Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) is a new program to Greeley Recreation that is designed to provide therapeutic recreation programs and services to individuals in the community who have physical or intellectual disabilities. Therapeutic recreation utilizes recreation activities to help address needs and teach life skills to people who could benefit from these services. The goal of the AIR Program is to provide programs that will enhance the quality of life of all people involved. One of those people, David Dalgarn, has been a part of the AIR Program since its beginning in 2017.
How did you get connected to Greeley’s Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) Program?
The City of Greeley reached out to my employer, Connections for Independent Living , to establish an inclusive and adaptive yoga session with Greeley Recreation. We worked together to organize the class, which grew into a larger project. The AIR Program started working on more activitiesfor individuals with disabilities, like inclusive dances. From there, it started to grow.
How long have you been working for the disabled community?
The first job I took after my spinal cord injury was at Connections for Independent Living about three years ago. Before then, I was studying at AIMs Community College, where I met Dana Jones at the Disability Support Services Office. When I started working with other people with disabilities, I realized the importance of having a community you identify with—that is when I found my inspiration. My goal is to get individuals as independent as possible: “Help me do for myself what I cannot do.” It’s a helping job and I love to hear “thank you.”
Which of the events are your favorites?
The movie nights are great because it just gets me out, lets me know that I can do things that other people can do. It provides a social aspect. That is also why I loved visiting the art museum in May, it is being out with your community. Disabilities effect all races, all classes, all ages, all demographics—so it is nice to have people from different places be together.
Why are programs like this important to the disabled and their community?
I see growth and potential. There are so many people who would love to join. People who are disabled don’t like to get out of their comfort areas, and Greeley Recreation provides a safe space. I would love to see more people take advantage of the program.
According to the City of Greeley’s Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation Coordinator, Katelynn Johnson, the Nature Walks, Adaptive Book Club and the popular Adaptive/Inclusive Yoga class are some great ways to introduce yourself to the AIR community. She also gave us a peek into upcoming AIR programming: “This summer, we have some big community events at Aven’s Village, like the Aven’s Village Play Day on Sat, July 15, and I am very excited to get those going.”
The City of Greeley’s Recreation Division would like to thank The Arc of Weld County for their sponsorship of the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) Program. The Arc of Weld County promotes and protects the human rights of people in the community with intellectual and developmental disabilities through advocacy and support services. For more information about The Arc, visit https://www.arcweldcounty.org/ or call them at 970-353-5219.
Have you participated in Greeley Recreation’s new AIR Program? We would love to hear your ideas and feedback! Take a minute to complete the survey located online at https://surveymonkey.com/r/AIRprogramfeedback.
For more information about Greeley’s Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) Program, visit https://greeleyrec.com/inclusive-recreation/ or call Katelynn Johnson, AIR Coordinator, at 970-350-9422.
Written by Michelle Patterson