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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Free Recreation Therapy Videos

I recently sent out a reminder about the RTV videos to the ATRA Newsletter Editor, Jean Folkerth. I thought I'd also post it on the RT Blog.

The entire collection of 23 Recreation Therapy Videos is available via streaming from the Indiana University Library at no charge. The RTV instructional videos were produced through a federal grant to Indiana University.

One of the most popular RTV videos is titled “To Serve a Purpose.” This video provides an introduction to therapeutic recreation. Other popular RTV videos include “TR Models: Health Protection-Health Promotion Model;” “TR Models: Leisure Ability Model;” “Professionalism in Therapeutic Recreation;” “Professional Ethics;” “Clinical Supervision;” “Documentation and Behavioral Observation;” “Therapeutic Listening;” “Nonverbal Communication;” and “History of Therapeutic Recreation, Parts I, II, III.”

A complete listing of the RTV videos titles, with descriptions, may be obtained by going to the Indiana University TR webpage. When on the page, click Recreation Therapy Videos on the left side of the page. The address for the IU TR webpage is: http://www.indiana.edu/~iutr/

To video stream any of the RTV videos go to:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Give Attention to Older Adult Population

I recently read two trends that point toward the need for RT students to receive specific training in working with older adults.

One trend was reported by the APA. This trend was that with the first Baby Boomers set to turn 65, the U.S. population of older adults is anticipated to more than double from 35 million in 2000 to 71.5 million in 2030.

The other trend was reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. This trend is that there is expected to be a growth in the number of recreational therapists working with older clients. So there will not only be a growing population of older adults but there will be positions available for RTs to work with them.

I hope RT faculty will give consideration to adding curricular requirements for students so they are well prepared to serve older clients in order to meet the trends.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Congratulations Professor Eagly!

I just read in the November issue of the American Psychologist that Professor Alice Eagly received the American Psychology Association's "Award for Distinguished Scientific Contrubutions." This is a high award and, of course, well earned by Professor Eagly.

I personally owe much to Alice Eagly. I did a sabbatical under Alice when she was on the faculty at Purdue. She introduced me to the Theory of Reasoned Action -- a theory that drove much of my research and that of sereral of my students.

I am proud to have had the association I had with such a revered psychologist and one of the leading scholars in the world in the area of attitudes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Professors: One of Hottest Jobs

The December APA Monitor on Psychology reported on Money magazine’s list of the top careers. Factors considered by Money magazine in developing the list included projected growth rate, average salary, stress level, flexibility and creativity.

The occupation of college professor was ranked 3rd on the list of "hottest jobs."

I hope this list is made known to those in our profession – but especially to RT practitioners and master’s students because these are individuals who may be most qualified to pursue Ph.D.’s – which are needed as there exists a shortage RT faculty with research degrees.

By the way, the occupations of physical therapists and occupational therapists were listed 7th and 14th respectively. Recreational therapists did not have a place on the list of the 25 hottest jobs.

Anne Binkley Now Retired

My former student and colleague at IU, Anne Binkley, has retired from her position as a professor of therapeutic recreation at her university in Melbourne, Australia.

Anne worked with me in the 1970s to develop the masters' degree program in TR at Indiana. I wish her nothing but the best in her retirement.

Peg Connolly Scholarship Announcement

ATRA has announced the deadline for students to apply for the Peg Connolly Scholarships for the 2010 ATRA Annual Conference is March 30, 2010.

Students with interest in applying for the Scholarships should check with their professors to obtain further information. The basics of the program follow:

What? Eight stipends are available to attend ATRA’s Annual Conference, including conference registration, lodging accommodations and meal stipend ($100). Students are responsible for their transportation to/from the conference. This scholarship is a “working scholarship”. Students assist in various aspects of implementing the conference such as room hosting, registration and monitoring social events.

Who? This scholarship is available to undergraduate and graduate students who will be enrolled in a therapeutic recreation program during the conference year.

The 2010 Annual Conference will be held in Spokane, Washington.

When? You must be able to attend a mandatory training on September 11, 2010 as well as the ATRA Annual Conference from September 12 - 15, 2010.

Why? This program has tremendous personal and professional benefits and rewards. Not only do students gain professional knowledge from sessions, students have the opportunity to network with professionals from around the country. ATRA believes the future of our field depends on the continuing growth of students. Today, many former scholarship recipients prove this belief by serving vital roles within our profession.

How? Follow the steps indicated on the scholarship application available from ATRA by the established deadline. ATRA wishes to reward students who demonstrate exceptional competence in the field of therapeutic recreation on the basis of their academic achievement, personal and professional philosophy, leadership skills and other occupational achievements. All application materials must be submitted electronically. Transcripts may be mailed. Due to the competitiveness of this scholarship, students will only be eligible to receive this award one time during their academic pursuits.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

International Interest in RT

I was pleased last week to receive an email from a graduate student at Oxford University with interest in RT. He told me he had read three of my books: Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques, Therapeutic Recreation: An Introduction, and Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation.

I suppose that I'm always surprised by international interest in RT. But perhaps I shouldn't be. With the use of the internet these days, more and more information on RT is becoming available.

It is still amazing to me that all 23 of the Recreation Therapy Videos are available for free to anyone in the world through the Indiana University Library's IUScholarworks program. My Glossary of Recreation Therapy and Occupational Therapy is also available on the internet via the IU Library.

I hope that over time we can make more and more free materials on RT available over the internet. We have a lot of information in this country to share with RTs in the States and with those around the world with interest in RT.

Correct Address for RTV Videos

In case you missed it, I discovered that in an earlier post I incorrectly listed the address for accessing the 23 Recreation Therapy Videos. I had left off the s in https in the address.

The correct address is: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Instructors' Guide & PowerPoints Accompany Book

A quick reminder for instructors using Austin's Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques (6th edition) -- Sagamore Publishing will make the Instructor's Guide available. The Guide has been updated and contains many learning activities and multiple choice test items.

Also Sagamore Publishing will make a set of PowerPoint slides of tables and figures from the book available to instructors.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Effect of Dance on Man with Cerebral Palsy

GMA had an interesting story on yesterday about Gregg Mozgaia, a 31 year old man with cerebral pslsy. As a result of taking ballet, he significantly improved his ability to walk.

In the written story (you can read on the GMA website) it mentioned that the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) has now instituted dance classes.

If you know more about the RIC dance classes or are using dance therapeutically, I hope you will comment on this post.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Correct Address of RTV Videos

I just discovered that in an earlier post I incorrectly listed the address for accessing the 23 Recreation Therapy Videos. I had left off the s in https in the address.

The correct address is: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Using this address, RTs or RT students can view anyone of 23 videos produced through a federally supported project conducted at Indiana University. Programs range from professional ethics to documentation.

I haven't gotten much feedback from educators or practitioners who have viewed the RTV videos -- although they are a free service provided by the Indiana University Library. Please let others know about the availability of the videos. They can be used in university teaching or inservice training.

Employment Propects Good for RTs

The Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-11 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided some favorable projections for RT.

The following was taken from the Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-11 website:

"Employment change. Employment of recreational therapists is expected to increase 15 percent from 2008 to 2018, faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will stem from the therapy needs of the aging population. With age comes an inevitable decrease in physical ability and, in some cases, mental ability, which can be limited or managed with recreation therapy. In nursing care facilities—the largest industry employing recreational therapists—employment will grow faster than the occupation as a whole as the number of older adults continues to grow."

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18th -- Most Depressing Day

I just read a news release from MSN on today being the most depressing day of the year. Thought I'd pass a portion of it along. Here it is:

"Poets, publicists and psychiatrists all have their candidates for the bleakest time of the year. According to one equation devised by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a British researcher from Cardiff University, Jan. 18 is 2010’s most depressing day. His formula for this bleak prediction takes into account factors like post-holiday blahs and debt, failed New Year’s resolutions and, this year, the nasty chill that has reached much further south than usual."

So if you or your clients are feeling particularly low today, you now have an explanation.

I Really Blew It!

Did you read the kind comment from Mike Sutherland to my post earlier today about my support of ATRA leaders? Mike is on the ATRA Board by virtue of being the CAC Chair -- and I left him off the list of board members in my post.

Sorry, Mike. And thanks for your comment to correct my error.

And, by the way, I've come to really appreciate Mike for what he continually contributes to our profession -- as well as for his great sense of humor.

Martin Luther King Day

I would certainly be remiss if I didn't acknowledge Martin Luther King Day on the RT Blog. Dr. King and his followers did much to advance civil rights in our nation. He was a real agent for change. Who will ever forget his "I Had a Dream" address!

My Support for the ATRA Board

Following Kelly's comments about my view of the ATRA leaders (see yesterday's post), I believe I should publically acknowledge my support of the ATRA Board.

To begin, I'm exceeding appreciative of these RTs for giving of themselves to provide leadership for our profession. Having served as a member of the ATRA Board and as ATRA president, I know the time and energy that those in leadership roles contribute.

It has not been my pleasure to really develop a strong personal relationship with our president, Missy Armstrong, M.S., CTRS. I do know however her reputation as a long-time contributor to our profession. I sincerely believe that she has much to offer and is giving it her best effort in serving as our president.

I have gotten to know president-elect Mary Ann Aquadro, Ph.D., CTRS, through ATRA activities. I know she has worked hard and has been a positive force within ATRA. The other officers, Heather Sedletzeck, CTRS, and Lisa Morgan, CTRS, are highly regarded by those who have spoken with me. Heather's service as a member of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (my ATRA affilitate) is greatly valued by fellow Hoosier RTs.

I must admit that I don't know board members Stephanie Courtney, M.S., CTRS or Kari Kensinger, Ph.D., CTRS,very well -- but what I do know is certainly positive. The other two members of the BOD, Tim Passmore, Ed.D, CTRS, and Ramon Zabriskie, Ph.D., CTRS, I know much better. In fact, Ramon was a student of mine at Indiana University -- and an outstanding student he was! Ramon has gone on to gain a reputation as an outstanding professor at BYU. Tim has been a prominent worker on behalf of our profession for a number of years and provided leadership for the Educators' Conference held last year.

Thus, from my personal knowledge, I firmly believe that we have an excellent group of individuals in leadership roles within our national organization. I wish them nothing but the very best in the coming year.

I would encourage all RTs to become ATRA members if they are not now members and for all members to support our professional association. I will continue to support ATRA as I have since becoming a Founding Member.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Reaction to Last Post

In my last post, I suggested that ATRA revisit its decision to not send a representative to the summit on allied health education to be held in Chicago in May. I appreciate Danny Pettry and Kelly Parker taking time to comment on the post. I'd like to react to Kelly's comment in this post.

Kelly stated I "discredited" the ATRA leaders in my post. I reread my post. It does not seem to me that I discredited anyone. I simply stated that I thought it was shortsighted for ATRA to not send anyone to the Summit and called for them to rethink their decision.

I do appreciate today's ATRA leaders but that doesn't mean that they should not be held accountable for their decisions or to be asked to reconsider their decisions when a member thinks they should.

I took "heat" as an ATRA board member and president. I often didn't like the criticism but it goes along with the job. In a democratic society many voices need to be heard.

Thanks again to Kelly for her comment. In the future, I will give extra attention to not coming across as wishing to "discredit" ATRA leaders -- but I will continue to voice my opinions to our leadership as I have for more than 45 years.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Allied Health Education Summit

The Health Professions Network (HPN)will sponsor "Educating the Allied Health Workforce in the 21st Century," in Chicago, May 19 - 20, 2010. This allied health education summit will help set the agenda for curricula in allied health in coming years.

In corresponding with the ATRA president, Missy, I discovered that ATRA currently is not planning to send a representative to the allied health education summit due to costs involved. To me, this is a shortsighted decision.

In the early years of the profession, if there was a lack of financial resources for someone to attend a critical meeting, our national organization would find an individual whose agency or university would help support their travel -- or an individual from the area (in this case, Chicago) would attend on behalf of the profession.

I would encourage ATRA leaders to reconsider their decision. If finances are lacking, then seek alternative strategies such as those mentioned above.

It is critical that today's leaders step forward to show leadership just as their predecessors have in the past.

RTI Day at the Statehouse

Co-chairs Heather Sedletzeck and Julie Foster have announced that the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI)will have its annual "Day at the Statehouse" on Monday, January 25th. For further information, contact Heather or Julie.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Still Wondering About Name Change Vote

I'm still wondering what went on with the ATRA name change vote. Because only about one-forth of the members voted, I have to raise the question as to why so few voted.

Was it because the members just didn't care? I really doubt that there would be such apathy among our membership.

Or was it because ATRA failed to inform the membership of the vote? In thinking about what occurred, I have to believe that the ATRA leadership did not do a good job of providing information to the members on the name change vote.

I doubt that the ATRA leadership will examine what occurred. Too bad for them and the rest of us.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Instructor's Guide & PowerPoints Available

A friendly reminder for instructors using Austin's Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques (6th edition) -- Sagamore Publishing will make the Instructor's Guide available. The Guide has been updated and contains many learning activities and test items.

Also Sagamore Publishing will make a set of PowerPoint slides of tables and figures from the book available to instructors.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Free Stuff Available

As we start the new year, please be reminded that there are lots of free resources available to be used in teaching and practice.

These include free access to my Glossary of Recreation Therapy and Occupational Therapy and the 23 Recreation Therapy Videos produced by Indiana University's (IU) federal RTV Project.

Both the Glossary and RTV Videos are available via the IU Library. The address for the Glossary is http://hdl.handle.net/2022/6474

To access all 23 RTV Videos go to https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Please pass the word around that these resources are available.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Video on Assistive Technology

A new video is now available on assistive technology. Its title is "Assistive Technology: Opening Doors to Independence."

The video would be appropriate for use in university intro to RT courses and in courses in inclusive recreation.

To access the video, go to the ATNetwork assistive technology website. The address is http://atnet.org