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.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Universities and Professional Prep are Key

I was talking with an RT colleague this morning. In that conversation we both had to agree that for RT to fix what is a weakness today and to flourish in the future, we have to: (1)continue to develop and refine our body of knowledge; and (2) have students go through rigorous university professional preparation programs taught by competent faculty.

Any profession, RT included, has to determine exactly what the body of knowledge should be that is the basis for curriculum. Recently, in April, the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) became a Committee on Accreditation (CoA) of the Commission on Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The CARTE standards outline the courses and experiences students need to become competent entry-level recreational therapists. The process of developing the CARTE accreditation standards helped identify what should be the body of knowledge for the profession, at least in terms of entry-level skills.

In order to move toward being assured that students go through rigorous professional preparation programs, universities must (at a minimum) adopt the CARTE accreditation standards. To be sure they do, universities will need to subject themselves to an accreditation review by CARTE.

The other necessary element in student preparation is having competent faculty to instruct the students. While many RT faculty today are well prepared, unfortunately many are not.

The profession needs to work with Ph.D. producing universities to see that these universities adequately prepare faculty for teaching positions and universities hiring faculty must only employ well prepared faculty -- and these universities must hire adequate numbers of faculty to assure a minimum of two qualified faculty teach in every university RT professional preparation program.

Without solid, rigorous professional preparation programs taught by competent faculty our profession is setting itself up for failure. I would much rather see us fix today's professional preparation programs and work toward future improvement so years down the line our profession can flourish.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Position Opening in Arlington, VA

Thanks to Stephanie Courtney, MS, CTRS, for supplying the following job announcement:

Job Opening - Therapeutic Recreation Programmer II

For questions about the position contact:
Becky Suttell, TR Program Mgr
703-228-4743 (TTY)

Do not send resume’s, you must apply online at:
Therapeutic Recreation/
Prevention Intervention Office
(See full information below.)

What is the position? A permanent, full-time position as a Therapeutic Recreation
Programmer II in Arlington County
What will I do? This individual is responsible for providing a variety of specialized recreational services that build assets for individuals who are at an increased risk, have a disability, and/or have special needs (children, teens, adults,senior adults) in a variety of settings. Ability to drive a vehicle is a requirement of the position as we provide programs around the county.
Who will I work with? Individuals of all ages with intellectual or developmental
disabilities, emotional deficits, learning disabilities, neurological impairments, and mental illness.
What is the pay rate and hours? Starts at $43,804, 40 hrs/week. Includes sick leave, vacation, and medical benefits.

Apply online!!
• Visit www.arlingtonva.us
• Click on “jobs” link on the left
• Click on “apply online” in the first paragraph
• Search “Therapeutic Recreation”
• Position closes on June 10, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

ATRA Distinguished Fellows Directory Now Up

The Distinguished Fellow Award is ATRA's highest honor; it recognizes exceptional accomplishments within the field of TR. ATRA now provides a working directory with bios on most of the Distinguished Fellows.

Our appreciation goes to Mary Ann Aquadro for her work in providing the online directory. Thanks, Mary Ann!

The directory of Distinguished Fellows is a bit hard to access but if you go to the ATRA website and start with "Resources" you can find it. Below is how you go about it.

To access the directory, go to the ATRA website. Under "Resources" click on "Annual Award Opportunities."

Once you are in the Annual Award Opportunities, go down the page about one-half way and you will see "directory of ATRA Distinguished Fellows."

Click on it and you will see a complete list of all ATRA Distinguished Fellows, beginning with the first, David Park. Most have bios and pictures.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nominations Sought for CARTE Board

From Thom Skalko comes the following announcement:


On April 19, 2010, the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) became a Committee on Accreditation (CoA) of the Commission on Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) was accepted as the Sponsoring Organization at the same meeting.

CARTE is requesting nominations for membership on the Board of CARTE. Below is a call for nominations for interested individuals.

The CARTE looks forward to serving as the first independent academic accreditation program for recreational therapy education and is implementing steps to seek nation-wide representation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thomas K. Skalko, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
East Carolina University
College of Health and Human Performance
Belk 1409
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education
Call for Board Member Nominations

Nomination to CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors

The Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education is soliciting applicants for the following positions:

1 - Practitioner Position (3 year term)
1 - Practitioner Position (1 year term)
1 - Student Member (1 year term)
1 - Public Member (3 year term)

Qualifications are delineated in the By-Laws below.

For consideration to serve on the CARTE Board of Directors, please submit by June 15, 2010:

A statement of your interest in serving on the CARTE Board and
A summary of your qualifications as indicated in the By-Laws

Submit your supporting materials electronically to: skalkot@ecu.edu

Dr. Thomas K. Skalko
East Carolina University
College of Health and Human Performance
Belk 1409
Greenville, NC 27858-4353


On April 19, 2010, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accepted ATRA as a sponsoring member and accepted CARTE as the accreditation mechanism (CAAHEP Council on Accreditation or CoA) for educational programs that prepare individuals for recreational therapy practice.

In the fall of 2007, a group of educators and practitioners requested that the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association (NCRTA) support a committee effort to determine the feasibility of establishing an academic accreditation program for educational programs that prepare students for recreational therapy practice in health care and human service settings. This group of educators and practitioners were concerned about the variability in the academic preparation of recreational therapists and the impact that variable competency development had on recreational therapy practice designed to achieve, on a consistent and predictable basis, patient/consumer outcomes that are valued by stakeholders in health care and human service settings. In 2008, the Board of Directors of NCRTA approved an ad hoc committee to begin this effort. This ad hoc committee became the NCRTA Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE). The NCRTA CARTE was instrumental in the establishment of the standards, guidelines and supporting materials for accreditation of recreational therapy education as well as developing CAAHEP CARTE By-Laws and initial operating policies and procedures.

As the result of over two years of planning and development, the NCRTA CARTE generated the document (unpublished), Accreditation of Education for Recreational Therapy Practice based upon an adaptation of the ATRA Guidelines for Competency Assessment and Curriculum Planning for Recreational Therapy Practice for use in accreditation of academic programs. The standards and guidelines for recreational therapy education included in Accreditation of Education for Recreational Therapy Practice are based upon a review of professional literature in health care, recreational therapy and allied health and standards of regulatory and accreditation agencies. The ATRA Guidelines for Competency Assessment and Curriculum Planning for Recreational Therapy Practice were designed around a set of competencies that were developed and refined over twenty-three years of application in practice and focus group work by RT educators and practitioners. These competencies represent the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for safe and effective practice as a recreational therapist in health care and human service agencies. The standards and guidelines, forms, and site visitation process incorporated into Accreditation of Education for Recreational Therapy Practice have been field-tested and revised to improve both evaluation of compliance and the efficiency and effectiveness of the accreditation review process.

The CAAHEP CARTE By-Laws define the members of the CARTE Board of Directors and their qualifications:

Article III: CARTE Board of Directors

3.1 Board of Directors:
The Board of Directors of CARTE shall consist of three (3) educators from programs preparing students for recreational therapy practice, three (3) recreational therapists, one (1) student currently enrolled in an educational program preparing for recreational therapy practice, one (1) employer of recreational therapists and one (1) public member who is familiar with recreational therapy practice.

3.3 Qualifications and Criteria for Service on the CARTE Board of Directors:
The following criteria must be met to serve on the CARTE Board of Directors:
(1) Individuals must express a commitment to serve and fully participate in the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education;

(2) Professional Educators must be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification and state credentialed as applicable, possess at least three (3) years experience as full time faculty at an institution providing recreational therapy education and one (1) year of experience practicing recreational therapy;

(3) Recreational Therapists must be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification and state credentialed as applicable, possess at least four (4) years of experience as a recreational therapist including three (3) years experience in clinical education and have experience with the supervision of student interns.

(4) The Student Member must have been completed at least one year of recreational therapy education.

(5) The Recreational Therapy Employer shall have been involved in the employment of recreational therapists for at least 4 years.

(6) The Public Member must be familiar with the recreational therapy profession.

Several members of the NCRTA CARTE Committee have transferred to the CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors to ensure a smooth transition as well as efficient and effective implementation of the CAAHEP CARTE accreditation of educational programs that prepare students for recreational therapy practice. Those NCRTA CARTE Committee members who transitioned to the CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors are
Peg Connolly, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS (educator, two-year term,) Terry Kinney, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS (educator, one-year term), Thomas Skalko, Ph.D. LRT/CTRS (educator, three year term, elected initial chair CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors), Pam Wilson, MS, LRT/CTRS (employer representative, three-year term) and Ray E. West, MS, LRT/CTRS (practitioner representative, two-year term).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Progress in RT Education but Lots of Room for More

From a communication from Professor Thom Skalko, I became aware that ATRA has become a sponsoring member of CAAHEP and that the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) was accepted as the Committee on Accreditation (CoA) for RT education.

CARTE will be presenting on accreditation at ATRA and doing a training session for visitors. CARTE standards and guidelines will be available in the very near future for comment and input. ATRA will then need to adopt those standards and guidelines and we will move to the implementation of the first RT accreditation program for UG education.

This is great news. But now universities need to adopt the new CARTE standards as soon as they are formally adopted. But if a university faculty thinks the standards as presented are an improvement, there is no reason why the standards can't be adopted right now.

The real key will be to get universities to "buy in" to a new RT accreditation process. Let us hope the better university RT programs show some leadership by quickly adopting the new standards and then being accreditated as soon as the accreditation process is put in place.

The profession still needs to address how to enhance graduate programs in RT -- as we have so few in research intensive universities where the best graduate programs are typically located. We need strong RT graduate education right now -- and if we move to the M.S. as an entry-level degree we'll need them all the more.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

An ATRA Priority Should be Higher Education

Reading the announcement from Professor Jo Ann Coco-Ripp on a poster session (titled "Share the Evidence")for the 2010 ATRA Annual Conference made me think about what else should happen at the ATRA Annual Conference.

One thing that must happen during the ATRA Conference is that time be devoted to advancing higher education. A real crisis now exists because we are down to so few graduate programs in R1 institutions(i.e., research universities). Today there exists a real shortage of universities with strong graduate preparation programs to produce Ph.D. prepared faculty and practitioners with master's degrees. Should we wish to move toward the M.S. degree as an entry-level degree (as we should!), the current lack of strong graduate programs will pose a real barrier.

The other area of immediate concern is getting universities to commit to adopting accreditation standards for RT. Well developed accreditation standards now exist but they will be meaningless unless universities adopt them. ATRA should be a place to brief faculty on accreditation standards and to have them return to their home institutions with a mandate to get their universities to adopt the standards.

Sure, ATRA has many concerns. But higher education must be moved toward the top of ATRA's concerns if the profession wishes to remain viable.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Call for ATRA Poster Session

From Professor Jo Ann Coco-Ripp of Winston-Salem State University comes an announcement on a poster session for the 2010 ATRA Annual Conference. Here is the announcement:

EXCITING Opportunity for sharing at the ATRA Annual Conference in Spokane

Practitioners, teachers, students, researchers, and others can contribute to the Poster Session: Share the Evidence

Share the Evidence seeks proposals that demonstrate effective TR/RT practice:
Descriptions of successful programs
Illustrations of helpful techniques
Exhibitions of unique strategies
Explanations of evaluation methods
Summaries of research approaches
Case studies of model interventions
Efficient use of resources
Collaborative approaches of achieving outcomes
And other ideas that display effectiveness!

Join with others to submit a proposal or present a poster supporting your distinctive work.

Complete and submit form (below)as an attachment to rippjc@wssu.edu by Monday, June 21.

Details on poster design, date and time of session will be available soon.

For questions, contact Jo Ann Coco-Ripp at rippjc@wssu.edu or cell 405-338-0240.

Form for Proposal Submission: Share the Evidence Proposal Format

Complete one form for each proposal. Save with title of last name of primary presenter. Send as an attachment to rippjc@wssu.edu by June 21.

If needed, add information section for additional presenters.

Upon reception of this form, primary presenter will receive acknowledgment.
After deadline, a review will be completed and feedback sent to primary presenter.
Along with the feedback, detailed instructions for poster design, date, time, and other information will be sent.

Primary presenter Information

Additional presenter information

Title [limit to 10 words]

Armed Forces Day

Today from Disability.gov came the reminder that tomorrow marks Armed Forces Day in the United States. It is a day to honor the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve in our Armed Forces

A Different ATRA Conference (in Canada)

Things seem to be coming along nicely in terms of arrangements for me to provide the sessions for the 2010 Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference to be held October 15 and 16 in Calgary.

I very much enjoyed speaking a couple of years ago at the Canadian Therapeuic Recreation Association Conference and I'm really looking forward to interacting with the RTs from Alberta.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Great Strides in RT Accreditation Reported

I just received some interesting news from Professor Thom Skalko of East Carolina University on developments with RT accreditation. Thom informs me that the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)has accepted recreational therapy to be included in its list of allied health programs.CAAHEP also accepted the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE)as the accreditation body for RT.

This represents tremendous progress for RT in the area of accreditation of university RT programs. I suppose the next step will be for universities to seek accreditation from CARTE.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Allied Health Education Summit

I just read another reminder about the conference titled "Educating the Allied Health Workforce for the 21st Century," to be held in Chicago, September 22 and 23, 2010. The conference is being sponsored by the Health Professions Network (HPN).

Seeing this announcement reminded me just how critical it is for RT to continue to improve university professional preparation programs. I sure hope the profession understands the critical nature of advancing our professional requirements.

Monday, May 17, 2010

May is Healthy Vision Month

Lighthouse International informs us that May is Healthy Vision Month. During May and into the summer, we need to remember to protect our eyes from the sun.

Lighthouse International has reminded us that in order to maintain our healthy vision, we need to wear protective eyewear at all times when in the sun. Also, choose sunglasses that screen 75 to 90 percent of visible light and block 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation.

RTs should also remind their clients to wear sunglasses while in the sun.

ATRAnet Listserv Offers Great Opportunity

Thanks to the ATRA Board and Oklahoma State University, the ATRAnet Listserv is available to all ATRA members.

The listserv is a great way to exchange information. I just used the listserv to send out a reminder about the RT Blog. When the listserv notified me that the message had been sent it was noted it went out to 135 individuals.

It is wonderful that 135 ATRA members have signed up for the ATRAnet Listserv -- but shouldn't many more take advantage of it? I think so.

It is easy to sign up. My May 10th post tells how to join ATRAnet. Or you can just go to the ATRA website. Under Networking you will see ATRAnet Listserv. Just click on ATRAnet Listserv and you'll find instructions on how to sign up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Google Search for RTV Videos

After getting a listing for the RTV Videos with a Bing search (see May 11th post), I thought I'd see what came up when I typed in Recreation Therapy Videos on Google.

The third listing in the Google search was for the RTV website provided by the IU Scholar Works Repository -- from which all 23 videos can be directly accessed for streaming.

It seems strange that the first listing from Google is for the RTV Videos listed on Charlie Dixon's TR/RT Directory -- which just links to the IU Scholar Works Repository page. Why Google would list the TR/RT Directory before the IU Scholar Works listing is puzzeling. I really don't understand how the search systems work! It sure isn't logical to me.

In case you want to add it to your list of favorites, the web address for the IU Scholar Works Repository RTV Video page is:

Friday, May 14, 2010

NCTRC Specialty Certifications

NCTRC has announced Specialty Certification Professional Areas of Recognition:

• Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation
• Geriatrics
• Developmental Disabilities
• Behavioral Health
• Community Inclusion Services

NCTRC Specialty Certification Summary of Requirements

Specialty Certification Standards:

Specialty Certification Path A application
CTRS active status;
Completion of five (5) years of full-time professional therapeutic recreation experience within a designated specialty area;
Completion of 75 continuing education hours that include a minimum of three (3) professional certificate trainings within the designated specialty area. Each professional certificate training must be a minimum of six (6) CE hours. The CE hours must be completed during the five year period prior to application; and
Submission of two professional references: one from a peer professional and one from a recent employment supervisor.

Specialty Certification Path B application
CTRS active status;
Graduate Degree in TR/RT;
Completion of nine (9) graduate-level credit hours within the designated specialty area;
Completion of one (1) year of full-time professional therapeutic recreation experience within the designated specialty area; and
Submission of two professional references: one from a peer professional and one from a recent employment supervisor.

The specialty certification designation is valid for a period of up to five years if awarded at the beginning of the five-year Recertification cycle. If the specialty certification designation is awarded at a point after Recertification, then the specialty certification validation period will be for the remainder of the certification cycle. Recertification of both the CTRS credential and the specialty certification designation would then occur at the same time at the next scheduled due date. All documented Continuing Education (CE) hours used during the specialty certification application process can be utilized for CTRS recertification as long as the documented CE hours were earned within the five-year recertification period.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Persons with Mental Illness Are Not Hospitalized

In yesterday's USA Today newspaper there was an article (p. 4D)titled "Mentally Ill are Sent to Jail More Than Hospital." The article presents data showing that persons with serious mental illness are more likely to be incarcerated in jails than hospitalized.

This is a sad state of affairs brought on by those who just wanted to close psychiatric hosptials to save money and those misguided souls who thought it was humane to empty out the hospitals in the name of deinstitutionalization.

As someone who worked as a recreational therapist with clients at two fine state psychiatric hospitals and knows just how good such care can be, it makes me angry that today so many who need this type of care are denied it.

I don't know what can be done today to again provide the level of hospital care needed for persons with serious mental illness. One thing for sure is that we all need to support funding to for mental health services for those who need hospitalization.

For a news release from the Treatment Advoacy Center and the National Sheriffs Association, go to the Treatment Advocacy Center website. The news release reports that the odds of an individual with serious mental illness being jailed, rather than hospitalized, are 3.2 to 1.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Sagamore Publishing Book

Sagamore Publishing has announced the publication of a new book on recreation services for persons with disabiliites. It is not an RT book, per se, but deals generally with recreation for people with disabilities. The book is:

Bullock, Charles C., Mahon, Michael J., & Killingsworth, Charles L. (2010). Introduction to Recreation Services for People with Disabilities (3rd edition). Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publishing, Inc.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bing Search Finds RTV Videos

I recently completed a Bing search using "recreation videos" and it came up with a link for the Recreation Therapy Videos. I'm very pleased to see that the RTV videos are being made available on search systems such as Bing.

The Bing link goes right to the Indiana University Library website from which the 23 RTV videos may be streamed free of charge.

In case you would like to access the RTV videos without going through Bing, the address is https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Monday, May 10, 2010

Information on ATRAnet Listserve

I just checked the ATRA website. Under Networking the ATRAnet Listserv is listed. If you click on ATRAnet Listserv this is what you get:

ATRAnet Listserv
On April 15, 2010, the ATRA Board of Directors entered into an agreement with Oklahoma State University to establish and maintain a listserv called ATRAnet. ATRAnet is a forum established by Oklahoma State University's Therapeutic Recreation Program to promote discussion regarding issues facing the profession of Therapeutic Recreation. As such ATRAnet is endorsed by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). ATRA is committed to assisting Oklahoma State University faculty in monitoring content using ATRA members' expertise. While ATRA endorses this website, it nor Oklahoma State University are responsible for the content and information shared on ATRAnet. ATRA encourages all ATRAnet members to verify facts/materials from other credible sources before making decisions. Official ATRA positions will be posted on ATRA's website.

To Subscribe
To Subscribe to ATRAnet:
- In first line of message: type "SUBSCRIBE ATRANET-L"

Sunday, May 09, 2010

National Nurses Week

May 6 - 12 is National Nurses Week. RTs should take time this week to thank their nursing colleagues for their great contributions to client care.

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Federal Center for Research on Disability Services

I found this announcement from Disability.gov to be really interesting. Here it is:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Awards Funds to Establish Center of Excellence in Research on Disability Services, Care Coordination & Integration HHS' Office on Disability has announced the award of over $6 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to establish a Center of Excellence in Research on Disability Services, Care Coordination and Integration. The Center will support and conduct research on the effectiveness of systems of care for people with disabilities to improve the health and support services they receive.

I hope ATRA will begin to explore research funding for RT through this new center. It would also be great if at least one Ph.D. prepared RT was appointed to the staff of this new center.

Janet Pomeroy Center ED Position Open

From Cindy Blackstone, CTRS, RTC, Director of Recreation Services at The Janet Pomeroy Center comes this announcement:

Prepared for The Janet Pomeroy Center

POSITION: Chief Executive Officer
LOCATION: San Francisco, CA
REPORTING The Honorable Raymond J. Arata, Jr., Chairman of the Board and
RELATIONSHIP: his fellow Board Members
THE COMPANY: The Janet Pomeroy Center (formerly Recreation Center for the Handicapped) is a nonprofit organization serving over 2000 children, adults, and seniors with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries each week. Founded by Janet Pomeroy in 1952, the Center currently has over 200 full- and part-time employees who provide therapeutic recreation, vocational rehabilitation, transportation, and respite care services at our 5-1/2 acre site off Skyline Boulevard, between the San Francisco Zoo and Lake Merced. The facilities include program rooms, a therapeutic swimming pool, gymnasium, computer lab, kitchen, stage and multipurpose room, playground, day camp, and community garden center. The Center is primarily funded through state and federal agencies, while grants, private contributions, and special events are increasingly important sources of support for our programs.

For more information on this search, contact Rich Kampmann rkampmann@boyden.com
or Ann Spillane aspillane@boyden.com, or call them at 415-874-3700. The search firm conducting the search is Boyden Global Executive Search.

Spring Issue of RTI Newsletter Out Soon

Members of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) should be receiving the spring issue of the RTI Newsletter within the next few days.The quarterly RTI Newsletter is distributed eletronically to all RTI members.

If you are not sure of your RTI membership status,please contact Erin Smith at Erin.Smith@fssa.in.gov to check on the status of your membership or verify your email address. Making sure your membership and email address are up-to-date will assure you of receiving your copy of the spring RTI Newsletter.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

"When Medicine Got It Wrong" on PBS

By Bob Carolla, J.D., Director of Media Relations at the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Health Month is a good time to reflect on how far the movement for people with disabilities and their families has come -- particularly in overcoming myths and stereotypes.

This month, along with Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in October, is an important time for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to conduct public education activities to build awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with mental health needs.

A key fact to consider is that “mental health” and “mental illness” are points on a continuum. One in five Americans experiences mental health problems in any given year. One in 17 lives with the most severe, chronic conditions.

This year, PBS stations around the country will air When Medicine Got It Wrong, a documentary about NAMI’s origins as a grassroots movement and founding as a national organization. It’s about ordinary people who "rocked the halls of medicine," challenging long-held beliefs and rebelling against psychiatric theories that blamed schizophrenia on bad parenting. Their activism helped revolutionize treatment.

Many PBS stations will show the film on Mother’s Day, because in the 1960s and 70s, textbooks perpetuated the myth of the “schizophrenogenic mother” as the cause of mental illness. The documentary will air through MIAW in October, so check your local public television broadcast dates and times at http://www.whenmedicine.org/MedW/Watch.html.

Older Americans Month

May is “Older Americans Month,” and a time to consider both the achievements of the aging population, and the challenges individuals - with and without disabilities - may face as they grow older.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

2010 International Very Special Arts (VSA) Festival

From Disability.gov comes the following announcement:

From June 6-12, 2010, the Very Special Arts (VSA) Festival will bring together artists, educators, researchers and policymakers with and without disabilities from around the world for a multicultural celebration of the arts and arts education. The Festival will feature visual, performing, literary, and media artists and more than 2,000 participants from around the world.

On another website for the VSA Festival, I found the following:

Performances and exhibitions will be showcased at various venues throughout Washington, D.C., including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution (American Art Museum, Discovery Theater, International Gallery), Shakespeare Theatre Company (Harman Hall and Lansburgh Theatre), Atlas Performing Arts Center, H Street Playhouse, George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, Union Station, U.S. Department of Education, DC Improv, and AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center.

May is Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month. From Mental Health America comes 10 Tools for Mental Health:

The 10 Tools
These proven tools can help you feel stronger and more hopeful.

1. Connect with others
2. Stay positive
3. Get physically active
4. Help others
5. Get enough sleep
6. Create joy and satisfaction
7. Eat well
8. Take care of your spirit
9. Deal better with hard times
10.Get professional help if you need it

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Preregistration for ATRA Annual Conference

ATRA has announced that preregistration is now available for the 2010 ATRA Annual Conference to be held in Spokane, September 12 - 15, 2010. Go to the ATRA website for details.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Employment Opportunities for CTRSs

Oregon State Hospital, Salem, Oregon
2600 Center Street NE, Salem, OR 97301

The Oregon State Hospital Rehabilitation Services Department employs approximately 60staff who provide services to individuals with mental illnesses in adult, forensic and geriatric programs. Services include Recreation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Music Therapy, Art Therapy and Physical Therapy. The Oregon State Hospital (OSH) provides psychiatric evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment for mentally and emotionally ill adult specialty populations from throughout the state. Inpatient services are currently licensed at 681 beds on 19 hospital units and residential services at 96 beds on 3 units. These 22 units function on campuses in both Salem and Portland, Oregon.

Link to the Oregon State job posting:

Link to Oregon State Hospital site:

For questions contact:

Michael S. Ratliff, CTRS
Director of Therapeutic Recreation
Oregon State Hospital
2600 Center Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-2682

Office: (503) 945-2967
Email: Michael.s.ratliff@stateor.us

Saturday, May 01, 2010

ATRAnet Listserv & the Celebration of RT

There has been a lot, and I mean a lot, of ideas expressed on the ATRAnet listserv regarding our annual celebration of RT. In the past "RT Week" has been celebrated in July (a tradition connected back to years ago when RT Week was made to coincide with park and recreation week which was celebrted in July).

Most agree that our celebration should be extended from a week to a month. This seems to be a good idea -- as the majority of professions take this approach.

There is also agreement that our celebration should be moved from the summer to the acdemic year. This way universities can become more involved.

A couple of years ago (check the RT Blog archives if you don't believe me :)), I had suggested we hold our celebration in conjunction with the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association (CTRS). I think they have their celebration in February. I still believe this is the way to go -- we should join with CTRS in having a North American RT Month. What say you?