RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

July 1st is Canada Day

Happy Canada Day to all RT friends to the North! Canada's birthday is celebrated July 1st!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

RTV Videos Available for Free

A reminder that all 23 Recreation Therapy Videos (RTV) are available free of charge via streaming from the Indiana University Library at https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

The RTV videos were produced by Indiana University and cover a wide range of topics, including an introduction to RT ("To Serve a Purpose").

Many university instructors use the RTV videos in their classes, sometimes viewing them with their students in the classroom and sometimes having students view the videos outside of class.

Another way the videos have been used is with in-service training for agency staff.

Friday, June 25, 2010

ATRA in Indy?

The 2010 Men's NCAA Final Four was held in Indianapolis. Also, in 2010, the AAHPERD Convention was held in Indianapolis. The 2011 Women's NCAA Final Four will be in Indy. Indy will be the home of the Super Bowl in 2012.

Will Indy soon host the ATRA Annual Conference? I haven't seen an announcement from ATRA -- but obviously Indy is a desirable location for a national meeting.

ATRA Election Reminder

ATRA has announced that it is time for members to vote for positions on the 2010-11 Board of Directors.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

AJRT to Offer CEUs

I just found out that the American Journal of Recreation Therapy will start offering CEUs, much as the ATRA Annual in Therapeutic Recreation has done. I believe this is a real plus for those in our profession who wish to obtain CEUs by keeping up with the literature.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Temple Now Offering RT in Rehab Sciences Department

From Professor John Shank, via the ATRAnet Listserv, comes what seems to be some good news for our profession. Here is the announcement:

Dear Colleagues,

In an effort to keep the academic community of recreation professionals informed about changes occurring within higher education, the therapeutic recreation faculty at Temple University would like to share our exciting news. Since 2002, the TR program has experienced a 56% increase in the number of students majoring in therapeutic recreation at the bachelor and master’s levels and currently has an overall enrollment of close to 150 students. Effective Fall 2010, the EdM in TR is being replaced with a new M.S. in Recreation Therapy. This new degree will feature more deliberate attention to evidence-based practice, and there will be opportunities to use coursework to support specialty certification through NCTRC. TR graduate faculty will also be involved in the recently created interdisciplinary PhD in Health Ecology, so please share this important news with potential graduate students looking for a strong research focus in their doctoral program and we will be sure to share graduate/research assistantship announcements on the list serve in the upcoming months.

As part of changes in the organization of the College of Health Professions and Social Work, the TR degree programs (B.S., M.S.) will be housed in a new Department of Rehabilitation Sciences along with the degree programs of Occupational Therapy (MOT, DOT). Together, these degree programs, including the PhD in Health Ecology, will coalesce around both disciplines’ shared commitment to the social model of disability as espoused in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). This departmental change is effective July 1st 2010 and represwents new opportunities for our degree programs to become even stronger, and new opportunities for cross-disciplinary synergy are on the horizon.

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Salzer, Director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Promoting Community Integration of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities at the University of Pennsylvania, has been recruited to lead the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. Mark’s community-based research focuses particularly on identifying and eliminating barriers to full community participation, including leisure and recreational activity, promoting effective utilization of mainstream community resources, and enhancing the development and effectiveness of support programs. Mark is an established collaborator with Temple’s TR faculty. In his role as Director of the RRTC, Mark solicited TR faculty involvement in writing a position statement on the role of recreation and leisure in promoting community inclusion of persons with psychiatric disabilities. Mark has also collaborated with us as a consultant on our NIH/NIMH research project that is examining the role of leisure and active living in recovery for persons with mental illness from diverse cultural backgrounds. This research project, directed by a team of faculty (Yoshi Iwasaki, Kathy Coyle and John Shank) and community partners, is entering its second year of funding and preliminary findings will be presented at the ATRA Research Institute in September.

Thus, as academic programs in research intensive universities are continuously challenged to maintain relevance and rigor, I am pleased to share with you on behalf of all TR faculty these most recent changes that will help sustain Temple’s longstanding excellence in TR teaching, research, and service.

John Shank, EdD, CTRS
Professor and Chair
Therapeutic Recreation Department
College of Health Professions & Social Work
Temple University

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Positions Open for CTRSs

A friendly reminder of the position openings announcement at the Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston, WY.

Wyoming State Hospital has 3 positions available for CTRSs, according to Kathy Argyle, CTRS. Feel free contact her if you have any questions or if more information is needed. Kathy's number is (307) 789-3464, ext 468.

Concern for Lack of RT/TR at Research Universities

The closing of the Penn State TR Program, I believe, should be met with great concern by those in our profession. Over the years a number of universities have closed down their TR/RT programs, including well known ones at Oregon, Illinois, and Maryland.

Isn't it about time that the profession has concern for the lack of RT/TR programs at R1 institutions? If we do not have strong programs at major research universities, who will do our research and scholarship? Who will train Ph.D. prepared faculty?

I think it is past time that university faculty get together to address the situation. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Penn State Closing TR Program

I recently heard from Dr. Jeff Witman, CTRS, that it was announced last week at the Pennsylvania TR Institute that Penn State University is dropping it's TR program. This is a real loss for the profession as there is now one less R1 instituion preparing Ph.D. students.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Danny Pettry's Comment on Empathy

I appreciated Danny Pettry's comment on the June 9th post regarding empathy. It reinforces the importance of professional preparation programs guided by competent faculty.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Training Teleconference: Building an Inclusive Society

From Disability.gov comes the announcment of a free teleconference in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is "Training Teleconference: Building an Inclusive Society."

The date is June 29th and the time is 2:30 to 4:00Pm EDT. Registrations will be taken until June 25th.The teleconference is sponsored by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA).

What follows is information on the teleconference:

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enacted on July 26, 1990, is one of our nation's most important civil rights achievements. This critical legislation opened the door to creating a more inclusive society by protecting the rights of people with disabilities, including psychiatric disabilities. Among the rights it guarantees are nondiscrimination in employment practices and state and local government programming; accessibility to public places, including restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors' offices, libraries, and parks; and telephone relay services for individuals who use telecommunications devices for deaf persons (TDD's) or similar devices. The 1999 Olmstead decision, which found that the unjustified intentional isolation of people with disabilities is a violation of the ADA, further reinforced the rights of individuals with disabilities to be part of society and live full lives in the community—with significant impact on people with behavioral health disabilities. These accomplishments have enhanced the social inclusion of people with disabilities within the U.S. and also have informed international efforts to ensure civil and human rights.

Yet even as we prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ADA and the gains made since its passage, there exist promises yet to be fulfilled.

For instance, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 54 million people with disabilities in the United States, the vast majority of who live in poverty and are unemployed. For those with psychiatric disabilities, studies consistently show a negative relationship to socioeconomic status. As a result of prejudice that results from misconceptions, individuals with behavioral health problems may be denied opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, adequate health care, and social interaction. Attitudes and structural barriers continue to prevent from people with behavioral health problems from becoming active participants in the labor market.

This training will recognize the accomplishments of the ADA and explore the challenges that still remain in building a fully inclusive society. Our speakers, national disability leaders, will help participants explore questions such as:

How do we become a more inclusive society?

What are the rights of people with disabilities, particularly people with psychiatric disabiltiies?

What are the challenges posed by the assertion of these rights and what protections are offered under the law?

Participants will:

Understand the history of the ADA and its impact on people with psychiatric disabilities.

Learn about the efforts of the United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to build a collaborative network of agencies and departments with aligned programs to deliver effective integrated services to people with disabilities.

Become familiar with the mental health consumer perspective on the national and international implications of ADA and Olmstead.

It should be noted that among the speakers will be Andy J. Imparato, president and chief executive officer of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation's largest cross-disability membership organization. I don't have personal information about AAPD, but it would seem to be a good organization with which RTs should interact -- especially RT associations such as ATRA.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Students Lack Empathy

In today's USA Today newspaper there is an article reporting on research that shows today's college students show less empathy than students in the 1980s and 1990s. While the reseach did not disclose why this decline exists, it was suggested that perhaps it was due to fewer face-to-face contacts with others, because of students spending time with social networking, such as Facebook, rather than with friends.

Reading the article made me think about three things: (1) Are fewer students going into RT because they lack empathy for the problems of others? (2) Do today's RT students, like their peers, have less empathy for others? and (3) Do we need to spend more time in RT curricula on the concept of empathy?

Monday, June 07, 2010

NCTRC Board Positions Open

NCTRC recently announced it is seeking nominations for 3 Board of Directors' positions. All active CTRSs are eligible.

For information contact NCTRC at (845) 639-1439 or nctrc@nctrc.org

TR/RT Week

TR/RT Week is being celebrated July 11 - 17, 2010.

Friday, June 04, 2010

AJRT Available Online

From the ATRAnet Listserv comes this announcement from Linda Buettner:

I wanted to mention you can bring AJRT into the recreational therapy classroom since the full articles are now online!

As an educator and academic subscriber to American Journal of Recreation Therapy you can offer your students both the electronic and the print version of this important journal right in your class room and guarantee them:

the highest quality research and treatment techniques based on the rigorous standards of an internationally recognized editorial review board.

a seamless flow from theory to proven application for clients of all ages and in all stages of disability.

the latest news and trends in recreation therapy.

Here’s how. Visit EJournal.recreationtherapy.org and follow the easy steps to become a subscriber. As a subscriber you will receive the printed version and have full online access including the journal’s archive of back issues. Plus the online edition is perfect for classroom education with its interactive features.

I have been bringing up the journal through my teaching podium so students can see the table of contents. In teams my students read an article, discuss the outcome variables, and discuss implications for RT practice situations. It is accessible and brings evidence into teaching about practice.

If you have library requests available right now it is the perfect time to set this up for your program for the next academic year.

Linda L. Buettner, Ph.D, LRT, CTRS

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Three Positions Open for CTRSs

From the ATRAnet Listserv comes an announcement of three position openings:

Wyoming State Hospital in Evanston, WY has 3 positions available for CTRS’. Here is a portion of the official job posting. Please pass this on to anyone who may be looking for a new position. Feel free contact me if you have any questions or if more information is needed. Thanks!! Kathy Argyle, CTRS (307) 789-3464 ext 468.

Recreational Activities Coordinator Class

Code:HSRA09-16902 Department of

Health , Evanston. Preferences: Bachelors

degree; Therapeutic Recreation or emphasis

in Therapeutic Recreation, one year

experience preferred, with CTRS (Certified

Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) from

NCTRC (National Council for Therapeutic

Recreation Certification).; Identify client

specific strengths and needs through formal

assessment, develop and carry out

therapeutic interventions consistent with the

clients' needs and interests and provide

treatment services, recreation and leisure

activities for clients, using a variety of

techniques, to address areas of need and

promote positive change to increase success

in the community upon discharge. Hiring

Range ($3,861.00 - $4,542.00 Per Month)

Open Until Filled. EEO/ADA Employer.