Adaptive Recreation Program Empowers Students with Disabilities
Associated Students Inc. (ASI) is excited for the upcoming launch of the Student Recreation Center’s (SRC) Adaptive Recreation Program (ARP). This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide students with disabilities more opportunities in their fitness journey and will be one of the first programs at this scale nationwide.
The ARP started off as an idea by Michael Brown, ASI’s Climbing and Outdoor Adventure Coordinator. Brown wanted to make the climbing wall more inclusive but also saw the potential to add more adaptive recreation options at the SRC. After preliminary discussions with Disability Support Services (DSS), he pitched the idea to Cal State Fullerton’s Shark Tank Initiative, a CSUF Student Affairs program with backing from the Mackenzie Scott and Dan Jewett Foundation.
“I’ve seen how sports and recreation can drastically change people’s lives,” said Brown. “Being able to provide that experience to individuals who may not have those opportunities is a giant motivator to bring this program to the Student Recreation Center.”
With assistance from DSS, Brown developed and then pitched the idea to a campus panel organized like the hit show Shark Tank. In February 2022, the Adaptive Recreation Program received its full funding ask of $80,760. This funding will go toward training and equipment needed to develop the program.
Paradox Sports, a leading organization in the world of adaptive climbing, will be conducting a full day of training with SRC and DSS staff. Afterwards, a community event will take place where the SRC can practice their training with Paradox Sports supervising.
In addition, SRC fitness and personal trainers will receive certification training from Certify Strong, a company that specializes in adaptive recreation for group exercises and personal training.
Funding will be used to purchase ten new basketball wheelchairs and a new ADA lift, aquatic bike, and aquatic treadmill will be added to the SRC pool soon. This new equipment will support wheelchair basketball and other accessible aquatic exercises. All adaptive equipment will be readily available for anyone who may need it at any time.
Once implemented, the ARP will take a proactive approach in specifically tailoring the SRC’s climbing wall, intramurals, fitness, and aquatics program for the approximately 2,300 students with disabilities currently attending Cal State Fullerton.
While other schools have some adaptive recreation in their rec centers, this is still a relatively new concept nationally. ASI’s Adaptive Recreation Program has the potential to be a leader in demonstrating the fitness opportunities a campus can provide to students with disabilities.
“Our goal is to adapt our programming to accommodate everyone and to make our rec center inclusive for all students,” said Marcus St. Phard, Associate Director of the Student Recreation Center.
ASI’s Adaptive Recreation Program will launch on Saturday, October 8 during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
As the program grows, more equipment, activities, and employment opportunities for students are planned. The program also has the potential to offer new educational courses on adaptive recreation through the Kinesiology Department and community outreach through DSS.
For more information about the Adaptive Recreation program please contact Michael Brown at email@example.com.
To learn more about other resources available to students at the SRC, please visit https://asi.fullerton.edu/titan-recreation