficulty with night vision. He struggles with migraines thus taking a daily cyclic antidepressant to reduce sickness. The news camera crew has hired new employees and has planned an escape room work event to get to know one another. The employee would like to participate in the event but finds it very difficult to see in dim lighting to help gather clues.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation would be to use mid-tech magnification with a light source to help discover the clues and participate in the escape room event.

Goals and Outcomes:

The employee will use AT to participate in the escape room event finding clues with minimal assistance.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the employee to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HAAT Model
Sample Solutions:

 

Community Living

Case Studies of Individuals with Recreation Needs and Recommendations 

Case Study #1

A 5-year-old, daycare, fine motor delays, intelligible, likes class centers, math, and recess

The child is having difficulty grasping and manipulating objects/toys at daycare. He rarely participates in fine motor manipulative tasks such as art, puzzles, and Legos. The daycare would like to help him participate in these fine motor tasks/activities.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation is to provide large grip manipulatives versus small object manipulatives for the child to be successful in grasping and motor control.

Goals and Outcomes:

The child will use AT to participate in fine motor activities at daycare 65% of the time tasks are presented.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the individual to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HAAT Model

Sample Solutions:

Case Study #2

A 13-year-old, motor vehicle accident, new below the elbow bilateral amputee, gamer, social, and uses lower extremities for fine motor tasks

The teenager loves XBOX gaming and has not been able to participate due to recent amputations. He would like to game with friends online to increase social interaction and is new to navigating fine motor activities with the lower extremities. He will need easy/alternative access for game controller use.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation would be to use the XBOX adaptive controller with switches. Options include push/touch switches like the Specs, Adjustable Angle, Large Pal Pad, and Jumbo switches as well as lever/wobble switches like the Wobble, Mini Lever, and Treadle switches. These switches are all compatible with the XBOX adaptive controller, provide large target areas, and require minimal pressure to activate. They can be easily activated using feet.

Goals and Outcomes:

He will use the XBOX adaptive controller with switches to play XBOX games online with friends to increase social interaction.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the individual to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HAAT Model
Sample Solutions:

Case Study #3

An 80-year-old, married, “arthritis pain” in both hands, active, difficulty grasping objects, plays cards at the community center, no other health issues

The individual enjoys playing Bridge at the community center with friends. Lately the arthritis pain in both hands has worsened, and she is having difficulty holding cards during the Bridge games, causing her to drop cards and delay the game.

Possible Recommendations:

The recommendation is a card-playing holder that sits on the table or a large grip card holder for ease of grasp. The solution needs to also be easy to fill with and remove cards.

Goals and Outcomes:

The individual will use AT to hold the playing cards and not drop them during Bridge games.

See the attached HAAT Model form to see how to match the individual to needed AT.

Case Study Forms – HAAT Model
Sample Solutions: