Access Rec Fall Conference: Thursday, October 27th

Join this growing community of practice for a day of networking, learning, and relationship building! Meet other professionals who understand the unique challenges and opportunities in providing recreation services for people with disabilities and participate in sessions that apply to the work you do!

Grand View Farm/Marion TavernThursday, October 27th
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

at Grand View Farm / Marion Tavern
55 Center St. Burlington, MA**

Click here to register!

*ATRA Pre-approved CEUs Available

Plenary Session

Leveraging Mindfulness and Energy for Elevated Well-Being

Chris VasiliadisChris Vasiliadis, M.Ed., CHWC

Today’s world is hyper-busy, with many of us possessing multiple “hats”/roles in our lives. Maintaining focus and concentration at work is challenging due to feeling overwhelmed and scattered. Miscommunication abounds.  Do you feel you could be operating more effectively and with less stress? Would you like to be energized more often than exhausted?
You can turn your situation around! In this session, begin to take a stand for the level of well-being you want. Through interactive discussion and activities, you will explore and apply concepts in mindfulness and energy management. Recognizing the potential benefits of applying these principles in your life and work, you will come away with breakthrough insights and practical actions you can take immediately to start taking control of your health and wellness.


Breakout Sessions

Wear the Chair! Optimizing Adaptive Sports Equipment Fit for Injury Prevention and Performance

Cheri BlauwetCarrie CallahanCheri Blauwet, M.D. & Carrie Callahan, PT, APT

This session will provide an overview of the importance of assessing the athlete/equipment interface (i.e. chair fit) for adaptive sports professionals, noting that poor equipment fit can lead to overuse injuries and symptoms that may prevent the athlete from competing in sports. Additionally, sports-related injuries may impact long-term functional outcomes. In order to enhancing understanding of these concepts, two hands-on examples will be provided with use of a racing wheelchair as well as a court sports wheelchair.  The speakers will also review the next steps in providing a referral for clinical evaluation for symptoms that may be persistent and/or prevent an athlete from optimal participation.


Evaluation: Program Improvement and Leveraging Impact

Barbara GildeaBarbara Gildea, M.A.

The session presents a basic introduction to evaluation for program staff in the field. Simple methods of starting an evaluation are shared, including defining your information sources, evaluation tools, and questions. The second half of the session focuses on how to leverage results of the evaluation both internally to improve programming, and externally for advocacy, funding, etc.



Just Say Yes! Theatrical Improvisation as a Tool for Customer Service and Inclusivity Training (a Train the Trainer session)

Charles BaldwinCharles Baldwin

The techniques and games that teach improvisational skills can be an effective means of training staff and volunteers working within patron and visitor services. The session includes discussion points on language, tone, and context that is reiterated in physical play through improvisation. Improvisation play invites audience critiques and interaction. The emphasis is on breaking down personal fears, developing a language that is both candid and sensitive, and empowering the staff/volunteer with the knowledge and the flexibility to adapt to the unanticipated request. This session will provide a platform for volunteer and staff training that is fun, kinesthetic, and educational.


Assessment on the Fly:  Assessment in a Community Setting Utilizing the TR Process

Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation and SportsGeoff Garfinkle, CTRS/L, Kristin Harris, CTRS/L, & Jeff Burnett

This session will present information on varying techniques on assessing individuals for the purpose of participating in established, community-based outdoor recreation programs.  The speakers will describe cases that present the specific challenge of including individuals with varying abilities into the existing programs at Crotched Mountain Accessible Recreation and Sports (CMARS) while utilizing the APIE process.  The assessment process will be discussed as a means to match adaptations and current available equipment to the individual, as well as identify future equipment needs of the program to accommodate constituents.  A question and answer opportunity will follow.


Exploring Inclusion: Opportunities for and Barriers to Inclusion in a Recreation Setting

Jessie BariJessie Bari, M.S.

This session will explore the concept of inclusion, specifically how it can be applied in a recreation setting.  Specific discussion will focus on the potential benefits of inclusion as well as the barriers or challenges faced. Participants will have a better understanding to what inclusion means, identify opportunities to create more opportunities for inclusion in our community and share success stories of overcoming barriers to inclusion.





  • A working group on expanding opportunities for individuals with high-level injuries
  • Facilitated and open networking time
  • Executive Director Roundtable (Only one person from each organization may attend this session)
  • Exhibitor hall
  • and more to come!

Schedule at a Glance

  • Networking Breakfast, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
    • Exhibitor Hall opens
    • Executive Director Roundtable
  • Opening Session  8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions 9:15 – 10:45 a.m.
  • Break 10:45 – 11:00 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Lunch & Facilitated Networking 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Plenary Session 2:30 – 4:15 p.m.
  • Closing 4:15 – 4:30 p.m.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved .45 CEUs for this opportunity. Certificates of Attendance will also be available by request.

**Ample, free parking is available. Grand View Farm is accessible via MBTA Bus #350 from Alewife; the closest stop is 0.2 miles at Cambridge St. & Bedford St. Overflow parking available at Fellowship Bible Church, 71 Center St., a five-minute walk from Grand View past the Recreation/Senior Center building.



Click here to register

Access Rec Members: $50*
Non-members: $75
Students: $25

Not yet a member? Join here

*Remember, Organizational members can send up to three staff at the member rate! Fourth and subsequent staff register at the non-member rate. Want more information on membership? Contact Chenine Peloquin at