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2024 ATRA Annual Conference - Together We Thrive, Together We Rise

October 12–15, 2024

Kansas City, MO - KC Marriott Country Club Plaza

The following is the TENTATIVE program and schedule for the 2024 ATRA Annual Conference in Kansas City, MO. Presentations, times and other details are subject to change between now and the start of the conference in October.

Regarding CEUs, please note: NCTRC CE Pre-approval will be pending; all sessions may not have been approved by NCTRC. We will post an update when approval for sessions has been received and sessions appropriate for specialty certification as identified by NCTRC.

Please note that all attendees, exhibitors, and guests are expected to follow the ATRA Conference Code of Conduct. To review this, please visit https://www.pathlms.com/atra/courses/63978/documents/98441

 

Virtual Reality (VR) Applications in Recreation Therapy

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 8:30 AM–12:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

In this session, attendees would have the opportunity to explore Virtual Reality (VR) and learn how VR can be implemented in Recreation Therapy, create individualized intervention plans, and analyze programs available for VR headsets.

Learning Outcomes

1.) Identify at least three health risks and precautions before approaching VR.
2.) Identify at least three benefits of Virtual Reality (VR) in Recreation Therapy
3.) Identify at least three VR program interventions that can be implemented in Recreation Therapy

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Adaptive Sports
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Jon Tang, CTRS, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Healthcare System, and Phoenix VA Medical System

Co-Presenter/panelists

Vulnerability in Behavioral Health

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 8:30 AM–12:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

At the root of success with clients lies the ability to manage risk as the facilitator. In behavioral health the responsibility to create spaces where clients can be vulnerable, take healthy risk, practice open mindedness and willingness can be difficult to achieve. On the flip side, clients that are unhealthy risk takers can present barriers in settings that explore healthy leisure. Utilizing CBT and DBT as a foundation, join us in exploring client vulnerability and willingness to take healthy risks and developing group interventions that foster an environment for client success.

Learning Outcomes

1. Define what vulnerability and risk taking consists of in behavioral health settings.
2. Explain steps in creating an environment that supports healthy risk from a leisure perspective.
3. Participate in 3 interventions that fosters healthy risk taking in behavioral health including a mindfulness activity (labyrinth) and a nature-based intervention.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Management
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Schools
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Abby Nelson, Rosecrance

Co-Presenter/panelists

2024 Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group Preconference: Integrating the Adventure Therapy Beliefs Into Recreational Therapy Practice

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 8:30 AM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 5
Session Description

The Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG) is a special interest group of the Association for Experiential Education that oversees the field of adventure therapy and provides opportunities for adventure therapy and therapeutic adventure practitioners to connect with others in the field. The mission of TAPG is to engage practitioners in the development and promotion of adventure as a therapeutic approach. TAPG offers various pre-conferences, conferences, and webinars and is excited to work with ATRA to provide the first recreational therapy specific pre-conference for those who are using adventure therapy, therapeutic adventure, or adventure-based programming in their practice setting. In addition to being eligible for recreational therapy CEUs, this pre-conference can also be used for six training hours for the Certified Clinical Adventure Therapist or Certified Therapeutic Adventure Specialist core competencies for those interested in further certification.

The adventure therapy beliefs are fundamental to our work in therapeutic settings, but how can we as recreational therapists be intentional about incorporating these beliefs into our everyday work? The intention of the first half of this pre-conference is to examine the seven adventure therapy beliefs: safety, freedom, belonging, trust, enjoyment, challenge, and effective communication; discuss how these beliefs can be broken down into tangible, easy to understand components; and describe how these components can be used with participants as established clinical goals, group conversation starters, or for individual reflection prompts.

The adventure therapy beliefs should not only guide our work with our participants but also guide the way that we interact with the other professionals in our treatment teams because we all deserve to experience safety, freedom, belonging, trust, enjoyment, challenge, and effective communication in the workplace. The purpose of the second half of this pre-conference is to discuss the application of the adventure therapy beliefs in recreational therapy organizations and treatment teams with more focus on how these beliefs can be broken into components that can used to guide ethical supervision and develop healthy work cultures.

Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will be able to identify the seven adventure therapy beliefs and describe their importance to the use of adventure therapy, therapeutic adventure, or adventure-based programming in recreational therapy practice.
2. Participants will be able to discuss how the adventure therapy beliefs can be used more intentionally in their practice settings to guide discussions with groups and individual participants.
3. Participants will be able to describe how the adventure therapy beliefs can inform ethical supervision and identify ways that these beliefs relate to ethical codes in recreational therapy settings.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Management
Military/Veterans
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Jesy Cordle, PhD(c), LRT, CTRS, CCAT, Chicago Voyagers and Clemson University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Emma Herndon, WFR, Chicago Voyagers

Bee Calm, Bee Well: Therapeutic Beekeeping for Veterans

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 8:30 AM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

Beekeeping is an emerging therapeutic intervention that can be used as a tool to teach mindfulness, distress tolerance, new leisure skills, and impact mental health. During this session participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts who provide therapeutic beekeeping practices for Veterans. Participants will learn about the honeybees in the hive, as well as equipment and tools needed to facilitate a therapeutic beekeeping program. Participants will also be instructed on how to facilitate 5 mind and body practices to increase mindfulness and impact mental health outcomes during beekeeping session. Participants will interact with observation hives and equipment during the session, but will not come into physical contact with honeybees at any time during the session .

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to define basic beekeeping tools, terminology and equipment.
Participants will be able to facilitate 5 Mind/Body Beekeeping Practices to increase mindfulness during beekeeping experience
Participants will be able to describe the steps needed to implement a therapeutic beekeeping program.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Military/Veterans
Other
Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Valerie Carter, VA Medical Center- New Hampshire

Co-Presenter/panelists

Adam Ingrao, Heroes to Hives
Lacey Ingrao, Heroes to Hives
Jessie L Bennett, PhD, University of New Hampshire

In the Midst of Darkness, Light Persists: The Therapeutic Use of “Dark Leisure” in RT

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 1:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Dark leisure can simply be defined as leisure activities associated with death and tragedy. From a therapeutic recreation perspective, this may seem oxymoronic as leisure and recreation are first and foremost a means of rejuvenation rather than decay. However, dark leisure is a growing part of the leisure landscape and chances are you are already participating in some dark leisure pursuits of your own. This session will explore the concept of dark leisure and consider how this area of leisure and recreation may be used to provide therapeutic benefits to the populations we serve.

During the session, participants will be asked to reflect on their own dark leisure experiences, consider the ethical implications of dark leisure in practice, and examine dark leisure activities across the RT domains for the individuals they serve.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify at least three dark leisure activity types/categories
2. Identify at least two potential ethical challenges to using dark leisure activities with the individuals they serve
3. Identify at least three benefits of facilitating dark leisure activities with the individuals they serve

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Higher Education
Management
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Schools
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Jason Page, SUNY Cortland

Co-Presenter/panelists

Inpatient Rehab Groups: How the CTRS Can Contribute to the 3 Hour Rule

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 1:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

As ATRA continues to lobby for Recreational Therapy to be included in the 3 hour rule in the IRF setting, it is up to the CTRS to think inside and outside of the box to meet patient goals while also contributing to the team approach for service delivery.

This session will focus on co-treatment groups between TR/PT, TR/OT and TR/ST specifically in an inpatient rehab setting. We will offer a framework for 4 specific types of groups that will include demonstrations of introductions, group activities and documentation. Be prepared to be an active group member, brainstorm new group activity ideas for varying diagnoses to achieve individual patient and group goals, document the cognitive, physical and psycho-social benefits, practice developing your own style to group delivery, and walk away with ideas to either start co-treatment groups or enhance your existing group programs.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify at least 3 types of groups that can be implemented with PT, OT and SLP in an IRF setting.
2. Demonstrate at least 2-3 group activities to achieve the goals for each discipline for each type of co-treatment group.
3. Practice documentation to include cognitive, physical and psycho-social outcomes including use of GG and FIM documentation criteria.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals

Primary Presenter

Courtney A Castillo, Endeavor Health Swedish Hospital

Co-Presenter/panelists

Julie Pierce, CTRS, The Medical Center of Aurora - Behavioral Health and Wellness Center

Standards for the Practice of Recreational Therapy- Understanding and Application in Your Setting

Saturday, October 12, 2024 at 1:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

Participants will explore the content of the ATRA Standards of Practice, understand their responsibility, and learn how these can and should guide the process of developing policies and procedures for a Recreational Therapy department or program. Participants will learn the basics of policy and procedure writing to aid in the development and/or revision of their current policies and procedures.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
1) Verbalize their responsibility under each of the standards
2) Verbalize at least three fundamentals of policy and procedure writing
3) Verbalize at least three ways the ATRA SOP can be implemented in various RT treatment settings
4) Demonstrate understanding of how to create a policy and procedure manual using the ATRA SOP during small group interactions

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Joan L Sutton, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Co-Presenter/panelists

Dr. MaryJo Archambault, EdD; CTRS, Southern Connecticut State University
Heather Bright, PhD, CTRS, Slippery Rock University

Opening Session: The Importance of Nature with Author Florence Williams

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:00 AM CDT
General Session

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

Opening Exhibitor Social

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 10:00 AM–11:30 AM CDT
General Session

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

Assessing a Nature and Forest Therapy Intervention Area with an Importance-Performance Approach to Maximize Positive Intervention Outcomes

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

One-third of the session will introduce therapeutic interventions of nature and forest therapy (NFT) known as forest bathing (i.e., slow mindful and sensory immersion in nature), followed by examples of various NFT interventions implemented in Asian and western countries. The session presenter will discuss a standard sequence of NFT walk (i.e., structured NFT invitations; four nature immersion activities, one invitation at a time). Empirical evidence on the impacts of structured NFT interventions on health and well-being of people with special needs will be explained. The next two-thirds of the session will provide guidelines for selecting a site suitable for positive NFT experiences by discussing the basic concept of an importance-performance approach from a recreational therapy planning perspective, introducing trail assessment checklists (importance of trail characteristics and performance of current trail conditions), and interpreting results of a case study that completed such a trail assessment. The session will assist recreational therapists in identifying trails suitable for NFT experiences and collaborating with local community parks and recreation managers to promote NFT activities in natural areas and maximize NFT experiences and benefits for clients with/without special needs.

Learning Outcomes

1. Verbally state what a nature and forest therapy (NFT) intervention is
2. Identify three benefits of a structured NFT intervention
3. Explain four steps to implement a structured NFT intervention with a standard sequence as developed in the U.S.
4. Verbally state at least two trail characteristics (e.g., natural features) for RT planning (identifying a trail) to maximize positive NFT experiences and outcomes
5. Interpret results of a case study that completed a trail assessment with an importance-performance approach

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Community
Higher Education
Management
Research
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals

Primary Presenter

Namyun Kil, PhD, CTRS, CNFG, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1725 State Street

Co-Presenter/panelists

Introducing the Life Spaces Practice Model

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Those attending this session will be introduced to the Life Spaces Practice Model. Practice models provide clinicians with a guide to direct recreational therapy practice. The field of therapeutic recreation has a variety of practice models, yet lack the following: 1.) a model informed by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health Model, 2.) relevant across cultures, 3.) engages disability studies approaches, and 4.) addresses current critiques within the field. The Life Spaces Practice Model utilizes the ICF as a foundational theoretical approach to target two areas (activity and participation) of treatment and introduces the concept of Life Spaces. Therapists utilizing this approach will be able to clearly target the personal life space (ICF activity domain) or the community life space (ICF participation domain) of their clients. Additionally, this model provides the CTRS® with a guide to recreational therapy treatment by engaging with disability studies theory and approaches to interaction and philosophy while working with clients. An overview of the Life Spaces Model for recreational therapy is presented along with definitions and practical examples for therapists.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this session, attendees will be able to identify Personal and Community Life Spaces Concepts

After completing this session, attendees will be able to apply ICF WHO Theory to the Life Spaces Practice Model

After completing this session, attendees will be able to articulate cultural competency and person centered approaches related to disability studies through the Life Spaces Practice Model.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Other

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Dr. Shay Dawson, Central Michigan University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Laughter Yoga Basics: From Intervention to Certification

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 5
Session Description

This session will explore the basics of Laughter Yoga including the benefits of participation, the framework of a typical group intervention for opening to closing and everything in between. Participants will take part in specific laughter exercises. Specific Applications to RT, adaptations and contraindications will be discussed along with the roadmap to becoming a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader.

Learning Outcomes

1. Participants completing this session shall demonstrate knowledge of at least 3 benefits related to Laughter Yoga participation.
2. Participants completing this session shall demonstrate knowledge of at least 3 Laughter Yoga exercises.
3. Participants completing this session shall demonstrate knowledge of the requirements to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Older Adults
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Timothy D Miller, American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)

Co-Presenter/panelists

Program Accreditation in Recreational Therapy: Critical for Educators, Students, & Practitioners

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

For many, accreditation is an educator issue. Come learn how educational accreditation is critical for all professionals and recipients of recreational therapy services. This session will provide an overview of empirical, programmatic, and tangible benefits of accreditation for the recreational therapy profession.

Learning Outcomes

Identify one major difference between institutional and program accreditation​

Describe the relationship between accreditation and public policy

Identify 3 benefits of accreditation to students and employers​

Identify 2 strategies for working with administration to gain support for program accreditation​

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Higher Education

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

David P. Loy, East Carolina University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Karley Brouwer

Trauma-Informed Exercise in TR Settings

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 11:30 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

Trauma is a universally experienced phenomenon with significant, long-term effects. Many individuals with trauma histories may find body-focused interventions uncomfortable and thus avoid engaging in physical activity, resulting in increased health risks and decreased quality of life. Providing trauma-informed care in the exercise setting is thus essential, both to encourage participation and facilitate optimal therapeutic benefit. Additionally, engaging in regular exercise can be a powerful tool for overcoming trauma stored in the body. This session will provide information about the core concepts of trauma-informed care and how to implement the concepts in a TR exercise setting.

Learning Outcomes

1a. Identify the 5 trauma-informed care principles
1b. Define the 5 trauma-informed care principles

2. Identify at least 3 reasons exercise may be challenging for an individual with trauma history

3. Identify at least 5 benefits of exercise for trauma

4. Identify at least 3 tangible ways you can use trauma-informed care principle(s) in a TR exercise setting

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Liz Jameson, St. Luke's Health System

Co-Presenter/panelists

Michelle Bateman, PhD, CTRS, Northwest Missouri State University

ATRA Quality Internships Statement Manual and Training Update

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

ATRA Quality Internships Statement Manual and Training Update- The ATRA Quality Internship subcommittee has created resources to help you provide a quality internship experience and become a qualified intern supervisor. Learn what these are and how to access them.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain and find the quality internship supervisor statement
2. Describe the attributes of a quality internship manual and where it can be found
3. Identify and locate intern supervisor training.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
Other
Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals

Primary Presenter

Joan L Sutton, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Co-Presenter/panelists

Rachel E. Smith, EdD, CTRS, Illinois State University
Shelby Sharpe, Texas State University - San Marcos

From Policy to Practice: Resources for Obtaining Medicaid Reimbursement for Recreational Therapy Services

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

The recent expansion of Medicaid coverage for recreational therapy (RT) services in Utah in mental and behavioral health settings has opened new doors for improving patient outcomes and expanding access to care. This interactive session will discuss basics of the legislative process and the steps taken in Utah to achieve this exciting and unique outcome. Attendees will equip themselves with tools to navigate the intricacies of Medicaid reimbursement for RT services and identify resources available to investigate the options in their own state.

Learning Outcomes

1. List at least two parts of the legislative process.
2. Identify at least two steps Utah followed to obtain Medicaid reimbursement for RT services.
3. Describe at least two resources available for investigating Medicaid reimbursement options for RT services in one’s own state.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Ashley Bowen

Co-Presenter/panelists

Moving Recreational Therapy Practice for Older Adults Forward for the Next 10 Years!

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Recreational therapy practice with older adults is constantly changing due to regulatory, financial, and population changes. What will the next 10 year hold for older adult recreational therapy practice? What should we all be working towards to empower recreational therapists and serve a more diverse aging population?

Learning Outcomes

1. describe the current trends in recreational therapy practice with older adults.
2. list the needs of a diverse aging population in the future.
3. explain action steps to empower geriatric recreational therapists.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Community
Higher Education
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Betsy Kemeny, Slippery Rock University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Kaitlin Mueller, Catawba College
Dr. Dawn DeVries, American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) and American Therapeutic Recreation Association

Ripple Effects of Study Abroad Experiences for RT students

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 5
Session Description

This session presents a comprehensive examination of the intersection between disability studies, international education, and study abroad experiences. Grounded in our ongoing research initiative, which investigates the perceptions of health professions students who participated in faculty-led study abroad programs in Southeast Europe between 2016 and 2022, this session will provide attendees with a rigorous exploration of relevant literature, models of study abroad, and research findings.

Beginning with an overview of the background and rationale behind our study, we will contextualize the importance of understanding the long-term impacts of international study experiences within the realm of health professions education..

Subsequently, the session will delve into various models of study abroad, examining the methodologies and pedagogical approaches employed by institutions such as Temple University, Central Michigan University, and Indiana University. Building upon this foundation, we will present our research findings, focusing on the effects of study abroad experiences on students' academic, professional, and personal growth. Specifically, we will discuss the methodology and outcomes of our Ripple Effects Mapping (REM) approach, which aims to uncover the enduring impacts of international study experiences.

By the end of the session, attendees will have a nuanced understanding of the literature surrounding study abroad in health professions education, diverse models of study abroad programs, and the potential long-term effects of international study experiences. This session is ideal for educators, researchers, and practitioners interested in enhancing their understanding of global education and its implications for health professions training.

Learning Outcomes

After attending session, attendees will be able to identify outcomes of study abroad experiences within health professions academic programs.

After attending session, attendees will describe short and long term findings from recreational therapy students experiences

After attending session, attendees will be able to identify current study abroad models within the field of recreational therapy.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
Research
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers

Primary Presenter

Nikki Abbott, Clemson University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Bryan McCormick, Temple University
Shay Dawson
Čedomir Stanojević, Clemson Univeristy
Krista Schline, Temple University

State of the Profession: A Data-Driven Perspective

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

“Recreational therapy is a dying profession.” “No one understands or respects what I do as a Recreational Therapist.” “There are no jobs in recreational therapy anymore.” Have you heard people make comments like these in the past few years? It’s time to set the record straight and take a look at what the data say about the state of the profession. This session will present data collected from national and state organizations that will highlight the current state of the profession so attendees are better able to understand and interpret information they see. Additionally, this session will discuss concrete actions that recreational therapists should immediately stop and concrete actions that recreational therapists should immediately begin to continue to grow this amazing profession. What is the state of the profession? Come to this session and experience a data-driven answer to that exact question and learn about action steps you can take.

Learning Outcomes

List three pieces of data that identify the health of the profession
State three actions to stop doing to help promote RT
State three actions to begin doing to help promote RT

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
Management
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Brent Wolfe, American Therapeutic Recreation Association
Anne Richard, NCTRC

Co-Presenter/panelists

Alternative Academic Pathways to Becoming a Recreational Therapist

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

Higher education is undergoing significant transformation influenced by various factors, including fluctuations in student enrollment. These changes are evident in Therapeutic Recreation (TR) degree programs, which have experienced both the emergence of new programs and the closure of existing ones. This session will feature a panel of educators who will discuss alternative ways to access Recreation Therapy (RT) professional preparation. These alternative educational approaches, including certificates, continuing education and minors aim to identify and equip students with the necessary competencies for delivering effective RT services. The panel will share a range of experiences and expertise from programs at different stages: established, transitioning, and pivoting to new approaches. Audience engagement will be integral to this session, as participants will be encouraged to contribute to data collection efforts that will inform future direction that may continue to advance the profession.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session participants will:
1. Identify one example of an alternative educational approach to meet the TR coursework requirement for professional competence defined by NCTRC
2. Identify at least one value of an alternative educational program to the TR profession
3. Verbalize at least one factor influencing the variances among alternative educational approaches
4. Identify one best practice to advance the quality of alternative educational approaches for the individuals served by RT services

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
All
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Patricia Thomas, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Co-Presenter/panelists

Karen Carnicello Wenzel, Eastern Washington University
Marcia Jean Carter, Eastern Washington University, SUNY Cortland and University of St. Francis
SUZY ROSS, San Jose State University

CARTE Workshop Part 1 CARTE Self-Study

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Board Room
Session Description

This CARTE Session will provide information for academic programs considering CARTE/CAAHEP accreditation. The participant with have foundational knowledge regarding higher education academic accreditation and why an academic program might choose to pursue the accreditation.

Learning Outcomes

1. The participant will be able to identify three factual reason to consider pursuing the CARTE/CAAHEP accreditation
2. The participant will be able to identify three outcomes a higher education program in recreational therapy should expect if awarded CARTE/CAAHEP accreditation.
3. The participant will be able to identify the accrediting body that provides CARTE the ability to conduct site visits for CARTE/CAAHEP accreditation.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
Management
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Dr. Tim Passmore, CTRS/L, FDRT, CARTE, Oklahoma State University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Maintaining a Strong Foundation for the Profession: The Roles of TR Organizations

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 5
Session Description

With so many organizations connected to the therapeutic recreation profession, we as recreational therapy students, practitioners, and educators may need a refresher on “who does what for whom”. Join the leaders in your field as they discuss the roles of our credentialing organizations (certification and licensure), our accrediting bodies (for higher education programs), and our professional associations (state and national). While we all work together, it’s important to understand just exactly how we each enact our roles to collaboratively anchor the profession!

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the professional role of each credentialing, accreditation, and professional association organization in recreational therapy.
2. Articulate the importance of the role of each type of organization for the profession.
3. Identify at least one potential way that they can get involved in serving the profession, formally or informally, through the support of these professional organizations.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Jennifer L Hinton, Ph.D., LRT, CTRS, FDRT, Western Carolina University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Anne Richard, NCTRC
Cliff Burnham, CTRS, Rivendell Behavioral Health Hospital
Jared Allsop, Indiana University, CARTE
Melissa D'Eloia, Western Washington University

The Intersection Between Chronic Pain and Mental Health: How TR Can Support

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

44% of youth with chronic pain have been diagnosed with a psychiatric condition (Vinall et al., 2016). This presentation will define pain and further differentiate acute and chronic pain. The intersection between chronic pain and mental health will be explored by discussing common comorbidities, pain theories, treatment approaches, and principles from Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Lastly, participants will learn about Therapeutic Recreation (TR) skills and interventions to incorporate when working with this unique population area.

Learning Outcomes

1) By the end of the session, participants will be able to identify at least 3 comorbid psychiatric conditions for you with chronic pain.

2) By the end of the session, participants will demonstrate an understanding of utilizing CBT and DBT principles when working with patients with chronic pain.

3) By the end of the session, participants will identify at least 3 TR interventions to incorporate into practice when working with patients with chronic pain.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Jamie Sympson, Nationwide Children's Hospital

Co-Presenter/panelists

The Role for Recreational Therapy in Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

In May 2023 the US Surgeon General issued an Advisory on the growing public health epidemic of social isolation and loneliness as well as the steps to address the problem. Although problems of isolation and loneliness affect the US population generally, people with disabilities experience isolation and loneliness much more frequently than others. Recreational therapy is uniquely positioned to address these problems and focus on building social connections and socially connected environments. This session will identify the scope and nature of the epidemic as well as the steps that recreational therapists can take to support and enhance social connection.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the health impacts of social isolation and loneliness
2. Identify the scope of the problem among people with disabilities
3. State one intervention approach a recreational therapist could use to enhance social connection.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Research
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Bryan McCormick, Temple University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Using Reader's Theater to Facilitate Engagement Among Individuals with Dementia in a Skilled Nursing Facility: An Evidence-Based Protocol

Sunday, October 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

It's time for theater to meet therapy! In this presentation, we will explore the use of reader's theater as an evidenced-based intervention to promote engagement among individuals with dementia. Reader's theater is a form of improvisational theater that does not require memorization or extensive rehearsals, making it an ideal intervention for individuals with dementia. We will discuss practical tips for implementing reader's theater in a dementia care setting, including selecting appropriate scripts, adapting the activity to individual needs, and providing a supportive environment. We will also discuss the benefits of reader's theater and its implications in the practice of recreational therapy.

Learning Outcomes

1. Define the meaning of improvisation, reader's theater, and how it is linked to "being in the moment."
2. Describe the protocol for a reader's theater program/intervention and its potential benefits/outcomes.
3. Identify the importance/benefits of strengths-based interventions with individuals with dementia.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Older Adults
Research
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Trisha Lenon, Grand Valley State University

Co-Presenter/panelists

ATRA In Action: 2024 Edition

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:30 AM CDT
General Session

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

AI-Powered Policy Development for Standards of Practice

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

Get ready to take your recreational therapy skills to the next level with this innovative presentation. We'll start by briefly reviewing the Standards of Practice that guide quality patient care and ensure professionalism in our field. You'll gain insights from ATRA's trusted Self-Assessment Guide, a vital resource. But that's just the warm-up! The main event explores the brave new world of generative AI technology. What is it? How does it work? What are the ethical considerations? You'll learn about the potential benefits and risks of using AI models in recreational therapy settings through real-world examples tailored specifically for our profession.

Then it's time for you to get hands-on experience! Participants will be divided into small groups to put generative AI into practice. First, you'll use it to evaluate an existing policy related to our Standards of Practice. Then, you'll tap into the full power of these AI models by generating a brand-new policy proposal from scratch. We'll facilitate a critique analyzing the accuracy of the AI-generated content and discuss the wider implications - both positive and negative. Throughout these interactive activities, you'll build valuable skills in leveraging AI responsibly while adhering to ethical principles. You'll walk away knowing the strengths, limitations, and ethical factors to consider when using AI for tasks like policy development. This is your chance to explore innovative tech tools that can enhance recreational therapy, all while upholding professional standards. Attendees should bring their digital devices for the full experience.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify at least 3 key components of the ATRA Standards of Practice for Recreational Therapy Manual

2. Participants will be able to explain at least 3 potential applications of generative AI models in recreational therapy contexts.

3. Participants will be able to critique the accuracy, strengths, and potential ethical implications of one AI-generated policy draft related to a specific Standard of Practice.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Heather Bright, PhD, CTRS, Slippery Rock University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Susan Purrington, Northern Arizona University
Dr. MaryJo Archambault, EdD; CTRS, Southern Connecticut State University

Cultivating Excellence: Academic-Community Partnerships Preparing our Future Recreational Therapists

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

Learn about the transformative alliance between the Phoenix VA Health Care System and Arizona State University (ASU). This session unveils a pioneering student practicum course for early learners, meticulously crafted to merge academic requirements with hands-on experiences. Explore the intricacies of cultivating this partnership, from navigating affiliation agreements and on-boarding procedures to leveling and scaffolding learning. Together we will review the innovative co-created learning activities, including cooperative assignments, structured observations, and intervention protocols. Review the challenges overcome and insights gained as the Phoenix VA Recreational Therapists and ASU Faculty have continuously enhanced the program with student feedback. Be inspired by the tangible outcomes – from empowering students to enriching VA staff expertise, ultimately enhancing the lives of our nation's Veterans. This session promises to help you discover collaborative possibilities with academic-community partnerships in your own communities.

Learning Outcomes

Outline the strategic process of co-creating a three-credit, (150 hours), recreational therapy practicum for early learners.
Identify three characteristics of a sustainable and mutually beneficial academic /community partnership.
Describe three recreational therapy learning activities designed to positively impact students, Veterans and recreational therapists.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Adaptive Sports
Behavioral Health
Community
Higher Education
Management
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Research
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Kelly Ramella , Arizona State University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Suzanne Stratton, Phoenix VA Health Care System
Beth Dietrich, Phoenix VA Medical System

Finding the Support to Thrive, Part 1: Knowing What to Ask and How to Ask It

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

The aim of this presentation is to provide support to enhance ability and skills in initiating a plan to strengthen their practice with evidence-based programming. The presenters will review how to develop a question that then informs how you design your approach. Participants will also learn how to utilize specific tools and connections, such as ATRA resources, to find collaborators. Information learned in this session can be utilized by practitioners to develop a resource base for programs and could also assist in the process of writing a proposal for a grant. As there will be opportunities to practice the skills, participants will find it helpful if they bring a laptop computer or tablet.

This is the first of two complimentary sessions on supporting evidence-based practice. Attendees do not need to attend both to qualify for the CEUs, but may find it helpful.

Learning Outcomes

1. Assess their program to determine areas of need.
2. Develop a research question using the PICOT framework.
3. Perform an initial literature search using an online database.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Gena Bell Vargas, Ph.D., CTRS, Temple University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Aurora Verlin, MS, CTRS, Temple University

The Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Approach to Recreational Therapy within Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 5
Session Description

This 120-minute presentation will display the benefits of integrating different modalities within a comprehensive treatment team to address personal therapy goals. Presenters will discuss various aspects of an interdisciplinary approach within physical rehabilitation tailored to the diverse populations of acquired brain injuries (ABI) and spinal cord injuries (SCI).

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the presentation, audience members will be able to verbalize two benefits of utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to treatment planning.

Following the presentation, audience members will be able to identify a recreational therapy goal that can be addressed during a co-treatment session.

At the end of the session, each audience member will be able to write a specific modality used in either ABI or SCI during plan implementation.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Juliana Heimann, Shepherd Center

Co-Presenter/panelists

Anna Shaye Thompson, Shepherd Center

What makes a legend? A look back at what was learned and pathways for moving forward.

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Last year, we presented a two-part ‘What makes a legend’ series exploring the legacy and history of leaders within the TR profession who have risen to legendary status. The information gathered from these two sessions informed the development of a new survey, administered using Delphi methodologies, to identify the traits, characteristics, and achievements that collectively define a legend. During this session, we will present the qualitative findings from last year as well as the methods and results from the recent quantitative survey. The session will conclude with a discussion that helps chart a path for moving forward with the goal to document and preserve the stories and histories of our legendary leaders.

Learning Outcomes

1) define what constitutes a “TR legend.”
2) identify at least one significant individual within the history of Therapeutic Recreation.
3) identify at least one tangible means of preserving the legacy of our legends.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Emily Messina, Florida International University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Melissa D’Eloia, Western Washington University

Engaging the Next Generation: Recruiting Students to Major in Recreation Therapy

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

Higher education programs in recreation therapy/therapeutic recreation (RT/TR) have seen declines in enrollment leading to multiple program closures in the recent past. Simultaneously, hiring managers within the profession have reported significant challenges to recruiting qualified professionals with RT/TR degrees and the CTRS credential. If these trends continue, the profession will continue to face challenges filling open practitioner positions with qualified individuals. This session will share a current strategic statewide initiative to recruit students to RT/TR majors in Illinois. Additionally, participants will explore and generate ideas to support student recruitment both locally and nationally.

Learning Outcomes

a. Explain the causes of declining recreation therapy student enrollments.
b. Discuss the impact of student enrollments on the profession.
c. Explore effective strategies for recruiting students to majors in recreation therapy.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
Management
Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Sydney Sklar, University of St. Francis

Co-Presenter/panelists

Rachel E. Smith, Illinois State University

NCTRC Overview of Services

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

This session will focus on various aspects of the NCTRC Certification Program including applying for professional eligibility, recertification requirements, and specialization area designations. In addition, the speakers will provide an overview of special projects and NCTRC news from the past year.

Learning Outcomes

1. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to describe the certification standards for Professional Eligibility
2. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to describe the NCTRC standards for Recertification and the Specialization Area Designations
3. Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to discuss special projects and news from NCTRC

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Noelle Molloy, MSEd, CTRS, ICE-CCP, NCTRC

Co-Presenter/panelists

Susan Kaufer, CTRS, NCTRC

National Academy of Recreational Therapists: Mobilizing a Research Mentoring Agenda for the Future of the Profession

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

The National Academy of Recreational Therapists (NART) is a national academy that pursues activities to support and advance the recreational therapy profession by recognition, education, research, scholarly activity, advocacy and the provision of advice to decision makers. This session will provide participants with an opportunity to learn more about NART and how to be a mentor or/to be mentored in the areas of evidence-based practice, research, and dissemination of research. Practitioners and researchers can and need to collaborate to serve the common good of the profession of recreational therapy.

Learning Outcomes

1.Describe steps in a strategy to advance the RT profession through scholarly activity through the collaboration of practitioners and researchers.
2. Determine a mentoring work-group matches for research and dissemination of research.
3. Identify pathways to protocol-development or research in the field of Recreational Therapy.
4. Describe ATRA's research registry and the need for pertinent white papers and systematic reviews in the field.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Higher Education
Research
All
Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Betsy Kemeny, PhD, National Academy of Recreational Therapy

Co-Presenter/panelists

Dr. Marcia Jean Carter, CPRP, CTRS, American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)

Therapeutic Recreation in Acute Care

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

The presenter will discuss how to form an approach that utilizes recreation therapy in an acute care setting. We often address the need to connect patients to recreation therapy within the community, but have you ever wondered what would happen if recreation therapy started from the beginning of their healing journey? Have you ever wondered how recreation therapy could be implemented within an acute care hospital setting? Topics within this presentation will include history of recreation therapy at Mayo Clinic AZ and the transition from inpatient rehabilitation to acute care, populations served, reasons for consultation, EBP interventions utilized, and barriers to treatment. Other factors will also be addressed regarding the current program. At the presentation's end, there will be time for questions about implementation of recreation therapy in acute care. 

Learning Outcomes

1. The learner will be able to identify at least 3 populations served within the acute care setting.​

2. The learner will be able to identify 3 factors that contribute to TR consultation in the acute care setting.​

3. The learner will be able to identify 3 evidence-based interventions that can be utilized in the acute care setting.​

4. The learner will be able to identify 3 barriers to TR in the acute care setting.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Ashley Robinson, Mayo Clinic Arizona

Co-Presenter/panelists

Karlie Borowicz, Mayo Clinic Arizona

APIED in Action: Exploring Recreation Therapists’ Role in Implementation of Adaptive Sports Camp for Youth with Physical Disabilities

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

“APIED in Action: Exploring Recreation Therapists’ Role in Implementation of Adaptive Sports Camp for Youth with Physical Disabilities” is an interactive presentation with experiential elements intended to address "camp 101" for recreational therapists in adaptive sports settings, working primarily with youth with physical disabilities. Presenters will review: evidence-based practice, the presence of the APIED process within adaptive sports camps, important planning components, potential challenges that may occur, possible games, sports, and activities to include, and how to initiate, improve, and/or expand youth camp programs.

Participants will be encouraged to engage in discussion regarding programs and questions they may have about implementing youth camp opportunities. Participants will also get hands-on experience trialing inclusive games and review programming options for facilitation. This presentation is intended for those who may be interested in developing a new adaptive sports camp and those exploring how to expand or improve current camp programs they may have.

Learning Outcomes

(1) Assess planning considerations and understand how to navigate challenges within adaptive sports camp for youth with physical disabilities.

(2)Implement inclusive games and strategize programming options within youth adaptive sports camps.

(3) Evaluate and expand potential youth adaptive sport camp opportunities within individual programs.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Adaptive Sports
Child and Adolescent
Community
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Rita Penniman, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and Clemson University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Elizabeth Parker, MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital

Founding Members and Past Board Reunions

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 5

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

Reimagining Fieldwork: Strategies for Inclusive and Equitable Experiences

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

This session examines the critical issues surrounding equitable fieldwork experiences in therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy academic programs in the U.S. and Canada. Based on the ATRA Academic Action Task Force Fieldwork Study results, this session connects data on fieldwork hour requirements across various programs to concerns about equity. Equitable access to TR/RT degree programs, internships, and other fieldwork experiences will enhance the viability of programs by reaching broader pools of potential students. Attendees will tackle the challenges of managing fieldwork hour requirements, navigating coursework-specific constraints, and addressing the impact of unpaid internships on student success. Strategies for advocating for fair compensation and accommodating academic obligations during fieldwork will be explored. The session will also emphasize the importance of continuous improvement and program evaluation, providing participants with tools to gather feedback, and develop action plans for promoting equitable fieldwork experiences.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify three points of AATF data on fieldwork hour requirements across various therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy programs.

2. Identify one challenge and develop an initial plan to address equitable fieldwork hour requirements for their programs.

3. Identify two strategies for advocating for fair compensation for RT student interns

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Higher Education

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Susan Purrington, Northern Arizona University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Brent Hawkins, University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Gena Bell Vargas, Temple University
Kirstin Whitely, Longwood University and American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)
Erik Luvaas, University of Idaho

Type 2 Diabetes and Individuals with Disabilities: A Role for Recreational Therapists

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) rates among individuals with disabilities is significantly higher than those without disabilities. Lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity contribute to the onset of T2D and to health outcomes among individuals diagnosed with T2D. Recreational Therapists have a responsibility to understand risk factors associated with developing diabetes and to explore strategies to support health outcomes among this population. This session will review the prevalence of T2D among individuals with disabilities and describe the prevalence of lifestyle risk factors. Using the APIE process, we will present strategies in which recreational therapists can support individuals at risk for or with T2D to improve health outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

Describe 3 lifestyle factors that contribute to T2D outcomes
Identify 3 barriers individuals with disabilities may experience that impact healthy lifestyles
Describe how recreational therapists can use the APIE process to improve diabetes outcomes

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Community
Older Adults
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Gretchen Hammond, Temple University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Bryan McCormick, Temple University

Your RT Skill/Mind Set Makes You an Ideal Team-builder!

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

Consider how your competence and approach as an RT prepares you to facilitate team building with all types of groups and organizations. Experience a training model and techniques which have been successfully employed with a wide range of public, non-profit and corporate groups. The session will relate RT process (APIED) and competencies to developing and facilitating team-building programs. Dr. Witman will share the TASTE (Truth, Accountability, Support, Trust, Energy) assessment tool, activities/experiences relevant to each component and critical facilitation strategies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:
•Identify and provide examples of the components of the TASTE model- truth, accountability, support, trust and energy.
•Identify and detail connections between RT process (APIED) and skills ( competencies) with team-building practices.
•Cite specific applications in their current and prospective RT practice of the TASTE perspective.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Jeff Witman, Woodlands Foundation

Co-Presenter/panelists

ATRA's 40th Birthday Bash!

Monday, October 14, 2024 at 7:00 PM–9:00 PM CDT
General Session

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

A Disabled Therapist's Approach to Disability

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

This session will look at current hot topics in neuropsychology, mental health, and disability studies and how they relate to Recreational Therapy, in particular neurodiversity, special interests, radical acceptance, empowerment, and identity. I will reflect on best methods to support disabled clients' mental health and empowerment in a society and community that is not always knowledgeable and accepting of their diagnoses and identities. I will focus on therapeutic techniques and approaches that can be used with a variety of clients of different communication types, cognitive levels, and social groups. I will identify issues in the field and encourage therapists on ways they can do better.

Learning Outcomes

1. At the completion of this sessions, participants will be able to identify the definition of at least 5 disability studies terms and reflect on the value their meaning can bring to Recreational Therapy treatment.
2. At the completion of this sessions, participants will be able to identify three unique ways they can connect with their disabled and/or neurodivergent clients through Recreational Therapy.
3. At the completion of this sessions, participants will be able to write two goals that could be considered disability empowering.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Kim Shepard, FLOW Recreation

Co-Presenter/panelists

Crafting Comprehensive Internship Manuals: Bridging Theory with Practice

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

This session will delve into the intricate process for developing robust internship manuals, blending insights from research with practical applications. Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to the field, join us to explore the essential components of crafting effective manuals that serves as an invaluable resources for interns and organizations alike. Participants will gain actionable strategies for designing manuals tailored to meet the unique needs of their internship program while also ensuring alignment with national certification standards. This session will empower you to create a manual that fosters meaningful learning experiences and set the stage for success. Join us as we navigate the intricacies of internship manual development, equipping you with knowledge and tools to enhance the internship journey for both interns and agencies.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to identify at least 3 ways their agency addresses NCTRC job task analysis areas by the end of the session
Participants will identify at least 3 essential content areas for their internship manual by the end of the session
Participants will develop at least a 1 page outline for their internship manual by the end of the session

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Other

Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Shelby Sharpe, Texas State University - San Marcos

Co-Presenter/panelists

Brittany Mays, Langston University

Professional Boundaries in Therapeutic Recreation

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Professional boundaries are an important component in the work we do as recreational therapists. Therapeutic Recreation has potential to be viewed as less formal to the client and administration when compared to other therapy disciplines due to the nature of our interventions. RTs often are seen as the fun ones, which increases the importance of setting and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries while developing a positive therapeutic alliance with the client. In this session, we will review the definition of professional boundaries, internal and external contributing factors, the zone of helpfulness, boundary red flags, and the role of individual and group supervision in maintaining professional boundaries. The goal of this session is to bring this topic to the table and provide thought provoking conversations.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to recognize 3 professional boundary red flags and ways to intervene if noticed.
Participants will be able to identify 3 ATRA Code of Ethics that apply to the importance of professional boundaries and the zone of helpfulness.
Participants will be able to identify 8 contributing factors to professional boundaries.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Adaptive Sports
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Higher Education
Management
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Research
Schools
Other
All
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Lisa Shelton, Liberty Healthcare Corporation

Co-Presenter/panelists

Research Institute 1

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Room 5

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

Unleashing the Potential: Recreational Therapy Business Owners Share Their Stories

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 8:30 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

This panel presentation aims to bring together a diverse group of entrepreneurs who will share their invaluable experiences, both triumphs and tribulations, in the dynamic world of business ownership. Through candid discussions, the panelists will delve into their journeys, highlighting key successes, challenges, and the lessons learned along the way. Attendees will gain practical insights, actionable advice, and inspiration to navigate their own entrepreneurial ventures effectively.

Learning Outcomes

1) Explain at least two challenges involved in starting and running a recreational therapy business.
2) Identify at least two opportunities for growth and success in recreational therapy entrepreneurship.
3) Describe the importance of resilience, adaptability, and continuous learning in the entrepreneurial journey with specific examples.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Community
Management
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Thea Kavanaugh, REAL Therapeutics, LLC

Co-Presenter/panelists

Steve Wheeler, Grounded Therapy Network, LLC
Lilli Higgins, CTRS/L, Together Just, INC
Francis Molina, Rec Therapy Now, LLC
Ashley Bowen, University of Utah

Bridging Recreational Therapy and Non-profit Leadership: Cross-Informed Workshop for Constituent Voice in Strategic Planning

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

This session explores the integration of recreational therapy and non-profit leadership facilitation techniques to amplify constituents' voices in nationwide strategic planning processes. Presenters will share insights from cross-informed workshops designed to engage participants in meaningful dialogue and decision-making. Attendees will learn practical strategies for leveraging recreational therapy and non-profit facilitation practices to foster inclusive and participatory strategic planning initiatives.

Learning Outcomes

1) Participants will listen and observe the intersection of recreational therapy and non-profit leadership facilitation techniques in amplifying constituent voices.
2) Participants will explore the benefits of incorporating participatory approaches in nationwide strategic planning initiatives.
3) Participants will engage in workshop procedures to experience first-hand facilitation concepts that are driven to activate not only constituent voices but also inform strategic planning for Design For America (DFA), the YMCA of USA (Y-USA), and The Valley of the Sun YMCA Metro.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Community
Higher Education
Research
Target Audience
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals

Primary Presenter

Raine McAngus, Arizona State University, School of Community Resources and Development

Co-Presenter/panelists

Christina J Coleman, MEd, MS, ABD, CTRS, Arizona State University School of Community Resources and Development

Finding the Support to Thrive, Part 2: Resources for Finding & Writing Grants

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

The aim of this presentation is to provide information to enhance ability and skills in grant search and development. The presenters will review primary funding sources and provide tips in locating the right funding to support your research and other grant funding needs in promoting evidence-based practice. Discussion will be held regarding various types of grants. During the session, various grant applications that are applicable to RT practitioners, students and educators will be reviewed. Participants may find it easier to engage in activities if they bring a laptop computer or tablet.

This is the second of two complimentary sessions on supporting evidence-based practice. Attendees do not need to attend both, but may find it helpful.

Learning Outcomes

1. List 3 potential funding sources for RT evidence-based practice
2. Identify 5 key components of the grant writing process
3. Describe the typical components of grants

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Research

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Aurora Verlin, MS, CTRS, Temple University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Gena Bell Vargas, Ph.D., CTRS, Temple University

Research Institute 2

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 5

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

Stories of Possibilities: Sharing stories of lived experience

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

Storytelling is inherently human. We connect through stories, we learn through stories, and we grow through stories. Connecting individuals with and without disabilities to share stories on a similar topic provides opportunity to find commonalities in shared human experience. Storytelling has the capacity to bring people to the same level. Providers, family members, and individuals with disabilities can all share their experiences- not about disability- but about vacations, sports, family dinners, and other common topics. In this session, we will share how we used storytelling as a learning activity. We will also provide guidance on how you can facilitate storytelling in your own setting.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe 2 outcomes of using storytelling as an intervention
2. Identify the key components of creating a story
3. Develop a plan to implement storytelling in a treatment setting or in an education setting

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Dr. Gretchen Snethen, CTRS, PhD, Temple University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Ann Dolloff, CTRS, M.Ed. , Temple Universtiy

aPiE: AI-Assisted Recreational Therapy

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

In the ever-evolving landscape of therapeutic recreation, the integration of cutting-edge technologies into Recreational Therapy presents an exciting opportunity to enhance client care and unlock new possibilities for personalized and effective interventions. This 90-minute session invites you to explore the transformative potential of Generative AI in supporting the APIED (Assessment, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation, and Documentation) process – the cornerstone of Recreational Therapy.

Through a captivating blend of lectures and interactive discussions, we will explore each area of the RT Process and how free Generative AI resources can aid in the development of materials, images, videos, and other visuals to support a practitioner. Discover how these technologies can streamline assessments, personalize treatment plans, be used as interventions, facilitate evaluation processes, and optimize documentation. This session aims to empower Recreational Therapists with the knowledge and tools to harness the power of this technology while preserving the compassionate and holistic approach that defines our calling.

This session is designed for those who currently use, or are curious about using, Generative AI tools. Digital devices are strongly encouraged for full participation with account access to at least one Generative AI software (e.g., Claude, Co-Pilot, ChatGPT, RTBuddy by Poe.com).

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify at least three enhancements and distractors of Generative AI use in RT practice.
2. Create a list of Generative AI tools across each area of the RT process.
3. Utilize one Generative AI tool for enhancing the RT process.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Susan Purrington, Northern Arizona University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Alexis McKenney, EdD, CTRS, FDRT, Alexis McKenney, LLC

Applying Positive Psychology & PERMA to TR: Serving People with IDD-MH

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

In this presentation we will talk about how to apply Positive Psychology and the PERMA model to your Therapeutic Recreation practice. The population focus is people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health conditions, though concepts can be used in any setting. Come learn how to help people flourish using strengths, hope, optimism, and finding what makes life worth living!

Learning Outcomes

1. Define Positive Psychology
2. Identify the 5 concepts in the acronym PERMA
3. Identify at least 3 ways to incorporate Positive Psychology & PERMA in your therapeutic practice

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Behavioral Health

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Blayr Thompson, Southwest Idaho Treatment Center

Co-Presenter/panelists

CARTE Brief Overview & Site Visitor Training

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

The session will provide a general overview of the purpose of CARTE and the Accreditation Process. The main topic will be Accreditation Site Visitor Training for CARTE/CAAHEP accreditation.

Learning Outcomes

1. The attendee will be able to identify two methods of completing a site visitation.
2. The attendee will be able to identify three primary reasons a University might choose to request a site visitation team.
3. The attendee will be able to explain the documentation system and how site visitors assist with the academic accreditation process.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Higher Education

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Dr. Tim Passmore, CTRS/L, FDRT, Oklahoma State University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Empowering Well-being: University Students through Leisure Education

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

This presentation introduces the concept of life crafting within the framework of the "Empowering Well-Being" course, acknowledging the significant mental health concerns experienced by ASU college students akin to those at other universities. As an institution serving a diverse global community, understanding the complexities of college student mental health requires exploration of global and cultural implications. Life crafting involves intentionally designing and shaping life experiences, integrating leisure, education, and personal growth. Participants will delve into historically grounded leisure education philosophies, examining their relevance in supporting university student well-being. Through evidence-based discussions, scientific literature, and experiential learning, attendees will explore the interconnectedness of personal, societal, and global perspectives on well-being. Adopting an action-oriented approach, participants will actively acquire resources to contribute to personal and community well-being, utilizing life-crafting principles.

Learning Outcomes

1) Collaborate effectively with peers to address mental health complexities, incorporating life-crafting principles into wellness initiatives.
2) Explore global perspectives on mental health and well-being, applying life-crafting approaches to understand and support students from various backgrounds.
3) Critically reflect on personal biases, advocate for change in societal factors affecting well-being, and integrate evidence-based strategies, including life crafting, to promote resilience and support in diverse communities.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Community
Higher Education
Research
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Christina J Coleman, PhD, CTRS, University of Utah and Arizona State University School of Community Resources and Development

Co-Presenter/panelists

Research Institute 3

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 5

Primary Presenter

Co-Presenter/panelists

The Evolution of Inclusive Terminology: How to be an Advocate for Destigmatizing Language

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 2:00 PM–3:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

To complete an undergraduate degree in Recreation Therapy, all students must complete the supportive coursework required by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). One of those courses is called Abnormal Psychology. Recently, there has been talk about this course's title and the stigmas associated with the word “abnormal.” It is within the scope of practice for Recreation Therapists to advocate for destigmatizing language. This also sparked the conversation on how terminology is ever-changing and how Recreation Therapists can continue to be inclusive with their language. This presentation will focus on educating on terminology, a call to action for positive change of course titles, and ways to advocate for inclusive language in all practice areas of RT.

Learning Outcomes

Give three examples of how terminology has changed over the years in order to destigmatize different populations.

Identify two ways to advocate for inclusive language in all Recreation Therapy settings and coursework titles.

Provide two examples of appropriate terminology when working with clients of varying disabilities or diagnoses.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Higher Education
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Research
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Ashley Helmi, University of Utah, College of Health

Co-Presenter/panelists

How to Increase Viewpoint Diversity in Your Workplace--The Tension Between DEI and Freedom

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 5
Session Description

Historically, diversity has been defined as racial, sexual, and socioeconomic. This session will highlight why this is only part of the defintion of diversity because it is also political, religious, and intellectual, otherwise known as viewpoint diversity. We will examine several decades of diversity efforts and some of the pros and cons of those efforts. We will then examine the origins of diversity, equity, and inclusion while deconstructing some of the logic behind DEI initiatives. A discussion of how DEI can actually be harmful to patient care will be laid out. Lastly, time will be devoted to an improved version of diversity that utilizes critical thinking skills, encourages dialogue and debate, and results in more, not less, viewpoint diversity in our profession.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to identify and define three components of diversity that are typically left out of diversity initiatives.

Participants will be able to describe three ways in which traditional diversity efforts can result in less diversity and/or be harmful to patient care.

Participants will be able to identify three strategies that can increase viewpoint diversity in their workplace and in the profession.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

All

Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Don or Mary Beth Magnuson, Independent

Co-Presenter/panelists

Improving Parental Efficacy though Intentional Family Leisure

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 1
Session Description

Adults with mental illnesses are just as likely to be parents as adults without mental a mental illness. Yet, this population experiences greater discrimination, less support, and lower parental efficacy than other parents. Family-based leisure provides an opportunity enhance relationships between parents and children. This session provides an overview of how engaging in intentional family leisure can benefit parental efficacy and family relationships. We will discuss challenges experienced by parents with mental illnesses (and other disabilities), review the Core and Balance model of family leisure, and review EPICC- an ongoing intervention study designed to increase parental efficacy through engagement in meaningful family leisure. This session will emphasize the role recreational therapists can play in supporting parental efficacy and skill development among adults with serious mental illnesses.

Learning Outcomes

* Identify 3 potential outcomes of family leisure
* Describe 3 unique challenges parents with mental illnesses face
* Describe the role recreational therapists can play in supporting parental efficacy

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Community
Research
Other
Target Audience
Students
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Hannah Wells

Co-Presenter/panelists

Dr. Gretchen Snethen, CTRS, PhD, Temple University
Bryan McCormick, Temple University

Pain or Shine! Application of Pain Neuroscience Education in Recreation Therapy

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 4
Session Description

As pain can become a barrier to enjoyment of leisure and recreation, Recreation Therapists play a key role in ensuring participants are applying acquired knowledge about nervous system regulation to promote a satisfying recreation lifestyle that accounts for and reduces the pain experience. Pain Neuroscience Education is an evidenced based model for a multimodal approach to pain management through nervous system regulation. Within the context of Recreation Therapy, we will explore Polyvagal Theory, the Fear Avoidance Cycle of musculoskeletal pain, and considerations for neuropathic pain in recreation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will demonstrate understanding of the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system through experiential learning.
2. Participants will demonstrate competence in describing at least 2 concepts of pain neuroscience education.
3. Participants will be able to describe the role of recreation therapy in Polyvagal Theory and the Fear Avoidance Cycle.
4. Participants will identify at least three evidenced based recreation activities to reducing pain.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Adaptive Sports
Behavioral Health
Child and Adolescent
Community
Military/Veterans
Older Adults
Physical Rehabilitation and Medicine
Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Liz Creasman, Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation

Co-Presenter/panelists

RT Therapeutic Consultation: An Indirect Service Delivery Framework Under the Medicaid Waiver in Virginia

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 2
Session Description

Within the last five years, the "therapeutic consultation" branch under the Medicaid Waiver Program in the state of Virginia opened an avenue for RT/TR service provision. It has gained traction as a viable route of service delivery for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as those with Traumatic Brain Injury living in the community. In response to this rapidly growing area of RT/TR practice, this session will present a theoretical framework for service delivery. The framework is constructed based upon a combination of Virginia Medicaid Waiver Program guidelines, a review of the literature, and practical experience in private consultation. The step-by-step process of establishing a private consulting business and billing for RT/TR services in Virginia will be presented.

Learning Outcomes

Understand how the recreational therapy APIED process is implemented within the Virginia Medicaid Waiver Program.
Identify at least 2 RT/TR activities that are billable within the Virginia Medicaid Waiver Program.
Understand at least 2 challenges for RT/TR practice within the Virginia Medicaid Waiver Program.

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply
Behavioral Health
Community
Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Dr. Kirstin L Whitely, DHA, CTRS, Longwood University and American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)

Co-Presenter/panelists

Faith Moss, CTRS, Moss Recreational Therapy LLC

Social Media to Connect, Collaborate and Advocate

Tuesday, October 15, 2024 at 3:30 PM–5:00 PM CDT
Room 3
Session Description

Most agencies and academic programs have social media accounts. It is common for people to assume responsibility for these accounts without any background or training on best practices. This presentation will focus on using social media as an opportunity to advocate for RT, celebrate our students & clients, and advertise events. This session will include steps to start a constructive social media presence, best practices and discussion of ethical concerns, review of resources, and hands-on activities to consider the purpose of social media and strategies to reach goals. Participants would benefit from bringing a laptop or tablet to the session to engage in hands-on exploration of resources.

Learning Outcomes

1) Participants will at name least five critical steps in developing a social media plan
2) Participants will list at least three best practices for social media
3) Participants will plan at least one week of posts to add to social media

Presentation Track: Select ALL that Apply

Other

Target Audience
New Graduates/New Professionals
Educators/Researchers
Mid-Career Professionals
Seasoned Professionals

Primary Presenter

Brandon Snead, Temple University

Co-Presenter/panelists

Aurora Verlin, MS, CTRS, Temple University
Dr. Lindsey Oakes, LRT, CTRS, East Carolina University
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