Magazine article Parks & Recreation

NIRI Conference Motivates Members

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

NIRI Conference Motivates Members

Article excerpt

The National Institute on Recreation Inclusion (NIRI) concluded in September with attendees learning from dynamic speakers, receiving awards and networking with other professionals in the field. The conference is a collaborative effort between two NRPA branches, APRS and NTRS, dedicated to sharing the latest information on including people of all abilities into park and recreation programs and facilities.

The 2006 conference was held in Groton, Conn., which was honored with last year's NIRI Excellence in Inclusion Award and has served as a model community for the Real Choices program that promotes full inclusion into all aspects of community.

Paralympian Karin Korb, a world-ranked wheelchair tennis player and bodybuilder, delivered a very personal and inspiring keynote, speaking candidly about her injury, her adjustment to life using a wheelchair for mobility, and ultimately the positive impact that accessibility and inclusion has had on her acceptance and perseverance of an acquired injury.

She thanked the attendees for their dedication to improving access for all participants in recreation programs, and encouraged them to keep up the good work.

In addition, Peggy Greenwell from the United States Access Board updated attendees on the most current accessibility guidelines for recreation areas as well as announced their new partnership with NRPA establishing a new course called Accessibility Guidelines for Playground Areas, modeled off the current National Playground Safety Institute course. …

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