Access Rec Spring Conference: Thursday, April 6th

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!

Thursday, April 6th
7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

at the Hilton Garden Inn
450 Totten Pond Road, Waltham, MA**

Click here to register!Exterior of Hilton Garden Inn, Waltham

General Session

The ABCs of Program Evaluation

Dr. Fran Jacobs, Tufts UniversityFran Jacobs, Ed.D

Increasingly the evaluation of human services is being demanded from many quarters – funders wanting to ensure that their funds are well-spent; clients wanting quality programming; and staff wanting to improve program operations. This session introduces participants to the rudiments of evaluation, including the purposes, types, and essential component of the enterprise.  It proposes a developmental approach to designing evaluation – The Five-tiered Approach – that directs programs to asking appropriate evaluation questions, and evaluators to using appropriate designs and instruments to accomplish the task.


Breakout Sessions

From Donor to Investor: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Nick SavareseNicholas Savarese

The philanthropic landscape is changing in many ways. Traditional means of acquiring and communicating with donors are evolving. Donors are becoming more knowledgeable of philanthropy as a whole, and “hands-on” with causes they invest in. Large amounts of wealth are being transferred from one generation to the next, and financial tools donors use to invest with are changing. All that said, the basic principles of fundraising remain the same.  Donors want to make an impact in causes they care about. The causes that can best identify, involve, and solicit investment from passionate individual donors will continue to be the causes that make the greatest impact. We’ll walk through many of the changes and disruptions happening in fundraising and apply them to tried-and-true best practices. We’ll focus on finding donors with a high affinity and capacity, and helping turn them into investors in your cause. A special emphasis will be placed on the “ask.”


Autism and Adulthood: A Panel Discussion on the Post-Transition Years

Beth ZwickFacilitated by Beth Zwick, M.B.A.

Over recent years, there has been a tremendous focus on helping young adults living on the autism spectrum through the transition from school services into adulthood. But what happens after? Housing, family involvement, vocational supports, health care, and access to the community in general can present significant challenges. Hear from our panel of professionals, self-advocates, and family members about what strategies exist, and join the discussion on how the recreation sector can play a part in increasing opportunities.

This session is offered in partnership with the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, helping people with autism lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.


Sport for Community: A collaborative model to promote inclusivity and social change in international communities

Ksenia Ovsiannikova (Russia), Executive Secretary in the International Relations Department of the Wheelchair Fencing Federation of RussiaVibhas Sen (India), National Wheelchair Fencer and Senior Manager of Digital for PNB MetLife Insurance India. Ksenia Ovsiannikova & Vibhas Sen, Sport for Community Fellows

This session will provide an in-depth look at how a local, national and international collaboration model called Sport for Community is impacting inclusivity and social change here at home and around the world.  We will discuss the key elements of creating an Action Plan to implement change in your community to benefit your clients and patients as well as hearing two completed Action Plans for implementation in Russia and India.




Paralympic Sport Club Collaborative

Joe Walsh in Rio stadiumFacilitated by Joe Walsh

If you conduct programs for individuals with visual impairments or mobility impairments anywhere in New England this session is for you! Whether you have a Paralympic Sport Club designation or not, come with your sleeves rolled up, because we will dig right in to create the “big board” of New England programs and services for Fall 2017/Winter 2018.  Get your signature programs on the calendar first, and coordinate in person with your peers to avoid frustrating conflicts.

We will share information, then organize it by geography, sport, calendar, and target population.  We’ll look for opportunities to collaborate and/or coordinate and maybe find a few “holes” that are just waiting to be filled.  Finally, the group will consider the discussion and determine one or more common priorities for collaborative public relations and promotion.

Please bring all your summer program information to share, but let’s focus on the upcoming fall/winter for this one 90-minute session, and see if we can break through to new participants next year.  We’ll provide the structure, you bring the content.


Wheelchair Travel: Yes, you can! The Ins and Outs of Wheelchair Travel

Kristy LacroixKristy Lacroix, CATS

Join certified accessible travel specialist Kristy Lacroix for a tour of worldwide travel possibilities for wheelchair users, and the real-life tips to make it all happen! Discover the multitude of places where wheelchair users can travel and what they can do and expect along the way, from Ireland, Scotland, and Africa, to Costa Rica, Equador and China. Learn flying tips including boarding and deplaning, bathroom use, and what to do with the chair during flight. Land tour options and cruise options will be covered. Mental health benefits for the individual and caregivers will be covered as well.


Nature Wellness Mandala: Bringing a hands-on practice to build healing connections to nature, self, and others into your setting

Maya ApfelbaumMaya Apfelbaum, M.A.

Current information about the healing power of Mandalas (ancient circular forms for meditation) and of nature will be presented. Participants will gain an experiential sense of this by helping make a simple nature mandala which, in turn, will serve as a container for the rest of our activity. Participants will choose a natural object to use as a focal point for empowering self-reflection and community-building processes as they add their object to the mandala in a special format that supports each participant to feel a valued part of the whole. We will then debrief this experience and discuss the use and adaptation of this modality across different settings and populations. Whether indoors or outdoors, come and create a simple, yet profound, antidote to our often stressful, plugged-in, sedentary modern life styles – get some Vitamin N (Nature) and access ways to restore ourselves and others.




  • Facilitated and open networking time
  • Executive Director Roundtable (Only one person from each organization may attend this session)
  • Exhibitor hall
  • Breakout time for interest groups
  • and more to come!

Schedule at a Glance

  • Networking Breakfast, 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
    • Exhibitor Hall opens until 2:00
    • Executive Director Roundtable
  • General Session  8:30 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
  • Lunch & Facilitated Networking 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions 1:45 – 3:15 p.m.
  • Interest Group Networking/Social 3:15 – 4:30 p.m.

*The American Therapeutic Recreation Association has approved .45 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

Access Rec Members: $60*
Non-members: $85
Undergraduate Students: $30
Graduate Students: $45

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

Accommodations: 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 40 local and regional organizations providing adaptive, inclusive, and therapeutic recreation services! If you are interested in exhibiting your product/service at the Access Rec Spring Conference, please contact Chenine Peloquin at for details.



Thank you to our sponsors:

The Savings Bank