Service-Learning | Projects: Inclusive Recreation Letter

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Inclusive Recreation

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Letter to First-timers

To our new friends,

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Welcome to I-Rec! We hope you will have a rewarding and enjoyable experience as you participate in I-Rec activities. To facilitate this, we would like to explain a little bit about I-Rec, so you know what to expect, and what we expect of you.

I-Rec is designed to be a leisure time option for youth and young adults. Particularly, we want to give youth with disabilities and their peers a chance to interact in an informal setting. We expect that people who come to I-Rec activities are open to meeting and working/playing with others who might have backgrounds, experiences, and abilities different from their own. We do not assign teacher or student roles. Rather, we ask that everyone act cooperatively, helping others as help is needed, although we do ask that you not try to lift or feed those who need assistance in those areas. Trained staff are required for those responsibilities.

We also expect that all participants, those with and those without disabilities, will behave according to social norms. We ask that all participants help enforce those social norms, by modeling good behavior, and by letting others know when the behaviors are inappropriate. If such a reminder does not stop the inappropriate behavior, please notify the I-Rec staff. In so doing, you will be helping someone learn that being accepted in society: holding a job, participating in community events, etc., requires acceptable behavior. Furthermore, appropriate behavior is necessary for I-Rec to be a safe and enjoyable place for all.

As you participate, you will notice different levels of abilities among the group. Some might not hear, and will require visual means of communication. Others might have impaired speech, making them harder to understand. Still others might have physical limitations affecting their balance or abilities to perform manual tasks. What we all have in common, though, is a desire and a need to connect with other people. Each of us also has something to teach others. I-Rec gives us the opportunity to make those connections and learn from people we might not ordinarily come into contact with.

We hope you will want to return again to I-Rec. However, we truly want to be a leisure time choice, not an obligation and will understand when your schedule or your interests keep you busy elsewhere. So come when you have the time and an interest in the activity.

We will always be glad to see you.