Access Fall Conference: Tuesday, October 23rd

Beyond networking—we’re building the relationships that promote collaboration.

Access Rec conferences are a mix of professional development and planting seeds of collaboration. This community of practice is dedicated to improving and enhancing recreation opportunities for people with disabilities—together. Join us for a day of learning, brainstorming, and meeting people who GET what you do!

Tuesday, October 23rd

7:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

at the Hilton Garden Inn

450 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA**

Click here to register!

CEUs available!*

General Session

Preventing Sexual Abuse in Adaptive Sports: A Training Program for Staff and Volunteers

Meg StoneEthan LinskyPresented by Meg Stone, Executive Director of IMPACT: Boston and Ethan Linsky, Youth Programs Specialist, EPIC Sexual abuse in sports is almost constantly in the news—from elite athletics to recreational sports. This workshop will present a sexual abuse prevention curriculum that is specifically geared toward adaptive sports. Workshop participants will get to practice skill-building exercises and learn how to integrate abuse prevention education into volunteer and staff training programs. This curriculum was developed by IMPACT Boston, a program of Triangle, Inc., in collaboration with AccesSportAmerica and Spaulding Adaptive Sports. The adaptive sports program was funded by Raliance. Thanks to the Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation for their support of this program.

Morning Breakout Sessions

Inclusion for All: Creating and Enhancing Adaptive Programming to Be Welcoming and Supportive of Community Members with Varying Needs.

Lisa DrennanPresented by Lisa Drennan, MERGE Inclusion Consulting Whether your organization is looking to create new programs or enhance existing ones, this workshop will help guide you through the process of identifying necessary steps and organizational involvement to ensure programs meet the needs of your community.  Specific focus will be on exploring how we welcome and support participants with greater challenges who require a higher level of support. We start by reviewing the 4 steps of program development and the relationship and responsibilities of all levels within your organization to those steps. Attendees will have the opportunity to take a specific inclusion initiative and work together within small groups to navigate through the steps and roles, identifying barriers and providing solutions. This take-home piece can be used back at your organization to use as a tool to help strengthen your process of gaining buy-in and support for your next inclusion initiative.

What’s the Point? Improving Volunteer Impact Using Evaluation, Data and Feedback

" "Presented by Lisl Hacker, Mass Service Alliance This workshop is an introduction to evaluation, both in terms of evaluating the impact that a volunteer has on an organization and evaluating the fit and performance of a volunteer in their role.  Evaluation is a big field, and this workshop will focus on explaining the important of and “why” behind evaluation, building basic skills around implementing evaluations and provide tools for conducting evaluations.

Autism insurance and Access to Services and Supports, including ABA/social skills

Terri FarrellPresented by Terri Farrell, Autism Insurance Resource Center of Massachusetts Recreation providers are often utilized as resource guides to the larger service system, and it can be complicated! If you’re ever wondered what current supports look like for participants with autism, how to refer people in need of services, or are curious about how your organization can be involved, come hear from staff at the Autism Insurance Resource Center of Massachusetts, a program of the Shriver Center at UMass Medical School in Worcester. This workshop will provide information on how to access autism insurance services and supports for autistic individuals.  Both public and private health plans will be covered.  Guidance on how to access ABA/Social skills groups will be included.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Digital Accessibility and Inclusive Technology

Woodbury ShortridgePresented by Woodbury Shortridge, Institute for Human Centered Design The Americans with Disabilities Act requires the goods and services of both municipalities (Title II) and private businesses and nonprofits (Title III) to be accessible and usable by people with disabilities. Organizations often forget that access to goods and services also includes access to their website and digital resources.  Digital technology is every evolving and can sometimes feel daunting.  What does it mean for a website or software to be accessible? How will a blind user access my new app? We will define what makes a website accessible, WCAG 2.0 guidelines, inclusive design best practices, and tools to ensure that your digital content is accessible. We will also discuss the benefits and methods of engaging real users of diverse abilities in your digital design process.

The Role of Recreational Therapy Physical Activity Programs in the Wellbeing of Veterans with Mental Health and Substance Use Issues

Krista McDonaghPresented by Krista McDonagh, CTRS, Boston VA Healthcare System This session will focus on the role of RT physical activity programs (indoor, outdoor, and mind-body programs) and how they affect the health and well-being of veterans with mental health and substance use disorders. Participants will gain an understanding of how these interventions can be used as complementary and/or alternative treatment options to veterans who may be reluctant to seek traditional mental health services.

Transition to Adulthood and the Role of Recreation Services

Jennifer Ross StewartPresented by Jennifer Ross Stewart, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission This session will educate recreational providers on the transition process and how transition planning can support a student’s post-secondary vision. Transition is not only about finding a job or going on to college, but it is about community access and independent living. An overview of the transition process will help providers understand the complexities of the transition system and how recreation can play a key role. Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission will explain how their services that cover pre-employment skill gain and independent living can be a resource for many young adults. The session will wrap up with discussion around the intersections of the transition process with recreational providers.



  • Facilitated and open networking time
  • Executive Director Roundtable (Only one person from each organization may attend this session)
  • Exhibitor hall
  • “Lightning Round” mini-sessions after lunch
  • Post-conference networking in the lounge

Schedule at a Glance

  • Networking Breakfast, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
    • Exhibitor Hall opens
    • Executive Director Roundtable
  • General Session 8:30 – 10:05 a.m.
  • Breakout Sessions 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
  • Lunch & Facilitated Networking 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
    • Exhibitor Hall open
    • Lightning Round sessions
  • Breakout Sessions 1:45 – 3:15 p.m.
  • Networking/Social 3:15 – 4:30 p.m.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved all breakout session CEUs as a Category B CEU Opportunity. Please Note:  Category B CEUS are not automatically accepted for credit by NCTRC, it is the individual attendee’s responsibility to retain documentation of sessions attended to demonstrate the relevance of the session content to the NCTRC Job Analysis.

**Ample, free parking is available. The Hilton Garden Inn is accessible via MBTA Bus #70 from Central Square or Express Bus #170 from Dudley Station; the closest stop is at 440 Totten Pond Road.

Registration Info

Click here to register

$5 off registration if you sign up before October 1st
(Price Before Oct 1 / After Oct 1)
Access Rec Members*: $60 / 65
Non-members: $85 / 90
Undergraduate Students: $30 / 35
Graduate Students: $45 / 50

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


If you need an accommodation, please let us know as soon as possible and no later than two weeks before the event. If ASL interpreters are needed, it is best if we have four weeks lead time. We may not be able to accommodate last-minute requests.

Exhibitor Info

Connect with leadership from over 50 local and regional organizations providing adaptive, inclusive, and therapeutic recreation services! If you are interested in exhibiting your product/service at the Access Rec Fall Conference, please contact us at for details.