Access Rec Fall Conference: Tuesday, October 29th

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 29th

8:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.

at the Hilton Garden Inn

450 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA**

Click here to register!

General Session

Innovation–Friend or Foe?

Presented by Bob Acorsi, Associate Professor of Sport Management and Recreation, Springfield College. This dynamic workshop, modeled after a Ted Talk, includes participant involvement and dives into innovation as it pertains to recreation and touches on other content including: progress, critical thinking, non-conformity, power of moments, and e-sports. Organizations will examine the ways in which they’re innovative in the programs and experiences they provide to their participants.

Morning Breakout Sessions

The Inclusion Strategy – Innovative Program Design Case Studies for the Adaptive Community

Presented by Mary Patstone, Ali Riley, Keja MacEwan, and Carlene Bell-Flanagan Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers (SASC)   Opportunities for programmatic inclusion are around every corner, but recognizing them, defining the best collaborative partners, and implementing new program models can be daunting.  We will dive into two case studies of inclusive program design that touch on utilizing internal and external resources to produce innovative new programs.  The first case study will look at Spaulding Adaptive Sport Center’s (SASC) Inclusive Fitness Program (IFT) developed by Allie Cain, CTRS and Ali Riley, PT and implemented at Spaulding Hospital in Charlestown.  The second study will focus on a 2019 pilot project by SASC and the South Shore YMCA’s Camp Burgess Hayward to move their summer camp model to one of inclusion rather than “separate but equal” camps.  This study will feature a panel discussion with program developer, Mary Patstone, program adaptation specialist, Keja MacEwan, and Carlene Flanagan, JD, who courageously put her family on the front line for the pilot.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved this breakout session CEU as a Category B CEU Opportunity. 


Fun and Recreation in Literature: Accessible Reading for People with Print Disabilities and How to Access It

Presented by Erin Fragola, Perkins Library Do you or someone you know have difficulties reading? What are print disabilities and what resources are available for anyone having difficulties reading normal print? What if someone lives outside of Massachusetts? Anyone who has a print disability or organic condition that prevents them from using regular printed materials due to a visual, physical, or reading disability can receive accessible reading materials at no cost through the National Library Service. Find out how reading materials and playback equipment are circulated via postage-free mail or accessed online through the ‘Braille and Audio Reading Download’ (BARD) app for smart devices. Many Massachusetts residents who would be eligible to receive free access to the Perkins Library’s extensive collection of audiobooks, magazines, large type and braille books, accessible movies and many other exciting services from the Perkins Library, do not realize that they are eligible or know how to get free access to our collections.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved this breakout session CEU as a Category B CEU Opportunity. 


 Innovation in Accessing the Natural World

Presented by Stu Weinreb, Mass Audubon This presentation will address how changing the way we think about providing for nature appreciation through the creation of outdoor trails enhances the experience for everyone. Mass Audubon is working to make its wildlife sanctuaries with nature centers universally accessible. This includes ADA-compliant Nature Centers and universally accessible “All Persons Trails”. What began in 2008 with the construction of a pilot “sensory trail” at Stony Brook in Norfolk has evolved into Mass Audubon’s Accessible Interpretive Trails Project, funded by Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Learn about how we have continued to evolve our system of All Persons Trails to include 12 trails across Massachusetts, offering unique nature experiences for all.

*The LA CES Application Review Committee has approved this breakout session for 1.5 LA CES HSW credits.   


Afternoon Breakout Sessions

More than a Ramp: Making Accessibility Sexy

Presented by Jennifer Brooke and Carlene Bell-Flanagan, LEMON BROOKE This presentation will explore the role of program, disability advocates, and user experts in the design process. Because landscape is the ‘glue’ that holds everything together, landscape architects regularly find themselves in broader roles that go beyond form and function. They manage teams, solve the challenges of drainage and slope, generate program, educate the public, and build consensus with a wide variety of tools, both creative and interpersonal. This program will use case studies to examine ways that designers can obtain better outcomes by embracing accessibility solutions that go beyond the obvious facilitation of movement in the landscape and engage a wide variety of people with firsthand experience and knowledge.

*The LA CES Application Review Committee has approved this breakout session for 1.5 LA CES HSW credits.


Rebel with a Cause: Taking Positive Risks to Achieve Innovative Program Development

Presented by Rachel Keyworth and Angela Veatch, Springfield College This session will provide an interactive facilitation that demonstrates the benefits of tasking positive risk and thinking outside the box to transform a program and organizational culture.  Session attendees will be given opportunities to apply the content to their own professions, interact with the presenters and the content. Attendees with be challenged to walk away with an innovative idea that they plan to implement upon leaving the conference. This session will be presented using teambuilding and leadership facilitation techniques.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved this breakout session CEU as a Category B CEU Opportunity. 



Introduction to Electronic Music and Accessible Music Technologies

Presented by Dave Whalen, Jamboxx This session walks through fundamentals of electronic music and describes different ways that people with limited dexterity can play music using adaptive technologies including a new breath control instrument, a computer keyboard, and a common mouse. Dave will give demonstrations with sound and set-ups to give session attendees an understanding of the equipment.  This session will explore the activities and types of recreation projects that individuals with very limited movement can participate in.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved this breakout session CEU as a Category B CEU Opportunity. 



  • Facilitated and open networking time
  • Exhibitor hall
  • Post-conference networking in the lounge

Schedule at a Glance

  • Breakfast, 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
    • Exhibitor Hall opens
    • Networking
  • General Session 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Break for 15 minutes
  • Morning Breakout Sessions 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • Lunch & Facilitated Networking 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
    • Exhibitor Hall open
  • Post-lunch “Energizer” Stretches 1:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Afternoon Breakout Sessions 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Informal Networking in the Lounge 3:00 – 3:15 p.m.

**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

Attendees: $90
Students: $50 (STUDENT50 discount code)


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.