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 and older.
- 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 launched in 1987 with the help of the Meyer Foundation for disabilities – a large center-based clubhouse program to support the development of friendships.
- Through the NU Foundation in 1988, the Cowdery family privately endowed a second adult program for medically fragile adults – 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 adult services expanded significantly in 2004 with funding from the Enrichment Foundation of Omaha. Seasonal programs included 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, nine therapists and 70+ 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 DUET and VODEC.
- Administration of the only full day summer and winter camp programs for children with complex health care 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 University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, Indiana University, NW Missouri State Univeristy 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 recreational therapy for intellectual and developmental disabilities.