WRPA 2019 Annual Conference and Tradeshow



Developing Inclusivity in Outdoor Recreation 

Thursday, April 11 | 2:30pm - 3:45pm 

Session Description:

What does it mean to have an ‘inclusive’ program? How do we appropriately meet the needs of individuals with disabilities? Many of our recreation and parks department mission statements commit to servicing all populations and increasing their quality of life. Learn how Spokane’s Parks and Recreation Department found success empowering citizens of all abilities to participate in general outdoor recreation programming, improving community awareness of ability and upholding their mission. Participants will have a guided discussion and brainstorm with peers how their departments can continue working towards their goals and tackle subjects such as adaptive equipment, program registration/eligibility, staff training, and community preparedness.

  • Explore challenges of addressing inclusivity in programming.
  • Find their place in the inclusivity continuum and identify relevance of the Leisure Ability Model in their program’s development of inclusive programming. 
  • Through group discussion, gather tips, resources, and potential solutions to inclusivity challenges relevant to their programs.


Kacie Dietz, CTRS, Recreation Therapist/Recreation Aide, Spokane Parks and Recreation
Dr. Emily Messina, CTRS, Associate Professor and Therapeutic Recreation Program Director Eastern Washington University

About the Speakers:

Kacie is a recreational therapist working jointly between Spokane Parks and Recreation Outdoor Recreation and Therapeutic Recreation Services Departments. Originally from Montana, Kacie found herself pursuing recreation in the Pacific Northwest and attending Eastern Washington University where she completed two BA degrees in Outdoor and Therapeutic Recreation with minors in Challenge Course Management and Experiential Education. Post-graduation, Kacie took to the clinical and public sector where she has worked with community members and various stakeholders attempting to develop year-round adaptive opportunities for special populations within the general public. Depending on the season, Kacie can often be found exploring trails either on foot or skis.

Emily received her BS and MS in recreation and recreation studies with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Emily worked as a recreational therapist for the state of Florida before pursuing her doctoral degree at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. When she is not teaching or working with students, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband, her daughter, her 15-year-old dachshund, and her sassy house cat.

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