Delivery of high quality recreational and leisure experiences to participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The RT department is a lifespan service providing both center-based and community inclusion programs from ages three to 70+
- Recreational therapy services began as a seasonal summer day camp program in 1982 with private funding from the Hattie B. Munroe Foundation.
- Year round services began with the addition of afterschool and Saturday morning programs in 1984.
- The first adult (over 21) program was launched with the help of the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities in 1987. A large center-based clubhouse program to support the development of friendships.
- A second adult program for medically fragile adults was privately endowed through the NU Foundation by the Cowdery family in 1988. An adapted aquatics programs for individuals requiring a hot-water therapy pool.
- Social clubs for individuals with high functioning autism were added in 2002 with funding from the Gail Werner-Robinson Foundation.
- The budget and program offerings for adults services expanded significantly in 2004 with funding from the Enrichment Foundtion of Omaha. Seasonal programs including; an adapted cycling program and community gardening club, as well as year round services to support adult day-care participants, community inclusion services, and individualized leisure counseling services were all added.
- Director, Assistant Director, Volunteer Services Coordinator, five therapists, two full-time activity technicians and 65 part-time/on-call activity technicians.
- Volunteer services provide over 500 volunteers and 13,000 service hours annually generated from over 80+ area middle/high schools and various colleges and universities.
- Provide both center based and community inclusion services with many being organized for evening and weekend delivery to provide secondary respite care benefits to parents and care providers.
- Serving over 550 participants and their families annually.
- Supporting OPS students and several other school districts through after-school program.
- Delivery of ancillary services to adult day-care participants from ENCOR and VODEC
- Administration of the only full day summer and winter camp programs for children with special needs in the State of Nebraska.
- Provides the only aquatic therapy program for medically fragile participants in the City of Omaha.
- Provides the only adapted cycling program for children and adults not capable of becoming independent riders in the State of Nebraska.
Education and Research Activities
- Provides capstone experience internship training for students in recreational therapy, training contracts with U. of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Indiana University, NW Missouri State U. and Clemson University.
- Provides practicum training experiences for students in adapted physical education, exercise science, art therapy and music therapy.
- In-service training to over 550+ volunteers annually.
- Partners in doctoral dissertation research with Indiana University.
- Field based research in best practice standards in RT for intellectual and developmental disabilities.