The Ability Lab at Pittsburg State University serves as an experiential classroom to provide students majoring in Therapeutic Recreation opportunities to build the skills needed to pursue careers as Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists. The lab is equipped with tools to help further the educational experience for Therapeutic Recreation majors. Equipment includes but not limited to, a custom designed hand-cycle to give Therapeutic Recreation students hands on experience with operating the cycle and an understanding of specific skills needed in order to ride; goal balls and beeper ball, both sports for individuals with visual impairments; and wheelchairs to provide students opportunities to simulate sports such as wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. Community residents are also brought to the lab in order for Therapeutic Recreation students to implement various interventions to gain valuable hands on experience.
Pittsburg State University is the only Therapeutic Recreation collegiate program within the state of Kansas. Therapeutic Recreation is a systematic process that utilizes recreation and other activity based interventions to address the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of individuals with disabilities or illness. A recreational therapist utilizes a wide range of activities and community based interventions to help individuals positively and independently function within their community in leisure and personal activities (American Therapeutic Recreation Association, 2016).
Recreation therapists work with various populations such as older adults, developmental disabilities, mental health, addictions, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and pediatric care.
Possible job locations include physical rehabilitation hospitals, retirement communities, residential care homes, mental health hospitals, VA hospitals, substance abuse centers, pediatric hospitals, community recreation departments, wellness centers and school systems.
The Pittsburg State Therapeutic Recreation Program follows the certifying body, National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, guidelines for students to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist upon graduation. Students who have graduated from this program currently work in areas such as mental health hospitals, physical rehabilitation hospitals, YMCAs, retirement communities, and school systems.
The goal of the PSU Therapeutic Recreation program is to provide therapeutic recreation majors with the knowledge and experience needed in order to become successful CTRS’s within the field of Therapeutic Recreation.
Visit the PSU Therapeutic Recretation Program Facebook page!