Recreation for all, by all

How can persons with disabilities benefit from post-Corona era relaxation?

Much has been done in recent years to improve participation of people with disabilities. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was ratified in the Netherlands in 2016. In the Netherlands, according to the Social and Cultural Planning Office, this concerns 12% of the population (Kool & Sergeant, 2017). Quality of life is about ‘being able to build a beautiful and rich life’ and that in various domains, including the domain of leisure and recreation. The need to fill leisure time together will grow in our society (ABN AMRO, 2020). How will we ensure that the full 100% of residents also have access to the leisure sector?

In this article, we explore the significance of the corona crisis for inclusive recreation and the opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy recreation. We then discuss the ‘recreation’ domain and how it is an essential part of life. We then explain that hybrid concepts in recreation are the future. Finally, we conclude with the transdisciplinary community ‘accessible-day out’ that emerged during the corona crisis.

Corona crisis: catalyst of inclusion in recreation?
Since 12 March 2020, society has changed. We all faced vulnerability and insecurity. Not a new sensation for people with disabilities: “Now others can also feel for once how limited life can be.” (Vergooszen, 2020).

This aptly reflects that much is still needed to ensure that people with disabilities visible or not – feel recognised as part of human diversity (Kool & Sergeant, 2017). Also in the world of recreation. The corona crisis has increased the importance of that sense of belonging. The more people feel a sense of belonging, the greater the power to make something beautiful out of it together. Belonging is felt after searching, negotiating, finding together: a place where you can be who you are, where you share interest and passion (De Vos & Schippers, 2016, p. 147). That action lies not primarily with an individual but with society that gives people the opportunity to experience belonging.



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