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Therapeutic Recreation News & Articles- 2010
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News Archives

"inTeRlink" is an on-line therapeutic recreation newsletter featuring links to articles on & related to recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation on the Internet. Send news items and links to Charlie Dixon at charlie * (change * to @ before emailing).

Date shown on each article reflect the date link/item was added to this page and not necessary the date the article was written. It is quite possible that linked articles are no longer available.


On April 19, 2010, the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE) became a Committee on Accreditation (CoA) of the Commission on Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).  The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) was accepted as the Sponsoring Organization at the same meeting.  

CARTE is requesting nominations for membership on the Board of CARTE.  Attached is a call for nominations for interested individuals.  

The CARTE looks forward to serving as the first independent academic accreditation program for recreational therapy education and is implementing steps to seek nation-wide representation.   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thomas K. Skalko, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
East Carolina University
College of Health and Human Performance
Belk 1409
Greenville, NC  27858-4353


Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education

Call for Board Member Nominations

Nomination to CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors

The Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education is soliciting applicants for the following positions:

1 - Practitioner Position (3 year term)
1 - Practitioner Position (1 year term)
1 - Student Member (1 year term)
1 - Public Member (3 year term)

Qualifications are delineated in the By-Laws below. 

For consideration to serve on the CARTE Board of Directors, please submit by June 15, 2010:

A statement of your interest in serving on the CARTE Board and
A summary of your qualifications as indicated in the By-Laws

Submit your supporting materials electronically to:

Dr. Thomas K. Skalko
East Carolina University
College of Health and Human Performance
Belk 1409
Greenville, NC  27858-4353


On April 19, 2010, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accepted ATRA as a sponsoring member and accepted CARTE as the accreditation mechanism (CAAHEP Council on Accreditation or CoA) for educational programs that prepare individuals for recreational therapy practice. 

In the fall of 2007, a group of educators and practitioners requested that the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association (NCRTA) support a committee effort to determine the feasibility of establishing an academic accreditation program for educational programs that prepare students for recreational therapy practice in health care and human service settings.  This group of educators and practitioners were concerned about the variability in the academic preparation of recreational therapists and the impact that variable competency development had on recreational therapy practice designed to achieve, on a consistent and predictable basis, patient/consumer outcomes that are valued by stakeholders in health care and human service settings.  In 2008, the Board of Directors of NCRTA approved an ad hoc committee to begin this effort.  This ad hoc committee became the NCRTA Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE). The NCRTA CARTE was instrumental in the establishment of the standards, guidelines and supporting materials for accreditation of recreational therapy education as well as developing CAAHEP CARTE By-Laws and initial operating policies and procedures.

As the result of over two years of planning and development, the NCRTA CARTE generated the document (unpublished), Accreditation of Education for Recreational Therapy Practice based upon an adaptation of the ATRA Guidelines for Competency Assessment and Curriculum Planning for Recreational Therapy Practice for use in accreditation of academic programs.  The standards and guidelines for recreational therapy education included in Accreditation of Education for Recreational Therapy Practice are based upon a review of professional literature in health care, recreational therapy and allied health and standards of regulatory and accreditation agencies.  The ATRA Guidelines for Competency Assessment and Curriculum Planning for Recreational Therapy Practice were designed around a set of competencies that were developed and refined over twenty-three years of application in practice and focus group work by RT educators and practitioners.  These competencies represent the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for safe and effective practice as a recreational therapist in health care and human service agencies.  The standards and guidelines, forms, and site visitation process incorporated into Accreditation of Education for Recreational Therapy Practice have been field-tested and revised to improve both evaluation of compliance and the efficiency and effectiveness of the accreditation review process.

The CAAHEP CARTE By-Laws define the members of the CARTE Board of Directors and their qualifications:

Article III:      CARTE Board of Directors

3.1       Board of Directors:
                        The Board of Directors of CARTE shall consist of three (3) educators from programs preparing students for recreational therapy practice, three (3) recreational therapists, one (1) student currently enrolled in an educational program preparing for recreational therapy practice, one (1) employer of recreational therapists and one (1) public member who is familiar with recreational therapy practice.

3.3       Qualifications and Criteria for Service on the CARTE Board of Directors:
The following criteria must be met to serve on the CARTE Board of Directors:
(1)  Individuals must express a commitment to serve and fully participate in the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education;

(2)  Professional Educators must be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification and state credentialed as applicable, possess at least three (3) years experience as full time faculty at an institution providing recreational therapy education and one (1) year of experience practicing recreational therapy;

                        (3)  Recreational Therapists must be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification and state credentialed as applicable, possess at least four (4) years of experience as a recreational therapist including three (3) years experience in clinical education and have experience with the supervision of student interns.

                        (4)  The Student Member must have been completed at least one year of recreational therapy education.

                        (5)  The Recreational Therapy Employer shall have been involved in the employment of recreational therapists for at least 4 years.

                        (6)  The Public Member must be familiar with the recreational therapy profession.

Several members of the NCRTA CARTE Committee have transferred to the CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors to ensure a smooth transition as well as efficient and effective implementation of the CAAHEP CARTE accreditation of educational programs that prepare students for recreational therapy practice.  Those NCRTA CARTE Committee members who transitioned to the CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors are
Peg Connolly, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS (educator, two-year term,) Terry Kinney, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS (educator, one-year term), Thomas Skalko, Ph.D. LRT/CTRS (educator, three year term, elected initial chair CAAHEP CARTE Board of Directors), Pam Wilson, MS, LRT/CTRS (employer representative, three-year term) and Ray E. West, MS, LRT/CTRS (practitioner representative, two-year term). 



CTRS Specialty Certification from NCTRC

Purpose of Specialty Certification

(5-15-10) As healthcare evolves, both the technical knowledge and the skills required to successfully practice in a complex service environment significantly increase. Although in practice there remains a need to possess a broad range of professional skills, there is an increasing expectation to develop focused and specialized knowledge and skills that are distinctive to a specific population and service sector. Health and human service professionals who acquire a higher level of knowledge and more advanced skill provide the consumer with a greater depth of service compared to individuals who practice at a less advanced level. Specialization is well recognized within professional practice and has become the norm within the health and human service delivery system today.

Establishing a method to distinguish professionals who practice at an advanced level is essential to ensure quality of care and risk management. The attainment of advanced knowledge and skill is acquired via several methods including education programs, conferences focused upon specific skills or diagnostic populations, and the successful acquisition of expert skills that have been mastered over a substantial period of practice. The primary purpose of NCTRC specialty certification is to acknowledge the CTRS whose practice has reached an advanced professional level, and to provide formal recognition of competence beyond the CTRS credential. NCTRC specialty certification provides an additional level of assurance to patients, consumers, and employers regarding the delivery of quality recreation therapy and therapeutic recreation services.

NCTRC Specialty Certification Professional Areas of Recognition

•  Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation

•  Geriatrics

•  Developmental Disabilities

•  Behavioral Health

•  Community Inclusion Services

NCTRC Specialty Certification Summary of Requirements

Specialty Certification Standards

Specialty Certification Path A application

  1. CTRS active status;
  2. Completion of five (5) years of full-time professional therapeutic recreation experience within a designated specialty area;
  3. Completion of 75 continuing education hours that include a minimum of three (3) professional certificate trainings within the designated specialty area. Each professional certificate training must be a minimum of six (6) CE hours. The CE hours must be completed during the five year period prior to application; and
  4. Submission of two professional references: one from a peer professional and one from a recent employment supervisor.


Specialty Certification Path B application

  1. CTRS active status;
  2. Graduate Degree in TR/RT;
  3. Completion of nine (9) graduate-level credit hours within the designated specialty area;
  4. Completion of one (1) year of full-time professional therapeutic recreation experience within the designated specialty area; and
  5. Submission of two professional references: one from a peer professional and one from a recent employment supervisor.

The specialty certification designation is valid for a period of up to five years if awarded at the beginning of the five-year Recertification cycle. If the specialty certification designation is awarded at a point after Recertification, then the specialty certification validation period will be for the remainder of the certification cycle. Recertification of both the CTRS credential and the specialty certification designation would then occur at the same time at the next scheduled due date. All documented Continuing Education (CE) hours used during the specialty certification application process can be utilized for CTRS recertification as long as the documented CE hours were earned within the five-year recertification period.



Therapeutic Recreation at Penn State to close


( 5-15-10) Since its inception, the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management at Penn State has been at the forefront of therapeutic recreation (TR) education. Many of our graduates have become leaders in the TR profession and the Department has maintained close working relationships with many of our TR alumni. However, despite our history and strength in the field, and after extensive discussion, the faculty of the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management voted to phase out our undergraduate option in TR. We ceased offering students admittance to the option on April 26, 2010.

Our decision stems, in part, from a university-wide effort directed at cost containment. The Penn State Strategic Plan, 1009-10 through 2013-14 identifies goals and strategies for cost savings through increased efficiencies in academic and administrative units. Enrollment in the TR option has declined over the past several years despite diligent and focused efforts to recruit, advertise to Penn State branch campuses, work with undergraduate advising, encourage an additional focus on child life, and other ways of spreading the word. In view of low TR enrollments and the university wide effort to evaluate under-enrolled programs and classes, we feel that this change, while difficult, is essential for the long-range health of the department.

A second contributing factor stems from programmatic changes mandated by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). Beginning in 2013, NCTRC will increase the number of required courses in TR from 4 to 5 and mandate 560 (up from 480) hours of internship in order for students to be eligible to take the national certification examination. These new requirements would be extremely difficult for us to implement and would likely have an adverse effect on graduation plans for many students, especially those who transfer from Penn State branch campuses.

Despite our decision to terminate the TR option, inclusive recreation and recreation for persons with disabilities remain central to our mission as a department. Several of our faculty and graduate students will continue to conduct research on inclusive recreation, leisure education, persons with disabilities, and other marginalized groups. Our curriculum will continue to include courses and course content that address these important issues.

There will be no impact on current students. Students who are currently enrolled in the TR Option will see no difference in courses, support from faculty, advising, eligibility for the NCTRC examination, or internships. Similarly, our commitment to, and relationship with, alumni will remain strong.

If you have any questions about this decision and the rationale behind it, please contact me.

Garry Chick, Head
Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management
Professor, Department of Anthropology
Penn State University
801 Ford Building
University Park, PA 16802


(3-26-10 Join us for an educational and introspective journey on Ft. Lauderdale Beach, FL.
“Innovation through Education” will be an exciting prospective of new theories, research, technology and practices for Recreational Therapist, students and educators from around the nation to come together to advance Recreational Therapy through innovation.

Educational sessions are presented in individual concurrent sessions, selected from proposals submitted in response to this “CALL FOR PAPER”. 60-90 minute sessions are available. Topics should address innovations in TR theory, research, technology, practices, public policy and advocacy.

Important Topics for Individual Sessions:

For Speakers: Speakers will be offered a partial waiver of conference registration. Speakers will pay for their own lodging, meals, transportation , CEU’s, handouts and registration (minus the waiver). Speakers are requested to provide 50 copies of handouts at their session for conference attendees.

Acceptance of Presenters: The host and co-chair will review completed proposals, with presenter notified of their status via e-mail May 2010. To ensure quality of the conference, presenters will be judged based on their experience with facilitation of professional sessions and ability to demonstrate expertise or competence in the area to be presented. We are encouraging sessions that have not yet been presented in 2010, however will accept all submissions.

Proposal Format: All information MUST be included for consideration:

Page 1: Cover Page

  1. Title of session: Limit of 10 words
  2. Speakers: Include name, credentials, address, e-mail address, day and evening phone numbers.
  3. Professional vitae or biographical summary for each presenter; three pages maximum highlighting competency.
  4. Indicate where and when this presentation was previously given. Briefly explain why this session should be repeated.
  5. References: Include two references for each speaker who can verify subject matter competency.
  6. Name of presenters as it should appear in the program, include all credentials.

Page 2: Session Proposal Page

  1. Title of session: Limit of 10 words.
  2. Brief session description: Limit 30 words. If your proposal is accepted, this is the description that will spear in the program.
  3. Learning Outcomes: Three outcomes should be provided that are measurable and indicate what the audience will learn by participating in this session. “Participants will be able to…”
  4. Outline of Session: Content and methodology. Be brief yet descriptive.
  5. Mode of presentation: indicate whether the presentation will be lecture, discussion, panel or interactive.
  6. Resources list: Please provide  a list of books or journal articles related to your topic.
  7. Please indicate the appropriate competency area of your topic:
    1. Foundational Knowledge (FKW)
    2. Practice of TR/RT (PTR)
    3. Organization of TR/RT Service (ORG)
    4. Advancement of the Profession (ADV)
  8. Still level your session is more relevant for: Basic, Intermediate or Advanced
  9. Session Length: 60 minutes or  90 minutes
  10. Audiovisual Equipment: We will provide a flip chart and markers, a screen, projector and one extension cord in each presentation room. Please bring your laptop, j-drive, CD’s and please make sure your presentation is PC compatible. Presenters are responsible for any other equipment. Due to costs, we DO NOT provide multiple LCD projectors or laptops. We DO NOT provide technical support.
  11. Room style : TBA

Please submit your proposal and required information as a Microsoft Word attachment via e-mail to: by April 30th


Call for manuscripts for Activities Directors' Quarterly for Alzheimer's and Other Dementias. 

(3-17-10) Activities Directors Quarterly specializes in providing meaningful therapeutic activities  for the care of older adults in long-term care settings with Alzheimer's disease as well as all types of dementia.
We need your help! 

Our goal is to provide relevant, high quality information from diverse sources and to serve as effectively as possible the needs of those involved in activities programs for people with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias. If you have information, articles, or manuscripts that would help us achieve these goals, we would like to hear from you.
Activities Directors' Quarterly publishes articles, lesson plans, program outlines, commentaries, and studies related to activities-based programs and research which would be of interest to activities directors, occupational therapists, and other professionals in long-term care, transitional care, and assisted-living facilities.    
Over the past 10 years, Activities Directors' Quarterly has become a valuable tool for activities professionals worldwide dealing with dementia patients at all stages. I ask you to share your research and specialized activities so that others may benefit!
Please send your manuscripts to .
Thank you for your consideration!

Very truly yours,

Linda Buettner, PhD, LRT, CTRS
Activities Directors' Quarterly for Alzheimer's and Other Dementias


ATRA Annual Conference September 12-15, 2010

Spokane, WA

(3-10-10) The 2010 ATRA Annual Conference is titled, "Near Nature, Near Perfect." Please respond to the Call for Papers by submitting a proposal.

If you are interested in participating in the Research Institute portion of the conference, please respond to this Call for Presentation and Poster Abstracts by submitting a proposal. Please submit a duplicate of your Proposals for the Research Institute to the research institute chair: Lisa Mische Lawson at lmische-lawson* (change * to @ before emailing).




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