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.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Part-Time Position in South Carolina

From Anja Chillemi:
Part Time Life Enrichment Leader positions available at Summit Hills Retirement Community. This facility is located in Spartanburg, SC. This position requires you to work in the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities providing activities for the residents. If interested please go to http://www.summit-hills.com/, click on contact & careers, and fill out the application. For more information email pfisher@summit-hills.com or call 864-978-9792.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

416 Receive ATRAnet Post on a New App

On ATRAnet, I just sent out the post below regarding a new app named SpeechHero. When I received my confirmation that my message had been distributed it was indicated there were 416 recipents. This is the highest number I can ever recall on ATRAnet -- and it pleases me to see so many individuals using ATRA's listserv.

Oh, by the way, here is the post I sent out on ATRAnet:
 There are almost a million apps for smartphones or mobile devices. Some may be of help in RT. I read about one today in the Indianapolis Star.
The app was created by Bloomingsoft right here in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. It is SPEECHHERO, now available for iPad and with an iPhone version on the way.
The article states: SpeechHero allows those who are nonverbal, or have limited verbal ability, to communicate by tapping icons and using text-to-speech options. It’s also helpful for singers ordered to rest their vocal chords.
The cost is $100.00. The website address given is www.speechhero.com/

I’m not personally familiar with the app but it may be worth checking out.

Friday, September 21, 2012

UW-LaCrosse Faculty Opening Reminder

From Stephen Lewis, Ph.D., CTRS:
A reminder that we at UW-La Crosse are recruiting for a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Therapeutic Recreation (details below). We will have representatives at both ATRA and NRPA to answer additional questions. Also - please keep a watch for an additional instructional academic staff position that we will soon be posting for our program as well. Please contact me with any questions about this current search that you may have.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

RT Opening in Wilmington, NC

Posted by Stephany LaFlamme:

The Wilmington Treatment Center is hiring a LRT/CTRS. WTC is a substance abuse treatment center in Wilmington, NC. We would like to fill this position as soon as possible. For an application or for additional information, please email me at stephany.laflamme@gmail.com

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Only 2 Weeks to Register for RTI

Marieke VanPuymbroeck Chancellor, Ph.D., CTRS, President of the Recreational Therapists of Indiana, reminds us that 10/1/2012 is the deadline for registering for the RTI Conference to be held at Bradford Woods in November.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Opening in North Carolina

From Diane Williams Skalko, M.S., CTRS:

The Creative Living Center (adult day health program) in Greenville NC is hiring a LRT/CTRS as their program coordinator. Please send your resume to Diane Skalko at dskalko@pittcoa.com to be considered.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Article on Lessons Learned in RTI Newsletter

The following appeared in the recent issue of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) Newsletter:

Lessons Learned: Newest Book from David Austin
Last year Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners was published. The book’s author is IU Professor Emeritus and RTI Founding Member David R.Austin, Ph.D..

Austin wrote in the preface of Lessons Learned: “The profession of recreational therapy has been very good to me. It has provided me with a passion, as well as a living. I truly cherish the years I have had in my beloved profession and I would like to see it continue and prosper.” He sees Lessons Learned as a means to give back to our profession and to help it to grow and flourish.

Victoria Dawn Shelar, Ph.D., CTRS, of Middle Tennessee State University, wrote this following her review of Lessons Learned: “The outstanding features of this text include personal insight byDr. Austin based on decades of his passion for recreational therapy; 69 lessons (chapters) that cover a breadth of issues that all practitioners encounter during the course of their careers; and the manner in which the lessons are written provides an opportunity for readers to feel that it is written specifically for them from someone in the know.”
Others said this about Lessons Learned:

“This is an excellent read – every recreation therapist, either starting out or a veteran, should read this wonderful book.” -Charlie Dixon, M.S., CTRS, Therapeutic Recreation Directory

“I think this is a 5-star/ must-read book for any student in a TR/RT degree program or recreational therapist. If you've not done so already -- read this book.” -Danny Pettry, M.S., CTRS

"I am using Lessons Learned in my foundations of TR class this semester. It is a positive addition to the other TR books I use. Lessons Learned has given the students in my course some very good first-hand information and I think it makes it easier for them to relate to things they do and see in their volunteer experiences." -Joe Wilson, Ed.D., CTRS, CPRP, University of Northern Iowa

Lessons Learned is available in paperback from the Sagamore Publishing website. It is also available in ebook format from Sagamore and Amazon.com

Online Courses in RT?

Both today's USA Today and "Inside IU" (electronic newsletter from Indiana University) featured stories on online courses being the wave of the future.

Where are we as a profession in regard to RT courses being available online? I know Indiana University has been offering master's level courses (leading to an MS in RT) for many years but I'm not sure of the extent of other online offerings in RT. Isn't it about time we took a look at this?

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, a time to encourage America's children to develop healthy habits to last a lifetime. Over the past 30 years, the childhood obesity rate in America has nearly tripled. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010, approximately 17% of children and adolescents aged 2-19 years were already obese. To learn more about National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, or for tips on how to help your students lead a healthy lifestyle, visit the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Did you notice? The old National Center on Physical Activity and Disability is now the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) and has moved to the University of Alabama Birmingham.

Disability.gov Quote of the Day

 "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

Monday, September 10, 2012

ATRA Webinars Reminder

From Jean Folkerth:

Just a reminder that this Wednesday, September 12 @ 7:00 EST will be the special webinar in preparation for the NCTRC test. It will be presented by Dr. Norma Stumbo and is entitled: Everything You’ve Wanted to Know to Prepare for Taking the NCTRC Exam. Remember it is a special price and universities and colleges can sign up for one price of $25. NO CEUs will be given.
On Friday, September 14 one of our "single" webinars will be presented. It will be at 1:00 p.m. EST and will be presented by Dr. Jennifer Hinton. It is entitled: Social Skills for Adolescents with Autism: A Collaborative Program Between RT and SLP.
There is still time to sign up for both of these webinars. Go to the ATRA website under Continuing Education!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Today's Disability.gov Quote

"Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'!" Audrey Hepburn

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Today Show Video Mentions RT

RT was mentioned on this clip from the Today show as one of the best occupations for employment.


Monday, September 03, 2012

ATRA Annual Conference Reminder

Remember to register for ATRA by September 10th to save.

ATRA Webinars

Session I1: Aromatherapy: A Pleasant Adjunct to Programming or a Therapeutic Tool to Behavioral Management
Date: Wednesday Sept. 5 Time: 1:00 p.m.
ATRA Academy Faculty: Karen Grote, CTRS
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries but only recently its efficacy is being considered in recreational therapy programs. It may be used to alleviate a variety of behaviors, including stress, anxiety, poor sleep, and poor appetite. This session will review efficacy research that may be used to support the use of aromatherapy in recreational therapy programs.

Session I2: Recreational Therapy Delivery in Acute Inpatient Psychiatric Units
Date: Wednesday Sept. 19 Time: 1:00 p.m.

ATRA Academy Faculty: Glenn Kastrinos, LRT/CTRS

Inpatient psychiatric centers have gone to shorter stays where average length of stay can be three to five days. The recreational therapist has to adjust ways to fit RT into this short term structure and will quickly find that some standard approaches in the field may not be effective. This session will explore how the RT can lead groups in this fast paced delivery and remain within the TR standards of practice.

Session I3: Recreation Therapy Discharge Planning to Reduce Readmission
Date: Wednesday October 3 Time: 1:00 p.m.

ATRA Academy Faculty: Lexi Cousino, CTRS
This session will discuss the value of quality discharge planning from a mental health point of view. It will offer ideas, skills and techniques to decrease the rate of recidivism among our patients/clients.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Most Frequent Contributors to the ATRA Annual

I just happened to see the list of the 15 most frequent contributors to the ATRA Annual in Therapeutic Recreation that was published in the 2012 issue (Vol. 20) of the Annual. The 15 were: Candace Ashton-Shaeffer, David Austin, Leandra Bedini, Linda Buettner, John Dattilo, Terry Kinney, Doug Kleiber, Youngkhill Lee, Neil Lundberg, Marjorie Malkin, Bryan McCormick, Alexis McKenney, Marieke Van Puymbroeck, Thom Skalko, and Norma Stumbo.

I was pleased to see the individuals acknowledged. It seems to me that too often the contributions of scholars are overlooked. Do you agree?