Compared to most study abroad programs that focus on art and culture, the Inclusive Recreation Services course, taught in Miami, FL; Florence, Italy; and Paris, France, focused on challenges people with disabilities confront while traveling. In addition to learning about disability groups, attitudes about disabilities, accessibility and recreation programming, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, this class included a review of, and comparison to, Italian and French disability laws, as well as hands on experiences designed to give students a perspective gained from experiencing challenges associated with accessing buildings, roads, and public transportation in cities with extensive histories. This article provides a description of select learning activities and information learned presented in a narrative format.
Polytraumatic injuries, defined as two or more injuries sustained in the same incident that affect multiple body parts or organ systems and result in physical, cognitive, psychological, or psychosocial impairments, emerged during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). These injuries are complex and require special care. In response, the US Veterans Health Administration established the polytrauma system of care (PSC) in 2005. Current research identifies recreational therapy (RT) is a primary healthcare service within the PSC; however, given its recent creation, little is known about the role and function of RT in this setting. This study explored the role and function of RT in the PSC using a Delphi design across five PSC sites in the United States, with special emphasis on RT assessments used, diagnoses seen, RT interventions applied, RT outcomes targeted, RT discharge planning processes, and team collaboration. Seven of a possible 30 recreational therapists participated yielding a 23 percent response rate. The results may serve as a springboard for identifying best practices, strengthening evidence-based practice, and advancing RT research in polytrauma care.