Access Rec Spring Conference: Tuesday, April 5th

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 TavernTuesday, April 5th
8:30 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

Job Stress, Burnout, and Self-Care: Building Resilience to Better Encounter Work and Life Challenges

Julie McGrathJulie McGrath, M.S.W., LICSW

Covering topics including the physiology of stress and the mind/body connection, stress management, signs and causes of burnout, and key elements in resiliency, this workshop is geared specifically for human service professionals, clinicians, health care workers, direct staff and supervisors to help them: Understand and identify the physical, emotional and behavioral differences between stress and burnout; Learn the key concepts to coping with adversity and adapting to challenges or change; Help supervisors identify burnout in their employees and reduce or prevent the job turnover and other negative implications or effects of dissatisfied and depleted staff; and Develop an action plan to building and maintaining resiliency for enhanced job performance and satisfaction so you can be happier, healthier and more effective at your job and life!.


Breakout Sessions

Access and Experience: A Best-Practice Primer for Inclusive Design

Jennifer Brooke, ASLA, Thomas McCarthy, ASLA, and Stuart Weinreb, ASLA

Design for accessibility in the landscape can often look like an exercise in trying to find the least common denominator in reaching the minimal requirements for accessibility. This is not to always the fault of the designer, as moving outside of accepted standards puts one at risk of needing to defend a course of creative inclusive design. This panel of Landscape Architects will present new ways of thinking about how to expand accessible outdoor recreation opportunities by focusing on the desired experience.  Each presenter has a unique view of accessible environments and how to access the feel and understanding of leisure activities in the constructed and the natural world by people of all abilities. Learn how an inclusive design approach is different than meeting ADA design standards; acquire inclusive design strategies and specifications used on parks, conservation land, institutional and recreational projects; understand how technical knowledge, program management and community partnerships together create successful inclusive landscapes; and explore demand for front-line information regarding design and construction of inclusive landscapes and available resources.


A Look at Fundraising

Barbara GildeaBarbara Gildea, M.A.

This facilitated roundtable discussion will focus on current fundraising trends and challenges facing participants; peers will share relevant fundraising strategies. This session will directly address expressed needs of participants and supports networking among peers as a solution to fundraising challenges including special events, appeals, and grant writing. Participants will give and gain tips on where to go to find funding resources. Participants of this session will be able to identify current fundraising trends and challenges facing organizations, strategies to increase fundraising effectiveness, and come away with ideas to implement in their own organizations.


Take the Stage: Charismatic Communication for Leaders

Trevor SmithTrevor Smith, M.A., M.Ed.

The rules of the workplace are changing. We’re being judged not just by how smart we are, but also by how we handle ourselves in our interactions with co-workers, employees, and clients. Small behavior changes in communication skills can make huge positive changes in the work environment. This experiential workshop gets participants interacting and relating to each other on a deeper and more productive level, creating a common language that they can take back to their workplace. Business improvisation exercises will be used to introduce specific communication skills that are essential in creating effective relationships. These activities include a variety of role-playing scenarios, small group experiences, and large group exercises. Therapeutic laughter techniques will also be utilized as part of the learning process. These support stress reduction and nurture more positive attitudes and behaviors. The most essential part of skill development will be the debriefing process used after most of the activities. During the debriefs, participants will be asked to reflect on how the exercises related to one or more of the essential communication skills being covered during the workshop, and also on how they will be able to apply these skills to their daily work practices. During the workshop, participants will develop a toolbox of practical communication skills that they can apply to their daily interactions. This workshop is targeted to benefit all conference participants.


Physical Activity Promotion for Individuals with Disabilities: Using Research to Inform Practice

Dr. Heidi StanishHeidi Stanish, PhD.

This session will present the current information on the status of physical activity participation among individuals with disabilities. An overview of applied research findings regarding barriers to physical activity faced by individuals with disabilities as well as current trends in programming will be discussed. The presenter will also describe experiences in developing and implementing physical activity programs for youth with developmental disabilities in community settings. Challenges and opportunities for translating evidence-based practices into effective inclusive community programs will be presented. There will be plenty of opportunity for brainstorming with an effort to inform both future research and practice.


Marketing: What Non-Profits Can Learn from the Business Sector

Richard TrakimasRichard Trakimas, M.B.A.

From Business-to-Consumer strategies that help identify potential customers and translate leads into sales, to Business-to-Business tactics that will help you develop lasting partnerships for stronger organizations, this session will connect business practices and tools to the work of providing services in the non-profit sector. Learn to define your organization or program’s value for each key market segment and present targeted messages. Participants will discover applications to outreach, partnership, referrals, volunteer recruitment, funding and more!


*New Feature* Executive Director Roundtable

This session gives Executive Directors a dedicated opportunity to gather with peers and discuss common challenges and opportunities around fundraising, human resources, risk management, budgeting, working with a board of directors, or whatever topics of interest arise. CEUs not available for this breakout session.

More to come!


Schedule at a Glance

  • Registration & Networking  8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Break 10:30 – 10:45 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
  • Lunch 12:15 – 1:45 p.m.
  • Plenary Session 1:45 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Wrap-Up 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved .5 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.



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.


The Access Recreation Boston Spring Conference is made possible thanks to our sponsors:

The Savings Bank

Charles Schwab: Own Your Tomorrow