Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Research into Action: Including People Who Are Deaf

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Research into Action: Including People Who Are Deaf

Article excerpt

Communication

Key findings for recreation providers from a study using a focus group designed to evaluate group dynamics (Balch & Mertens, 1999):

* The physical environment in group communication counts more than we usually notice; consider the visual impact when setting up rooms, gyms or other facilities.

* Insuring communication requires a high level of vigilance; make it a priority in all situations especially meetings, gatherings, entryways and halls.

* Genuine communication may require more time and patience than one might expect; design programs and plan sessions with extra time to include all persons.

* Feedback from observers, evaluators and participants can improve communication; plan for constructive feedback; ask for it and then act on it.

Staff Training

To incorporate awareness of deaf identity into recreation and enhance opportunities for social skill development, authors continue to strongly encourage effective and frequent training programs for staff, parents, advocates, volunteers and others involved (Bedini & Stone, 2000). One program that has been developed for training staff adapts the Principles of Universal Design (Mace, 1998) as a guideline in providing inclusive recreation environments. …

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