A Place for Everyone? The Challenge of Promoting Community Inclusion at a Recreation Centre

By Hilde Zitzelsberger and Jennifer Leo.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 29, 2016 $US5.00

Inclusion involves individuals with and without disabilities interacting together in various aspects of community life. Inclusive participation has received significant attention in areas of physical activity and recreation in community settings. Although the positive health outcomes, such as improved quality of life, increased physical fitness, enhanced social relationships, and increased appreciation for diversity have been well documented, barriers to community-based inclusion still exist. Negative societal attitudes related to disability and physical activity may continue to pose challenges to promoting messages of health and participation. Employing a qualitative case study method, we explored meaning of inclusion among community and staff members of an inclusive community recreation facility in Ontario, Canada. Study findings revealed that inclusion is a highly complex phenomenon, particularly when multiple perspectives among people with and without disabilities are taken into account. Social change is a process that builds over time and examining responses to inclusion plays a pivotal role to determine how to best promote and encourage participation in community recreation for individuals with and without disabilities.

Keywords: Recreation, Inclusion, Wellness, Disability

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.65-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 29, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 639.987KB)), ISSN: ISSN 2156-8960.

Dr. Hilde Zitzelsberger

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Jennifer Leo

Director, Research, Abilities Centre, Whitby, Ontario, Canada