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, February 05, 2012

Let’s Recognize Ira Hutchinson

During February, we are celebrating both RT Month and Black History Month. It seems to me this is a very appropriate time to recognize Ira Hutchinson, one of the true pioneers in recreational therapy.

I hope university faculty will mark the occasion of RT Month and Black History Month by exposing students to the contributions Ira made to advance our profession.

There are a couple of resources I can recommend. One is a tribute to Ira written by David Park that appeared in the book Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation (Austin, Dattilo, & McCormick, 2002, Venture Publishing, pp. 335-336.

The other resource is the video “Ira Hutchinson: African-American Pioneer in Therapeutic Recreation.” This video tribute appeared in the Recreation Therapy Video titled “Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation,” which is available as a free online service from the Indiana University Library. To access the video, type Recreation Therapy Videos into the search box or use the address:

Once you reach the list of 23 Recreation Therapy Videos, click on the title “Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation,” which will open up information on the video. Click on the information following the term location and the video will come up. The segment on Ira begins at 10:23 and ends at 17:40.


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