Recreation is a way to refresh or divert oneself when not engaged in educational and vocational pursuits or daily living tasks. Everyone benefits from recreational activities by becoming more relaxed, raising the level of enjoyment in their lives as well as becoming more socially involved. Studies show that individuals with disabilities who participate in recreational activities have a greater sense of self-determination. Despite that fact, many people with disabilities feel limited in participating in recreational activities. It is easy to understand why many would feel this way. Accessibility, income, and prejudice are common factors that keep individuals with disabilities from enjoying the physical, social, and emotional benefits of recreational activities. However, many activities, both indoor and outdoor, are accessible to people with disabilities. Many organizations exist with the express purpose of providing recreational opportunities for individuals with special needs.
Studies have shown that the arts have a healing influence on all people. Through creating and experiencing art, one comes to a greater awareness of self. The arts enhance the development of cognitive abilities as well as skills to cope with stressful and traumatic situations. For people with disabilities, art provides an emotional outlet and is a powerful medium that can heal the mind and heart. The arts also provide resources and opportunities for individuals with disabilities both on a personal level as well as on a professional level. By participating in the arts, people with disabilities are able to contribute to society while at the same time dispel the stereotypes regarding people with disabilities.
National Arts and Disability Center
The National Arts and Disability Center disseminates national information related to the arts and disability. The organization also provides technical assistance and referral information.
VSA Arts - National Site
VSA Arts is an international organization committed to creating a society where people with disabilities can learn about and enjoy the arts. The national website has information about national and international programs.